Brentwood Church is an independent church and is not affiliated with any denomination.
An imperfect system filled with men and women of integrity function far better than a system that may appear more perfect but is filled with men and women who lack integrity. Thus the people chosen for leadership roles are more important than the system.
Consistent with this central belief, Brentwood Church structure is built around four teams of people:
- The Elder Team.
- The Executive Staff Team.
- The Stewardship Team.
- The Staff.
The Elder Team
The primary purpose of the Elder Team is to serve as discerners and guardians for the entire organization. For all practical purposes, they act as the Board of Directors and have the final say in all matters concerning the overall direction of the organization. However, the Elder Team does not determine programming or involve itself in the day-to-day operations of the Church. Rather, the Elder Team evaluates the church and its effectiveness according to:
- Its Mission,
- Its Resources, and
- Its Doctrine or Core Beliefs.
In addition, the Elder Team acts as a core group, which supports and encourages the Senior Pastor. At the same time, the Senior Pastor is accountable to the Elder Team regarding issues relating to his qualifications to serve. Thus, the Senior Pastor will meet regularly with the Elders. He will also keep them informed on the state of the staff and church in general.
Structurally, the position of Senior Pastor is a permanent member of the Elder Team. No other pastor is a member of the Elder Team. The Elder Team consists of between 5 and 12 Elders. Individual Elders, other than the Senior Pastor, serve without compensation and are nominated by current church leadership (see By-Laws for details) and appointed after an application and interview process carried out by the current Elder Team.
A candidate for Elder must be a man and have been a partner of Brentwood Church for at least two years prior to his appointment to office. Elders must be consistently engaged in the function of shepherding groups of people. In addition, each Elder must meet the qualifications for an overseer as outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-11 and Titus 1:5-9.
It is clear from these passages that the Elder and his family are to be a model for the public. There are greater expectations on an Elder and his family than other families in the church. In light of this, it is wise to choose Elders who have continued in their first marriage; however, a divorced man is not automatically disqualified and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
An Elder serves one three-year term and normally is required to be inactive from the Elder Team for at least one year before being eligible to serve another term. However, if there is a shortage of qualified Elders in a given year where an Elder would otherwise be required to be inactive, an Elder may serve an additional year before becoming inactive for one year.
Brentwood Church By-Laws provides more details on actions and limitations of the Elder Team and its members.
The Executive Staff Team
The Executive Staff Team establishes and oversees the mechanism for carrying out the mission of Brentwood Church. Specifically, it determines programming, gives vision and leadership to the various ministries of the church, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the church.
The Executive Staff Team consists of staff members appointed by the Senior Pastor. The Executive Staff Team is accountable to the Senior Pastor. Members of the Executive Team are required to meet the general qualifications for an overseer as outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-11 and Titus 1:5-9, but women are allowed to serve in the Executive Staff role. The Senior Pastor appoints the Executive Staff.
Executive Staff serve as overseers of the day-to-day operations and the ministry and church operations. They also serve as a representation of all the ministry staff. This role is above and beyond the ministry role that the staff person is required to fulfill.
The Stewardship Team
The Stewardship Team monitors and oversees the financial health of the church and provides guidance to the Elder Team on significant legal or resource issues. In particular, they generate the annual budget and present it to the Elder Team for approval. This includes evaluating and suggesting staff salaries and benefits packages. The Stewardship Team may also be entrusted with Brentwood Church resources for the purpose of investing for growth, play a major role in capital campaigns, and act to make the church body aware of resource issues and the need for and benefits of giving.
The Stewardship Team is ultimately accountable to the Elder Team. The Senior Pastor and Staff are accountable to the Stewardship Team in matters relating to finances.
The position of Senior Pastor is a permanent member of the Stewardship Team, and provides direction and leadership to the team, including chairing meetings that he attends. The Senior Pastor appoints an Executive Director to the Stewardship Team, who is responsible to coordinate and oversee activities of members of the Team. The Executive Director should attend all Stewardship Team meetings, unless excused by the Senior Pastor.
Current church leadership recommends new Stewardship Team members to the Stewardship Team. The current Stewardship Team interviews and evaluates potential new members, and makes recommendations on new candidates to be presented to the Elder Team for approval.
Members of the Stewardship Team should meet the qualifications of general Brentwood Church volunteer positions. They must have been a partner for at least two years and be currently serving in some capacity. In addition, Stewardship Team members are required to have the professional skills necessary to perform their assigned tasks.
Members serve one two-year term and are normally required to be inactive from the Stewardship Team for at least one year before being eligible to serve another term. However, if there is a shortage of qualified replacements in a given year where a member would otherwise be required to be inactive, their term may be extended an additional year before becoming inactive for one year.
The Staff of Brentwood Church are the front-line leaders of the church from a daily standpoint. They are responsible for leading various ministries and act as the supporting arms of the church. The Staff shall fulfill their primary responsibilities outlined in their job descriptions, and are accountable to the Executive Staff Team and the Senior Pastor.
Amendments to Constitution
The Brentwood Church Constitution, By-Laws, and Articles of Incorporation cannot be amended, modified, or changed without a three-fourths vote of all Elders of the Elder Team, approval by a three-fourths vote by the Executive Staff Team, and a majority vote by the Stewardship Team.
The Elder Team is solely responsible for interpreting the Constitution, By-Laws, and Articles of Incorporation.