Our organizational Structure
Burundi Evangelical Friends Church is organized into 3 hierarchical structures (all together forming the two Yearly Meetings) - Monthly Meetings, Quarterly Meetings, Yearly Meetings & Annual Conference.
1. Monthly Meetings
A Monthly Meeting is any local Friends church with two hundred or more members. A Monthly Council is usually endowed with an annually assigned pastor who becomes the first person in charge. This is the guarantor of the organization of all the activities that can take place at the local church, whether in town, semi-urban or in the countryside. He is also responsible for everything that is done at the level of the branches under his jurisdiction.
Evangelism is organized around the preaching activities of the pastor and his assistants. He should usually have finished his primary school, being able to read and write well. Apart from the ordinary gatherings of the faithful, the local church can also organize prayer cells which are generally held in the homes of the faithful to try to touch several souls in the neighborhoods and outside the church.
For the smooth running of the activities of the Monthly Meeting, the Constitution provides that each Monthly Council has five committees: i) the committee in charge of Christian ethics (akanama gashinzwe ubugingo), ii) the committee of Christian education (akanama gashinzwe indero rukristo), iii) evangelism committee (akanama ko Hirya no Hino), iv) finance committee (akanama k'abizigirwa), and v) women's committee (akanama k'abakenyezi). All these committees are normally led by elders of the Monthly Meeting and it is the latter who give a guideline to the work of the Monthly Council through its meetings which are normally held on a monthly basis, hence the name monthly meeting.
2. Quarterly Meetings
The Quarterly Meeting is a denomination of an entity of the ecclesiastical administration comprising at least three Monthly Meetings. These are supposed to meet in a meeting which is normally held once every three months. Hence the name Quarterly Meeting. In such meetings, the Quarterly Meeting decides on the major activities that can be carried out with the participation of all the Monthly Meetings within its jurisdiction. There is at the head of the Quarterly Meeting a Principal Pastor who ensures its administration, in support of the management committee or office comprising at least seven members. The activities of the Quarterly Meeting are first analyzed in the meetings of the various committees mentioned above, before drawing the attention of the participants in plenary. The Senior Pastor must organize himself to ensure the supervision of all the activities of the pastors under his control, but essentially of the evangelistic and administrative activities. The Quarterly Meeting can then, at times, plan and organize several activities to be carried out, including evangelistic meetings. In such meetings, all the Monthly Meetings under the control of the Quarterly Meeting must be sufficiently represented and all the pastors within its purview present. A meeting of this kind can last two or three days depending on the circumstances. The preaching will be carried out according to the relative schedule with generally the possibility of welcoming visiting preachers.
3. Yearly Meetings
A Yearly Meeting is generally the administrative entity bringing together at least three Quarterly Meetings. It is led by an Executive Committee at the head of which is a Senior Pastor and an Office responsible for studying and deciding on different cases and situations before the Yearly Meeting conference is held.
The meeting of the Yearly Meeting draws material from the meetings of the various Committees mentioned above (Christian Ethics Committee, Finance Committee, Christian Education Committee, Evangelization Committee and Women's Committee) and which centralize all the concerns arising from the various quarterly meetings under its jurisdiction. These concerns are first dealt with by the Executive Committee before they concern the meeting of the Yearly Meeting.
The Yearly Meeting conference has the final say on any concerns. It makes the final decision on all areas of the various committees. The Yearly Meeting has the latitude to invalidate or confirm any decision taken at a lower level. It can organize large-scale evangelical meetings with the possibility of inviting internationally renowned preachers. In addition, the Yearly Meeting may produce documents of any kind for the purpose of forming and instructing the faithful.
It can make different decisions in relation to all that is necessary for the development of all the areas on which the church acts, according to the means available. But so far there is not yet a strategic planning document or an annual plan. It should also be noted that among the pastors in activity today, many are of advanced age, the average being probably fixed at 55 years. In addition, their scientific training is not the best.
4. Annual Conference
The Annual Conference is the supreme decision-making body of the Evangelical Friends Church composed of the Executive Councils of the Yearly Meetings. It is headed by the Legal Representative who has a non-renewable term of four years. The conference decides on high-level issues affecting the life of the whole church. Only the conference can modify the statutes of the EEA or decide on the alienation of the assets of the patrimony of the Church. It sets and adopts strategic planning in collaboration with the yearly meetings. The other details on the bodies are included in the statutes and the Internal Rules of the EEA.
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