Local Church Formal System Of Power And Authority

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Any organizations including church congregations are unique in its context and understanding of how to function as an organization. One thing not so unique is the system of power and authority. Each congregation has a set structure of how the organization will operate and distribute power and authority. Surprisingly to some, there also is an informal system of power and authority that often carries more control than the written plan. The nearly 170 year-old Coalbush United Methodist Church has both an informal and formal organizational structural system. The local church formal system has a very structured system that is designed by the Book of Discipline: the procedure guidelines of the United Methodist Church. The guideline for ordering the church provides a construction of checks and balances between the laity and clergy. The pastor has a voice on every committee, but no vote with the exception of the committee that nominates persons to serve on every committee on the congregation. Each church must have a board of trustees, finance team, a personnel committee, and an administrative council. The administrative council is the central deciding board of the church consisting of a representative from every committee of the church and a few at large members. I was appointed to Coalbush beginning July 1, 2016. I have been observing and serving as I attempt to discover the unique context and setting for this local church in this season of their very long history. The
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