A Few Shifts In Leadership

We’re excited about a few changes in leadership in the Vineyard.  Some of these shifts are just a normal part of the ebb and flow in the community.  Others have been worked on by the Pastoral and Lay elders for quite some time now.  In either case our heart is to respond to what the Holy Spirit is inviting us to right now.  At our Community Meeting (Annual General Meeting) on March 18, we affirmed these shifts.  We can really say, like they did in the book of Acts, “it seems good to us and the Holy Spirit.”

These changes will serve to describe and clarify what is already happening, as well as posture the church for future growth as we engage in Jesus’ mission as he builds his church.

Pastoral Executive:

In the early days of WCV, it was very clear that we had a Lead Pastor.  This language and reality was reflected in many practical ways.  It is still written in our Bylaws.  Since those days, we’ve had a variety of teams which have had their strengths and weaknesses.  Our current pastoral team (including Pastoral Elders and Ministry Staff) works very well together.  However, we’ve encountered a few areas in which we need more focus and delineation of roles.  While we recognize that titles don’t mean much if they don’t match function, clear roles are important for any organization or organism to thrive.  Giving someone a title won’t really do much if they’re not already functioning in some way in that position – that’s just not how the Spirit usually works.  However, clarifying roles and expectations is a very healthy endeavour.

>>On March 18 we changed the language in our Bylaws to reflect what is currently happening.  Specifically, we changed from Lead Pastor to Pastoral Executive, and affirmed Nathan and Andy in that role.


The title “Pastoral Executive” brings with it some expectations of what it means, but also remains flexible enough that we can fill it with our own meaning.  Ideally, it will preserve our current strengths as a pastoral team and create room for future growth.  It does not eliminate the possible future role of having one lead person, but creates room for other scenarios, like the one we have now with Andy and Nathan.

Partially, this is clarifying what is already happening – just not everyone knows it because it’s primarily behind-the-scenes.  However, it does address the gaps left in the absence of one commissioned Lead Pastor.

>>Why this shift?:

1) To Update the Bylaws

Our Bylaws have never been updated from the days of “Lead Pastor”. How we have been operating, is not what’s reflected in the Bylaws.

2) To Provide Clarification

It is a time of leadership clarification in general for WCV.  This work is mostly behind the scenes, but it will result in more adhesion to the vision, particularly amongst the various teams and leaders.

Specifically, this means clarifying where authority rests, how decisions are made, and the scope of the various groups of leaders.

3) To Posture WCV for Growth

When more / future people are added to the staff team and/or invited into other areas of leadership, there needs to be clarity regarding roles and decision making responsibilities.  It will help delineate limits of authority, responsibility and clarity of focus for all leaders.

It will free the Pastoral Executive to care for the health and growth of staff team members and the leadership team as a whole.  This is one part of the “Lead Pastor” role that has been functioning on an ad-hoc basis.  This will lead to healthier teams and a healthier church.

4) To Increase Efficiency & Effectiveness

In order to be effective as a staff team, we need better division of labour.  If the whole team is charged with caring for the “big picture”, it disempowers individual members of the team to lead in their respective areas.  This does not mean that we cease to function as a team and stop casting vision for the church together.  Nor does it mean that the Pastoral Executive comes up with all the vision and direction.  Rather, the Pastoral Executive is responsible for attending to, and articulating vision via a collaborative process.  The Spirit will speak and vision will come from a wide variety of sources.  Vision is discerned in a communal process with the whole leadership team.  It is one of the responsibilities of the Pastoral Executive to attend to this process.

>>What will the Pastoral Executive do?

Well, a lot of what Nathan and Andy are already doing – it’s organic.  However, there are a few areas that are not being done as well as they should be in the absence of someone commissioned to do them.  The Pastoral Executive will attend to each of these roles:

1) Vision Keepers

Overseeing and coordinating the collaborative development and implementation of vision.  This includes taking time to be inspired and tending to key relationships within and outside of WCV (Vineyard Canada, International Vineyard, etc.).

2) Team Leaders

Leading, caring for, and providing accountability to the leadership team (Pastoral & Lay Elders, Ministry Staff & Coordinators).  Tending relationships with all core leaders in WCV (eg. BOD, coordinators).  They will not function as “bosses”.  In the context of the staff team they will maintain our posture of mutual respect and challenge of one to the other, including mutual accountability.

3) Focused on Growth & Equipping

Training and mentoring others to reproduce themselves. Development of discipleship and leadership strategies and tracks.


Pastoral Staff Changes:

Some of the other ebbs and flows of leadership are:

Jodi: from Children’s Pastor to Generations Pastor

Mike was brought on the team over 12 years ago as the “Children’s Pastor”.  Jodi assumed this role over 7 years ago.  At that time it was a half-time position.  As our children have grown in numbers (yes, we’re quite the prolific crew!) her position has also increased incrementally to the point where last year (in 2016) Jodi was working ¾ time for WCV.

During the same time period, our needs have increased in other areas as well.  Jodi has been key in helping us think through what it means to disciple the next generations in a good way.  In particular, she’s paid attention to those key transition times in a young person’s life: from being child to a pre-teen, a pre-teen into the teen-aged years, etc.  Club 56, the various incarnations of Jr. and Sr. Youth groups, as well as activities like Project Timothy have all contributed positively to the overall growth of this important and growing area in WCV.  We are also thinking about other key transitions – like how do our youth find a place in the church when they become young adults?

Jodi is no longer overseeing only our Children’s ministries, but has become what we’re calling a “Generations Pastor”.  We think this will more clearly reflect what we need in this season and will mean she oversees and will think through how to create a community that welcomes and empowers our next generations through their various transitions.


Suhail has grown into a key Ministry Staff person.  He is present at all staff meetings and contributes in a variety of wise and helpful ways.  His two primary areas of direct leadership are as the Drop-in Pastor and the Director of the School of Justice (see below for reports on both these areas).  Additionally, he coordinates the worship bands (see below) contributes to preaching and teaching, is on the Prayer Oversight team, and administers the School of Spiritual Direction (see below).  There are some exciting new developments for Suhail which are outlined in his reports below.

John & Violet

John has been phasing out of micro management for the last few years.  Today we he has been able to hand off some key areas to younger leaders, while remaining present for support, mentoring and advice.  John’s continuing responsibilities are macro financial oversight and resource for BOD and staff as well as HRV Financial and asset management including KTM Rebuild Project.

Violet remains involved as she is able.  Currently this means actively mentoring the Prayer Oversight Leadership team.


New Board of Director Members:

The Board of Directors is responsible for all financial and asset related matters in WCV.  The current Board of Directors members are: Ben Kelly (chairperson), Stephen Fligg, Andrew Chan, Paul Ansloos and John Rademaker (ex-officio).

We are excited to announce that Marlese Hazeu and Cornelius Martens were ratified as members of the Board of Directors on March 18.  Both Marlese and Cornelius bring passion, expertise, unique perspectives and, above all, a love for the church that is contagious.  Board Members have a 3-year term, which is renewable.


WCV Leadership in a Picture:

Here’s what WCV looks like from an organizational perspective.  This diagram is a tipped over pyramid.  Unlike normal org charts this one is not top-down.  We choose to be moving forward, following Jesus who is our centre, our goal and our guide.

(Click on the graphic to expand it)