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Clerks of Allegheny East Conference

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1 Clerks of Allegheny East Conference
Presented by Dr. G. Alexander Bryant Secretary of North American Division June 2, 2013

2 Is the clerk a spiritual leader?
Is this part of their assignment? Is the clerk viewed in this manner? Should they be?

3 Who are the Spiritual Leaders in your Church?
Pastor Elders Deacons Deaconesses We naturally assign this task to them Should the clerk be on this list?

4 The Answer: An un equivocal YES!!!
God has called you to spiritual leadership You thought he was just calling you to keep the books No !! No!!

5 Is there a Biblical counterpart?
Scribe-- And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, [that] the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying, II Kings 22:3 Ezra 7:12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect [peace], and at such a time. Scribe – a copier or transcriber of documents, a copier of Jewish religious documents , a clerk.

6 What did a scribe do? They made copies of the Torah.
Sometimes took dictation from the prophet They had to be exact!! One word or even comma in the wrong place could change the meaning. Example: I say unto you today, thou shall be with me in paradise. Or– I say unto you, today thou shall be with me in paradise.

7 What tribe would you be in as clerk?
Ezra was a scribe of the law of God and he was a priest! Only Levites handled things connected with the temple or the things of God. He was a Levite!!

8 Is there any New Testament Evidence
Well, how did we know there were twelve disciples who kept up with that? What about the 70, 120 , company of 500 believers, who kept up with that? What about the fact that there was 3,000 baptized in a day? Who kept up with that and counted them? There must have been someone assigned to that task and whatever they may have called them, that’s YOU!!

9 Interesting Fact!! These tasks had to have been done early in the development of the Christian church! Even before the introduction of deacons and elders clerks were on the scene.

10 God hath Chosen 1Cor 1 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

11 Divine Appointment This is the first thing you must understand.
I know it was a nominating committee that put your name forward. Who do you think was directing the committee? Acts 1:1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all [men], show whether of these two thou hast chosen, 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

12 Divine Appointment Cont’d
Acts 1:1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all [men], show whether of these two thou hast chosen, 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

13 Divine Appointment Cont’d
God uses men to accomplish his purpose! He used the casting of lots then He uses our committees now!

14 More Than A Clerk A Spiritual Leader in the House hold of Faith
A disciple of Christ A soul winner for Christ If you thought that your work for Christ was just keeping the books -- YOU ARE WRONG!! You should be involved in some active effort to minister to those who are not members of the church.

15 The Clerk --- Spiritual Leader
Consistent devotional life Character should be such that you carry an influence Should attend Sabbath school and church regularly Should attend Wednesday night prayer service Faithful in tithes and offerings Humility

16 Clerk– Board member& Spiritual leader
Compassionate – Kind and sympathetic hearts Dependable – a person of your word, can be counted on Consecrated – sanctified by the spirit of God Responsible – “patient and thorough investigation of the needs” Positive Attitude– “strive to restore fallen humanity” Humility -- Self –Sacrificing Balanced– “fearlessly can say yes or no”, unbiased judgment

17 Clerk – Cool heads and Sound Sense
At this time God's cause is in need of men and women who possess rare qualifications and good administrative powers; men and women who will make patient, thorough investigation of the needs of the work in various fields; those who have a large capacity for work; those who possess warm, kind hearts, cool heads, sound sense, and unbiased judgment; those who are sanctified by the Spirit of God, and can fearlessly say, No, or Yea and amen to propositions; those who have strong convictions, clear understanding, and pure, sympathetic hearts; those who practice the words, "All ye are brethren; those who strive to uplift and restore fallen humanity."--Testimonies, Vol. 7, p {ChL 18.1}

18 Jesus, Our Example Christ gave his best no matter what the task.
He was not willing to be defective, even in the handling of tools. He was perfect as a workman, as He was perfect in character. By His own example He taught that it is our duty to be industrious, that our work should be performed with exactness and thoroughness, and that such labor is honorable. DA 75

19 Jesus Our Example He was doing God's service just as much when laboring at the carpenter's bench as when working miracles for the multitude. DA p. 75 When you do your work it is not for the pastor or even the church. It is for the Lord! When you carry forward your duties– God puts it on an elevated level.

