Executive Board elections

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John Petty was re-elected board chairman by acclamation. Debbie Ferrier was elected vice chairman in a close vote over Peter Leong. The board voiced appreciation for Leong, noting some voted out of respect for a busy schedule that Leong has for the next year. It includes being the president of the Chinese fellowship and a month long trip to Asia.

Steve Vernon also was elected associate executive director. The vote was unanimous.

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23 Responses to “Executive Board elections”

  1. spiritualsamurai Says:

    So it is business as usual. What a surprise!

  2. David Troublefield Says:

    I don’t know about “business as usual,” unless that means that another extremely nice person actually not qualified by either experience or training to lead a huge $40-50 million dollar non-profit organization has been added to the BGCT’s staff in an executive position.

    I appreciate Steve Vernon very much for his service as president and in other volunteer convention roles, and hope the best for his service in the associate executive director role; he’s demonstrated a willingness to listen to all voices–but also to move forward. I don’t think those are all the qualifications needed for his new role, however, and serving as a church’s senior pastor for a number of years isn’t quite the same as leading as COO a mult-million dollar non-profit organization with hundreds of employees either. I said the same when the BGCT’s search for an executive director/CEO was taking place.

    Executive roles in state conventions don’t always have to go to former senior pastors–the church service of very few of whom would qualify them for large/complicated conventions’ executive positions (Rick Warren? Bill Hybels? Joel Osteen?); instead, those positions can be filled by Christian laymen with good grasps of the Scriptures, who hold degrees in administration/management/leadership and are very experienced in successfully leading non-profit organizations religious or otherwise. There must be many of them.

    To be honest, the best I can tell, the folks actually most qualified for their roles on the BGCT’s staff are its employees serving in the accounting area (despite financial difficulties of recent years–so don’t remind me!–they don’t print money, they only tell where it went) and those serving on what I think is the fourth tier from the top or lower in terms of organizational structure (and some of those on the third tier). For proof, look at results during this decade among existing Texas Baptist churches.

  3. spiritualsamurai Says:

    Wow, David, we actually agree for a change.

  4. Lee Says:

    The two executive board officers and the recently elected associate exec are all prominent board members of Texas Baptists Committed. They are part of a narrow, exclusive group that rotates from board to board, office to office, committee to committee, and in so doing, prevent new people from bringing in new ideas and a fresh spirit.

  5. wackypreacher Says:

    To what are they “narrow” and “exclusive” about Lee? What “new ideas” and “fresh spirit” is lacking?

  6. spiritualsamurai Says:

    Lee, I only wish more Texas Baptists would read and heed what you write. Again, if the people in the pew knew what was going on, they would slash all giving to Washington Ave and send it directly to our schools and Texas Baptist men.

  7. Lee Says:

    Wackypreacher, I’ll turn that question around to you. Aside from creative ways to figure out how to keep operations going while the budget giving from churches declines at a rate of about 5% per year, and some “dialogue” with New Baptist Covenant, what are some examples of a “fresh spirit” coming out of the BGCT?

    Exactly.

  8. wackypreacher Says:

    So you can only offer criticism and no solutions. Anybody can stand around and yell at the building, but what are ya gonna do about it? Does the BGCT have to be perfect in order for all of our churches to support it? Or will you encourage churches and individuals to “boycott” the convention or will you show up and say something.
    Exactly.

  9. David Troublefield Says:

    For the record, in light of comments posted below my first entry in this thread, I’ll clarify that my statements: (1) are meant to be objective administratively (“Is this a great hiring decision based upon qualifications and a candidate pool,” not upon associations–and not personal, as I indicated); (2) but also reflect two or three years’ interactions with some BGCT staffers (keep encountering a degree of arrogance not easily tolerated); (3) recent and current managerial track-records of concern (read the Baptist Standard; connect with ACP reports); and, (4) conversations with former BGCT employees whose word I trust more than that of some present employees.

    I’m otherwise a life-long BGCTer and have been a strong supporter.

  10. Lee Says:

    I will be there. I have been since becoming active again in the ministry. If you want to do some reading of what I have proposed, and ideas I have offered, suggestions, etc, regarding ways and means the BGCT can move ahead and be future oriented, go to my blog, http://deepintheheart.wordpress.com and read what I have written over the past two and a half years regarding the BGCT. My “criticism” has a basis.

  11. spiritualsamurai Says:

    Dear Wackypreacher (I am mellowing out some). You want some fresh new ideas. OK, how about really connecting our churches with high speed Internet access? How about help our churches become more green. How about limiting the amount of individuals a church can have on committees. How about developing a more kinetic kind of educational material so that real learn takes place in our churches (the major of people under the age of thirty are kinetic learners. How about salary caps on denominational employees and a better accountability system for expense accounts.

