Continuing the work of Jesus : Peacefully ~ Simply ~ Together

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General Board Redesign Steering Committee

Core Functions

by Christopher Bowman
(General Board Chairperson during Redesign)


Core Functions Statement

Core Functions of the General Board
(Adopted by the General Board March, 1996)

I.  Participate with Annual Conference in the discernment of God?s leading
and assist the Church of the Brethren with the implementation of the will of
the body.
A. Build and nurture a two-way relationship with Annual Conference.
B. Propose initiatives for change as a result of General Board discernment
C. Share with Annual Conference insight and recommendations concerning the
ministry and mission of the church.
D. Faithfully implement the will of the delegate body.

II. Equip the church to make faithful disciples to continue the work of
Jesus peacefully, simply, together locally and around the world.
A. Provide resources to congregations, recognizing that they are the
fundamental building blocks of the denomination.
B. Provide service ministries to enable Christ?s presence in the world,
actively involving individuals and congregations wherever possible.,
C. Coordinate mission opportunities through which individuals and
congregations may live out the Great Commission.
D. Facilitate a leadership development system that calls, equips, and
qualifies people for church and ministerial leadership.
E. Incorporate the unique Brethren witness in the ministry, mission, and
service of the church.
F. Model a process of fund raising based on the biblical teaching of
G. Help build community through networking and communications.

III. Administer the General Board as Christian stewards of human and
A. Facilitate a circular interaction process in order to ensure that
involved constituencies are always part of the process.
     1. A circular interaction process is a continuous loop that sends
message, solicits input, incorporates that input, then revises the message
and continues the process.
     2. We see this as a preferred mode of operation for all aspects of the
organization (planning, public relations, fund raising, etc.) encouraging
shared involvement in the leadership process.
B. Maintain a balance between the needs of the organization and the needs
of employees and volunteers.
C. Act in partnership with districts, denominational agencies, and
D. Pursue simplicity, clarity, and focus in order that we have structures
and functions appropriate to our resources.
E. Act (elected board members) as fiduciaries who empower staff as stewards
of the mission of the church.
     1.  Fiduciary is both morally and legally accountable to present and
future generations as a steward of the church.
     2.  We see this in keeping with our historic understanding of the church;
each member is responsible for the whole, and the whole is responsible
for each member.