The Holy Cross Constitution and it’s by-laws provide essential guidelines in the principles and operating practices for our church and its ministries. They were created by the congregation of Holy Cross, who is the the source of our mission, priorities and inspiration.
The members elect a Voter’s Representative Board at our annual meeting, which serves much like a “board of directors” for our organization. The VRB Board Members define the outcomes and goals that the church wants to achieve, set broad policy about how they may be attained, and monitor progress and activities. The VRB uses the vision statements developed in discussion with the Pastor and congregation as a foundation, and sets broad goals in the form of “critical targets or end policies” for the staff to attain and develops broad policies for the staff to operate with. They are often stated with limitations on how they may be implemented, placing boundaries but freeing up creativity and efficiency.
The staff and ministry teams, headed by the lead pastor, interpret the broad policies laid out in the Constitution and By-laws, which are further refined by the VRB in the Policy Manual. The staff put goals, policies and plans in motion to achieve the end results of the Church and run the day-to-day operations of the congregation. Members and others served take part in the programs as recipients and participants.
Though the VRB monitors how well the Pastor, staff, ministry teams, committees and boards accomplish these goals, the VRB does not micro-manage the specifics of how they go about achieving those ends. Disentangling the VRB from day-to-day management issues allows the VRB freedom to do more “big picture or strategic” thinking, to act as leaders of the Church as opposed to managers — a benefit not just to the VRB but to the congregation as a whole. The Pastor, staff and ministry teams perform the operational and tactical level functions.
As we continue to experience both growth in our membership and the reality of complex and busy lives of our members, ever increasing demands on the Church, our staff and our members, it is critical that we have an efficient, overarching, clear framework that focused our resources on the Church’s major goals and priorities and helps us achieve them. Many growing and larger churches around the country are successfully adopting this type of policy-based governance. It is designed to empower our members and staff to use all the various resources available to the Church in a more efficient and timely manner. It is a transparent system, with clear lines of authority and encouraging more communication. It gives people freedom to do their jobs creatively and without micro-management.
Of special concern is how we maintain fiscal responsibility and budget. The Lead Pastor apprises the VRB regularly as to the Church’s financial situation as part of its regular monitoring function. Further, though the staff and ministry teams indeed have responsibility for the detailed construction of the budget, the VRB continues each year to review the budget, to ensure that it is reflective of the Church’s broad policies and end results. There is a necessity for the VRB to be involved in the consideration of special, “big ticket” items, which fall outside of the operating budget — but, again, not in direct implementation.Connect me with the VRB
Some important forms and files related to our organization structure at Holy Cross.