20 Role and Function of the Clerk
One of your first responsibilities is to become familiar with the latest addition of the church manual We will provide a complimentary copy to you Much of the efficient operations of the church depends on the work of the clerk. It is important to have continuity in this office It is also important for you to understand how the church works It does NOT operate like corporate America. It is not intended to.

21 Role and Function of the Clerk
However, it must be a law abiding organization in the community and country where it resides. Therefore, we must be mindful and obedient to the civic statues of the land like other organizational citizens.

22 Role and Function of the Clerk
Secretary of all church board and business meetings Church membership activity Church records Lists of committees Church directory Church bulletin Communication with members

23 Role and Function of the Clerk
Church Records All official church records, minutes, officer lists, membership, baptisms. These should be supplied to new pastors and members as they come and as they are updated. List of committees All church committees and their membership should be kept by the church clerk. There should be terms of reference for each committee voted by the board.

24 Role and Function of the Clerk
Church Directory Make sure you get with a company that does photo directories. I know it’s headache but they provide a valuable service to the church. They facilitate communication and fellowship among the body of believers. They should include non-members spouses and unbaptized children. It should include regular attendees who are not members. It should also be clearly stated “This is not an official membership list.”

25 Role and Function of the Clerk
If there is no secretary, the clerk generally is responsible for the church bulletin. Have a deadline that you need all information and stick with it!! Make it attractive, don’t just throw it together. Purchase some nice pre-designed covers. If there is no secretary, make sure the website is up to date. If there is a Church facebook account, make sure it stays current.

26 Role and Function of the Clerk
The clerk has no authority to add or drop names unless voted by the church in business session. (even if the pastor says so) Transferring members – Church Manual p.52-55 Method of granting transfer Membership during transfer

27 Role and Function of the Clerk
Sacredness of church membership The decision as to who may/may not be a member of a local Seventh-day Adventist Church is entrusted to the members of the local church concerned. NAD WP B 05 Even the General Conference can not over rule what a local church vote on membership.

28 Role and Function of the Clerk
Corresponding with members – the clerk should try to keep in touch with absent members Reports to be furnished promptly Quarterly reports to the conference Collects information from other church officers What happens when a church is late? Conference is late – union is late – the division is late– the world church report is late when you are late!! That’s how important you are !! You can hold up the whole world!!!

29 Role and Function of the Clerk
Clerks have the official and the only records accepted by the conference – baptisms, etc. Notice of delegates for Conference sessions Attendance Record The SDA World Church is reinstituting Attendance Everything that moves is counted it doesn't’t matter if they are members or not As clerk you should also know the attendance of members and who is not attending

30 Agenda preparation Go through you minutes of previous meetings to see if there is old business to be finalized Generally the pastor prepares the agenda or he may give it to you to type or copy. It is ideal to get it to the board members early but it is appropriate to give to the board at the beginning of the meeting Bring minutes of the previous meeting even if you sent them out before It will also be helpful to have the minutes of previous meetings with you on hand just in case questions arise

31 Agenda Preparation If the pastor ask you to prepare the agenda and he gives you his/her items, then give other board members a deadline of when you need their items Never have items on the agenda that the pastor has not authorized or seen Set the agenda in a manner that is easy for taking minutes Have a section for old business and another for new business

32 Minutes taking Taking accurate minutes is one of the most important things the clerk does Sit next to the chairman Note board members present and absent Summary notes on the devotional thought Motion to accept the minutes ( not necessary or customary to record who makes the motion) Record if motions passed or failed Treasurer’s report include a copy with your minutes There should be a motion to accept the report, that’s voted on and recorded.

