CHICAGO, IL (April 24, 2014) — Delegates to the Covenant Annual Meeting, held this June in Chicago, will vote on Covenant bylaw amendments that reflect a structural reorganization of the denominational office.
This restructuring responds to the Organizing for Mission Project’s directive in 2011 for focus and collaboration. This last phase, mission priority alignment, introduced by President Gary Walter at the 2013 Annual Meeting, focuses on aligning current ministries with the five mission priorities and designating support services relating to the priorities.
Areas of focus within the current offices will shift and the names of the offices and the titles of their administrators will change as follows:
Start and strengthen churches will focus on church planting and congregational vitality, currently ministries of the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism.
Make and deepen disciples will encompass efforts related to evangelism and spiritual formation for all ages, currently distributed among the Departments of Christian Formation, Church Growth and Evangelism, and Women Ministries.
Love mercy and do justice will include the functions of the Department of Compassion, Mercy, and Justice while also deepening this consciousness among all ministry priorities and support services.
Serve globally will include the functions currently distributed among the Department of World Mission, Covenant World Relief, and Paul Carlson Partnership.
Develop leaders will address leader formation for both clergy and laity. The executive minister of the ordered ministry will lead this mission priority area.
The five mission priority areas will be led by executive ministers elected by the Annual Meeting. The executive director of ministry development will provide leadership for collaboration among all mission priorities and coordination with regional conferences. The position of executive directors for advancement, communication, finance, and operations are established “to give leadership to areas in support of the implementation of mission priorities.” Executive directors will be appointed by the president of the Covenant with concurrence of the Executive Board. All executive ministers and executive directors will be members of the Council of Administrators.
Delegates will complete the action of participants at the Women Ministries Triennial XIV who voted to move from being an independent organization to entering into the mission priority structure and budget of the ECC. Toward that end they committed their resources, funding, and energy. The current bylaws providing for the Board of Women Ministries and the position of executive minister of women ministries are proposed for removal.
The committees of the Executive Board will be renamed to reflect the new mission priority emphases and mission support services.
At the 2013 Annual Meeting a constitutional amendment was read into the minutes for action this year to remove the position of vice-presidents. Proposed bylaw amendments remove the title vice-president and specific positions of executive vice-president and vice-president for finance. The primary responsibilities of the current executive vice-president shall be those of the executive director of operations, and the responsibilities of the vice-president for finance shall be those of the executive director of finance as chief financial officer of the ECC.
The proposed amendments are presented as follows, as required by the bylaws. A complete copy of the Covenant Constitution and Bylaws can be found at CovChurch.org in the resource section. A complete copy of the proposed amendments including copy showing all deletions is available at CovChurch.org/gather/agenda/.
Delete the current Section 10.1—which identifies the denominational ministries as Christian formation; church growth and evangelism; communication; compassion mercy, and justice; and world mission—and replace with the following:
Section 10.1 Mission Priorities
a. In order to carry out its mission, the ECC organizes its ministries around mission priorities.
i. start and strengthen churches—starting and strengthening healthy, missional churches in the United States and Canada;
ii. make and deepen disciples—helping people experience new life in Christ and grow deeper in Christ in a lifelong journey of faith;
iii. love mercy and do justice—walking humbly with God to address hurts and the cause of those hurts;
iv. develop leaders—developing and strengthening leaders, both lay and clergy; and
v. serve globally—pursuing the mission priorities internationally.
b. Each mission priority shall be led by an executive minister.
Delete Section 10.6, outlining the duties of the executive minister, and replace with the following renumbered 10.2:
Section 10.2 Executive Ministers
a. An executive minister shall be elected by the Annual Meeting to give leadership to a mission priority. An executive minister is accountable for outcomes related to that mission priority, including the implementation of decisions and policies of the Annual Meeting and the Executive Board of the ECC.
b. An executive minister shall lead the mission priority by proposing and implementing strategies, proposing and managing income and expense, and proposing and managing team members.
c. An executive minister shall pursue coordination and collaboration across the mission priorities, ensuring a comprehensive, integrated mission strategy.
d. An executive minister shall be accountable to the president by reporting through the executive director of ministry development.
e. An executive minister shall contribute to the overall mission of the ECC by serving on the Council of Administrators and as an advisor to the Executive Board.
f. By mutual agreement with the president, any board, council, commission, committee, or association of the ECC or any board or committee of a corporation established by the ECC may invite an executive minister as a representative of the president of the ECC, with the status of an advisor to a meeting of the group.
g. Each executive minister shall be elected or reelected by the Annual Meeting for a term of four years. Each term shall begin on September 1 following the Annual Meeting at which the executive minister was elected.
Expand renumbered 10.4.c. to include the following:
iv. [The executive minister of the ordered ministry shall] serve as the leader for the mission priority of develop leaders and as an advisor to the Executive Board standing committee on develop leaders.
In addition, amend 7.4.d, 7.9.b, and 11.2 to reflect name changes in the denominational ministries and executive minister titles (i.e., executive minister of world mission becomes the executive minister of serve globally).
Women Ministries Department, Board, and Executive Minister
Delete Section 10.5, which identifies Women Ministries as a self-funded denominational ministry and provides for the existence and duties of its board and executive minister.
Delete Section 7.9.b.iv, which outlines the election procedure for the executive minister of women ministries.
Amendments would also be made to the following sections, deleting reference to the Board of Women Ministries and the position of its executive director: Section 7.9.a.ii; 7.9.c.v.(2); 7.10.b; 7.10.d; 7.10.d.ii; 7.10.m.i; 8.2.a.iv; 8.2.b; and 10.5.vi.(2).
Insert the following renumbered Section 10.3 identifying the new position of the executive director.
