The Cowboy Church Model

How Our Church is Organized

The following teams are organized to carry out the specialized ministries of the church. Each ministry team shall have specific functions and responsibilities as assigned and approved by the Pastor or Elders.


The Pastor is the lead Elder and the primary spiritual leader of the congregation. In that capacity, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and leadership of the Holy Spirit, he preaches and teaches the Word of God.

The Pastor guides and directs the church in matters of reaching lost souls. He leads the church in regular worship services and administers the ordinances of the church. The Pastor provides leadership to additional ministerial staff and Lay Pastors as needed to meet the needs of the congregation. He guides the church to implement the Cowboy Church Model structure and functions laid out in the church constitution. Ultimately, he fulfills the pastoral role as set forth in scripture.

Lay Pastors

Lay Pastors serve as extensions of the Pastor. They are appointed and replaced by the Pastor at his discretion to help carry out ministry duties. Lay Pastors can expect to be attached to one or more ministry teams. They do not run or lead the teams because each team has its own team leader. They are a resource for the team and a liaison between the team and Pastor.


The Elders serve the church by providing spiritual leadership and accountability in accordance with scripture. They provide a brotherhood of support for the Pastor, assist the ministry teams with difficult issues, and serve as arbiters in matters of conflict or church discipline. The Elders also provide general spiritual leadership, guidance and assistance wherever and whenever appropriate. The Elder Body shall be made up of two or three elected Elders plus the Pastor who is the lead Elder. Initially, in a new church start, the first Elders are appointed by the Pastor with the approval of the church.

Elders are not a decision-making body and they do not receive complaints nor do they pass on complaints to the Pastor.

Ministry Teams

Ministry Teams may be permanent or temporary, and are formed in response to an existing need. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Children: 0 – 6th Grade
  • Youth: 7th – 12th Grade
  • Hospitality
  • Bible study
  • Chuckwagon
  • Band
  • Media
  • Audit
  • Ladies Round Pen
  • Men’s Round Pen
  • Facilities
  • Welcome
  • Arena

Leadership Team

The Leadership Team consists of:

  • Pastor
  • Elders
  • Lay Pastors
  • Church Staff
  • Standing Team Leaders
  • Ministry Team Leaders

The Church Leadership teams typically meet once a month in an open meeting. In this meeting, the various teams give a report on their activities and future plans. The calendars for the future months are organized and planned at this meeting. Any activity that is church-sponsored should be presented and approved at the Leadership Team meeting to be placed on the calendar.

While the various Ministry Teams make decisions about what they will do within their budgets, all major decisions should be brought to the Leadership Team before being implemented.

The Leadership Team can occasionally have special closed meetings if they are requested by the Pastor or Elders and should not replace the regular Leadership Team meeting that is opened to the church.

Structural Teams

Audit Team

The Audit Team members serve a one-year term and meets once a month to audit financial records. They verify and report only. They have no decision-making authority about how money is spent. The Financial Secretary, Pastor and/or Elders are also present at the monthly Audit Team meeting. It is an open meeting and may be attended by any church members.

It is the Audit Team’s responsibility to get budget requests from all of the various ministry teams and staff and put together an annual budget based on giving history and projected church growth. They must present the annual budget to the church for a vote every year.

The Audit Team leader will give a financial report each month at the monthly Leadership Team meeting. Any problems that the Audit Team finds with the finances should be taken immediately to the Pastor and Elders. This includes issues with the Financial Secretary, discrepancy in reports, budget concerns or any other area of financial concerns.

Financial Secretary

A financial secretary is appointed to keep the books, record contributions and deposits, maintain bank records and write out checks to pay bills. The person in this position is paid a nominal salary since it requires a number of hours and carries a heavy responsibility. The Financial Secretary does not sign checks, but works closely with the Audit Team while attending all meetings and reporting status of church financial accounts.

When a new church start is still in mission status, the role of the Audit Team and Financial Secretary may be fulfilled in whole or in part by the sponsoring church.