Ever wonder the difference between a church session and the board of managers? Or why there is so much conflict between the two at many churches? Check out this quick guide to the specific roles of each and how to clear up communication between your session and board!
Session (Citations are from the Book of Forms)
- 109 It is the duty of those who are called to the eldership to meet regularly with the minister for the purpose of establishing good order and providing for the pastoral care of the congregation. All who are members are subject to the authority and discipline of the session.
- 2 The session is responsible for all policy and procedures with respect to the use of the church buildings and property subject to the provisions in sections 114.6 and 163.
- 113 The session is responsible for all aspects of stewardship and mission, both spiritual and material, within the congregation.
- 6 The session is responsible for all decisions relating to stewardship, including how and when the financial needs of the church at all levels are to be presented to the congregation so that the programs of life and mission may be supported adequately.
What does this mean for the Session?
- The Session oversees the Church
- Doing the right things
- Future oriented
- Ministry oriented
- Supporting the ministry of the church
- Setting the example
- What are the policies and procedures with respect to the use of the church building and property?
- Is it welcoming?
- Does it become the church?
- Does it match our values?
- Communicate these with the Board of Managers.
- Remember you are on the same team as the Board of Managers – you build up or break down the church together.
- Money isn’t everything!
Board of Managers (Citations are from the Book of Forms)
- 162 The duties of the board of managers have special regard to the temporal and financial affairs of the congregation. It is their duty to co-operate closely with the session, which is responsible for all aspects of stewardship, in encouraging the liberality of the people in support of the congregation’s total ministry, and to disburse all moneys received for this purpose, subject to the approval of the congregation; to provide for the payment of the minister’s stipend and other salaries; and generally to administer all matters committed to their charge as the congregation may from time to time direct.
- 163 It is the duty of the board of managers to care for the place of worship and other ecclesiastical buildings, and to see that they are kept in good condition and repair.
What does this mean for the Board of Managers?
- Doing things right
- Doing things transparently
- Doing things effectively
- Doing things efficiently
- How does the Board of Managers care for the financial affairs of the congregation?
- Care is foremost!
- Forefront of ministry of hospitality!
- Is it appropriate?
- Is it done right?
- Money isn’t everything!
- Support the decisions made by session!
- Communicate with session!
- Remember you are on the same team as session– you build up or break down the church together.