By Tim Gonyou (Chair of the Pastoral Leadership Task Force)
Many of you will now be aware that John Mark Cockram and Darrin Lindsay have been appointed Co-Pastors at Kingsview, effective September 1.
The job descriptions for each Co-Pastor have been available for some time and I even tried to explain them one Sunday morning. But now that we know who our pastors will be and are eagerly waiting for the new co-pastor arrangement to begin, I think it’s worth reviewing what we expect this new arrangement to look like.
The PLTF looked at what we feel that the congregation needs from our pastoral leadership. This was done by reviewing the Natural Church Development Survey, Life Plan Survey and the Dream Session that we did as a congregation.
We identified six “major responsibilities” for our pastors. They are administrative leadership, corporate worship, discipleship, missional, pastoral care and vision. Under each major responsibility are several “key areas” that further outline what is needed. Each of our Co-Pastors will have a role in fulfilling the six “major responsibilities” and they are expected to work in partnership in all areas of ministry.
However, for each major responsibility, one of our pastors will have a primary leadership role and one will have a supportive leadership role. This is what I hope to unpack and explain in this article.
Administrative leadership has become a very important need in the modern church, and Kingsview is no different. Darrin will have the primary leadership role in this area, with John Mark providing supportive leadership. It will be Darrin’s role to ensure that there are policies and procedures in place to govern church operations. It will also be Darrin’s role to work with ministry leaders and church staff to ensure that the various programs and ministry areas in the church are operating in a coordinated and organized manner. Darrin is also responsible for organizing and implementing new ministry areas as needed.
Another part of Darrin’s role will be to oversee the creation of job descriptions, hiring and supervision of non-pastoral staff, in coordination with the Official Board. It should be noted that Darrin and the Official Board will work closely together on a lot of what has been outlined here.
Although Darrin has the bulk of the responsibility in this area, we do expect John Mark to be appropriately engaged in administrative leadership. He would provide support to Darrin’s leadership and indeed there will be several areas where they will need to work together in order to provide the effective administrative leadership that is needed.
Corporate worship encompasses a lot of things that we most typically associate with a worship service. In this area, John Mark will give primary leadership and Darrin will provide supportive leadership. It will be part of John Mark’s role to ensure that relevant Biblical preaching occurs. It is important to our congregation that sermons are thoughtfully and prayerfully prepared.
It is also important that they appeal to our congregation in a way that is both spiritually inspiring and convicting. John Mark will be responsible for planning and organizing the preaching with those objectives in mind. He will certainly include Darrin in that process and both Darrin and John Mark will preach, but the primary responsibility will be John Mark’s.
Another part of John Mark’s role is in the area of worship, specifically “meaningful worship opportunities” for our congregation. He will work with staff, volunteers and others to ensure that meaningful worship opportunities take place on a regular basis. This will include leading the worship team in prayerfully seeking God’s direction for worship components, including Sundays and special occasions. Darrin will provide support to John-Mark’s leadership in this area and will be visibly involved in corporate worship.
Another part of corporate worship that the PLTF felt needed special emphasis based on the congregational feedback we received is in the sharing and celebrating of the ways that God is working in the lives of our congregants and our church. Kingsview is also involved in ministry in our neighbourhood and throughout the world. It is important that we share our stories and accounts of what God is doing with one another. John-Mark has the primary leadership role in this area. However, we’d expect this to be an area of great collaboration between both of our pastors.
Discipleship encompasses a few things that were very prominent in the surveys that were done and in the Dream Session. John Mark will have the primary leadership role in this area with Darrin providing supportive leadership.
A key role of John Mark’s will be to develop and oversee an overall discipleship strategy for the church that provides next steps for people at every level of spiritual maturity. This would involve small groups and that has been emphasized in the job description. Teaching membership classes and ensuring that they are offered regularly, is also a key component of this.
It would also involve the training and equipping of leaders for ministry both in the church and in the community. Darrin’s job description states that he is to be involved in the disciple making process, and there are several appropriate ways for him to do that. These could include leading a small group, collaborating with John Mark in the implementation of the overall discipleship strategy, etc.
Prayer is one of the key areas under “discipleship” in the job description. It deserves a dedicated paragraph as it is an area the congregation felt needed special emphasis. John Mark’s role in this area is to work with all ministry leaders to:
1) Ensure that prayer is an integral and appropriate part of all church ministry programming and activities.
2) Ensure that each ministry leader has identified at least one prayer intercessor for their ministry area and that they are regularly connecting with that intercessor so that effective prayer can take place.
3) Ensure that prayer needs are communicated (i.e. through the prayer list in the bulletin or Kingsview Connect).
