The Queensland District of the Lutheran Church (LCAQD) has this year undergone a governance review after the District Synod 2018 agreed with the direction being taken and to move towards implementation in 2019.
The District Church Council (DCC) appointed one of its new members, Bruce Lockwood, to form and chair a committee to define and implement the necessary changes. The committee consists of one representative from each department. A full-time coordinator, John Hoffman and assistant, Crystal Bignall, were appointed to project manage the governance change project. Besides the two full-time project coordinators, the chair, and the representative committee of five (including the Bishop), there are eleven Working Parties with a total of seventy-three members appointed to undertake detailed studies of the many aspects of the governance organisation and structures and make recommendations to the DCC.
‘The governance structures had not received significant review since 1966 and thus it was an opportunity to develop more contemporary and agile governance structures’, says John Hoffman.
The Governance Change Purpose Statement explains that ‘The project exists to build a home for our church of the future that recognises and enables our participation in Christ’s mission of bringing God’s love into everyday life. In developing contemporary and agile governance, we recognise the maturity and experience of our Lutheran communities and agencies, and the part each plays working side by side in a healthy church.’
‘The new governance structure has developed a collaborative and transparent model through department council membership representation on the District Church Board. The proposed model reintroduces a Treasurer role, a District Assembly that brings all 31 LCAQD governance members together to focus strategically, and policies and delegations that reduce complexity and improve efficiency’, John explains. ‘A greater distinction between governance and management is therefore anticipated.’
Chair of the Governance Change Review Committee, Bruce Lockwood, further elaborates that ‘good governance outcomes mean this review will enable a stronger focus on collaboration in mission; more nimble decision-making processes in the governance structures of the Church; and a smooth transition from the past to the future, whilst anticipating the need for future reviews of governance structure’.
Like any significant project, the review has taken time to establish and get going, and has required scope review along the way. John says, ‘however, with the amazing dedication from the working party members we were able to adapt and meet our project deadlines.’
Both John and Bruce stress that prayer and faith in God’s promise to bless those who are served underpin all the work of the LCA Queensland District. ‘To serve God and the people of Queensland through the gifts and talents we have been given, we seek to strengthen the way we work together in our modern era as an organised, efficient and agile incorporated entity’, Bruce says, ‘in pursuit of this there has been significant prayer and reflection by members of the LCAQD throughout this review process.’