If you’re new to Tenth, you may have wondered about our rather unique way of organizing our corporate life around a series of commissions. There are four principal commissions—Outreach, Mercy, Kingdom Discipleship, and The Trustees. A commission of Session, unlike a committee, can make decisions as if it were Session.
Among the benefits of the commissions is the inclusion of people from the wider church in specific projects. A commission is typically made up of elders and experts or interested parties drawn from the congregation. Ideally, they should be refreshed regularly with new members who have joined the church and bring wisdom and experience from other churches.
Global Outreach covers metro and global enterprise in getting the gospel out to the world at home and overseas. Here, fresh initiatives are encouraged, mission partners supported, and information disseminated.
The Mercy Commission, led by Dr. David Apple and Rev. Enrique Leal, brings together two long-standing initiatives to extend our care towards the stranger, whether they are homeless, prisoners, foreign students, or visiting scholars.
The Kingdom Discipleship Commission (KDC) seeks to maintain our work among small groups, Bible School, and ministries dealing with Christian growth.
The Trustees manage the financial and corporate aspects of church life. Their work is facilitated by the Church Administrator, the five-year planning group, the personnel committee, and the building committee.
This novel approach to carrying on ministry has the advantage of drawing in people with wider experience or specific expertise in the issues addressed. It also eases the burden of the session as it delegates out some of its work load.
Typically, a structure of committees and commissions like this is good for continuance, and not so good when it comes to taking initiative. Entrepreneurs usually have the passion and drive to start new initiatives and launch new ministries and, if they are wise, the courage to stop those that have run their course. They also know that something attempted and failed 30 years ago may very well be the solution today.
Despite these challenges, our commissions have been able to generate some useful initiatives. Mercy has been invigorated by the fusion of two ministries that share a common love of the stranger. It has initiated Bible School classes and will host their first conference this coming March with Dr. Ligon Duncan speaking. Kingdom Discipleship embraces work as diverse as children and seniors, families and parishes (parishes are geographical areas overseen by local elders and the diaconate). Their most recent initiative was our study of ethnicity in October.
Global Outreach has benefitted from Metro being joined with Global Outreach. Two ministries committed to getting the gospel out should have much in common, as well as areas that are distinct. Rev. Gavin Lymberopoulos visited a secure country recently to visit our partners there.
We hope this helps bring some clarity to our structure. We have a series of Tenth Press articles coming to further illustrate the work of each commission, starting with Mercy, which you can read here.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Liam Goligher. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org