Proposed Changes to Policy Manual

The deacon body and members of the ministerial staff have been working on updating FBC Grandview's Policy Manual. The results of this work are below. Anything highlighted is being added to the policy manual, while anything struck through is being subtracted from the policy manual. Please familiarize yourself with this policy manual before the church votes to approve or disapprove of the proposed changes in our August 18th Church Conference. Simply click the link below to view the document. There is more explanation about the process underneath the link below.

Policy Manual with Proposed Changes

In order to address any questions or concerns that any member has concerning the proposed changes, we will be having two Question and Answer meetings before the August 18th Church Conference. The first will be on July 7th at 6PM in the Fellowship Hall, and the second will be on August 4th at 6PM in the Fellowship Hall.

Here, we will address some of the questions that have already come up.

What has been the process behind making the proposed changes to the policy manual so far?

The idea of making some major updates to the policy manual has been discussed amongst church leadership for several years at this point, but no action has been taken until now. In the March 17, 2024 deacons' meeting, Pastor Corey informed the deacon body that the ministerial staff would be taking a staff retreat on April 11-13, 2024. Pastor Corey proposed the idea of allowing the staff to use that weekend to come up with some changes to the policy manual that would then be brought before the deacon body for approval before going before the church as a whole. The deacons consented to this proposal with no dissent.

The ministerial staff then worked on the policy manual during their staff retreat on April 11-13, 2024. The result of their work was e-mailed to the deacon body on April 26, 2024 so that they could look over the work and decide whether or not to move forward with proposing the changes to the church as a whole. During the deacons' meeting on May 5, 2024, the deacons discussed the proposed changes and decided to wait another month to make any decisions so that everyone would have plenty of time to digest the material. The changes were also briefly discussed in the May 5, 2024 church conference in an effort to give church members a heads up that changes would likely soon be proposed.

During the June 9, 2024 deacons' meeting, the deacon body again considered the issue, discussing many of the changes at length. After the discussion, the deacon body unanimously agreed to send the proposed changes to the Policy Manual before the church to be considered for adoption in the August 18th, 2024 church conference. The proposed changes were then introduced via announcements in both worship services, along with a church-wide e-mail and the creation of this page on our website on Sunday June 23, 2024.

Why do we need to change the policy manual anyway?

As it exists today, the policy manual is not useful in the day-to-day life of the ministry of our church. There are a number of policies in the current manual that are not being followed. For instance, the policy manual dictates the presence of a Women's Missionary Union, Baptist Men's organization, Sunday School Director, and Sunday Evening worship services. None of these elements have been practiced by FBC for over a decade.

Likewise, there are several activities in which our church is currently engaged that are in no way represented in our policy manual. For instance, there is zero mention of our very successful Children's Day Out program in the current policy manual, and the only staff member presented in the policy manual other than the pastor is the "Minister of Music and Youth," a position that doesn't even exist in our current situation.

A policy manual is meant to help keep the church on mission. It should provide some level of accountability to church leaders such as the staff and deacon body. When the policy manual is allowed to become as outdated as ours is, it offers no accountability whatsoever. We are hoping to change that with these proposed changes.

But why so many changes?

There is bound to be a bit of a shock when someone first reads over the proposed changes because so much of the policy manual is being suggested for change. The reason this is the case is because of how long it has been since any work at all has been done on the manual. Hopefully, if this proposal passes, we can revisit the policy manual more often in the future so that changes can be made along the way in a smaller fashion. For now though, the changes being proposed are needed to get a badly outdated policy manual up to date.

Why are we doing away with so many committees?

While committee driven leadership works perfectly for certain elements of FBC, we believe a ministry team approach would be more beneficial for other elements. The proposal is to leave all money and business related committees as they are. We would like, however, to replace the more ministry related committees with ministry teams for a number of reasons. 

First, this gives our ministry leaders more flexibility. Our youth and children's ministries, for instance, are constantly recruiting teachers, leaders, and helpers to carry out ministry needs. As it is today, few of those helpers are ever voted into place by the church because committees are limited to 6 members and their recruitment period is normally only once per year. While we trust our ministry leaders, this means that there is no oversight or accountability on who the ministry leaders choose to be helpers. With the proposed changes, ministry leaders will have the opportunity to recruit an unlimited number of members to serve on their ministry teams at any point throughout the year. Once a ministry leader has chosen a potential team-member, the deacon body and staff will consider adding that member the team at the next deacons' meeting. This gives our leaders flexibility in recruiting and provides more accountability.

Second, in conjunction with the proposed addition of several ministry officers, we believe the ministry team approach will empower lay leaders within the church to better lead the church's various ministries. As of today, we have active men's, women's and senior adult ministries, but we have no organization supporting those ministries. By allowing our nominating committee to recruit ministry officers (which will be voted on by the church as a whole) to serve in those various positions, we better ensure that those ministries will not be overlooked but be championed by our membership.

Finally, words matter. The terminology of committees carries a very business-minded connotation. Committees are usually sat on by people in civic or corporate organizations. We believe that Christian ministry is better described with team language.

What about the numerous changes to the staff portions of the manual?

As noted above, the staff portion of the manual is out of date. Further, we have added and/or changed several staff positions just in the last few years. That means that, again, we need the policy manual to allow for more flexibility. We believe that the Personnel Committee would be a better agent to create and maintain policies related to church employees. We're hoping, therefore, that the proposed changes will empower the Personnel Committee to create staff policies, job descriptions, and changes as necesarry.