Who evaluates the Board?
Great question! I mean, the board in a healthy church is elected to prayerfully ask 3 important questions:
- Do we have the right vision?
- Do we have the right people on the bus?
- Are we financially healthy (“The goal is not a balanced budget, but a budget that delivers the mission… budget is a means, not an end. The end, of course, is the mission.” Gordon Smith, Institutional Intelligence, p.132-133, 2017.
Our system is not a democracy wherein the elected board represents the people! It is supposed to be more like a Theocracy wherein these leaders, affirmed by their church family as Godly women and men, who have mature faith journeys (including growing prayer and Bible lives, are active participants in church family, have healthy home lives, and value listening, creativity, unity and learning) are resolved together to hear from God about His vision for your local church family. It is no little job to be a board member.
I believe that the pastor is responsible to help the board grow in every respect as a leadership team. I also believe that the membership is responsible to help the board grow (by supporting them with prayer, honesty, gentleness, and then voting responsibly at annual meetings for new members). And I believe the board is responsible to help the board and pastor thrive. Currently the Nominating Team can be of service for us in creating a healthy board, but otherwise there is no formal systematic process in place to evaluate individual board members’ effectiveness. The Board of Administration of the FMCiC has had this very conversation and have decided to create an evaluation process – one that would and should model healthy board life. Just as pastors and staff receive performance appraisals, we have decided to do the same. We appointed a leader who solicited from BOA members input into strengths and weaknesses about each other. It has been honest robust brave conversation that I am proud to be a part of – you should be proud too about the level of accountability. The leader collected the responses and sat down with each member individually to discuss the data. The leader then facilitated a conversation with everyone to discuss process and feedback. Let’s hear from two BOA members:
- What is this board initiative and why are we doing it?
- How would you say this first round went?
TAMERA: Establishing board evaluations was a part of creating an accountable, responsible and responsive system. Having various ways for members to engage increases and respects the diverse way we experience the freedom to do so. In desiring something that would help us improve as a BOA and get stronger as individuals in this kind of role, we agreed to put board evaluation in motion. To ask those around a table to pause and really see one another is an honouring of who they are and is to also recognize the unique way God shines in them. One of the abundant ways fruit could pour out of this is, upon reflection, to realize and build upon how we then can become interconnected, allowing our gifts and shadows to become invitations to come alongside one another and experience being united in our diversity.
I was blown away and so deeply thankful for the obvious work of the Holy Spirit in this process. I knew going in that its life would be in His presence. And He was so present! Our BOA table has been evolving into a safe place and this encourages us to bring our best, unguarded self forward.
JON: Most people are apprehensive about the thought of being evaluated and many of us have had the experience of evaluations that were less than helpful. When it was proposed that we do evaluations for each BOA member, I’m sure there was some discomfort and uncertainty over how effective it would be. The process produced fantastic results, many of which were unexpected. For me personally, completing each evaluation for my fellow board members forced me to reflect on the uniqueness of each person and what they bring to the table. I also felt a healthy pressure to identify areas for improvement that I would stand behind. These evaluations made me more thankful for my fellow BOA teammates and the gift they are to this board. It also made an obvious difference to our vulnerability and trust amongst each other. As a result, I find myself looking forward to my turn being evaluated and am actively considering how we can implement something similar in my church for our board. There is a wonderful and growing culture of love, respect and trust on the BOA that I believe can help set a tone for our movement and set an example for our local churches.
Loved my time in Saskatchewan this past weekend! The Hampton FM hosted us and true to their commitment to being actively connected to the community, our lunch was from the community BBQ! We bought burgers from the community, so that all lunch proceeds turned into yet another Hampton connection with their neighbours! Exactly right Hampton – thank you!
