It’s been said that the church is more of a living organism than an organization. Considering that the church is a complex mix of all kinds of people, this observation is a quite apt. However, it is also necessary for every body to have some amount of organization to keep it from becoming a random collection of cells at best or, at worst, a destructive tumour. This is true of every physical organism and it’s also true of the body of Christ.
Over the past year we’ve done some work on the organizational end of this spectrum hoping to bring a little more clarity and definition to the “organism” we call WCV. The aim is simply to help keep us healthy, growing in good ways, and ultimately reproducing – all trademarks of every living thing, whether single-celled organisms, or the body of Christ.
Here are a few diagrams that we hope will help bring clarity to this organizational work, specifically regarding leadership relationships in WCV. While any two-dimensional diagram of a living entity will fail to represent the organism perfectly, we think this does not a bad job. Unlike many organizational charts, this one is tipped over. In other words, while we do have leadership, it’s not a top-down but rather movement oriented. Leadership is meant to help the body follow Jesus more closely and to become more like him in the process as we are led together by the Holy Spirit.
At the Outer Circle gathering on March 18, we’ll be doing some significant business as a church community. On Sunday March 12, we will have the specific proposals and other information available in a printed booklet. If you are on our newsletter email list, you will receive a digital copy on Thursday, March 9. Please review these booklets before the church meeting on March 18. We certainly welcome any comments or questions about anything in the booklet.
Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:
Supper – just like a normal Outer Circle Gathering. Starts at 5:30pm. Everyone’s welcome!
Financial updates including a 2016 report and the budget for 2017.
A few key Shifts in Leadership.
Updating our Bylaws (which requires ratification by the members) including proposals for a new definition of Membership, Pastoral Executive, inclusion of gender neutral language and a few other tweaks.
Two New BOD Members (Marlese Hazeu & Cornelius Martens).
“Views from Here” which are updates from a number areas in WCV – including a few significant changes.
We will try to wrap up by 8pm.
All these proposals, changes and updates are outlined in the booklet. Please pick one up and review it before the March 18 meeting. Some of these proposals require ratification by a vote of the membership.
Everyone is welcome to come – please do!
>>A Note about Membership:
If you are unsure if your name is on the current membership list, please check with Vanessa Lewis (WCV Administrator) who will be set up at a table at the meeting. If you are in the Outer Circle, your name is automatically included. If you have indicated to the office that you’re doing something similar to meeting in a Triad, like what’s described here, then your name will be on the list. If your name isn’t on the list, just let Vanessa know and you’ll be added.
Only current members will be able to participate in voting.
We realize there is some confusion about formal membership in WCV. We’ve heard you and apologize for any hurt this confusion has caused. For this reason we’re proposing a new definition, which is described in the booklet.
>>If you require childcare, please sign-up up with the office. This is especially important if you do not normally come to the Outer Circle gatherings.
We’re excited to report that our New Elder process has resulted in four new elders joining the team! Rod & Elisa Jersak and Jason & Theresa Eheler are now Lay Elders and will bring valuable insight and unique perspective to the team as it attempts to follow Jesus and tend to the mission and vision of WCV. The elder team is comprised of both Lay Elders (Paul & Sherry Ansloos and Cliff & Krista Heide) and the Pastoral Elders (John & Violet Rademaker, Nathan & Kendra Rieger, Jodi & Mike Labun and Andy & Beckie Wood). The Elder team (both Lay and Pastoral elders) are the only leadership positions which require a membership vote. This happened at the last Outer Circle gathering where the Ehelers and the Jersaks were enthusiastically endorsed. If you want to know more about being a voting member at WCV, go here.
It may be important to note that this is not a promotion or a position of prestige as the world may view it. We’ve simply recognized that the Lord has put these four people in our midst, and has called them into serving the body in this way for this season. We also want to note that being a couple is not a requirement for being either a Lay Elder or a Pastoral Elder at WCV.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this process whether it was through submitting names back in the Fall, talking with us about who you perceived to be elders, praying along the way or voting on Saturday.
Recognizing what the Father is doing and blessing it, is our primary strategy for identifying new leaders in the Vineyard. Like the old proverb says, “one who thinks he is a leader but has no followers, is merely taking a walk.” We recognize leaders amongst us precisely because they are already leading. It’s first about the function, then about the position. I was a pastor in WCV long before I was called a Pastor (and long before I realized I was being a pastor!).
There are a few people in whom we’ve recently recognized varying expressions of leadership. Here are those who have newly made commitments towards exercising their leadership gift in the community.
Cliff and Krista Heide have recently joined the Elder team. They are now lay elders in the Vineyard and will bring valuable insight and unique perspective to the team as it attempts to follow Jesus and tend to the mission and vision of WCV. The elder team is comprised of both Lay Elders (Ben & Debra Kelly, Paul & Sherry Ansloos and Cliff & Krista Heide) and the Pastoral Elders (John & Violet Rademaker, Nathan & Kendra Rieger, Jodi & Mike Labun and Andy & Beckie Wood). The Elder team (both Lay and Pastoral elders) are the only leadership positions which require a membership vote. This happened at the last Outer Circle gathering where Krista & Cliff were enthusiastically endorsed.
Suhail Stephen is another whom we are recognizing is leading in a unique way. He will be stepping from a coordinator role with Drop-in, to a pastoral role. We recognize that God is doing great things in Drop-in lately through Suhail’s leadership and we’re excited about the future in this regard. He will be the Drop-in Pastor (he’ll still be directing the School of Justice). This role is a Pastoral Support Staff role (not a Pastoral elder) and it does have remuneration in the budget (which you can view here).
