Greetings from the Board of Stewards!
As your fellow parishioners, we are honored to serve Friendswood United Methodist Church and we truly appreciate the trust you have placed in us to help lead our congregation. We are blessed to work as partners with our exceptional pastoral team, who keeps us grounded in scripture and focused on accomplishing God’s work through our mission statement, “Sharing the Life-Changing Power of Christ...Everywhere and Every day”. I hope you know and believe that we take our BOS roles and responsibilities very seriously, and we are committed to doing our very best to effectively serve the Friendswood Methodist community. That commitment is grounded in respect, integrity, transparency, and accountability.
I had been struggling for words to share with you as the BOS Chair…but here are some scriptures and thoughts that God has put on my heart recently….
We are confronted daily with the challenges of the world that cause us to be distracted, with a negative impact on our lives. I have been reminded (by God) several times recently—even on a marquee sign-- that what we really need to focus on is “the Joy of God”. Here are some references that He led me to:
Nehemiah 8:9-12 “…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Romans: 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
John 15:11-13 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Hebrews 12:1-3 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Psalms 51:10-12 “Create in me a pure heart, o God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
I loved some reflections from author, Jim Davis (“Focus on God”) about “the Joy of God”:
“God is a joyful God and wishes to share his joy with us. God is the source of real joy, just as he is the source of love, of truth, of mercy, etc….God says to forget the past, enter into my joy and you will find and discover my strength to bear your burdens and your scars…. It is entering into the joy of God that gives us the strength to persevere in the midst of difficulties. Joy is not an option. It is an essential, if we are to succeed in the work of God. There is no joy like knowing and serving God. Remember God is the source of real joy and strength.”
To me, the message is clear….no matter the challenges we face or the mission set before us, we must embrace JOY…to equip and empower us as His disciples. I love the words mentioned above, and it is so very true, “Joy is not an option. It is an essential, if we are to succeed in the work of God.” So, let’s be joyful in our thoughts, words, and actions as we boldly witness our faith and demonstrate our commitment to accomplishing God’s work through our faith family--Friendswood United Methodist Church.
Friendswood Methodist is governed by a single Board of Stewards model in accordance with the United Methodist Book of Disciple
1. What is a single board model?
The single board model essentially takes the functions of four administrative committees and combines them into one body. This model has been adopted in many churches in the Texas Annual Conference, including some of the largest Methodist churches in the connection. Our Bishop, Scott Jones, has endorsed the single board model and has said that he has seen it used effectively in churches both large and small. It allows for more nimble and efficient decision making. Under our current structure, pressing decisions sometimes get bogged down in review by multiple committees. The single board model will allow leaders to look at the big picture and more easily make a decision. It allows the leadership of the church, both lay and staff, to concentrate on the core mission of the church in making disciples of Jesus Christ, instead of focusing energy on administrative tasks and it pushes the day to day management of the ministry to where it belongs with the pastors, staff, and ministry team leaders. At the same time, the board will provide proper oversight and clear lines of accountability for the Senior Pastor and staff.
2. How many people are on the board?
There are 12 lay members and the senior pastor for a total of 13 voting members.
3. Are other staff people on the board?
No. The board may invite others persons (church members and staff) to participate in the board to give their input, but only the 13 board members have a vote. Some staff members like the Executive Pastor, Finance Director and Facilities Manager will be needed to give reports to the Board and assist them as they review church property, finances and the administrative needs of the church.
4. How often does the board meet?
The governing document requires that the board must meet at least quarterly. In reality, the board will meet monthly with exception of perhaps July and December. The board may also meet in addition to its regularly scheduled meetings as needed.
5. How long do members of the board serve?
Members of the board serve a three-year term. The board is organized into three classes of four members with one-third of the board rotating off each year. Board members are not allowed to succeed themselves.
6. How does the church know what happens in the board?
The single board model actually makes it easier to commutate its work to the church because it is not spread out into four different committees meeting throughout the month. The members of the board with their contact information are posted on the church website, the board agenda is posted prior to its meetings and a report after each meeting will also be posted. It is envisioned that regular town-hall meetings be organized to share information with the church about its work and the needs of the church. The operating guidelines directs the board to develop a communication plan with the church to ensure open and transparent work. Also, like all meetings in the Methodist Church, the board is open for any member to attend. The board may to go into a closed meeting where confidentiality is required to discuss staff matters, legal issues, contract negotiations and other items as provided for in the Book of Discipline.
If you want more information, you are invited to talk to any of the task force members, or you can email Sr. Pastor, Jim Bass.