According to our articles of association, churches in the network must have one or more external advisors. The community has chosen this precondition of inclusion to ensure that accountability flows through trusted external individuals. Thus, external individuals are able to ‘look over the shoulders’ and see what is being done through the local Pastor and the leadership within the local church. In the event of conflict church leadership has a protocol in which to follow including who to involve in such a case.
Below follows descriptions and examples of when and how leadership may use external advisors, what powers these external advisors hold and what they can be involved in.
The task of the external advisors
- Churches affiliated with the network are always local, independent congregations
- The network in no way wishes to abolish the independence and sovereignty of the local church
- However, we do realise that at times all churches may need external advice, guidance and help to pursue the goals and visions that the church may have
- Times of crisis may arise in a local church, as such external advisors may assist in solving problems and thus be of benefit to all parties involved
- Therefore, all churches affiliated with the network are required to have external advisors and meet with the external advisor(s) at least once a year
Areas where the external advisors MAY BE involved:
- As supplement to the leadership where it is assessed that sparring would be beneficial
- Challenging and supporting leadership/church council in regards to vision and action. This may take the form of discussing vision, goals, strategies and the fulfilment of these.
- Well-being of the senior pastor, employees, and leaders etc.
- General situations which require wisdom from a detached person, such as in the event of a leadership crisis or media attacks on the church
Areas where the external advisors MUST BE involved:
- In the event of the senior pastor falling into sin
- In the case of an irreconcilable crisis within the leadership or other leader forums in the congregation
- In the case of decisions on essential changes in the teachings of the church, its vision and values, in addition to amendments to the articles of association
- Sparring relating to election of new senior pastor
- The senior pastor is responsible for keeping the external advisors up to date with essential conditions in the development of the church
- In the above case the advisors shall be granted the right to speak into the different decision forums
- The external advisors may be summoned by either the senior pastor or at least two members of the leadership
Election of external advisors:
- The senior pastor and the leadership shall in consensus elect a number of persons who they wish to attach to the church as external advisors. These are individuals whom they find capable of solving the various tasks mentioned above
- The advisors shall respect and acknowledge the independence, teachings, vision and values of the church
- The advisors shall be appointed by the senior pastor after unilateral approval from within the leadership
- The church shall approve the elected external advisors in conformity with the normal decision procedure of the church
- The advisors can be elected for one period at a time and may be re-elected
- In connection with an instalment of a new senior pastor, all persons of the advisory group shall be released from their duties