33 Minutes Taking Number your actions – this can be done by the year or meeting. Example: Voted to accept the minutes of December 06, 2012. As each item is presented it should be voted up or down or tabled. You need to record for each item the action taken on them. A few Tips in taking Minutes If you choose to write get a notebook just for this purpose If you do it on a laptop or other electronic method have several backup sources

34 Minutes Taking In your minutes try to describe the action comprehensively Be sure you have recorded the action just as it was stated Establish the habit of reading the motion back to the group If prepared correctly the agenda can actually act as your outline for the minutes. Do not record conversations verbatim just the general themes except for motions

35 Minutes Taking Have a way of tagging in your notes or minutes things that need to be followed up on or referred to another body. Especially tag items that need to be voted by the Church business session. If a quote for repairs are needed you might note it with a question mark or a dollar sign or a post it or underline it in red or highlight in yellow or something to bring you back to it. If it is something you need to remind the pastor about use another kind of symbol Listen and be tuned in to what is being discussed

36 Minutes Taking Be concise, no time for a sermon
The Cornell Method is a good one if you are writing 2 ½ inch on the left hand side of paper to to record the general theme and notes in remaining six inches on the right and skip three lines or so for the next subject After minutes pull all your notes together and prepare official minutes Send them through or postal with your signature Send them out timely, within the first week

37 Minutes Taking The Minutes that you have put so much effort and time in developing and nurturing – DO NOT BELONG TO YOU!!! They are the property of the Local Church All the Church Records are the Property of the Local CHURCH

38 Confidentiality – A Must for Clerks
You deal with matters of the utmost importance in the church and the kingdom of God It is imperative and part of your responsibility to be confidential with information that you receive in this position

39 Church Employees All Church employees are actually conference employees According to our organizational structure and the law the conference is lowest level of employer in the denomination All individuals who are remunerated for services rendered are employees – even if we call it a stipend These individuals should be reported to the conference and the remuneration amounts should be disclosed to determine if it meets federal/state statues

40 Church Risks An assessment should be done to evaluate safety concerns and risk exposure for the church

41 Volunteers working with Children
Safeguarding Children – Church Manual 168,169 Two Adult policy Open door Six Month Policy for new members whether baptized or transferring Training Background check required Experience of Elder and Sexual Misconduct with a minor– Church exposure

42 Volunteers working with Children
Screening All volunteers are required to participate in a screening procedure that will include a signed Volunteer Ministry Information Form, names of three (3) personal references and a criminal background check wherever possible. Individuals who submit incomplete forms will not be considered for a volunteer position. NAD WP FB 20 Background screening should be completed before the volunteer is allowed to serve.

43 Volunteers working with Children
All volunteer leaders, regardless of their previous experience, shall submit to the screening procedure provided by the church. The volunteer screening procedure should be updated for each individual every three (3) years. The local church or school is responsible for the cost of implementing these screening procedures. The local conference may provide financial assistance at their discretion. It is the duty and responsibility of the church to maintain all volunteer information on a confidential basis at all times. This is most often the clerk’s responsibility.

44 Volunteers working with Children
Supervision of Volunteers Failure to comply with the established volunteer guidelines and code of conduct will result in the volunteer being asked to terminate participation in the ministry. All allegations of inappropriate conduct involving a child minor will be promptly investigated by the leadership of the church. The church will respect the rights of all parties involved in the alleged incident and treat all matters concerning the situation discreetly, confidentially, and in accordance with local child abuse reporting laws. Appropriate corrective action — discipline, counsel, or removal from ministry – will be taken when necessary.

45 Volunteers working with Children
Orientation and Training of Volunteers Provide all volunteers with an understanding of the ministry’s mission and the expectation the church has for its accomplishment in a safe and abuse-free manner. Explain and provide in writing the expectations, code of conduct, and rules to be followed by volunteers in relation to supervision and interaction with children and youth. Reaffirm that alleged incidents of child abuse will be investigated and reported to authorities in accordance with local law.

46 Volunteers working with Children
All volunteers will be required to participate in educational courses on child abuse (physical and sexual) and the necessary steps to be taken to prevent the occurrence of child abuse incidents. Training should include instructions on appropriate methods of physical contact to affirm children.

