Bylaws aren’t sexy. It’s especially hard to attract people to a conversation about church bylaws.
Bylaws are like noses. They aren’t the most flattering part of the body and often get in the way (especially when you’re trying to kiss), but they are useful for things – like breathing.
Noses are especially unattractive and annoying when they are congested. Red, swollen and runny, they consume our attention and suck the enjoyment out of life.
A congested noseÂ can make it difficult for an organization to breath.
We inherited our bylaws from Broadmoor Baptist who inherited them from Trinity Baptist who inherited them from First Baptist about 1000 years ago. We knew this when we started out at Southpoint, but we needed a platform to work from and this one was close at hand. So, with a few modifications, we mounted the steps and began the dance.
Bylaws have to do with three important things. Who belongs, who leads, and how decisions are made. Over the past three years, I have had the growing sense that our bylaws do not reflect our ethos and may, in fact, be causing some congestion. In order to create more breathing space, I believe that it is time to re-examine our bylaws.
So, at the next AGM on Wednesday, Â March 4, I am going to ask that we suspend our current bylaws for a six month period and appoint a team to develop a new operating system for Southpoint that better reflects our values around belonging, leadership and decision making. This team will then report back to everyone in September.
During this period, some of the essential duties of the Board will be carried out by the Staff and through the volunteer schedule (ie financial reporting and tellering) while other duties will be suspended until a new system is in place (ie budget planning and staff reviews).
Why suspend the bylaws? It gives us a clean break and and allows us to bring people onto the team who may not fit with our current criteria.
It’s hard to run with a plugged nose. I hope that this opportunity will be a healthy decongestant for us, freeing us up to run the race that is set before us.