A Plan for Missional Organization

          A Plan for Missional Organization

St. John Lutheran Church

Montgomery, MN 56069

Biblical Keynotes


“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39)


Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:19-20)



Congregation – Voters’ Assembly




Committees: Worship & Music,  Education,  Stewardship,  Youth,  Evangelism,  Facility Management, Church in Society,  Fellowship,  Communications



  1. The congregation voters’ assembly is the highest authority in this administrative structure.  The obvious assumptions are that
  • all authority for our faith and life together come from scripture
  • we are a member congregation of the ELCA
  • and a part of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA


  1. Between voters’ assemblies the Church Council becomes the highest authority, representing the congregation.  There are limits on this authority spelled out in the congregation’s constitution and by-laws.


  1.  The Council consists of 9 members.  The pastor is an ex-officio member of the Council with advisory responsibilities.  The pastor has voice but not vote and does not make or second motions.


  1.  Each of the 9 Council members relates directly to one of the Council Committees named above.  The Council person will normally chair that committee, but may ask another member of that committee to serve as chair.  Members of the staff shall serve as advisors to the Council Committees as appointed by the Council and pastor.  Staff members are ex-officio members of the Council committees with advisory responsibilities.  They have voice but not vote and are also not allowed to make or second motions.


  1.  Just as the Council derives its authority from the Congregation, so the Council Committee derives its authority from the Council.  No Council Committee has authority over another Council Committee.


  1.  Good communication is essential in order for this structure to work.  There will frequently be times when Council committees will need to work together on projects.  Committees should always be on the alert for such times when cooperative efforts are needed so as not to encroach on another’s area of responsibility.


  1.  The Council person reports to the Council on behalf of his or her Committee.  The Council becomes a coordinating body rather than having to make decisions about all of the details in each area of ministry.


  1.  When it comes time to build a budget, each Council person is responsible to present a budget request for their area of ministry.  The entire Council is then responsible for the larger picture of financial management and putting together the proposed budget which is presented to the voters’ assembly.


  1.  The Council is responsible for personnel management and annual reviews.  The pastor is responsible for the daily supervision of staff.


  1. The Council/Congregation as a whole and each Council Committee in particular shall develop a strategic plan for mission. 
  1.  What is that mission?
  2. How shall we organize ourselves and our work to achieve that mission?


The Church Council

Among other things the Church Council is responsible for long range planning, personnel management, financial management, maintaining a policies and procedures manual that includes: financial and accounting guide, program budget presentation, internal control best practices.


  • Long Range Planning shall be the task of the whole Church Council as this body represents all aspects of the church’s mission and ministry as described in the Committee descriptions below. 

A strategic plan for mission should be developed to establish priorities, to plan financially for the priorities, and to seek involvement of the whole Congregation in the pursuit of mission.  Let’s ask “What is God up to in this place, and how can we help?”  As priorities for mission are developed there should be a 5-year plan with target dates in mind for what can be accomplished in each of the five years with specific plans for each year.