The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is looking for a leader who is resilient, adaptable, contextual, genuine, authentic, sincere, transparent, convictional, kind, respectful and gracious toward others. They will settle for someone with a masters or doctorate and 10 years of leadership experience who is able to travel and doesn’t mind Atlanta traffic.
So says a position profile released Aug. 27 by the committee seeking a successor to CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter, who announced in July she is ready to retire.
Paynter, 67, has led the 1,800-church moderate Baptist network since 2013. She is the third CEO in the organization’s 27-year history and the first woman to hold the job. Four weeks into a search to recommend her replacement, an 11-member committee led by North Carolina pastor Jeff Roberts is now ready to receive applications.
The CBF Governing Board’s wish list for desired skills includes the abilities to communicate both in public speaking and writing, build relationships, manage diverse partnerships, listen well to a diverse audience and raise money.
The ideal exec is willing to provide spiritual leadership both to staff and church leaders and able to cross boundaries of culture and generation. The person is tech savvy and adept with both traditional and social media.
Desired attributes include “a committed Christian with a global vision” and “a demonstrated commitment to Baptist distinctives and principles.” Candidates should be “theologically competent and mature” and have a “history of engagement” with the Fellowship.
“Familiarity and experience with the work of the local church” is a desired quality, along with “the presence to be a global leader.”
The profile lists four job requirements: an earned advanced degree from an accredited institution, 10 years or more of successful senior leadership experience at a complex organization, must travel well and willing to locate in Decatur, Georgia, where CBF Global offices are located.
Individuals interested in applying for the job are invited to submit a resume, one-page cover letter and contact information for three references. Priority will be given to those who apply by Sept. 15.
An updated hiring policy approved in February states that CBF “will employ only individuals who profess Jesus Christ as Lord, are committed to living out the Great Commandment and Great Commission, and who affirm the principles that have shaped our unique Baptist heritage.”
Preference goes to applicants “who are active members in good standing of CBF churches as well as those who have demonstrated an active participation and contribution to the missions, ministries or other initiatives of the Fellowship and its partners.”
CBF employees are expected “to have the highest moral character, displaying professionalism and a commitment to the highest ethical standards.” That includes “acting with integrity, being a faithful steward of resources, speaking truth in love, embracing accountability, facilitating fairness, supporting and encouraging peers, nurturing a community of respect, and establishing collaborative relationships.”
Employees must “live out their Christ-centered relationship both inside and outside the workplace, serving as active members of their local church as well as through service to their community.”
Though not official policy, an accompanying implementation plan clarified that for leadership positions CBF will employ only persons “who practice a traditional Christian sexual ethic of celibacy in singleness or faithfulness in marriage between a woman and a man.”