by Tim Dyck
At the General Board meeting on March 7, the board approved changes to the Conference Handbook and the revised job descriptions for Conference staff. These changes will become effective on May 1, 2018. This decision is the culmination of two years of work by all the EMC boards and a pair of subcommittees given the task of working out the details.
Why Was This change necessary?
The main issue identified was the independent structure and accountability of EMC staff and boards. EMC has five boards, each of which is accountable to the Conference Council, and each of which has a specific mandate. One of the five boards is the General Board, which has responsibility to coordinate the activities of all of the other boards. In the current structure the boards and staff are allowed to operate independently of one another. There are other related issues including a lack of sharing of vital information and a lack of flexibility in responding to changes. There is a desire to change the focus of staff to serving all of the EMC rather than a specific part of the ministry.
How Was the Change Processed?
The General Board formed a committee to investigate changes to the current structure that would address the main issues. The committee made several recommendations, which were modified and approved by Conference Council. Then a second committee worked towards implementation of the general plan, together with input from EMC national staff and boards. The committee was assisted by support from a management consulting firm and received helpful advice from other denominations similar to the EMC. Conference Council and all boards approved the final recommendations.
What Does the Change Mean?
There is no change to the Constitution or the structure of Conference Council, Ministerial or Conference Boards. The change that was approved essentially moves EMC from a board-directed staffing model to a team-oriented approach serving all boards. An executive team will work together to serve all of the ministries and boards of EMC, and will function as a team in setting and prioritizing goals and achieving results. A Personnel Committee has been established to oversee the hiring and management of all EMC national staff. An Executive Director gives leadership to the executive team and reports directly to the General Board. All of the changes are designed so that the EMC is better equipped to serve all national ministries with focus and clarity.
What Happens to Current Staff?
There are no changes planned to the current staff at the EMC national office, except that job descriptions, responsibilities, reporting structures and titles have been modified in most situations. Here is a list of your EMC national staff with new job descriptions:
Tim Dyck – Executive Director
Terry Smith – Director of Communications and Education
Ken Zacharias – Director of Global Outreach
Gerald Reimer – Director of Youth and Discipleship
Layton Friesen – Conference Pastor
Charlie Koop – Director of Canadian Church Planting
Erica Fehr – Church Leadership Assistant
Diana Peters – Missions and Finance Assistant
Andrew Walker – Communications Assistant
The General Board is grateful to the many volunteers on the boards and committees, and to the national staff who have all worked many hours to implement these changes. The General Board extends special thanks to moderator Abe Bergen for his expert guidance and support throughout this process.