The following post is from Keith Herron, CBF’s moderator and pastor of Holmeswood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo. For more information on the 2012 Task Force Report implementation, click here.
If you peel away the skin of the 2012 Task Report, with all its heavy structures and charts, and elevated wishes asking, “What if?” one will find the Constitution and Bylaws. Those two documents are the skeleton to our Fellowship. They describe how we are organized and how decisions and processes are conducted. They are critically important to giving the organizational guidance we’ve agreed to follow.
The 2012 Report paints a lovely picture of a new future and how the Fellowship can be revised, amended and hopefully refreshed. After twenty years, a new wineskin is needed if new wine is to be produced. Beneath it all, however, are our guiding documents that define how we are to be organized, how power is to be used or curbed, and how decisions are made and launched into action.
Since last fall, the officers have named a working group called the Implementation Team. That team is comprised of CBF coordinators, officers, our interim Executive Coordinator, a representative member from the legal committee and a representative of the 2012 Task Force to serve as a consultant. The Implementation Team has worked since last summer to bring recommendations to the Coordinating Council that will lead us to take the leap from the current organizational structure to the new structure described so elegantly in the report.
Last summer, when the General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted and affirmed the eight recommendations in the report, it was generally considered that this transition might take a couple of years in getting the changes made and adopted concerning our guiding documents. Large organizations are like large ships and making dramatic directional changes can only be done slowly and ponderously.
However, the Legal Committee did a diligent review of the current documents this past fall and learned we can make the recommended changes in one General Assembly. We learned these changes can be made by presenting the recommended changes in one business session and presenting the revisions for adoption in the next business session. Obviously, it helps that we read our own documents before jumping to misinformed judgments.
That’s how we’ll do it. In our business session on Thursday morning, the Coordinating Council will present the revisions to the body for consideration. For those who wish to discuss those recommendations, a breakout group will be offered where questions can be asked and the issues discussed. Then the motion will come to a vote at the second business session to be held on Friday morning.
Upon approval, we will leave Greensboro having enacted the changes needed to move into the new organizational structure. The Task Report is a bold vision and we have the opportunity to take the bold step in adopting those changes. The Coordinating Council has therefore been working this year to prepare us to not only revise our guiding documents, but to also populate the new councils that will move us forward.
Peel away the exteriors, the structures and the councils, and all the committees, and what you find is a heartbeat for ministry and missions. We have a new structure before us. We have a visionary new Executive Coordinator whose life is primed for the days ahead. I hope you plan to come to Greensboro to add your energies and commitment. The Fellowship is made up of all of us who share a common heartbeat for such a life.
Love the thought of a new structure. Please speak to how this will create a new practice? If what you speak of is the skeleton, what is the heartbeat?
That’s a speculative thing to say on my part, but it feels different already. We’ll pare down our necessary numbers significantly by subdividing into 3 councils but that will give each group the freedom to specialize. “Fleet of foot,” we might say and light enough to drill down deeper. Will that make a difference to the investment of our leaders? I think so. The heartbeat is to be determined by the Fellowship. We’ve got a new structure and a new leader. I believe we’re freshening things for the next decade. Now it’s up to us to see what we can make of all these changes and how it will free us up for new connections & partnerships, new winds of the Spirit, a new generation finding a reason to attach to the Fellowship, etc.