    Yes it is easy to criticize the building but they are the ones who make it so easy.

    Also, I tried to speak up and look what it got me! I can assure you that I will avoid microphones at this convention like the plague.

    Sadly or ironically, I too am a long time BGCT supporter and do not intend to leave. I just don’t want to give them very much money until real change comes. That may mean burning the thing down so that it can be rebuild right.

  12. wackypreacher Says:

    “You want some fresh new ideas. OK, how about really connecting our churches with high speed Internet access? How about help our churches become more green. How about limiting the amount of individuals a church can have on committees. How about developing a more kinetic kind of educational material so that real learn takes place in our churches (the major of people under the age of thirty are kinetic learners. How about salary caps on denominational employees and a better accountability system for expense accounts.”

    David, believe it or not, I agree with all of the above. It is the tone that you take on your blog that causes many to roll the eyes and ignore you. You come across as angry. Honey will do more than hot peppers to get a hearing.

  13. spiritualsamurai Says:

    I tried honey and all I got was flies. Wackypreacher, I wrote for Texas Baptist leadership magazine for almost 4 years and still, when I voiced concerns about Otto and other things, the attacks began. It was only when I began blogging on the train wreck that anything got done.

    I am sorry, it is hard to not be “hot peppers” when people accept, support, and promote the kind of activity we have seen for the last 8 years and is still standard operating proceedure.

    The only reason that TBC is not endorsing a candidate “officially” this year is because the “hot peppers” has called attention to them and to be honest, Currie now knows he might lose.

  14. Ferrell Says:

    Gentlemen, this has been an interesting conversation that I am just now seeing. (This is a crazy time of year for our office as we get ready for Annual Meeting.) I don’t agree with everything said, but am glad that people who care deeply about the BGCT are having such a conversation.

    From the perspective of one person on your Executive Board staff, let me offer a few thoughts. I understand the opinions expressed about the recent Executive Board elections, but I was surprised that it morphed into a more general criticism of the direction of the convention. Over the past few months since Randel Everett’s arrival, many of us have been heavily immersed in Texas Hope 2010, a bold evangelistic effort that all of you have heard about. We’ve been up to our eyeballs in efforts to create a great outpouring of prayer, care and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. This effort has the look of something that God may have His hand on because He has opened some surprising doors and many people in the state of exhibited a great excitement about this.

    That’s not to say that your comments are not valid; it’s just to say that your staff here in Dallas and around the state is really working hard in this Kingdom effort. That’s where our attention is focused. And it’s been great to see churches, pastors and laypeople getting excited about what God can do.

    I can’t speak for everyone, but most of us work for the BGCT because we feel called to a place of service in order to use the various spiritual gifts that God has entrusted to us. I feel like our churches are the center of the action, but that God has brought some of us together to help the churches, as we’ve said many times, to do together what they cannot do alone. That’s part of why Texas Hope 2010 is exciting; it’s not a top-down thing. It’s a vision for touching the state in a way that churches make the calls in what is actually done across the state.

    Regarding the various ideas you’ve shared. Some of them may have legs. We will put them in the mix. I suggest when you have an idea regarding a specific type of ministry that you contact the leader of that ministry. People throughout the state are calling the shots on a lot of things we do each year such as YEC, Conclave, Hispanic ministries, etc. Our staff provides leadership and functional support to help those things come to fruition. It does take time and effort because statewide projects require a great deal of planning and networking.

    Right now, I suggest you communicate your ideas Stephen Hatfield and the Future Focus Committee. We have a group there that is prayerfully seeking to find what God has for our future.

    I don’t know a lot about the political stuff. Quite frankly I don’t care if TBC is for or against something. I want to find out where God is in the mix. God, I believe, has used and is using TBC for good; but I also think much good can come about through other folks in the BGCT. We all want this to be God’s convention, so I hope we can all work together toward that goal.

    Thanks, gentleman, for being involved and speaking up. I don’t always agree with you, but I appreciate your Kingdom passion.

  15. David Troublefield Says:

    Ferrell:

    I don’t speak for anyone else in this thread except for myself–and hardly could care less about anything of a political nature in the BGCT or related groups.

    I know, along with others, what is typically recommended regarding organizational administration and human resources, and understood about God’s church and its work. I also know the interactions I’ve had with convention staff during the past few years–and how those matters stand today, what my assessment of some staff members is now as a result, and why I’m not the supporter of them that I used to be. Those are the kinds of things I’ve commented about above, and there’s little there with which you can disagree.

