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Church Leadership

The World Church Leadership Council considers issues that are important to the church.

World Church Leadership Council

The World Church Leadership Council is a meeting of World Church officers and leaders convened by the First Presidency to consider matters of significance to the whole church. It meets as an expression of commitment to the spirit of participatory leadership and collaborative decision-making.  

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The World Church Leadership Council is referenced in Article III, Section 5 of the church organization bylaws. The council is functional and permissive. It does not operate as a board of directors or trustees for the World Church. The World Church Leadership Council does not assume any authority or responsibility clearly assigned to particular presiding quorums as specified in the Doctrine and Covenants, Bylaws of Community of Christ, or World Conference Resolutions currently in force. The Council has the authority to establish Mission Centers according to Article VI, Section 2 of the church organization bylaws. This function includes that authority to alter or disorganize mission centers. 

The First Presidency determines the World Church Leadership Council agenda and membership. Any presiding officer or director can recommend items to the Presidency for inclusion on the council agenda. The Presidency will determine whether an item is appropriate for World Church Leadership Council consideration or should be assigned to another group. The Council functions in at least three languages (French, Spanish, and English). 

The following quorums, presiding officers, and directors currently compose the regular membership of the World Church Leadership Council: 

  • First Presidency - The First Presidency provides primary leadership to the Community of Christ.
  • Council of Twelve Apostles - Members of the Council of Twelve Apostles are high priests called and ordained to be special missionary witnesses.
  • Presiding Bishopric - The Presiding Bishopric is responsible for looking after the finances and properties of the church.
  • Presiding Evangelist - The Presiding Evangelist serves as a spiritual companion, counselor and guide to the church and its leaders.
  • World Church Secretary - The Secretary serves as Assistant to the First Presidency, carrying out a wide-range of projects on their behalf.
  • President of the High Priests Quorum - High priests are called to be ministers of vision for the Community of Christ.
  • Senior President of Seventy - Seventies are ministers specifically focused on inviting and witnessing to people seeking to commit their lives to Christ.
  • Director of Field Ministries - The director coordinates with apostles to support mission centers.
  • Director of Human Resource Ministries - The director supervises all areas of employee and staff management.
  • Director of Formation Ministries - The director oversees disciple formation ministries and experiences for the church.

From time to time the presidents of seventy are included in World Church Leadership Council discussions, depending on the agenda. Occasionally, Standing High Council members are invited to join specific discussions. Other persons with needed information and perspective to offer may be included as determined by the Presidency. 

World Church Secretary

Susan Naylor

Susan Naylor is an executive minister for Community of Christ serving as World Church Secretary, First Presidency Office director, and World Conference director. She holds the priesthood office of high priest.

She has worked for Community of Christ for more than 30 years in roles that include mission support field minister for the Northeast Field, worship and leadership formation, assistant director of operations for International Headquarters, Public Relations Coordinator, and enrichment group leader. Susan also has work experience with Legal Services, Ministerial Personnel, and Planned Giving.

During a short break in employment with Community of Christ, Susan worked for the National Council of Churches in Washington, DC as executive assistant to the president, general secretary, and office operations manager. In addition, she worked for the board of trustees and a variety of ecumenical communions. In 2018, she assisted with the coordination and planning of a national rally, A.C.T. Now to End Racism, on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Susan received a bachelor of arts degree in business education and administrative services from Graceland College, Lamoni, Iowa. She also completed graduate seminary work through the Graceland University Seminary, Lamoni, Iowa.

Susan serves as a consultant to the Spectacular coordinating team. She also has past working relationships with Independence Chamber of Commerce, Independence, Missouri; and is a graduate of the chamber’s leadership program. She was board president for the Restoration Trail Foundation (now Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation).

Susan has two children, Karlynn and Erik.

Community of Christ has 250,000 members in more than 50 nations. The church’s mission is to “proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace.” Community of Christ International Headquarters is in Independence, Missouri.

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