A Pastoral Letter from Jim Lyon, General Director
February 18, 2015
Everyone knows that the world is changing exponentially all around us. Ministry models once thought as fixed in time are being adapted, and made more flexible, to most effectively advance the kingdom. Local churches, universities and colleges, church agencies, and the secular businesses that employ so many members of the Church of God family from coast to coast, have all been challenged by the fluid environment in which we serve.
Church of God Ministries (base camp) is working hard to be the best it can be—
the best steward of kingdom resources it can be, the best instrument in God’s hands it can be—and to serve and expand the kingdom interest in the best ways possible. It is committed to the unchanging truths of the gospel which gave the Movement birth, even as it (like the first generation of the Movement) proves to be at-once nimble, sure-footed, and flexible in the pursuit of heaven’s ends.
In the last few months, the Church of God Ministries executive staff have been hard at work reviewing our present footprint, and seeking the Lord’s leading for the future. In consultation with key voices in the building, and in the Movement outside of the Anderson base camp, the team has sought to wrestle with our challenges and opportunities for best outcomes. Church of God Ministries faces some tall financial mountains to climb, including major maintenance of our base camp building. Simultaneously, new horizons of ministry and kingdom expansion wait clearly within our grasp.
Many of our sister ministries are outsourcing basic services (like information technology and communications) for which we have supported extensive full-time staff. Advancing technology and office practice have enabled us to better steward our resources. Overhead at the base camp has consumed resources that might otherwise be invested in the field.
And so, the difficult decision has been made to reduce our workforce. This decision is not being taken just for the bottom line, but in the kingdom interest, maximizing resources to expand the ministry across the board. At the same time, it requires the departure of some wonderful folks who have faithfully invested many years with us. We cannot continue as we are, but it is very painful to let go of friends who have long been a part of our base camp family.
We respect and value each one. We have worked (against the counsel of many in business) to minimize the impact, insofar as we are able, on those we have asked to step aside. On Monday and Tuesday, we informed each one whose role on our team is being ended. We have offered each one the chance to work through the end of February, and then receive two more months of pay and insurance. They have been also given other options to consider in choosing their date of departure. But, in each case, the decision is theirs to make, as we want to honor their service with us.
It’s never easy to cross a bridge like this one. Still, some bridges must be crossed.
Since the fall of 2013, twenty-six members of our ministry team have stepped away (due to retirement, finding calls to serve elsewhere, or other reductions in force); seven new members of the team have, in that time, been hired. By the end of April, we will see a 29 percent-smaller base camp staff, with nineteen fewer in-house. But, we will also see an expanding portfolio of services and efficiency. Again, we are committed to being the best we can be, the most loving we can be, and the best stewards we can be.
These reductions in force do not represent a contraction of Church of God Ministries, but rather the development of a stable and growing platform with which to change the world and serve the larger church. Thanks for praying with us. Thanks for understanding.
In this, as in all things, we strive to make Jesus the subject. And, we believe he is walking with those who will now find new chapters of employment elsewhere, as well as those who remain.
For the kingdom,
For further information regarding this recalibration of the Church of God Ministries team, please feel free to contact our chief advancement officer, Bob Moss, at BMoss@chog.org.