    Only 3 other men have posted comments in this thread. I think that you can know about each of them that he appreciates very much the work you mention doing currently. I do. But it doesn’t appear to be what is being referred to above, and a better staff reply probably would be, “Tell us more about what you mean if you can–let’s have coffee or lunch and get to the bottom of it!”

    All of us are busy, and none of us is busier than any of the rest of us nor doing ministry work that is any more important–whether it’s Hope 2010 or preparing for Sunday School on October 12. To think otherwise would represent sheer arrogance, and none of us wants to be guilty of that.

  16. spiritualsamurai Says:

    Thank you David. God bless you (especially for the last paragraph).

    Ferrel, I do believe you heart is in the right place. Last year at the convention there was a strong vote for a direction of change. Yes, the “historic vote” won out, but by a very narrow margin. There has been very little reaching out to that strong segment of the convention.

    By now, I hope people have come to realize the mess we are in. We have not seen any leadership concerning the real problems of integrity, trust, and inclusion rather than elitism.

    Ferrel, you through Stephen Hatfields name out when you did not need to. Why did you do this? Is there a fear in the building that Dr. David Lowrie might win? I have no doubt that Dr. Lowrie’s vision for the future is not that of TBC or those who have made deals with TBC.

    Finally, (and I have probably already said to much), I hope that some of the ideas that have been mention in this blog will be taken seriously. However, you need to understand that most of us need action more than words.

  17. Ferrell Says:

    Thank you, David M, for the Stephen comment. When I said what I did about the Future Focus Committee, I wasn’t thinking at all about the election. David is a long-time family friend, and Stephen is a more recent professional friend. I really like both of these men. They are gifted, God-called men who are wonderful to work with. I believe Texas Baptists are going to be blessed with great leadership next year no matter who wins.

    Thanks, David T. I don’t follow all that your saying, but I surely didn’t mean to imply that I am the only busy one. We’ve be really wrapped up in Texas Hope 2010, so I’ve been diverted from reading the blog. My apologies.

  18. David Troublefield Says:

    Ferrell:

    No apology from you is necessary. My interactions, as I indicated, have been with other BGCT staff members; you wouldn’t be expected to know the details of them.

    I’m delighted that an intentional and contemporary and concerted emphasis on evangelism in Texas–with timelines–is taking place now.

  19. Mimoumnseigue Says:

    I’m the only one in this world. Can please someone join me in this life? Or maybe death…

  20. unknown pastor Says:

    I’m curious for your responses to this…

    I’ve just been nominated to serve on the Executive Board for the BGCT…

    I’m going to pray and seek God’s face on my answer, but in reading what you all have written here, it seems that I am walking into a firing squad rather than a ministry relationship where I might bring some creative good to the processes. I don’t have all the answers yet as to what my duties would include, but I would hope that I might be seen in a different light than some of the negativity that I’ve read herein….

    Your thoughts?

  21. David Troublefield Says:

    Unknown Pastor:

    My deal mentioned above has/had to do with paid personnel of the convention, not with the BGCT as a whole or with anyone on the board–most of whom even well-informed Texas Baptists don’t know. The board won’t be dealing with those personnel matters (hiring managers do that).

    I’d say: if you have a chance to serve on the board, definitely you should go for it! The BGCT is so large that the service opportunity is offered to relatively few folks; it’s a great way to get to know people from across the state, and it’s a good way to know about/be a part of where the convention is going. If you don’t like long meetings with lots of administrative info, just fake it (I love that kind of stuff, personally!). For me, the main thing: DON’T KEEP TO YOURSELF ALONE WHATEVER INFO YOU LEARN BY BEING A BOARD MEMBER (and that can be shared–so not executive session info); INSTEAD, SHARE THAT INFO WITH OTHER FOLKS IN YOUR ASSOCIATION/CHURCH–AND ENCOURAGE THE OTHER BOARD MEMBERS TO DO THE SAME. We NEVER hear from ANY of the board’s members!

  22. Pastor Rob Casey Says:

    great advice! Should I be elected, I’ll be sure to keep that in mind. Thank you for your candid response and great discussions on the site!

    Previously unknown pastor

  23. David Troublefield Says:

    Rob:

    I haven’t served on the BGCT’s board, but I was elected as a trustee of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s board in 1998–only one year after moving to Missouri to serve a congregation there. I served 3 years, but resigned with 2 years remaining when it appeared the convention would pursue lawsuits in order to reclaim agencies which previously related to the MBC (which, you may know, has since been done; the BGCT and Baylor University experienced something similar in the early ’90’s–but without the lawsuits). The experience definitely was one in Baptist politics, in good and bad ways.

    Best wishes to you.

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