Introduction to the Advisory Team
Listen to a Discussion with Pastor Jay, Erin Bethany, and Michelle Kirtley
- Men and women are equal in essence, dignity, and worth. At the same time, men and women are unique in significant ways, designed by God to complement one another in important and loving creation roles, most notably in the home and the church. As it relates to the church, men and women are both expected to lead and serve in love; however, the office of elder is reserved for qualified men.
- Apart from the role of pastor/elder, we believe the Bible explicitly encourages and assumes that women will be involved in the ministry of the church, including many forms of spiritual leadership.
- Both men and women are needed and necessary for the health and ministry of the church. Godly men and women should be visible partners in the corporate life of the church, deploying their diverse gifts for the good of the body. Simply put, all Christians contribute to the ministry of the church.
- Complementarianism, rightly practiced, will lead to the recognizable flourishing of both sexes.
Create a platform for regular discussion (not just a "feedback" loop addressing problems and crises) to allow for complementarian working of men and women in a cross-section of areas, including input on issues of governance and direction.
Discussion should involve staff, elders, and a cross-section of women, with an eye toward diversity of life stages and experiences.
Primary focuses of discussion and proposed action:
- Care concerns
- Governance and directional input on presenting conversations
- Similar themes as the elder charge: feeding, leading, protecting, caring
Function within a strong affirmation of the Board of Elders leadership and headship, with a focus on coming alongside to provide complementary perspective and support to their discussions and initiatives (NOT operating independently, “leading out,” or “creating an equal vote”).
Foster an opportunity for highly-gifted women leaders to be shepherded and maximized in influence and engagement alongside and under the immediate direction of the elders.
Authority and Oversight
- The Advisory Team (AT) does not have direct oversight or authority over any staff, ministry, or board.
- The AT reports to the Oversight Team of the Board of Elders.
- Women's Minister (WM) (Chair of the Team, setting vision and working collaboratively with the elders to establish discussion agendas)
- Staff Pastor (SP)
- Lay Elder, ideally serving on the Oversight Team
- Three to five appointed women (See qualifications below)
- Whole-hearted affirmation of CHBC’s “Elder Position Paper on Men and Women in Church Leadership”
- Known CHBC member in good standing
- Deacon qualifications
- Ideally diverse backgrounds (age, marital status, family connection to leadership boards, ethnicity, longevity with CHBC, etc)
- The Advisory Team will select & submit nominees to the Oversight Team of the elders for approval.
- Initial one-year term
- Ideally increasing to three-year term for non-staff members
- At the WM & SP's discretion, able to be nominated for a second consecutive term
- A year of sabbatical will be required after two consecutive terms
- Once a month, with additional meetings if needed
- The meetings will coincide with Board of Elders/Oversight Team meeting schedule to have built-in opportunities for interaction and reporting as needed with those supported teams.
- Engaging in both reactive and proactive discussions in support of the Elders and CHBC
- Examples of possible conversation topics:
- Proposed position papers
- "Under Care"/"Unrepentant" situations involving women
- Discipline/Membership issues
- Sexual harassment/abuse policies, accusations, or concerns within the church
- Mentoring and discipleship pairings and structures
- Brainstorming executables in line with Elder Priorities (e.g., Racial Unity, Every Member Ministry, etc)
- Identifying and sharing other needs in the life of the church with the Elders
- Primarily by the chair of the AT (frequency and means TBD)
- Whole team present with the elders on some recurring interval (e.g., monthly, annually) and on call for case-by-case needs
- Michelle Smith (Member)
- Michelle Kirtley (Member)
- Amy Huffman (Member)
- Ben Thomason (Elder, Vice-Chair)
- Matt Smith (Discipleship Pastor)
- Erin Bethany (Women's Minister)