Structure of The Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church
There are three executive organs of the Conference. First, there is the Annual General Conference. These meetings take place in May of each year. The Business Conference meets every three years and for the two years between Business Conferences, Spiritual Growth Conferences are held. At Business Conferences all members of Ordained and Full time Staff have voting rights. Church representation is based on a proportional representation model according to the size of church membership, one representative for every 50 members.
Secondly, there is the Central Council. This Council meets in mid-November each year. Each Church has one delegate to this body. It is smaller in membership and usually meets from Thursday noon until Saturday morning.
Thirdly, The Conference Executive meets monthly, on the first Thursday evening of each month. The Executive is the on-going organ of the Conference and oversees the work of the Conference in the absence of the Annual Conference and the Central Council. Membership of The Executive is made up as follows: The President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer; Assistant Secretaries;, Assistant Treasurers; The Legal Advisor, the Directors of the five Divisions of the Conference: (i) Worship and Fellowship; (ii) Property and Finance; (iii) Ministry; (iv) Doctrine and Polity and (v) Service to the Community.
Financially, the Conference is supported by each member church through a system of apportionments based on the membership size of each church. In addition, there are four Conference Fundraising Events annually to aid the work of the Conference.
Within the BCMC, churches are organized into Regions. Each Region has a Ministerial Moderator and a Lay Moderator. These are the administrators of the Region. (See list of Regions and Churches). Churches are administered by a Congregational Board. Each church sets the size (membership wise) of the Board and the persons so elected appoint the various positions: Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and persons for specific boards (Women's Ministry, Youth Ministry, Outreach, and Evangelism etc.).
Brief Description of each Conference Body
- Division of Worship & Fellowship – has a responsibility to promote within the various congregations of the Methodist Church such programmes for the development of the ministry of children, youth, music and women’s and men’s fellowships and to have overall responsibility for church (Sunday) schools and lay preachers. [8.(2)]
- Board of Children, Youth & Young Adult Ministries
- Youth Retreat
- Summer Camp
- Board of Music Ministry
- Board of Women & Men's Ministries
- Board of Christian Education & Church Schools
- Scripture Examination
- Board of Lay Ministry, Worship & Training
- Division of Doctrine & Polity – has a responsibility for considering and reporting on all matters concerning the doctrine and polity of the Methodist Church all matters touching the faith and order of the Church, its relations with other churches and proposals and projects for intercommunion or organic union between the Church and other Churches.
- Division of Ministry – has a responsibility for the promotion of theological education and its support for the whole Church; recruitment and training of persons to spearhead the work among each age group of the Church, conditions of service for those in ministry, staff-congregation relationships, the system of stationing Ministers and the Ordained Ministries.
- Division of Property & Finance – has responsibility to advise the Annual Conference on the management of and all other matters connected with the property and finance of the Methodist Church and present recommendations on the accounts, balance sheets and other financial reports of the Methodist Church.
- Board of Property
- Board of Finance & Investment
- Division of Service to the Community – has responsibility for the promotion of evangelization throughout the Methodist Church and to foster spiritual growth and encourage the extension of the witness of the Methodist Church and advise on all matters connected with the educational work of the Methodist Church
- Methodist Education Authority
- Board of Evangelism
- Board of Visitation, Outreach & Social Witness
- Bahamas Methodist Habitat
- Bilney Lane Children’s Home
- Nurse Naomi Christie Home for the Aged
- The Celebrate Recovery Centre
- Centre for Leadership, Education & Training
Worship & Fellowship
Service to the Community
Doctrine & Polity
Property & Finance
Local Church Boards
- For the ministry of each local church to be effective, at least the following should be represented on the Congregational Board:
- Board of Children, Youth & Young Adults – this representative should ensure that there are youth programs planned and carried out at each church for all ages of young people. This can include a weekly youth meeting, various youth picnics, after school programs, uniformed organizations such as scouts and girl guides or assisting with Vacation Bible School and summer camping programs.
- Board of Music – this representative should ensure that there is effective musical contribution to the worship services held by the church. This can include working with the organist/pianist for the morning/evening worship services, forming a band, arranging music lessons for church members, directing choirs, selecting appropriate music for various groups, choirs, solos and choristers.
- Board of Finance – this representative should work with the treasurer to ensure that the church is financially responsible for moneys collected and spent.
- Board of Property – this representative should ensure that all aspects of the church property are well maintained.
- Board of Men & Women's Ministry – these two representatives (one male and one female), are responsible for the planning and implementation of activities that relate specifically to issues that affect men and women in the church. These can include seminars, retreats, lectures, fellowship times, bible studies, socials, etc.
- Board of Visitation, Outreach & Social Witness – this representative should ensure that the needs of the community are identified and activities planned and implemented to meet those needs. These can include soup kitchens, visits to hospitals and homes, providing meals.
- Board of Evangelism – this representative should plan and execute activities that spread the Word of God to with a view to people committing their lives to Jesus Christ. This can include crusades, seminars, community walks.
- Board of Christian Education – this representative should ensure that Sunday Schools are functioning to the best of its ability with its teachers and curriculum.
- Board of Worship & Training
- Board of Christian Care Groups
- Staff/Congregation Relations Committee - A primary role of the SCRC shall be to offer realistic, effective and practical methods of support to staff and to liaise between staff, congregation and the Conference agencies interpreting, articulating and facilitating areas of concern, strengths and new opportunities for the church’s ministry, witness, mission, interpersonal relationships, evangelical goals, staff requirements and terms of reference (including job descriptions and terms of tenure and contract) and overall spiritual direction and growth.