In my first seven months as your Executive Director, I have spent considerable time on the road, getting to meet people and hearing their stories. It has been an amazing experience. And as I have had opportunity to hear from our church leaders, I have also had the opportunity to share a vision.
It has been a vision born out of a passion for me. A passion to demonstrate to all Colorado Churches and leaders that they are valued. Regardless of their size, location, language, or culture; every church in this state has value because we are all part of our Father’s Kingdom!
I have sought to reinforce this belief everywhere I have traveled since December 1, 2021. As I have preached, met in associational gatherings, or had lunch with pastors, I have shared how we are all on the same team, that we are all in this Kingdom work together. This is reflected in the CBGC’s Vision Statement, “Partnering with Churches and Associations for Accelerated Gospel Impact.” This is what I am sharing in every meeting, and this is the driver behind the work we are beginning to see rolled out across our state. Now that I have shared with you what is being said, let me share with you what is being done.
From the feedback coming out of the churches across our state, I have heard expressed feelings of isolation and a desire for greater ministry cohesiveness among our churches. There has also been a clear longing to have someone in each of our regions that is dedicated to the work of building relationships and responding quickly to the needs our churches have encountered. And what I have heard is that this cannot be just anyone. It must be someone from those regions who understands the unique contexts and challenges of those regions. So, I shared this with our leadership team that includes representatives from western and eastern Colorado, and we collectively developed a strategy for seeing Regional Directors/Next Step Guides who would be from these areas and would serve the needs of these areas.
As of May 2022, we now have four Regional Directors/ Next Step Guides who are serving six of our eleven associations across the state. These Regional Directors/ Guides also serve as CBGC staff members who sit on our leadership team. Together we are creating strategies that will minister to the needs of the field, because they are informed by the field. Our desire is to see every association in our state represented by a Regional Director/Guide whose primary work is to focus on the needs of the field.
While this may sound like the CBGC is dictating terms to the associations, nothing could be further from the truth. This strategy is accomplished by a partnership with each local association. We begin by having a conversation with associational leadership, and in collaboration with associational leadership, we together share the vision to every church in the association. We make sure to answer questions and take in feedback, until there is agreement by all. We only move forward when we can move forward together!
So, what has been the response from the churches voting to embrace this strategy? I am so glad you asked. To this point each association has voted unanimously to enter into this partnership, there has not been one “No” vote. I believe this has been a sign from the Lord that this is what our churches want, and it has been amazing to see it take place. We are seeing fully funded positions being rolled out with the association and the CBGC partnering in the funding. And, what has been equally amazing to me is that this has been funded from the CBGC side without using any additional budgeted money. We are simply using funds that were budgeted for staff we did not replace.
There is so much more taking place, but I will save that for another time. Your Colorado Baptist General Convention is working hard to roll out strategies which will better serve the churches of this great state. When you see the words “Colorado Baptists,” I do not want you to think of the convention office. We are working hard to help all our churches and associations to see themselves in those words. That is why I share wherever I go, “We Are ALL Colorado Baptists!” One team, serving One Lord, seeking to reach people for Christ!
God’s Blessings, Mike Proud