Documents Updated as of 6.6.2022

As we continue to look ahead to how Jesus Christ will lead His church forward in our next season, your Lake Avenue Church leadership is pleased to present a new congregational leadership covenant for the congregation's consideration and review. 

In 2020 we announced an effort to review and renew our Lake Avenue Church bylaws, the governing document that describes how we as a church agree to be organized and led. The proposed congregational leadership covenant, unanimously affirmed by your ministry council, is the result of over two years of research, discernment, refinement, and multiple rounds of reporting and feedback–and of course a lot of prayer and listening to the Lord.

If approved, this covenant will function as our bylaws, preserving important essentials of who we are while making good and necessary changes which will allow us all to better carry out the ministry and mission of our church. We propose moving the focus from complex rules and decision-making layers to more effective identification and training and selection of leaders who can be trusted to act wisely in discerning how Jesus is leading His church: Have a clear structure, choose great leaders, and let them lead.

In recent months through our open house meetings, written feedback, and many individual conversations, we received many questions and comments that helped us improve and refine the proposed covenant. After integrating that dialogue, reflecting on the experience and lessons of past few years at LAC, and interacting with our new Senior Pastor Mathew John, the Ministry Council has approved an updated version for the congregation's review. The revised congregational leadership covenant:

  • Emphasizes more strongly the significant role of congregational leadership in partnership with the pastoral team.
  • Refines the senior pastor’s role in leading the pastoral team and staff and his accountability to the elder council.
  • Clarifies and in several ways reduces the role of the elder council and increases the role of the congregation in searching for and calling a senior pastor.
  • Clarifies communication between the senior pastor search team and the rest of the church.
  • Calls for consultation with an outside advisor when an internal senior pastor candidate is considered.
  • Assures that the process of nominating individuals for the leadership development team is transparent and allows participation by the congregation.
  • Increases the period for notice of church meetings.
  • Closes a longstanding loophole to further protect the church Covenant and Statement of Faith.
  • Broadens and clarifies the process for members to bring concerns to the elder council and the church.
  • Makes several non-substantive changes for clarity and better organization.

We have an additional opportunity for discussion and feedback through an in-person open house at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, June 14 in the Rose Room (FL 201-203). You can also submit written questions and comments to . After the Ministry Council reviews and considers any additional recommendations and questions, we plan to call for a vote on a final version of the congregational leadership covenant at a special congregational meeting this summer.

We have prepared a number of documents for you to review. We recommend you start with the 1-page Short Description of Bylaw Changes (pdf) and the 4-page Explanation of Bylaw Changes (pdf). Then, we hope you will read the full text of the proposed Congregational Leadership Covenant--5-24-22 (pdf) for yourself – it is only 7 pages of new text, followed by 2 pages copied word-for-word from our current bylaws. To get a feel for the difference, please read a sample of our 21-page Current LAC Bylaws (pdf). Finally, for the highest level of detail, you can review the Deep Dive Comparison (pdf), a line-by-line analysis connecting each provision in the proposed covenant with the relevant passages of our current bylaws, and explaining some of the reasoning behind the changes. You can also track all of the recent edits from the January version of the proposed Covenant to the current document with explanatory footnotes in the Congregational Leadership Covenant Edit History (pdf).

Congregational Leadership Covenant

Proposed New Bylaws 5-24-22a

Download

Congregational Leadership Covenant Edit History

 

Download

Current LAC Bylaws

As amended by the Congregation at it's regular business meetings

Download

Explanation of Bylaw Changes

6-4-22

Download

Short Description of Bylaw Changes

6-4-22

Download

Deep Dive Comparison

6-4-22

Download

Frequently Asked Questions

6-4-22

Download

Open House Schedule

Sessions are being held both in-person and on Zoom so we can receive your questions and comments.

Email Contact

To write in a question or comment or for general questions or assistance, please email .