I have been writing in this article for the past year about different aspects of a process that our state convention is going through called Denominee. This has been an interesting, challenging, informative and futuristic look at how we function as a state convention.
Let me take a moment and share how I think this has come to us at a unique time in the life of our convention of churches.
Many of you may have heard about some of what God is doing in the lives of our state convention staff. I announced my retirement in January, effective June 30. Since then Bob Weeks has announced that he believes the Lord is also leading him to retire as of July 15. Carol Houpt has told us that she is retiring as of July 30, somewhat due to her health.
Our Indiana Baptist Foundation is also transitioning as President Jennifer Hall and her assistant Bev Olonoh have announced they are resigning due to feeling the Lord is also leading them in a new direction in their lives.
Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose.”
I believe that we are witnessing God working in the life of our convention. He is leading us to a new way of working together. Or I might say, He is taking us back to an old way that is new to us. When conventions and associations were formed, they did so to help each other. I believe we have moved away from that strength to a day when it is our desire to do things alone. That may be a new way, but I believe it is an unhealthy practice and attitude.
We need each other and we need to pursue the principle of cooperation in our actions. Sort of like John 17 reminds us.
Here is an update on what could look like confusion. It is not I assure you.
- Bobby Pell has stepped down as the convention president and has been enlisted as the “Interim Executive Director.” We are working alongside each other to make a smooth transition.
- With Bobby stepping down as president, that means that our new president is Josh Goepfrich, pastor at Hilltop Church in Warsaw. He becomes the president by being the 1st Vice President.
- That also moves Barry Rager, pastor at New Circle Church in Indy, to become the 1st Vice President.
- In a bylaw-driven action, board Chairman, Tom Savage took nominations from the Executive Board and they elected Guy Lancour, pastor at First Baptist, Mooresville, to serve as the 2nd Vice President.
- The Executive Director Search Team is doing their work and making progress as the Lord leads them.
- Kyle Brennan is seeking resumes and looking at candidates to replace Carol Houpt.
- The Foundation Board has met and they are looking at options for new leadership in our Foundation. Jennifer Hall and Bev Olonoh have agreed to work a few months beyond their announced resignation date to help with the interim time frame.
- We are having discussions about how the Denominee process fits with this window of opportunity. What are the changes that could and should be made that reflect the work of the Denominee team? More to come about this in June. These talks also have an effect on Bob Weeks’ position as he retires.
It excites me when I can see God’s hand in our activities and in our circumstances. The good thing is this. No one is mad! No one is leaving due to conflict or pressure. Each of us just feels like the Lord is leading us to this point, to make these steps. I pray that you will see this as the opportunity that it is and see how we can be better at working together for the sake of the Gospel.
Remember that Jeannine and I love you all,
Until Next Time,