Many of us can vividly remember the first Sunday we worshipped in our new facility. It was such a meaningful experience to process from our old location on Albany Ave on that misty October morning to our new location on St. Paul Avenue. It signified the journey we had been on and the years of waiting, sacrifice, and hard work that led us to this new place.
This journey included loss, saying goodbye to a facility that had served us well for so many years and stored up so many memories. But it also included gain and so much hope--a sense that God was doing something new among us and leading us into a new chapter.
The new building has been an incredible blessing. We have been able to minister in ways that were unimaginable in our old location, and God has added to our number more and more people who are seeking Jesus for the first time.
Now we know that the building is not the church; the church is the people! But to paraphrase Winston Churchill: We shape our buildings, and thereafter our buildings shape us. This has been true for Trinity. With our expanded space for fellowship and hospitality we have become known as a church that excels in hospitality. One new person expressed it this way, "Trinity is the first church where I have felt at home and not a guest.” This is what we always hoped and dreamed our facility would be: be a tool to allow Trinity to help people better connect with God, each other, and God’s mission in the world.
In much the same way, our leadership structures affect who we are as a church. We shape our structures and then our structures shape us. Trinity has always been a church with a plethora of talented and capable leaders--visionaries who see where God is leading, doers who role up their sleeves and accomplish great things, and shepherds who pour themselves into the lives of the people. But as Trinity continues to grow, we are finding that how we recruit, equip and unleash our leaders needs to look different. This has led us to invest significant time and energy around the question of, “How should we be structured to best accomplish what God is calling us to as a church?”
Over the past 18 months, our staff, elders and deacons have had a lot of dialogue about this, and here are three key convictions we came away with:
Gift-based, passion-driven ministry is one of our core values for every member of the church. If we want our congregation to be serving in their areas of giftedness and passions, then it is essential that we--as elders, deacons and staff--lead the way by serving in our own areas of giftedness and passions.
The primary role of leaders is not to do all the ministry themselves but to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph. 4:12). The task of leadership is to empower and mobilize God’s people for ministry and mission.
In order to effectively lead a church our size, we need more people leading in specific areas of ministry and fewer people responsible for the governance of the church.
So over the next 12 months, we’re going to be piloting a new consistory structure that is driven by the above three convictions. You can learn more about what this structure will look like by clicking HERE. The consistory unanimously approved this pilot, and we’re excited to “try it on” and see how it works. We’ll be evaluating it along the way, and would welcome both your prayers and any feedback you may want to share as a member of the congregation.
If you would like to learn more about this new structure, have questions, or would like to share feedback, you are invited to a “Learn More” event on Sunday, January 21 at 9:50am in rooms 3-4. You are also welcome to talk with Rick Clark (VP of Consistory), any member of the Leadership Team or any member of the staff.
Here’s what is true: the gospel is unchanging, even as we will always be changing our approaches, systems and structures to better share this gospel. Our hope and deepest desire is that this new leadership structure will help us more effectively empower others and mobilize the church to share this gospel so the whole world might know Jesus is Lord.