“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place … and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2: 1,4)
Most often people arrive on the parish council by election at the general assembly. Sometimes parish council members are appointed. Underpinning these procedures something far more important is occurring. parish council members are being called by God to service. This is the proper Orthodox view of parish council service – that it is a form of prophetic calling to serve God by serving His church or the needs of others.
Priests gain partners in service by shaping and empowering lay leadership. However, without proper instruction and guidance from the priest other forms of lay leadership arise, not necessarily helpful to the mission of the parish. Consider utilizing the modest explanation below to help laity view themselves as servants of Christ, not servants of special interests. Be sure also to include this document in the parish council member manual.
It is highly recommended that priests learn the professional methodology of board development. This process assists a parish council to fulfill its calling, transitioning from tactical concerns to strategic concerns, from hand-wringing concerns about funding issues to actually getting involved to make a difference, from a fault-finding or watchdog mentality to an advocating mentality on behalf of the mission of the parish and from misguided efforts to “manage” the parish office to their true calling to governance. Consult other items in the Library to begin to learn this process.
The PDF version of the file above can be found here: Elders and Lay Leadership
Additional information on this topic can be found in this PowerPoint. Parish Council Development