Life Matters Worldwide has had a pastoral advisory council for many years now, and I’ve found it to be very beneficial. It’s good to have a group of men I can call on for informal advice, especially on matters relating to the Church. I’ve asked them to lead staff devotions from time to time, and we regularly solicit their input on the content of literature being prepared for churches.
Would such a council help your center? How would you form one?
In addition to the types of participation I described above, a pregnancy care center might benefit from the advice of pastors, especially if there are no pastors on your board. Pastors can offer a biblical perspective on current trends, advise you on the content and style of your center’s church presentations, and help you understand the person in the pew.
In addition to occasional staff devotions, they could pray with the director (in person or by or phone), offer guidance on leadership problems or ministry burn-out, offer solace when clients choose abortion, and lead you to gifted people who could serve at the center.
Pastoral advisors are not board members. They don’t meet regularly and there are no votes, no quorum, no minutes. There are also no officers and no term-limits.
The council’s purpose is to advise, not provide oversight (which is the board’s role). If you have pastors on your board, you may not need an advisory council. But sometimes pastors are reluctant to serve on boards, due to time constraints.
Who should be invited to serve on the council? I suggest they be pastors of churches that already support your center, and whose doctrinal distinctions reflect the center's statement of faith. It’s a good idea to spell out what their role will be, how often they’ll meet (if ever), and the kinds of advice you intend to solicit. Here’s a sample job description.
Bottom line, an advisory council is a great way for pastors to be involved with your center. They can do for the center the kinds of things that pastors do best.