The 4 Boundaries

“The Soccer Field” – a model for the ministries of the board of a church,  to distinguish that from the Sunday and daily ministries of the pastoral staff

 The Four Boundaries,  and policies or goals that can guide actions related to those


Statement of faith

   …We will not change this,  unless a clarification is needed.
…We will have a way it is posted so anyone can see it easily.


…We will follow it as a church,  and not allow ourselves to excuse non-adherence by saying everyone understands that is not the way we do it.  Actually in some states a corporation can be sued for not following its constitution.

…We will not hesitate to update it at appropriate times.  It is not Scripture.


…We will follow this plan or change it if we have a better way.

…We understand new members must be informed of this plan when they join.  (Or that we can be libel for a later use of the plan in their lives.)

…Our main goal will always be restoration,  as in the Bible.  We will go the extra mile to save the person.

…When there must be church discipline,  the conveying of this news will only be as wide as the main influence or involvement of the disciplined person.


…We understand that when the board receives a report officially,  we are responsible for its content.   We are receiving it as true.   Therefore the appropriate committee of the board will always have reviewed and approved the report (extensive financial report,  for instance) before the presentation to the board.

…In all areas of “Resources,”  the appropriate committee will have handled details and debates and even made a recommendation for acceptance or action (or the opposites) to the main board along with their report.

Therefore in most cases the detailed discussions should be at the committee level,  for the sake of better discussion (smaller group,  more time,  specific details,  past attention).

…We understand that as the board and the officers of the corporation (chairman,  treasurer,  sometimes pastor) we are the fiduciary agents of the corporation.

…Policies about check requisition or signing and ways to use church cash shall be very clear,  and approved by this board.   All of them shall be written for the worst case scenario,  not kept homey because “these are trustworthy people in those positions,” as is often the case with churches.

…We will very carefully delineate what actions related to finances and properties need the vote of the membership of the church.



…We will be very clear about understanding and following the purposes of the church body,  as outlined in Scripture.

…We will emphasize the Great Commission (about making disciples or followers of Christ, Matthew 28) and the Great Command (about love,  Matthew 22) as central to all that we do.

…We will state our goals for involvement with people and funds and prayers in both global and local missions and evangelism and actions of love to meet needs.

We understand that many leaders or church members value either global ministries or local ministries as the main thrust,  so we will seek to have both remain strong.


…Whatever way they are stated or changed,  we seek to have them be based on major thrusts of the Bible;  and also to be memorable and simple enough that the people of the church are familiar with them.

…We understand our stated values will start with God’s love or grace toward us;   include our response or worship-obedience to Him;  state our need for community love and care with missional purpose;  define our mission to our world and community and each other;  and have a goal of strong integrity.

…When our actions or the Sunday and weekday ministries do not honor these values,  we will call a halt.

…We will ask all board members and staff members to pledge allegiance of heart and actions of these values,  and to renew that pledge at the start of every “church year.”

…We ask that these values, or a simple clear listing of them, be prominent in our church literature and social media or website.

Overall Policies

…We understand that the church board is responsible for policies that are the guidelines for all the church, not particular specific policies for weekly ministries or  actions.

…We will that these policies be readily accessible for all church staff and members,  and not be secretive.

…Policies that relate to finances of all the church should be recommended by the financial team,  which includes board members.   Those that relate to the building should be made by the board members and staff members that oversee that area.  Policies that guide procedures of missions,  global and local,  should first have input from the staff and team leaders who plan those areas.

…Policies that are just for staff can be made by the staff leadership team,  but may be reviewed by the board if desired.




…We understand this can be a nebulous area,  so we will not try to describe details of this.  But we understand that the ways of the church – including pulpit and groups and publications and social media – will be in line with the Bible,  and specifically the fruit of the Spirit of God.

…We prescribe a culture that emphasizes the Great Commission and the Great Command of our Lord Jesus.

…We will be a church that welcomes  people of all backgrounds,  ethnicities,  needs,  political views, and even beliefs;  but we will remain a church pastored and led by people who openly commit to Biblical beliefs,  practices,  and ethics.   Such leaders and servants of the church will state their commitments by signing a leaders’ agreement.

…No matter the reason or belief system,  people who seek to disrupt the goals or services or ministries or unity of the church will not be welcome,  though we will certainly seek to love and help them.


…All ministries and programs of the church shall have clear purposes,  directly or indirectly,  to produce faithful followers of Jesus Christ,  the Lord and Master of the church.   While not every meeting or event or word can be planned to produce this exactly,  we will seek to maintain this direction.

…Our goals in the lives of the people who are part of this ministry shall include,  but not be limited to, these qualities or practices:

worshiper of our Triune God,  individually and as a church….person known for love and grace to others….giver of time and abilities and money to serve God and others… witness to the saving love and remedy work of our Savior,  through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives….one who prays….a moral person who lives in obedience to the clear teachings of God in His Word,  related to single life,  marriage,  family,  business,  and all of life….one who is seeking to grow stronger in all these areas of life and ministry.