LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) — The Kentucky Baptist Convention plans to reorganize its staff, taking the first major step toward implementing a new mission plan.
The proposed reorganization will eliminate two filled positions, reassign two employees and take advantage of five staff retirements. The first of four new regional strategists was added. Those adjustments will allow the convention to implement the reorganization while absorbing budget cuts of $365,000 made earlier this year.
The reorganization will combine the work of the convention's church development and evangelism teams. The work of longtime departments such as discipleship, stewardship and family ministry will be assigned to various teams rather than maintained on a department level.
Doug Strader, director of the stewardship department; Vernon Cole, leader of the church growth team; Jim Clontz, director of the discipleship training department; and Guy Futral, leader of the leadership development team, all will retire between October 2003 and April 2004. Alan Witham, an associate in the missions growth team's extension-ministries department, was named the KBC's first regional church development strategist and Karl Babb, director of the family ministry team, will succeed Futral as head of the leadership development team.
“It's difficult when you have to make organizational decisions that impact lives and ministries,” said KBC Executive Director Bill Mackey. “There's always a delicate balance between valuing every person and the mission of the organization. I've tried to consider the gifts, strengths and passions of each person and to find ways to maximize those in positions of ministry within given parameters.”
The overall mission plan, adopted in May by the KBC Mission Board, is designed to guide state convention ministry priorities through 2009. The proposal awaits final approval from Mission Board members Nov. 10 and would take effect Jan. 1.
Mackey said the primary goal of staff reorganization is to help Kentucky Baptist churches be more effective. Among the concerns that promoted the reorganization is an unchurched population of 40 percent in Kentucky and an absence of any baptisms in 450 KBC churches last year. Goals call for starting 75 churches, including 25 high-impact churches, as well as 50 language church-type ministries by 2010.