Decision-Making Committees and Working Teams

Churches need to differentiate between committees and teams. Most churches have one or the other but in reality they have both. However, they don’t distinguish between the two whereas I think there is a difference.

  • Committees
    • Committees make decisions. Committee members should have expertise in the areas to which they are assigned. For example, you need numbers people reading financial statements.
    • Committees always have an indefinite existence.
    • Examples of committees are:
      • Personnel
      • Finance
      • Strategic Planning
      • (that’s really all there are – everything else is a Working Team)
      • Working Teams
        • Working Teams accomplish a specific project. They may have an indefinite lifespan, but they have a specific job to do. Most of the teams do not require skills, they require willingness to serve.
        • Examples of Working Teams are:
          • Ushers
          • Teachers
          • Greeters
          • New Building
          • Fundraising
          • Missions
          • And dozens more, however many the church needs to accomplish its tasks

Many Working Teams should have a sunset clause – when the building is built, when the mission trip is over, etc. Committees never end. One of the key differences is that decisions by Committees may have legal consequences whereas the Tellers’ Team and other teams don’t make decisions with legal concerns.

Working Teams don’t need to have a rotation schedule but Committees must have one. It may be a three or four year rotation with the opportunity to re-up for another term or not, but rotation is important. Committees need a balance of institutional memory (members who have been around a while and know the church’s history and politics) and new blood (members who can bring fresh ideas and current concepts to help the church adapt to the present and future). The easiest and best way to get that mix of history and new is to rotate members. Frequently this rotation helps to keep the average age of a committee in the late-40s and that is a pretty good mix of ages.


Lead On!