The concept, which was unanimously approved by the Executive Board during its October meeting, results in an approach that is:
- more aligned, using the five priorities as the core organizing rationale
- flatter and leaner, with a reduced number of total positions throughout the organization
- more collaborative, with fewer compartmentalized areas
- more inclusive, with expanded leadership development pathways for women and men of all backgrounds
- financially sound, with annualized savings
The five mission priorities at the center of the alignment and reorganization plan are start and strengthen churches, make and deepen disciples, develop leaders, love mercy – do justice, and serve globally, which pursues the first four priorities internationally.
One aspect of the restructuring concept is a shift from six departments to three groupings, notes President Gary Walter.
The mission priorities of start and strengthen churches, make and deepen disciples, and love mercy – do justice would cluster in a new grouping focusing on the local mission and ministry of congregations. This move is designed to streamline the management and coordination of functions currently undertaken by the departments of Church Growth and Evangelism, Christian Formation, Compassion, Mercy, Justice, and Women Ministries.
A second grouping would focus on the priority of developing leaders. It would incorporate the functions of the Department of Ordered Ministry as well as working toward development of a Center for Leadership as a resource for both clergy and lay leaders.
A third grouping would focus on the priority of serving globally, incorporating functions of the Department of World Mission as well as the Paul Carlson Partnership and Covenant World Relief.
Standing alongside these mission and ministry divisions would be key service offices including finance and communications as well as functions related to information technology, advancement, human resources, and events planning.
Additional cost savings have been identified in each department and are being currently implemented. “The result between the streamlined structure and the additional identified cost savings is a financially sound model aligned to mission priorities,” Walter notes. “The results also provide for the measured ability to engage new mission-advancing initiatives.”
A working group is being convened that will more fully flesh out the proposal and develop supporting materials and recommendations. The group includes President Walter along with Sam Chang and Carolyn Poterek representing the Executive Board; Dick Lucco and Cindy Halverson representing the Covenant Offices leadership team; and Central Conference Superintendent Jerome Nelson and Pablo Anabalon serving as at-large representatives. Evelyn Johnson will serve as a resource person on constitution and bylaws considerations. An underlying value is advancing the diversity of Covenant leadership.
Areas requiring constitution and/or bylaws amendments will be presented for review during the March 2013 Executive Board meeting and then will be presented to delegates attending the June 2013 Covenant Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan.
Additional information will be provided through periodic updates and news articles.