Section 10.3 Executive Directors
a. Executive directors shall be appointed by the president with concurrence of the Executive Board to give leadership to areas in support of the implementation of mission priorities. In that capacity, each executive director is accountable for outcomes related to that mission support service, including the implementation of decisions and policies of the Annual Meeting and the Executive Board of the ECC.
b. The executive director of ministry development shall represent the president to coordinate and bring collaboration across the mission priorities, ensuring a comprehensive, integrated mission strategy and maximized use of human and financial resources. The executive director of ministry development works with executive ministers in finalizing decisions related to strategy, finances, and staffing. The executive director of ministry development ensures coordinated and collaborative efforts with mission support services and regional conferences.
c. The executive directors of mission support services shall be: the executive director of advancement; the executive director of communications, who shall serve as editor of the denominational magazine; the executive director of finance, who shall also hold the office of corporate treasurer and be the chief financial officer of the ECC; and the executive director of operations.
d. An executive director shall lead an area by proposing and implementing strategies, proposing and managing income and expense, and proposing and managing team members.
e. An executive director shall report to and be accountable to the president.
f. An executive director shall contribute to the overall mission of the ECC by serving on the Council of Administrators and as an advisor to the Executive Board.
g. By mutual agreement with the president, any board, council, commission, committee, or association of the ECC or any board or committee of a corporation established by the ECC may invite an executive director as a representative of the president of the ECC, with the status of an advisor to a meeting of the group.
h. Temporary Absence or Disability. In the temporary absence or temporary disability of an executive director, the president may appoint with the concurrence of the Executive Board a person to perform the duties of that position on an interim basis for the duration of the temporary absence or temporary disability.
i. Vacancies. The Executive Board shall declare the position of any executive director vacant upon the removal, resignation, permanent incapacity, or death of the person holding that position.
i. Removal. By vote of two-thirds of its elected members, the Executive Board may remove an executive director.
ii. Resignation. An executive director may resign upon written notice to the Executive Board.
iii. Permanent Incapacity. The Executive Board shall develop a policy for determining permanent incapacity.
iv. Filling Vacancy. When a vacancy occurs in the position of an executive director, the president shall appoint with the concurrence of the Executive Board a person to perform the duties of the vacated position on an interim basis, until such time as a permanent replacement is appointed by the president with concurrence of the Executive Board.
Renumber former Section 10.2. The Board of Nominations to be Section 10.5, Section 10.3 The Ordered Ministry to be 10.4, and Section 10.4 Board of Pensions and Benefits to be 10.6.
With the administrator of Covenant Communications becoming an appointed executive director rather than an executive minister called by the Annual Meeting, amend Section 7.9.d.i(1) and 7.9.g.ii to reflect that change.
In addition, the executive of ministry development would become an ex-officio member of the Council of Superintendents, as outlined in Section 11.2.b.
Eliminate Section 8.3, which outlines the standing committees of the Executive Board, and replace with the following:
Section 8.3 Committees
a. The Executive Board shall organize itself into committees for purpose of receiving reports, developing policies, and making recommendations to the Executive Board for a committee’s specific area of focus.
b. The standing committees shall be: develop leaders, love mercy and do justice, make and deepen disciples, serve globally, start and strengthen churches, communications, personnel, and finance.
c. Each elected member of the Executive Board shall serve on at least one standing committee at any given time.
d. Each standing committee shall have five to seven members who are elected members of the Executive Board. The executive minister of the mission priority of the committee or executive director of the support service shall be an advisor to the committee with the related focus of the executive minister or executive director. The committee may have members who are ex-officio members of the Executive Board. The Executive Board may appoint additional advisors, including appropriate members of the faculty of North Park Theological Seminary.
e. Each standing committee shall develop procedural rules to be approved by the Executive Board.
f. The Executive Board may establish additional standing committees or ad hoc committees as appropriate to advance the ECC mission.
In Section 8.1.i, add executive directors to the list of positions for which the Executive Board establishes salaries.
Delete Section 6.4, which identifies the duties and responsibilities of the vice presidents.
The following sections would then be amended to remove any reference to the executive vice-president and the vice-president for finance specifically, or any vice-president generally: 6.1; 6.5; 6.6; 6.9; 6.10; 6.11; 6.12; and 7.4.e.
In sections renumbered 10.6.b.ii and 11.1.a., 12.3.g. replace vice president of finance with executive director of finance.
Council of Administrators
Delete Section 11.1.b, which identifies the Council of Administrators, and replace with the following, to reflect the name changes of executive ministers, the elimination of vice-presidents and the executive minister of Women Ministries, and the naming of executive directors:
b. The Council of Administrators shall have the following members: the president of the ECC, the executive minister of love mercy and do justice, the executive minister of make and deepen disciples, the executive minister of the ordered ministry, the executive minister of serve globally, the executive minister of start and strengthen churches, the executive director of ministry development, the executive director of advancement, the executive director of communications, the executive director of finance, the executive director of operations, the president of Covenant Ministries of Benevolence, the president of North Park University, the dean of North Park Theological Seminary, the president of National Covenant Properties, and the president of Covenant Trust Company.
Replace Section 14.3 with the following, to reflect the inclusion of all executive ministers, deletion of the executive vice-president, addition of the executive director of ministry development, and change of the regional conference superintendents from advisors to ex-officio members.
Section 14.3. The Commission on Pastoral Relations shall have no appointed members but shall consist of the following ex-officio members only: the president of the ECC, all executive ministers, the executive director of ministry development, the dean of North Park Theological Seminary, and all regional conference superintendents.
Add the following sentence to Section 12.6:
The president of Covenant Trust Company shall serve as executive director of Covenant Estate Planning Services.
Changes to the Glossary
Delete “departments” from the definition of “Entity,” and replace “ministry of world mission” with “ministry of serve globally” in the definition of “World Mission Region.”