James Ryan has been leading the youth for awhile, but we’ve recently made room in the budget to subsidize his work with our youth. He will be stepping into a Youth Leader role. We’re excited about the passion and leadership he brings to our youth! James and Lynelle have opened up their home and their hearts to our youth. Ian Williams will continue to provide youth mentoring and leadership to our Senior Youth.
And finally, Adam Closs has recently made a commitment to the Flatlanders Inn Leadership Team. We’re excited about the roles and responsibilities Adam will inhabit as part of the Flatlanders community. The whole team is: Jeff & Amanda Leighton (Amanda is taking a Maternal break), Kelly & Brendan Dvorak, Andy Wood, Adam Closs and Julie Kettle (who is the Flatlanders Administrator +!)
We will be laying hands on, and praying for all these people on Sunday, March 29th.
Here’s a reminder as you make your summer plans, to carve out 7 days for your teen to go to Project Timothy, July 31-Aug 7.
This week has the potential to be a life-changing week for those willing to pursue God and dig deeper into becoming a leader. Don’t miss it! My kids were so impacted last year by this week of being surrounded by youth and young adults who were passionate to worship Jesus and expand God’s kingdom in their circles. (all of this in an environment with Vineyard DNA)
What to do:
Let Jodi know if you can come! So far I have interest from a handful of youth. We are prepared for 9 youth and more if possible.
Apply in spring to Project Timothy in Landenburg, Pennsylvania (Vineyard at the Barn). More info will be sent when it is available.
Continue to fundraise whenever possible. Begin now to write letters of support to family and friends. Let me know if you need help with this and I will help via email. Also, participate in WCV lunch fundraisers (next one is March 15th).
Tuition costs: $250/youth. This includes lodging and food. Some spending money can be given in addition if desired.
Approx. flight costs: $500.
Total approx costs: $750.00
Here’s a 3 minute video that captured some participant’s thoughts on why we should join them again this year. Have a listen with your youth!
If people are just born leaders, most of us are out of luck. But we believe leadership is something people can grow into. Learning the five main practices that make up leadership is the goal of this ten week course, done in a small group setting. There will be both homework and coaching – as well as opportunities to step out in leadership at the Vineyard, in a way that fits your commitment and capacity. It begins January 29 for 10 weeks.
Please contact the office below to sign up or find out more info.
We are in the process of prayerfully discerning the expansion of our Elder team. Stephen and Gloria Fligg have been serving on the elder team for a number of years and have recently discerned that their time in this role is at an end. They are excited about serving in other areas in the Vineyard. We’d like to thank them for the insight, wisdom, care and love they’ve so generously given to the whole community as they have diligently served in the capacity of elders. While they’ll be missed on the team, we’re excited about everything God has for them in the future at the Vineyard!
In the Vineyard, Elders function as overseers who tend to the spiritual health and vision of the community. The Elder team, while not always elders in age, are seasoned leaders and followers of Jesus. There are two kinds of elders in Winnipeg Centre Vineyard – Pastoral Elders and Lay Elders. The Lay Elders (Ben & Debra Kelly and Paul & Sherry Ansloos) keep the big picture in mind and prayerfully seek God for direction and counsel regarding all macro matters relating to church-life. The Pastoral Elders (Riegers, Woods, Rademakers & Labuns) also embrace this role with the added responsibility of implementing the daily tasks associated with the macro. While all the current elders are married couples, this is not a requirement for prospective elders, nor is it even preferable.
Lay Elders meet monthly and commit to a 3-year term.
There are four steps in the process of adding new elders to our current team. There are also a number of considerations and requirements for elders.
The New Elder Process is:
Nomination and Discernment (Sept 21 – Oct 27). During this time the community and the elder team nominate those they think are currently functioning as elders (even if they don’t have the position). Prayerfully ask, “who do I naturally look to for counsel, support, care, etc?” Chances are, those are the people who are already functioning as elders. At the same time, the pastors and elders are prayerfully discerning if people qualify and are a good fit for the current team and season of life the church is in (see below for requirements and considerations).
Proposal & Mutual Consideration (Oct 28 – Nov 24). The staff will contact potential new elders and invite them to prayerfully consider. This is a period in which we see if this “seems good to us and the Holy Spirit”.
Prospective Elder Period (Nov 25 – March). This is a three-month period during which prospective elders come to monthly elder meetings and are in communication with staff. At the end of this period it’s determined if it’s a fit. If it is:
Membership Vote (in March). Those who are formal members of WCV (in the Outer Circle or an equivalent) are able to vote on the prospective new elders. If the new elder is ratified, this begins their 3-year term. Bear in mind that this is a vote, not on who should become elders, but on whether those who’ve been identified via the above process are the right decision for the Vineyard at this time.
Requirements for Elders are:
Biblical requirements for Eldership (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1)
Walking out and dialoguing with our 15 Core Practices. Of particular note are: Devotion to Jesus (elders should be devoted to their walk with God), Circles of Sharing (a hallmark of eldership is hospitality) and Generosity (elders should be tithing to the local church).
A good fit with the current team and the season the Vineyard is in. While there are many people who generally qualify as elders, the staff and current elders must prayerfully discern who is the best fit for right now. What skills and gift mix will best suit the team already? This is not a popularity contest – it is a serious process to discern who God has prepared and gifted to serve the whole community at this time.
The nomination period is now closed. Please continue to pray for wisdom and direction as we build our leadership team.
Here is our current Elder team (click on the pictures to see names):