This information is taken from The Manual – paragraph 320.3
3.1 The delegates serve a number of functions. They serve as the ongoing liaison between the local church and the conference and its national leadership team. They will also serve on the Pastoral Leadership Task Force if the local church enters into a pastoral transition (change of pastors) during their term of office. They also serve as the voting representatives of the local church during conference sittings. A delegate’s job description is found in ¶375.5.
3.2 Reserve delegates will serve in the place of delegates at the conference sitting if delegates are not able to serve.
3.3 The number of delegates to be elected depends on the number of members and appointed pastors in the local church. If there are two or more appointed pastors who are full members of the conference, who serve the local church at least half-time, the society is entitled to one additional delegate for each additional pastor. Where two pastors share a single full-time appointment, the society is entitled to only one lay delegate corresponding to this pastoral position. If the society has more than 75 members of legal age, one additional delegate may be elected. One additional delegate may be elected for each additional 75 members.
3.4 The number of delegates to be elected shall be according to the number of appointed pastors/and members at the time of the deadline set by the conference for submitting the names of delegate(s).
3.5 The delegate(s) and reserve delegate(s) may be elected by the society without nomination, each by a majority vote, by a separate ballot. The society may choose to empower the official board to appoint delegates from its members. They shall be elected or appointed at the first society/official board meeting immediately following the sitting of conference, and will serve until the next such election.
The delegates should normally serve for a maximum of three consecutive terms. Delegates to be elected for additional consecutive terms must be elected by at least a two-thirds majority.
3.6 The delegate, or where more than one is elected, the first delegate elected, shall serve on the official board. It may be advisable for all delegates to serve on the official board if this does not unduly increase the size of the board.
¶375.5 Role of the Local Church Delegate
Delegates are local church members elected to act as liaisons between the local churches and the General Conference. The delegates represent the local church at General Conference as voting members and communicate important information they receive at General Conference to the local congregations by reports and announcements. The delegates, along with the pastors, are the local church contact persons for MEGaP and the national leadership team (NLT). The annual pastoral performance appraisals are organized through the delegates. The delegates report its results to the pastors, the director of personnel and the official boards. The delegates must commit to the term of office that relates directly to the frequency of the General Conference.
Here is a checklist of the responsibilities of the delegates
A. The delegate acts as liaison with the Conference:
- Provide feedback to the FMCIC on the state of the local church. On behalf of the official boards, they communicate congregational concerns to the Ministry Centre on an ongoing basis as well as any concerns with respect to the senior pastor’s ministry.
- Oversee the pastor’s annual performance appraisal. They initiate, coordinate and participate in the performance appraisal of the pastor at the local church and communicate that information to the pastor. They also submit a report of the performance appraisal results (Form 5) to the director of personnel’s office.
- Act as a communication link. With the pastor, they ensure that important information sent to them by email or other means from the Ministry Centre is communicated to the congregation.
- Serve on the pastoral leadership task force (PLTF) during transition. They communicate the activity of the PLTF to the director of personnel or his designate.
B. The delegates as local church members:
- Support the pastor and local church by giving of their time, talent, and resources to the local church. (See ¶630.3.3)
- Be persons of prayer.
- Personally model the principles in Matthew 18:15-18 in healthy relationships.
C. The delegates as active board members:
- Understand their own gifting and personality traits by completing Base 3 Ministry SHAPE profile or its equivalent to help the official board and church to make discerning decisions to guide the elections of delegates.
- Commit to the term of office that relates directly to the frequency of the General Conference. (Presently, this is three years.) This commitment to the local church provides the necessary continuity to the vision and ministry of the church.
- Help to initiate, coordinate and communicate the results of the Natural Church Development surveys within their congregation , alongside the pastor and the official board
D. The delegates as voting members of the General Conference:
- Study the current issues of the Church in order to vote intelligently under God’s direction regarding policies and theological and doctrinal issues.
- Attend the General Conference sessions as voting members and interact with the issues of the conference
- Provide a report of the General Conference to the local church within a reasonable time frame after the end of the conference.