Chapter 15 » 15.08

Trustees’ responsibility

Trustees are not generally able to oversee all business de­cisions of an area meeting. They may delegate some decision-making to local meetings, and other bodies subordinate to area meetings, while retaining overall responsibility (see 15.05.e). The extent of delegation should be formally recorded and regularly reviewed. The record may be in the form of a memorandum of understanding between the two bodies (see 4.34).

Area meetings should ensure that there are effective channels of communication between the local meeting and the trustee body, by, for example, having a trustee linked with each local meeting, or the appointment of trustees to represent each local meeting.

Trustees act on behalf of the area meeting as a whole, including all its constituent meetings. On occasion a trustee may be invited to speak in the trustee body on behalf of a local meeting particularly affected by an item of business. This calls for careful and sensitive handling so that the interests of the area and the local meetings are properly respected. The trustee body’s decision, following discernment, should be taken in the best interests of the area meeting as a whole. Trustees should explain the basis of their decision to the affected local meetings. The trustees’ task is not easy, but it is a vital one and plays an important part in our church government in maintaining good relations within area meetings.

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