Policy Manual Purpose
The purpose of this document is to provide a brief overview of policy governance and an explanation of existing policy that governs the activities of Harvest Bible Chapel.  For many years the oversight of Harvest Bible Chapel has been maintained and strengthened through a recognized system known as “policy governance.”  [1]

In policy governance the church is Staff-led and Elder-governed.  The Executive Staff report to a non-vocational board that reviews reports of the organization’s activities and assures accountability for the policies the Elder Board has established.  The policies govern the activities of the staff and regular meetings provide a mechanism to ensure that board policies are carefully followed. Failure to abide by established board policy is grounds for immediate dismissal.

The term “Executive Staff” describes the Senior Pastor and his direct reports in the approved staff oversight structure of the church.  The Executive Staff appear before the Elder Board at its regular meetings and accounts directly to the Elder Board for all conformity to established policy.

Board-Pastoral Staff Delegation Policies
These policies relate to how the board and Executive Staff will interact with each other.

  • The primary conduit between the Elder Board and the Staff is the Executive Committee of the Elder Board and Senior Pastor relationship.
  • The Elder Board will develop and maintain an Executive Committee per the church’s Bylaws.
  • Any Elder providing direct assistance to the staff does not speak on behalf of the Elder Board in that role (e.g. an Elder who is proficient in financial or legal matters may serve on an ad-hoc team to produce a fiscal or legal policy with the staff, but opinions he expresses are merely his own—they are not the voice of the Elder Board).

Function of Executive Staff
Harvest Bible Chapel is Elder-governed and Staff-led.  The Executive Staff of Harvest Bible Chapel are those Elder-approved persons who function in a day-to-day direct reporting relationship with the Senior Pastor and Senior Executive Pastor and are responsible for the leadership of the church through the implementation of organizational policies agreed to by the Elder Board. The Senior Executive Pastor will provide reports to the Executive Committee, and to the Elder Board as needed, for adherence to established policies. If any member of Executive Staff has objection to issues related to policy governance or the conduct of any other member of the Executive Staff they are encouraged to raise those issues with the Senior Executive Pastor initially and then to the Executive Committee directly through the EC chairman. Only the Senior Pastor and Assistant Senior Pastor are members of the Elder board, all other Executive Staff attending Elder meetings do so in an ex-officio capacity.

[1] Policy governance is the system of choice for large ministries that seek to empower staff leadership without diminishing needed accountability.  Moody Bible Institute, Willow Creek, and other churches would be examples of organizations we respect that follow the principles of policy governance.

—Excerpted from Harvest Bible Chapel Elder Policy Manual, November 10, 2015