Gauging the spiritual health of your congregation can be a tricky business. How, after all, does one measure such ambiguous behaviors as “joyful giving” and “worshipping in spirit and in truth”? Strong participation in communion, for instance, may seem promising—but hey, sometimes a 45-minute sermon just works up an appetite.
Thankfully, there is one rule that reliably marks a healthy body of believers: the more committees, boards, and task forces, the better. When it comes to signs of an internal salvific faith, robust participation in church committees is second only to baptism. As the Good Book says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples: when your committees outnumber the stars.”
You might think your church is set in the bureaucracy department (because it actually has one), but odds are you could use a boost. Here, then, are five committees that you’ll need if you want to run a tight, efficient, sustainable disciple-producing operation:
Church Committee Nominating Committee: The Genesis 1 of church committees, the beginning of all things, this committee nominates the members for every other committee. No one knows what, if anything, existed before; it simply always has been, and always will be. Like the Trinity, this group is an unknowable divine mystery, yet central to our faith. Its chairman is probably named some variation of “Bob.”
Palm Branch Search Committee: The palm branches that the five-year-olds in your children’s ministry wave around maniacally (right before ingesting them) are the result of a year’s worth of faithful dedication on the part of the Palm Branch Search Committee. Members meet once a week (twice a week during Lent) for two to four hours, weighing the horticultural merits of various species of palm trees and determining which one is most worthy to be used as a prop in the celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In tropical regions, brand loyalty makes this group particularly contentious.
Church Sign Committee: Absolutely essential, because there’s nothing quite like a clever pun or Jesus joke to inform your community that inside this building, they will experience the width, length, height, and depth of Christ’s love. But remember: members of this committee wield tremendous power, so keep them satiated at all costs. Hell hath no fury like a Church Sign Committee scorned.
Youth Group Naming Committee: Despite the fact that Jesus says the world will hate us because of him, your church’s hormonal, angst-ridden offspring still need to know that Christianity can be, like, super cool. The best way to do that, of course, is by slapping the name of a second-rate nightclub on their fall retreat T-shirts. Teenagers, after all, are more likely to buy into the cosmic story of God making all things new again if it’s cloaked in a vaguely spiritual one-verb imperative like Elevate!, Impact!, or Amplify! Kids obviously don’t know what they want in a church, though, so members of this committee must be able to present a valid AARP card upon request.
Committee Oversight Committee: The Big Brother of committees, this one’s sole purpose is to covertly infiltrate the meetings of other committees and ensure they’re running as Paul commanded: decently, in order, and for the purpose of building up. Because the last thing you want is for red tape to take up too much time and get in the way of actual ministry, right?