ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE OF THE MLC-PNG
ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY ↔ BISHOP’S OFFICE ↔ CHURCH SECREARTY
DEVELOPMENT SERVICE ↔ FINANCE ↔ EDUCATION ↔ HEALTH ↔ GOOD NEWS
STEWARDSHIP ↔ YOUTH ↔ SUNDAY SCHOOL ↔ RI ↔ WOMEN’S MINISTERY ↔ PEACE SERVICE
This is the Church’s major event (similar to Synod) during which the Church Council meets to make major decisions. To be held every second year. Representatives from Ecclesia will be present at this meeting.
(ii) Church Council:
This is the governing body of the Church and is made up of representatives from ecclesia. This council makes major decisions. The council shall also be present at conventions as the supreme decision-making body.
(iii) Office of the Bishop:
This is the head of the Church. The office-holder is the guardian of the truth (stewardship). His primary responsibility is to ensure that the word of the Lord is strictly adhered to so that false teachings and corruptive influences do not contaminate the Church. A major function of this office is to provide spiritual leadership. He will assume no major administrative role, except to provide advice and guidance whenever required.
(iv) Church Secretary:
He shall chair all departmental head meetings. In the absence of the Bishop, he shall represent him in meetings, chair convention and Church Council meetings. He shall also deal with all land matters. All Boards of Trustee shall come under this office.
(v) Administrative Secretary:
This person shall be in charge of minute taking during Convention and Church Council meetings. His/her major role is in organizing meetings, conventions, seminars and workshops, including the setting of agendas and correspondences regarding such matters. He/she shall oversee the office of the Bishop; take charge of filing and record keeping. All secretarial personal and functions come under this office. He/she shall also instruct Ecclesia secretaries on matters to do with office keeping and administrative duties. He/she shall also advice ecclesia staff on accounting matters. He/she may also choose to attend departmental head meetings on an observer’s role.
Departments of Melpa Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea
(a) Development Service:
The role of this department is to promote all aspects of development. In particular, it shall liaise with national and international agencies in the construction and maintenance of infrastructure (especially roads, bridges and health facilities in remote parts of the country). It also shall promote self-help enterprises such as poultry, piggery, gardening techniques, and so forth. The emphasis will be on promoting local food-crops, self-sufficiency and healthy living rather than depending on imported items such as rice, tinned food and lamp flaps.
This is about generating financial and other resources on the basis of personal faith in God. The church as well as the congregation will benefit from good financial management and contributions towards the churches development goals. The congregation’s contributions will be channeled towards church enterprises such as seminaries, health and educational facilities and programs, church administration, overseas missionary work, charity, welfare, and so forth.
This department is based on the philosophy of integral human development. Its emphasis is on the youth of today. A major aim of the church is to develop young children about ethics, fairness and justice so that they will grow up to make meaningful contributions towards their communities, province and the country. It is a mulitproged approach to development, dealing with issues such as spiritual, physical, social, intellectual developments.
This department shall be responsible for the total health of the congregation members. It shall deal with matters of spiritual, physical and mental nature. The emphasis will be on community and family health. In particular, it represents a major shift on emphasis from one based on curative to that of preventative health care.
(vii) Good News Department
This department is entrusted to be responsible for the teaching and preaching of the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ. The department ensures that programs are developed in the Teaching of Religious Instructions in educational institutions, evangelization, Youth work, Sunday school and Women’s ministry.
There are two parts to stewardship. The first involves safeguarding all the blessings or gifts that God has given us. This includes the physical body as well as all other material benefits. It is also about taking care of government properties, infrastructure, personal items, and above all, human life. The second part of stewardship is to thank God in terms of making offerings to the Lord.
The Melpa Lutheran Church’s programs were designed to help and strengthen its youth. The programs are aimed at teaching youth how to live righteously. In order to achieve our stated goals in the family, village, congregation, circuit, ecclesia, and the Church, we propose the following objectives. Assist our youth so that they:
a) believe in God and to be strong Christians;
b) understand Church doctrines and to become solid Lutherans;
c) worship God in faith and righteousness;
d) observe the traditions of the Lutheran Church;
e) understand the doctrines of other churches;
f) safeguard all the things that God has given and use them righteously and to give back to God willingly (offerings);
Help our youth and teach them to:
a) listen to sound advice and to respect parents, elders, church and community leaders, and to cooperate with them;
b) uphold the laws of the nation-state, in addition to complying with the rules and regulations of the congregation, community and country;
c) recognize that they are an integral part of society and that they have a responsibility towards the congregation and the community;
d) acquire knowledge about:
i) acceptable marriage customs;
ii) the dangerous effects of alcohol and drug abuse, especially the damaging impact of marijuana (spak brus), and about crime and other evil practices that may destroy their lives, their faith, and their relationship with others around them;
iii) good or acceptable practices such as participating in sporting activities;
iv) good traditional PNG cultural values and practices;
v) engaging in development projects that may be beneficial to the congregation and the community;
vi) caring for the body and many other ways of sustaining human life, strengthening their faith in God, and the lifestyle of youth.
(c) Sunday School:
This part of the Good News branch is responsible for the instruction of very young children about God, the Church, Christianity, and good citizens of the community and the country.
(d) Religious Instruction (RI):
This is about visiting schools and other learning institutions to teach children and students about God.
(e) Women’s Ministry:
Women’s ministry’s priority is to teach women to be good mothers to teach their children in the house about the word of God. The programs will be prepared and given to the mothers to teach at home which is the foundation of human development. After the children are prepared at home they will go to the Bible schools which forms part of the whole churches education program.
(f) Peace Service:
Peace service is to stop tribal fights, which destroy the communities and create enemies between people. The work of the Church is based on the Bible text in Matthew 5:9 which stipulates that, “Happy are those who work for Peace; God will call them his children”.
(viii) Ecclesia Council:
It is the governing council of the Ecclesia that plans and discusses on matters relating to the work of the pastors and elders within the Ecclesia. If there is any problem or burden within the Ecclesia with regard to the work of the Church or if pastors are needed or if it is to run a school the Ecclesia council makes decisions and attends to the problems.
A Circuit is made up of congregations. The circuit is the controlling head of the congregations that conduct its own circuit conferences, have its own circuit council, president, pastors, secretary and other lay workers.
The congregations are under the circuit and being looked after by a pastor. Congregations are made up of devotional groups or prayer houses. The evangelists look after these devotional groups.