by Mark Edlund
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is given credit for the famous saying: “change is the only constant in life.” I am coming up on 16 years serving as Executive Director for our convention. I’ve seen change repeatedly in our relationship with the North American Mission Board and with our own Executive Board. I would like to bring our readers up to date on the most recent changes we have in philosophy and staffing. In doing so however, I want to emphasize the fact that although we change programs and staffing, the bottom line assignment remains the same. We have a vision for everyone in Colorado and passing through the state to have the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Christ in such a way they can respond to it. With that said let’s look at recent changes in our convention.
In the 16 years I’ve been in this office I’ve related to three presidents at NAMB. With each new president came a new philosophical approach and new staffing. The present president, Dr. Kevin Ezell, has been easy to work with and has assigned a Vice President to work with the western states, Dr. Steve Bass. In meetings and communications with Dr. Bass we’ve learned about the changes that effect Colorado directly.
The first big change occurred back in 2011 when NAMB decided to no longer appoint missionaries to serve in the role of associational Director of Missions (DOMs). Rather, NAMB began to appoint Church Planting Catalysts (CPCs). These ministers were “laser focused” on church planting. Their assignment was to catalyze four church plants a year. A big assignment. Colorado was allotted six of these missionaries. The second change occurred last year when Jim Misloski who was serving as our State Director of Missions (SDOM) moved to a new ministry in Missouri. His job among other things had been to oversee the CPCs. NAMB said they would no longer be appointing SDOMs. Rather they sent us a job description of a Lead CPC who would be tasked with coordinating the work of the CPCs. Working with the NAMB’s Regional Vice President we asked Dr. Frank Cornelius to fill this important position. Frank has been CPC for the eastern plans so he is well aware of what the CPC’s job entails. We welcome Frank to this role.
Another major change in our convention’s structure was the Prayer and Evangelism Team Leader. This ministry had been filled by Dr. Ron Clement for 15 years. Ron also moved out of our state to fill a ministry role with the Salt Lake Baptist Association. In discussions with our Executive Board it was decided to change Ron’s previous position to two Church Enrichment Team Leader positions. These ministers’ assignment will be to connect with each or our convention pastors once a year to pray with them, encourage them and to see what resources the pastors’ churches need from the convention to better do their ministry. We have around 390 churches which obviously is more than one person can be responsible for. So we are dividing the convention East and West. We have several excellent candidates for the East and hopefully by mid-February we will have someone to present to the Executive Board. For the West the obvious person is Steve Hoekstra. Having been a minister in Colorado for over 35 years he knows the churches and pastors of the West well and has their respect. So we will slowly move him from his church planting duties to church enrichment duties.
As I said at the beginning of this article, even though philosophies and staffing models change, our message and mission remain focused and founded in the proclamation of Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, today and forever.