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Alan and Trent are pastors helping churches and leaders make a difference and last.

Episode 129: When It‘s Time to Restructure

September 13, 2021
Three elements to consider
  • constitution
  • bylaws
  • Policies and procedures
Constitution is broad and covers governing values and principles.
  • The overarching thought is " who we are?"
  • Relates to a person
  • changes on rare occasions in big moments when married, or become a parent... or experience a tragedy.
  • for a church big moments can cause a shift and need to re-identify a church.
    • time after a scandal
    • years of conflict
    • merger
    • a season of explosive growth
Bylaws are the specific governing properties that arise from the constitution.
  • The overarching thought is "how do we do this? "
  • Relates to the skeletal system
  • Should be reviewed often and amended or changed every few years.
    • Have laws changed?
    • Has culture shifted? - ex. fewer business meetings
    • Has leadership changed?
    • Is the structure effective?
    • Was something not addressed that should be addressed?
    • Are you following them, which is technically a legal requirement.
Policies and procedures
  • The over-arching thought is "what is important to us?"
  • Cover the ever-changing details of church operations
  • Relates to the skin and organs
  • should be examined yearly for effectiveness
    • should be maintained by church leadership
    • should be available and affirmed by leadership
    • protect people within the church and the church itself
    • define roles and responsibilities within the church
  1. Organizational structures are not forever - one reason the Bible doesn't give us an exact structure.
  2. Don't over complicate our documents: Constitution is like a page or two, bylaws a few pages; policies and procedures are much more comprehensive, but also most easily changed.
  3. Use a team to evaluate, don't just trust yourself
  4. Remember you are legally responsible to follow your constitution and bylaws.