I spent a full day with Jan Daehnert this week in preparation for his taking up the Interim role of Executive Director on February 1. He will actually be in an office here at the Building beginning this Monday. So we will have three weeks of overlap before the end of the month. Dr. Daehnert will be an effective and enormously helpful interim for our convention. He has had more varied experience with the work of our convention than anyone I know. He was a BSM leader, Director of our Personnel (HR) department, led the early beginnings of our Bivocational/Smaller Membership Churches department, a key leader in developing our Intentional Interim ministry, worked to create our leadership development work with ministers, worked with providing counseling help for ministers and their families, and worked as a liaison with the Minister’s Wives Retreat.
Those who know Jan have been thrilled that he would accept the invitation of the Executive Board to serve in this interim role. He met with the leadership team and me this last Tuesday so we could begin the process of transitioning this responsibility. He will be very good for our staff, he will be an advocate for them, and he will be a trusted and respected leader the Executive Board and Texas Baptists churches can rely upon.
Not least, because of his spirit and abilities, I believe this will give the Search Committee for the new executive director all the freedom they may need to find just the right person God has in mind for us. Please continue to pray for Ken Hugghins and the committee as they prayerfully and patiently do their work. They may be very close to a decision and they may still be several weeks (or a few months) away from a recommendation. This gives them time to do what they so much want to do…find God’s choice for this responsibility. All of us want them to do that, too, so keep praying for them.
Doing this job on behalf of Texas Baptists has been a great joy to me. There are several initiatives that have been started and only time will tell how valuable, effective, and helpful to the work of the Kingdom of God and Texas Baptists they will turn out to be.
We have a rich resource for mission outreach in our churches, in our institutions, and in the work of our mission staff at the BGCT. The work of collaboration is well underway….but so much more can be achieved and I fully believe that will be a thing of cooperative and collaborative success and it will be exciting and beautiful to watch.
Someone asked me this week, “If you had it to do over, would you?” There are two answers. First, yes, there are parts of the job I wish I could have understood better when I started and I would like some “do-overs” in some areas. Second, yes, if I were eight years younger and they asked me to do this job as they did in 1999, I would do it again.
I would encourage all of those who love the work of Texas Baptists and the BGCT to be praying now for the person we don’t know, but God does, who will take up this task. And I would ask you to be sure to continue to pray for and encourage the new person and their family after they come in God’s time to take up this assignment.