The Function and Assignment of a CMC Overseer
The assignment and ministry of overseer in the congregation is encouraged by the CMC Executive Board. An overseer may be assigned to serve a congregation by decision of the congregation with approval of the Executive Board. The overseer serves the congregation in a ministry of giving vision to the congregation=s life and ministry, as advisor to the pastor (s) and the congregation, as pastor to the pastor, and in developing wholesome relationships within the congregation and with CMC. Specific job descriptions may be developed in each case as agreed upon by the congregation and the overseer.
The overseer of a CMC congregation shall be an experienced ordained minister with ministerial membership in CMC. The meaning of “experienced” is not defined. It is a matter of discernment by the congregation and by the Executive Board. It is clear that some ministers are experienced and that others are not. In other cases, discernment needs to be exercised.
The assignment of overseer is for a specified term not exceeding five years, but with the possibility of successive terms. The overseer’s service should be reviewed periodically at the initiative of the senior pastor or the appointing board or committee with appropriate congregational involvement. The Executive Board recommends that CMC overseers, upon reaching age 75, consider relinquishing overseer responsibilities to younger men at the end of their current term.
Procedure within the congregation in the selection of an overseer is not specified. Generally, those procedures which the congregation finds internally constitutional and acceptable should be workable. The degree of initiative and processing exercised by leadership before processing the question with the congregation may vary. But in each case, the Executive Board should be informed of the procedure which the leadership plans to follow in processing the question with the congregation and it is appropriate for the Executive Board to communicate with congregational leadership concerning any questions or concerns which may arise.
In regard to communicating with the Executive Board in the selection of a first-term overseer, regular procedure calls for the following steps:
- Congregational leadership should communicate to the moderator or the general secretary the interest of the leadership and/or the congregation in selecting an overseer. This should be done early enough to allow adequate time for the following steps.
- The congregational leadership thinks and prays about names of potential overseers and selects one or more names to be submitted to the Executive Board for approval. This may be done with or without congregational leadership receiving nominations from the congregation.
- After receiving approval of the nomination(s) from the Executive Board, the congregational leadership will be free to contact the minister or ministers approved by the Executive Board and to work with the congregation in the selection of an overseer.
- The congregational leadership will report the selection and acceptance of the overseer to the CMC office. (A form is provided by the CMC office for that purpose.)
In the process of re-appointment of an overseer to a consecutive term, the congregational leaders communicate the intentions and actions to the CMC general secretary, with the re-appointment being subject to the approval of the Executive Board.