How do things work in, around and through Santa Barbara Community Church? Who does what? How do decisions get made? Who makes the coffee and who runs that sound board?
The short answer to these questions is that we do. The vision of Santa Barbara Community Church flows out of Ephesians 4:11-12,
It was [God] who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. . .
The apostles and prophets were foundational to the beginning of the church as recorded in the book of Acts. God continues, though, to give to the church evangelists, and pastor-teachers for the purpose of equipping the Body of Christ for works of ministry. Let it be said once again. The goal of Santa Barbara Community Church is to glorify God by making disciples. Each of us who is a disciple is called to ministry in every area of life: in our work, in our play, in our witness and in our service. The role of the pastoral staff and the elders of SBCC is to equip the church to these ends. Therefore, every member of our community should see himself or herself as a minister/servant of Christ.
Having said this, let’s ask about the inner-workings of our church body. Specifically, how do things work in our merged church? Consider the following:
SBCC is governed by a board of elders. These elders are the pastors (shepherds) of our church. Currently, we have nine elders serving on our board. (Their names in alphabetical order are Bonnie Fearer, Steve Greig, Katherine Hilzer, Reed Jolley, Steve Jolley, Paul McLean, Dan Underwood, Dan Walker, and Mike Willbanks). The job of the elders is to devote themselves to prayer, to give spiritual direction to our church, to cast vision for the future, to administer loving church discipline when necessary, and to guide our congregation. Our elders serve a six-year term before rotating off of the board. The elders meet weekly for prayer and discussion. They serve faithfully and, seemingly, tirelessly.
Currently SBCC has a staff (full and part-time) of 15 people. Again, each of these staff jobs was created to enable the church to “do works of ministry.” And what do these people do?
Reed and Steve Jolley serve as pastors with the primary responsibility of preaching / teaching, discipleship and leadership.
Bonnie Fearer leads as our pastor of women’s ministries and compassion ministries as well as giving direction to our prayer teams each Sunday.
Susi Lamoutte tirelessly cares for our homegroup leaders and organizes our homegroups.
Jim Nelson serves in the areas of visitation and pastoral care.
Trisha Popp and DeeDee Underwood shepherd and direct our children’s ministry (with over 300 kids aged infants through 4th grade!).
Kelly Soifer and Erik Anderson are pastors to our youth from 5th grade through High School.
Mike Wilbanks pastors our college students, our PCNK (post-college, no kids) group and gives direction and leadership to our worship leaders. He also leads worship for many of our Sunday services.
Deana Gilman wears many hats and is called our “administrator.” She coordinates everything relating to the running of our office, facilities, grounds, the support systems for our Sunday services, the staff and so much more.
Karen McLean takes care of our bookkeeping and is our human resources coordinator. She also handles registration for our youth camps.
Kathy Roberts is the administrator for our Missions Group and assists with accounting for our giving.
Carolee Peterson is our technical administrator, helping with the design and publication of the Community News, homegroup study guides, announcement sheets, and more. She also helps keep our website and database updated.
Called a “group” only because we like to avoid the name “committee,” these individuals work hard at caring for our missionaries and acting as a liaison between SBCC and those whom we support. Member’s names and their areas of responsibilities are: Jeff Ridenour (chairman), Dan Walker (Africa), Steve Jolley (campus ministries), Dan Michealsen (local Santa Barbara ministries), Mandy Abbas (International & the Middle-East), Betty Sullins (Philippines, Brazil & stateside assigned), Della Peterson (Europe), Ione Larinin (Tiajuana, global, stateside assigned), Jeff Seick (Asia), Leanne Patterson (Latin America), and Kathy Roberts (administration). Together the group supervises and encourages our missionaries and those who lead a variety of ministries.
The trustees are responsible for short and long term maintenance issues, construction projects, general improvements and legal issues which affect our life together as a church. If you wonder why things are looking so spiffy around the SBCC campus, why needed repairs are being done and why other improvements are being made, credit this group of wonderful servants. Our trustees give comprehensive oversight to our facilities. Their names are: Dave Burke, Herschel Brewer, Paul Cook, Bud Jolley, Graham Lyons, Larry Larson, Jeff Ridenour, Dan Michaelsen and Dan Underwood.
All the above is offered with the inent that God is glorified and his people are equipped to do the work of the ministry to which they were called. May God bless us, His church, as we move forward in our calling.