Not too many people get excited about governmental structures and systems. Who recalls civics class as the most scintillating of your educational journey? I suppose that I am a bit nerdy when it comes to church government, and I will do my best to make this article more exciting than the dry class lectures you may dimly recall.
In Grace Communion International we are “Board Governed.” The GCI Denominational Board of Directors are a diverse group of elders responsible for overall stewardship of the Church and the appointment and oversight of the President. The President is responsible to the Board for the general management of the Church, with the help of other officers, managers, and staff to carry out day-to-day operations of the church. (This is the short version for the civics test.)
The Directors operating according to the organization’s Articles and Bylaws have 3 fiduciary responsibilities mandated by law: duty of care, duty of loyalty, and duty of obedience. Board directors are called fiduciaries because they are legally responsible for the high-level oversite of a nonprofit entity ensuring that support is raised and resources are spent well in support of its mission.
Duty of Care
Duty of care means that directors are required to give the same care and concern to their board responsibilities as any prudent and ordinary person would. Board members must be active participants in board meetings and committees. Working with other directors, they actively advance the mission of the Church. They fulfill their responsibilities by overseeing and monitoring the Church’s activities, including strategic planning, finances, audits, board director development, and recruiting to ensure the Church’s long-term goals are achieved.
Duty of Loyalty
Duty of loyalty means that board directors are required to place the interests of the Church ahead of their own interests. Board members do not serve on the board for personal gain but for the benefit of the organization. They must be loyal to the organization by appointing qualified and loyal members to replace themselves as they rotate out of their positions so that the Church successfully operates as a healthy entity in perpetuity.
Duty of Obedience
Duty of obedience means that directors must ensure that the church is abiding by all applicable laws. The duty of obedience also means that directors carry out the mission of the Church.
The Board appoints “officers” to administer the operations of the Church. The Chair, Vice-Chair, President, Chief Financial Officer, and the Secretary of the Board serve in this capacity. Currently, these positions are filled by Dr. Joseph Tkach, Dr. Randy Bloom, Dr. Greg Williams, and Mathew Morgan, respectively. Dr. Williams and Mr. Morgan serve as ex-officio Board Directors in our governance structure, which means they serve as Board Directors as long as they hold their current positions.
Under the Board’s oversight, the President, working with other officers and managers, provides direct management and administration to carry out the Church’s mission and is a steward over the administrative functions and day-to-day management of the Church.
In our governance framework, the President, under the supervision of the Board, provides oversight of Superintendents in the US and abroad, providing worldwide focus and collaboration in pursuit of the mission of preaching the gospel and caring for the church.
Board directors and officers carry weighty responsibilities for the care and welfare of the denomination and must have specific requirements necessary to serve. In addition to a willingness to shoulder the duties mentioned earlier, a director must be an ordained elder in GCI, have relevant advanced education, a willingness to work together with other directors to advance the mission of the Church and be nominated and selected by the Board.
It is my pleasure and joy to share the news that Celestine Olive and Jennifer Gregory have been nominated and elected to serve alongside the current Board Directors (Chair Dr. Joseph Tkach, Vice Chair Dr. Randy Bloom, CFO and Secretary Mathew Morgan, GCI President Dr. Greg Williams, Dr. Russell Duke, and Pastor Tommie Grant).
It is a “Welcome back” to Celestine, as she has served a previous term on the Board. She is now retired from GCI employment and serving actively as an elder in the Lancaster, CA, congregation. (see her attached bio)
Jen will be coming on as a Board Director for the first time. She serves side by side with her husband Anthony as they pastor the Grove City, OH, congregation. Welcome Jen! (see her attached bio)
I think we all can appreciate the quote from the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”
It brings me great joy to have the presence and voices of Celestine and Jen on the GCI Denominational Board of Directors.
I would be remiss not to mention that Dr. Charles Fleming and Elder Wendy Moore just completed their terms of service and have cycled off. A big thank you to Charles and Wendy for their dedicated service.
Please pray for the health and wisdom of the GCI Board of Directors, and that the Lord will continue faithfully guiding our journey forward.