Third Church Governance Structure
The Importance of Governance
Over 3,000 people participate in the mission of Third Church. Each and every day, the Executive Board of Third Church takes its governance call seriously through prayer, care and leadership to everyone that calls Third Church its church home. Third Church utilizes a biblical and best practice approach to its governance responsibility.
Biblical Model of Church Leadership
Throughout the New Testament, principles of church leadership point to a central theme: that the church is to be led by a plurality of godly leaders. The key word here is plurality. Relying on the consensual agreement of godly elders and deacons selected from the congregation ensures a healthy checks and balance of leadership direction, congregational care, spiritual guidance, financial accountability and ministry implementation. By providing and enforcing biblically based policies that guide ministry decisions, the Executive Board creates a safety net that makes certain ministry is offered in a God-honoring way.
Excellence in Governance
In 2004, Third Church adopted a model of governance called Policy Governance. In this model, Executive Board members provide spiritual oversight, long-term vision and operational boundaries for the functioning of the whole church as an organization. While they focus on these items, they entrust the implementation of their direction into the hands of staff and other ministry leaders through the leadership of the Senior Pastor. The benefit of this model is that it allows the Executive Board to focus their time and energy to the biblical mandate to lead and shepherd the whole church, while allowing the aforementioned leaders the empowerment to lead ministries as God directs and make practical decisions on how to carry out the Executive Board’s mandates.
Executive Board Selection
As a governing body, the Executive Board serves as ambassadors of Jesus Christ who rules over the universal church and as representatives of the congregation who have an interest in the ministry and mission of Third Church. Six members of Third Church serve on the Executive Board at any given time. These six individuals are comprised of elders and deacons, men or women; however, at least one elder and one deacon serve on the board at all times. These six individuals are elected to three year terms from the consistory of all active elders and deacons; whereas, the consistory of elders and deacons is elected by the congregation. There are three ex-officio staff persons who serve as non-voting members of the Executive Board, the Senior Pastor, the Executive Director of Ministry and the Executive Director of Operations. The Senior Pastor, along with the help of the executive directors, provides a key linkbetween the Executive Board and the day-to-day happenings of the church.
Job Description of the Executive Board
The responsibilities of the Executive Board have both routine and varied aspects. Throughout each month and at monthly meetings, the Executive Board tackles important issues for the church, including:
• Overseeing the overall vision and future direction of the church;
• Creating policies to clearly define church values and biblical operating procedures;
• Ensuring the teachings and practices of the church reflect accurate biblical theology;
• Praying for congregational pastoral care needs, conflict resolution and restoration;
• Protecting the church by providing direction on financial and risk management issues; and
• Supervising the Senior Pastor for accountability and to ensure the vision and values determined by the Executive Board are carried out.
2012-2013 Board Members
- Arlyn Stuart, Chief Governance Officer
- Lyle Horman, Clerk
- Mark Blankespoor
- Joel Bennett
- Paul Jones
- Seth Schreur
Ex-Officio Staff Leaders:
- Kevin Korver, Senior Pastor
- Jason Nelson, Executive Director of Ministry
- Dan Sorensen, Executive Director of Operations
The consistory at Third Church is the collective group of spiritual leaders who are serving the church body in the formal offices of elder and deacon. Elders and deacons are specialized spiritual leaders that make significant contributions to the care, ministry and strengthening of the church body. God has consistently worked powerfully through the leadership of elders and deacons because of the biblical basis for the roles and because the church grants them formal spiritual authority. While we believe the "priesthood of all believers" is the highest value of ministry participation and leadership, there is something special with the leadership of elders and deacons.
The primary way that elders and deacons serve is through spiritual leadership in Third Church ministries. Each year every elder and deacon is placed in a "dynamic partnership" with a staff person or lay leader in a designated role. This partnership is intended to release the elder or deacon into a specific leadership role suited for their calling, gifting and experience in close partnership with another ministry leader.
Elders and deacons also fulfill other "traditional" biblical roles and special responsibilities for the church in both structured and unstructured ways, including congregational care, teaching, prayer, church discipline, mediation, theologicial discernment, and financial stewardship.
2011-2012 Consistory Members
|Bill Ahren Jr.||Mark Blankespoor|
|Joel Bennett||Bev Brand|
|Jason Braithwaite||Jan Erickson|
|Tim Brand||Les Fuller|
|Glen De Zwarte||Mike Goodyk|
|Harlan Den Adel||Len Gosselink|
|Nancy Dieleman||Lyle Horrman|
|Ryan Dunsbergen||Korey Huerter|
|Charlie Eekhoff||Paul Jones|
|Greg Fisher||Kurt Kettler|
|Allissa Grandia||Steve Kraayenbrink|
|Lois Harthorn||Greg McCulla|
|Jayson Henry||Jil Nelson|
|Leah Hillman||Rich Pitkin|
|Chad Huyser||Linda Rothfuss|
|Jay Kime||Seth Schreur|
|Joe Kempen||Randy Steenhoek|
|Denny Kraft||Arlyn Stuart|
|Holly Lee||Sharon Stuart|
|Josh Rhinehart||Brian Vande Lune|
|Jen Van Gorp||Chad Vande Lune|
|Sam Van Maanen||Sam Vande Weerd|
|Jeff Van Sant||Steve Van Dusseldorp|
|Dennis Vander Horst||Joan Van Zante|
|Mike Van Zee||Chad VerSteeg|
|Dave Vanderhoff||John Wisse|