Leadership and Governance

By Pastor Lars Olson
Executive Pastor

At the very heart of the proposed changes is for First Lutheran Church to better carry out the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The proposed changes are centered around the Cross of Jesus Christ and how we work together as a congregation.

Proclaim Christ
Encourage with the Gospel
Serve in Jesus Name


Our strategic planning process, First & Foremost, identified a need to update our leadership and governance systems. Over the past couple of years, a Leadership Task Force and the FLC Council have been thinking, praying and discussing proposals to improve our ability to accomplish our ministry. Through this process of discussion and discovery, we discovered some of our basic values that have guided this proposal. Click to visit flcsf.org/firstandformost

• Ministry - the “doing” of ministry needs to be the goal. People being involved through actually sharing gifts and talents, is more important than a ministry document. The strategic plan is only as valuable as our ability to implement and execute.

• Community - the “doing” is most valuable and important when it creates community. Cooperation and communication are important for First Lutheran to be encouraging one another in ministry. Nobody is involved in everything, but we are together in mission and ministry as a whole community.

• Leadership - the community needs leadership that sets direction for the whole, but gives freedom for the “doing.” Micromanaging is not needed, but servant leadership that listens to the community and supports ministry is needed. 

The outline of the proposal to accomplish this is now ready for congregational feedback. Your input is welcome and wanted. Thank you!

Governance Structure

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Staffing for Ministry

Staff is organized to support the structure of the congregation for carrying out ministry, so there are as few layers as possible, and all staff directly supporting the work of boards, teams, and volunteers. Leadership staff are members of the directors, and directors are part of support staff.


•    Leadership Staff - corresponds to Executive Committee. Working together they set priorities, goals, and direction. This provides a way for the strategic direction to be directly part of the day-to-day ministry through the staff.

•    Director Staff - corresponds to the Council. Directors work with a Board Chair very closely to cooperate and communicate with other boards and staff. This provides a way for every department to ask how the strategic direction will impact their ministry area.

•    Support Staff - corresponds to Boards and are directly involved in “doing” ministry. This allows the staff to directly support the strategic direction and the ministry plans of boards and ministry teams.


Frequently Asked Questions

What about the Media Board? Other board changes?
The Media Ministry is very important and will not change. Operating as a “ministry team” will allow the talented, passionate people who operate this ministry to be more free to make improvements and changes more easily. The Financial Services Board will integrate with the Administration & Property Board to handle all matters that pertain to supporting ministry. Finally, a board of Welcome & Community is being added to handle matters of hospitality and engagement, which are broad and needed.

How does this change the council?
Not very much. The council will be the elected Board Chairs as representatives across the breadth of FLC. With one fewer board, there was an opportunity to add the Foundation President to have the foundation more in touch with FLC ministries. The biggest change is asking the council to approve and improve the Executive Committee’s directions. Council meetings will then be about carrying forward the strategic direction. 

Why change anything?
Well, because in the strategic planning process the congregation asked to make changes. Some of our governance and staffing structures hold back our ability as a congregation to carry out ministry as effectively as possible. This new structure pushes everything toward effective, cooperative execution of ministry with the Gospel of Jesus Christ as our center, goal and purpose. 

Who has taken part in creating this proposal?
There have been many, many voices over the past two years: FLC Council, Executive Committee, the Leadership Task Force (John Paulson, Dale Jahr, Tom Simmons, Martin Oyos, Pr. Peter Strommen, James Moore). Most recently all boards and staff of FLC have been given a chance to give feedback, and now we are working to include as many members and groups as possible.