On Sunday morning I visited Moose Jaw FM for the very first time. Moose Jaw has been such an important place for FMCIC historically that I was looking forward to being there. In fact I had never seen the old Aldersgate College grounds – my friend, cousin and pastor of First FM, Barry Taylor gave me a tour. First Free has been intentional about branding, where even the coffee cups they use on Sunday morning have the First Free logo. Marketing is not evil – it is important in fact. But appropriate holy marketing is a conversation for another day…
2019 REGIONAL GATHERINGS 2019 Regional Gathering Locations and Dates – PDF
Regional Gatherings are all about connecting! Our intention is to see Free Methodist leader and lay people meeting together as a movement for both an “informative” and “formative” gathering. We hope to see you there! https://www.fmcic.ca/regional-gathering-2019/
Church Health Thursdays – Nothing Beats a Good Story: https://www.fmcic.ca/nothing-beats-a-good-story/ New
News & Stories Blog – Who’s Reading What in 2019 – John-Mark Cockram: https://www.fmcic.ca/whos-reading-what-in-2019-john-mark-cockram/ New
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out: https://www.fmcic.ca/3-minute-theology-2-5-knowing-the-bible-inside-out/
New Leaf Network: Learning Party stories – Andrew Benson: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-64-learning-party-stories-andrew-benson/
Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
Rev. A. Ross Kingston – Lead Pastor at Odessa FMC, Odessa, ON – transferred as Ordained Minister into The Free Methodist Church in Canada, effective May 14
Ordination and Commissioning Services
Belinda Leibel – Commissioning Service at Northview Community Church, Regina, SK – date and time TBA
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES https://www.fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/
Register online through the link above
Lay Ministers tracking for credentialed ministry and those transferring ordination credentials into the FMCiC need to take the following two courses for full credit – and if possible, the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology.
Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
May 31-June 2, 2019 – Peterborough FM Church, Peterborough ON
November 1-3, 2019 – western Canada-location TBA*
Cours sur le Coeur du Méthodisme Libre Canadien
12 au 14 juillet 2019 à Montréal à l’Église Méthodiste Libre de St-Henri
May 31-June 2, 2019 – Weyburn Free Methodist Church, Weyburn, SK
October 25-27, 2019 – Ontario-location TBA*
(also available online through FMC-USA: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/courses/)
Ministerial Candidates tracking for Commissioned or Ordained Minister are required to take the following two courses for full credit. Those who are already commissioned or ordained are required to either audit these two courses for 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) each or take the two courses and complete the assignments for 3 CEUs each.
Culture and the Missional Church:
Western Canada course starts October 7 (deadline to register – October 1)
Oct 7-31 – advance online engagement
Nov 1-2 – two-day in-person class at Lakeview Free Methodist Church, Saskatoon, SK
Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course (FRENCH) – start date – TBA
6-week online course (ENGLISH) – start date – TBA
(*locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)
2019 SCHOLARSHIPS https://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during either the summer and/or the fall semesters of 2019. The 2019 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above.
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during 2019 – apply online from the link above
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEUs) https://www.fmcic.ca/introduction-to-continuing-education/
Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report Continuing Education Units (CEUs) acquired during each year. Check the link above for information on CEUs, the report form and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.
Note: For those who attended the fall Minister’s Conferences, add 6 hours of CEU credit when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON
Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK
Church Profiles available
Contact Susan DePlanché in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 289-228-1225 (deadline to apply in brackets)
Madoc Wesleyan/FMC, Madoc, ON (May 21, 2019)
New Horizons Community Church – Sarnia, ON (June 11, 2019)
(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan in the Leadership Development Office [[email protected] or 289-228-1225] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)
Athens FMC, Athens, ON (Angel Valentin-Transition Pastor)
Crossroads FMC, Salmon Arm, BC (Vern Frudd – Interim Pastor)
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Abbs So and Shadow Lau-Interim Co-Pastors)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON (Vic Stonehouse)
Part-Time Office Administrator – Westdale Park FM Church
Summer Intern – Wawota FM Church
Children’s Ministry Director – Barrie FM Church
Intern Job Position – Maple Grove Christian Retreat Centre
Youth Pastor – Malvern Methodist