4) Establish and develop a prayer ministry team to help meet the ongoing prayer needs of the congregation.
5) Lead, guide and motivate the congregation to lead a prayer oriented life.
6) Teach the congregation to pray meaningfully. Prayer should be important and communicated meaningfully throughout the Sunday worship service. What is described here is an integration of prayer into everything we do at Kingsview.
It will take a collaborative effort on the part of both of our pastors in order for this to be done effectively. Although the primary leadership role is John Mark’s, Darrin’s job description states that he is to be highly involved.
The next major responsibility is the missional ministry and presence of our church. Darrin will have the primary leadership role in this area, with John Mark providing supportive leadership. We believe that the mission of Kingsview Church begins in our neighborhood, in our Jerusalem. Incarnational ministry (the Jesus model) begins with presence.
It begins with who we are and where we are. Importantly, our pastors must model it.
Part of Darrin’s role will be to ensure that Kingsview has a presence in our community that grows and evolves as the church and community evolve. We also believe that Kingsview’s mission extends around the world. A part of Darrin’s role will be to work with the existing Global Missions Committee to ensure the viability and sustainability of our current mission involvement. It will also be important to seek opportunities to grow and extend our mission involvement in a sustainable manner.
Forming partnerships, alliances and networking is an extremely important part of all of this. Therefore, this is another key component of Darrin’s role. John Mark and Darrin will need to collaborate on much of this in order for it to be effective and John Mark’s job description states that he is to be in personally involved in missional activity, as appropriate.
Pastoral care is another major responsibility we identified and it is certainly an important part of any pastor’s responsibilities. Both pastors will provide ongoing visitation and counseling, and will respond to crises as they arise(i.e.hospital visitation,etc.)
Pastoral care includes visiting shut-ins and serving them communion on special occasions. It also involves passage of life ministries such as baptisms, weddings and funerals. Again both of our pastors will be involved in these things. But it will be John Mark’s role to oversee and organize pastoral care, ensuring that this vital work is done in a timely manner and that no one falls through the cracks. We’ve stated that we want John Mark to develop and deploy a team that will aid in care and visitation.
It will also be part of John Mark’s role to facilitate the integration of people into church life. This includes visiting with newcomers to the church, encouraging and promoting involvement in ministry and helping people connect. It will be part of John Mark’s role to work with appropriate ministry heads to offer fellowship activities and provide(or promote) programs and resources to move people on in their pursuit of holiness.
It is also important that we celebrate achievements within the congregation and communicate special events and happenings. Again, this is an area of responsibility that will be more effectively met with a collaborative effort from our two pastors, but someone needs to take the lead in this and it is John Mark who is expected to do that.
At Kingsview our vision is something that we create together. The Official Bard provides leadership in this area in co-operation with the pastoral staff and with the input of the congregation.
Our current mission statement is: Kingsview Church is a multi-generational and intercultural church with a vision for ministry that begins with our community and extends around the world. We believe God is calling us to be an “inwardly healthy church with an outward focus”, so we intend to be a teaching church, a worshiping church, a caring church and a missional church.
When we list “vision” as one of the major responsibilities of our pastoral team, we are referring to the communication, evaluation and application of our vision. It will be a key part of Darrin’s role to ensure that the vision of Kingsview FMC is communicated in an ongoing and consistent manner at all levels of the church. It will be a part of Darrin’s role to ensure the evaluation of the ministries of Kingsview in light of our values, mission and vision.
It will also be Darrin’s role to develop and oversee action plans to aggressively pursue the values, mission and vision of Kingsview. We want to ensure that all church goals, plans and objectives reflect the vision and Biblical mission of the church. Darrin has the primary leadership role in this area. John Mark’s role will be to align with and support the vision in his areas of responsibility.
Aside from giving you a better understanding of which pastor is responsible for what, I hope that I’ve demonstrated that the work of each of our pastors is not to stand alone. Each area of responsibility is meant to be collaboration between the two pastors and their work and ministry at Kingsview is meant to be highly integrated.
We are not hiring two pastors to do two separate jobs, even though they each have their own job descriptions. We are hiring co-pastors who will work together in an integrated way to meet the pastoral needs of our congregation. The job descriptions not only communicate what the pastoral needs of our congregation are (and remember these came from congregational surveys and other forms of consultation), but they provide our co-pastors with the necessary framework and guidance to work together in an integrated way effectively.
On behalf of the Pastoral Leadership Task Force and the Official Board, I hope that you’ll join us in our enthusiasm to see this new model in action. We feel that we have the right pastoral team in place and are eager for John Mark and Darrin to get started!