Cottonwood is an autonomous church, which governs her affairs independent of denominational controls. Our governing body consists of the pastors and deacons. Pastors oversee the church and are particularly involved with teaching, prayer, counseling, and guidance of the church. Deacons serve in designated roles such as music ministry, building and grounds, finances, etc.

Multiplying Leaders

Each pastor must meet the qualifications set forth in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Emphasis is placed on godly character, but a pastor must also have strong ministry skills and hold to sound biblical doctrine. Prospective pastors are developed from within the local church and are required to fulfill a 2-year course through the Great Commission Leadership Institute that includes 2 national and 6 regional conferences/seminars along with home study under the tutelage of local pastors. The local pastors also teach additional classes to equip potential pastors-in-training. New pastors are appointed/recognized by the existing governing board with consent of the church members.

Deacons must meet the qualifications outlined in I Timothy 3:8-12. Their service will be in designated areas requiring trust, leadership, and initiative. They, like pastors, are appointed by the governing board with consent of the church members. Pastors and deacons and all those serving in leadership or ministry capacities must agree to a moral purity covenant.


Cottonwood Community Church is a voluntary member of Great Commission Churches (GCC), a US-based fellowship of churches designed to inspire, equip and mobilize churches to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ in the United States and overseas. GCC's website includes a statement of faith and core values, as well as a list of member churches (gccweb.org).  GCC also provides mediation services to assist a church member who wants help in resolving an issue with the church's leadership.

Great Commission Churches is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals (nae.net) and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ecfa.org).

Great Commission Churches partners with organizations overseas: Great Commission Europe (gceweb.org) and Great Commission Latin America (igcla.com).

Within GCC, Cottonwood is active with: Great Commission Northlands Regional Ministry, which serves churches in these states: Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.  We join together with these churches for activities such as marriage and youth conferences, leaders' retreats and leadership training.