47 Scenario # 1 Pastor’s authority
Pastor ask you to remove names from the church rolls because they have not been in attendance and no one knows where they are nor have heard from them in over five years Person has been attending another church for years and actually serves in some leadership capacity and Pastor asks the clerk to remove the name from church rolls Potential lawsuit now in the NAD over wrongful membership termination

48 Scenario #1 cont’d Can church board drop a name from membership?
Can the church clerk drop a name from membership? What if they are dead Can the church board vote a person

49 Membership -- sacred Conference can not change
General Conference can not change Church manual says,

50 Do Your Work as unto the Lord!
Some folks get mad with the pastor or church and quit their assignment but you are not walking out on the pastor or the church. You are walking out on Christ. It is a sacred TRUST!! You can’t just quit something that is Sacred!

51 Ten Commandments of a Clerk
1.) Thou shall do thy work with thoroughness and exactness as unto the Lord. 2.) Thou shall give the Lord thy best service every week. 3.) Thou shall put no other gods before me by allowing things to steal time away from me. For I am a jealous God and want my daily time with you. 4.) Thou shall not be intimidated by the pastor or elder or board and shall follow the process outlined in the church manual.

52 Ten Commandments Cont’d
5.)Honor the pastor as the spiritual leader of the congregation and thy days shall be long. 6.)Thou shall not destroy thy brother’s reputation even with accurate information. Be confidential!! 7.) Thou shall carry your office with humility and grace not seeking to Lord it over others. 8.) Return unto the Lord the first fruit of all thine increase with a faithful tithe and a generous offering.

53 Ten Commandments Cont’d
9.) Thou shall take weekly attendance record and shall turn thy quarterly reports in on time! 10.) Thou shall take keep up with baptisms and have accurate records on all thy members.

54 Clerk is the official and final word
Baptisms Pastor will give a report but it is only official when provided by the clerk Church delegates Membership Records Church votes on any item For a loan For purchase of building

55 Scenario # 2 City wide evangelistic meeting is held in your town and the evangelist has a big team including Bible workers Who is responsible for the baptisms that join your church? A.) Bible worker B.) Evangelist C.) Pastor D.) Clerk

56 You are a Spiritual Leader
true leadership is achieved not by reducing men to one’s service but in giving oneself in selfless service to them.” “ The true spiritual leader is concerned infinitely more with the service he can render God and his fellowmen than with the benefits and pleasures he can extract from life.”

57 You… Spiritual Leader Cont’d
“Let it once be fixed that a man’s ambition is to fit into God’s plan for him, and he has a north star ever in sight to guide him steadily over any sea, however shoreless it seems. He has a compass that points true in the thickest fog and fiercest storm and regardless of magnetic rocks” Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west nor from the south. But God…. putteth down one and setteth up another. --Psalms 75:6-7

58 Spiritual Leader cont’d
Give me a man of God – one man, Whose faith is master of his mind, And I will right all wrongs and bless the name of all mankind. Give me a man of God—one man, Whose tongue is touched with heaven’s fire, And I will flame the darkest hearts with high resolve and clean desire. Give me a man of God– one man, One mighty prophet of the Lord, And I will give you peace on earth, Bought with a prayer and not a sword. Give me a man of God– one man, True to the vision that he sees, And I will build your broken shrines and bring the nations to their knees.

59 Spiritual Leadership cont’d
“Thou wishest to know? It is because the eyes of the Most High have willed it so. He continually watches the good and the wicked, and as His most holy eyes have not found among sinners any smaller man, nor any more insufficient and sinful, therefore He has chosen me to accomplish the marvelous work which God hath undertaken; He chose me because He could find none more worthless, and he wished to confound the nobility and grandeur, the strength, the beauty and the learning of this world.” Spirituality is not easy to define but its presence or absence can easily be discerned. It has been called the diffused fragrance which has been assimilated in the garden of the Lord. It is the power to change the atmosphere by one’s presence, the unconscious influence which makes Christ and spiritual things real to others.

60 Spiritual Leadership Cont’d
God says not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble are called but God hath chosen you! He has called you to be exactly where you are at this specific time in earth’s history! Now go and fulfill your calling and he says lo I am with you always.

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