Congregationalism, is a system of church governance (“ecclesiastical polity”) in which every local church congregation is independent, ecclesiastically sovereign, or “autonomous”. Each local congregation is independent and self-supporting, governed by its own members. Some band into loose voluntary associations with other congregations that share similar beliefs. [excerpt from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congregationalist_polity]
While we are proudly part of the United Church of Christ (UCC) family, Brea Congregational is governed by members of the church (“the congregation”) who, on a yearly basis, democratically votes in a church council made up of members of the church. The church council and it’s committees functions to take care of the business end of church operations, including recruitment of staff (including the pastor), managing the budget, setting priorities, managing capital projects, and taking care of membership maintenance.
In short, while the pastor is the spiritual head of the church, the council is the elected “executive” team that manages church operations to leave the pastor free to do the spiritual heavy lifting.