This is my first blog officially as part of the church. I have a personal blog that I have sporadically written about things here and there, but I was encouraged by Michael Hyatt who had a podcast on why "every leader needs a blog". So here I am beginning a blog about church leadership and things that could be of interest to Concord International members and others who happen to come across this page.
7 year anniversary of cisdac
While we're at it. Can you believe that it's been 7 years since Concord International became "Concord International SDA Church"? We've had lots of change in the last 7 years. Concord International is the fusion of Concord SDA (English speaking congregation) and Concord Spanish SDA (Spanish speaking congregation). It only made sense since the Spanish church was renting from the English church and we shared the same pastor. It only made sense - we thought! It hasn't been an easy road of merging two different congregations into one. Then you have to remember that we also had a group of Ethiopian members who were trying to start up a congregation of their own. So, here we are 3 language groups, but more than 3 cultures. The interesting thing is that we share our worship spaces but don't worship together on a regular basis. We were only meeting for Communion (every 3 months). Many of our longtime members were not happy with this arrangement because they thought we would meet together every week as one (1) church.
The leadership challenge was how to lead this kind of a church. At the beginning we had like 24 board members trying to include leaders from every language group. That proved to be too many people and those who didn't speak English well felt left out and didn't contribute with their ideas. Eventually they stopped coming to board meetings.
Then we moved to an "Executive Board" idea where we chose elders and a select group of members from every group. Those who were used to being on the board felt left out and didn't get a sense of direction of where the church was headed.
Then we went the "Advisory" way. We had 3 advisory committees. One for every language group. Each committee would meet every month and the board would meet every other month. The advisory board could decide issues that had to do with their own language group issues, but if they had any issues that affected the overall church then they would need to refer it to the board. Well, sometimes these needed immediate attention and the board didn't meet every month. In addition to that challenge, you have the challenge of having way too many meetings. One of the main complaints in spite of all of these meetings was 1) Lack of communication 2) Lack of communication 3) Lack of communication. How can a church that had so many meetings lack communication. Well, because most decisions were made at the committee level and not communicated to the church and the board almost became irrelevant.
The next attempt was to have only 9 board members. 3 from each language group. The reason for this was because we had poor attendance to our board meetings. Soon after, even getting 9 people to come was difficult.
So here we are at the footsteps of 2017. Guess what? We have a more unified approach now. We will be starting something new in 2017. I believe it is more holistic and inclusive. It was birthed out of frustration, prayer, reading books and talking with leaders. That will be on my next post.
Leave any comments that you would like to add about this journey and things that I may have left out that were important. God bless!