It took about three months to finish this one phone call. When I was done, I had a book called The Rector and the Vestry. It is now available on Amazon.
In November of 2019, I was speaking with a friend and colleague in ministry. He is the Rector of a small but growing church that he planted about seven years ago. He related an episode from a recent Vestry meeting at his church. It didn’t go smoothly. There were conflicts. There were concerns. The newly elected Vestry members were out of synch with the rest of the group. Some members had not served on a Vestry before. Some had been members of bible church with a completely different polity. Some had non-profit experience or business acumen. But none of them had a common view of the role and purpose of a Vestry. They were just “on” the Vestry to help lead the congregation. Isn’t that why they were elected?
“David, do you know anything that I could use to help train my Vestry members about our polity and our roles to get us all on the same page?” I thought for a minute and told him I’d get back to him.
Three months later, a book was born.
The Rector and the Vestry is an easy to read field guide for congregations in the Anglican Church in North America. My goal is writing this book is to describe the polity, purpose, roles, and responsibilities of the Vestry of a congregation, a Rector, and the working relationship between them. The book will cover topics about Anglican Polity, Mission, Roles of Rector, Wardens, and Vestry members, Dynamics about church size and attendance, area for financial oversight, accountability, and governance. There is a number of topics for discussion and consideration in the Appendix as well.
Here is some of what is in the book.
- One chapter highlights the mission of the Christian Church in general. It is the largest, longest-lasting, self-replicating, and self-reproducing organization in all of history. I describe the mission of a congregation as it relates to the overall mission given to us by Jesus Christ.
- Another chapter looks at the issue of polity and governance. Why do Anglican churches govern themselves the way they do? How are they similar to other denominations, and how, specifically, is Anglican polity different from the rest.
- I take three chapters to describe the role of the Rector, the Wardens, and the Vestry. The partnership between Rector and Vestry can be problematic and tense. The Archbishop recently texted me his wisdom: Nothing gets a Rector in more trouble than ignorance in how to work with the Vestry. The book develops a common understanding of the roles and responsibilities that empower both the Rector and the Vestry to engage the mission.
- The book also focuses on ten areas that a Vestry MUST be responsible for, including compensation, financial accounting, budgeting, reserve funds, and other issues that are mandated by most canons.
- In the Appendix section, I include a full range of topics that some Rectors and Vestries may want to discuss further: Membership. Rector’s Evaluation. Canons Every Vestry Member Should Know. The Rector Search Process. And more.
I think every Rector will want a copy of this book. One of the reviewers (a Rector) even called it a “page-turner”!
The cost is $16.99 for each book if you buy them one at a time from Amazon. If you buy in quantities over six, we offer a “bulk” price of $12 each, plus shipping.
- Order individual copies from Amazon here.
- For bulk copies, send an email to Carol@LeaderWorks.org and include the number of books you need. We will invoice you and ship them out right away. Again, the cost of any bulk order for any order over six is $12.00 plus shipping.
“I loved, LOVED The Rector and the Vestry. We will use this book from now on as a gift to incoming vestries, and it will be our handbook for vestry orientations. I appreciated all the personal illustrations, both successes and failures.”—The Rev. Al Zadig, Rector, St. Michael’s Charleston
“As a church planter, I’ve been looking for the information in this book for years. What a resource! The wisdom and practical advice that David Roseberry distills from his years of ministry are invaluable. Every church planter, every Rector, and every vestry member needs this book. Thank you for writing this book, David! It’s a gift to the Church, and I will be using it as my vestry training manual from now on.”—The Rev. John G. Wallace, Rector, Apostles By-the-Sea Anglican Church in Rosemary Beach, Florida
“Receiving and reading your manuscript has been a ‘Godsend’ for me. It has answered many questions and clarified confusion regarding my roles and responsibilities as both a member of the St. James Vestry and as Senior Warden. What a blessing (and I hope a benefit to the Rector and congregation) that I am reading this at the beginning of my term.”—David Chapman, newly appointed Sr. Warden, St. James, Costa Mesa, CA
“The Rector and the Vestry is a goldmine of great counsel, practical advice, background explanations, personal anecdotes, and sound teaching that I highly recommend. I plan to use it for my Vestry every year.”—The Rev. Alan Hawkins, COO, Anglican Church in North America