Last Tuesday morning I rose at five a.m. and began to pray and read scripture in anticipation of a difficult Executive Committee meeting later that morning. Just before I left for the office, I sent the following e-mail to my fellow executive committee members as a reflection of my thoughts:
I’m in my 29th year of service as a Director of Missions, and the number one thing I have been asked to do by the pastors and churches I have served is to step in during a time of conflict. The vast majority of those times it was too late. A pastor and his family and a church were deeply wounded. Some pastors left the ministry and some left the church. Many of the churches never recovered—they “survived” but lost their spiritual vibrancy.
At the meeting, a majority vote won and unity lost. Because of that, I immediately submitted my resignation as the KNCSB Executive Board Trustee. In my opinion, the motion that passed at last Tuesday’s EC meeting was a clear violation of the fiduciary responsibilities of a trustee. We approved what five different lawyers told us we should not approve. If I hadn’t resigned, then I would be complicit in violating the duty of a trustee.
As we debated, I was reminded of the comment I heard from a new Executive Committee staff member a little over a year ago. He was excited about his new position and the opportunity to step into a role that would have a Kingdom impact. However, a few days earlier he had been in a meeting with peers, and he said in all of his life he has never been in a room where there was less trust and so much suspicion about motives. How did we get in such a mess? Let me suggest that it didn’t happen overnight and that it wasn’t caused by a single event. In the next couple of articles, I will walk us down memory lane and expand on a few of the issues that have led us to where we are today. But before I do, let me simply mention some of the issues that have contributed to our current circumstances.
Yours in Christ,
Mark R. Elliott, AMS
Retiring in April 2022, Mark R. Elliott served as a Director of Missions (Associational Mission Strategist) in Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska for almost three decades. He is a strong advocate for obedience and Biblically based disciple making. As such, he knows that making healthy disciples requires Christian leaders to be constantly pursuing spiritual maturity—be lifelong learners. Because of the time constraints of ministry, most pastors focus their reading list on resources that assist them in teaching and preaching the Word of God. As such, books focusing on church health, leadership development, and church growth tend to find their way to the bottom of the stack. With that reality in mind, Mark has written discussion summaries on several books that have helped him to personally grow in Christ and that tend to find themselves on the bottom of most pastor’s stack. Many pastors have found them helpful as they are able to more quickly process great insights from other pastors and authors.
Monday - Friday
9 - 4:45