CHURCH OF GOD MINISTRIES UPDATE

Since June, we have been wrestling some possible reconfigurations of our Anderson base camp. We have struggled mightily in the past four years to move toward sustainability, achieve new efficiencies, and altogether enhance and improve service delivery. All of us here sense that we are seeing a “light at the end of the tunnel” and that we can move to not just surviving, but to dreaming and doing great things. Our platform is being stabilized and our promise as a ministry going forward is more sure-footed.

With a new chapter now in view, I have decided to implement some new management lines. These will build on what has been done and set the stage for what can be done, maximizing time, resources, and energy.

I processed these changes with the Ministries Council in September. We have walked through the plan with all our staff and ministry partners. We want to share with you so that you are fully aware and able to communicate with us well.

Our staff has now been placed into two lines (consolidating from nine when I first arrived on the job in the last months of 2013). These two lines are Program and Infrastructure. This setup will enhance our ability to swiftly respond to opportunities and better synchronize ministry vision and delivery.

Program includes our relationships and ministries with Global Strategy (international), Domestic (USA and Canada), Project Imagine (specifically engaging the Church of God in the USA and Canada in a broad conversation about the Movement’s future), and Advancement (developing resources for the whole). Ben Shular will be the new lead in the line, with a new title: chief strategy officer. Working with him are executive members of our team: Handel Smith (USA and Canada), Bob Moss (Project Imagine), and a new chief advancement officer (CAO, not yet named). This Program Executive Team is already networking, strategizing, and coordinating calendars, staff, and ambition to propel the Movement forward and better meet the test of our responsibilities (at home and abroad). Another change on this front is the appointment of Andrew Gale as our new Global Strategy director. Andrew will sit at the table with Ben, Handel, Bob, and the new CAO, to help drive the bus.

Ben has excelled at transforming and energizing our Global Strategy division since he first came on board three years ago. His project management skills, financial acumen, and generational view have well prepared him for this adjusted assignment. He will continue to provide key counsel in the Global Strategy mix, even as Andrew Gale steps up to become its director. Andrew has already been on the ChoG Ministries team, serving in the Global Strategy wheelhouse. His education, his experience, and extraordinary international exposure and grasp, have made him already an exciting add to our team. In his new role, working with Ben and associate Stephen Lewis, Andrew is certain to see Global Strategy’s profile and positive impacts expanded even farther. Global Strategy represents 60 percent of all that we do; its success and expansion are key to the whole Movement.

In this shift, we are also relocating the Native American Home Missions responsibilities from our USA and Canada team to Global Strategy. Originally inherited from the Board of Church Extension and Home Missions, our Native American ministries were placed under the USA and Canada umbrella because of geography. Upon further review, however, it became clear that the nature of the work is very close to that of Global Strategy. The challenges, opportunities, and approaches of both have much in common. Handel and his team have worked carefully with the Global Strategy team to make the move.

Disaster and Relief (both at home and abroad) has also proved to be a growing dimension of ChoG Ministries’ call, as we are often the “go-to” for much of the church when disasters arise. This area of ministry is also being consolidated at the Program ministries table.

Infrastructure includes all those departments that provide support and a platform for the Program ministries. These include Accounting, Information Technology (IT), Legal, Human Resources, and Communications. Natalie Farmer will remain as our chief financial and operations officer (CFOO), but will expand her portfolio to be at the point for these members of our ministry family. Working with her at the Infrastructure table will be controller Abby Hewitt, chief legal officer Victoria Fedor, IT director Daryll Combs, and communications director Ann Brandon. We are better on every front—and getting better. Natalie’s fingerprints and so many of these improvements have quickly demonstrated her capacity to lead for constructive change.

The Program and Infrastructure tables are now in play, pulling together and integrating all that we do, expediting decision-making (which used to get bogged down waiting for me), and propelling creative and inspired vision for best outcomes and the ways to get there.

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