Lead Executive Area Director
“. . . so that the body of Christ may be built up . . .“ Ephesians 4:12 NIV
A YEAR OF TRANSITION
It’s been a year of transition – certainly for me as I’ve have assumed this new role, but more significantly for Mission Northeast. Having clarified the region’s Mission, Vision, and Values as stated in its Identity Documents, the Mission Northeast Board began to implement the newly adopted de-centralized structure. On October 1, 2015 I began serving the region as the Lead Executive Area Director with responsibility for Massachusetts and the oversight of the Area Directors. Gershwin Grant was named Area Director for the Hudson Valley effective October 1, 2015 and on June 15, 2015 saw Dave Johnson taking on the role of Area Director for Upstate New York. Edwin Colon came aboard as Area Director for New York City on August 1, 2015.
MISSION NORTHEAST OFFICE
Administrative Office – The CBAmerica office in Longmont, CO continues to serve our administrative support needs. We are grateful for the invaluable assistance of Stan Rieb and Debbie Vanlandingham. Their support includes, but is not limited to: bookkeeping and payroll, management of the website, Facebook, and database, as well as e-mailings.
From the Albany Office to a Virtual Office
In January, MNE Board Chairman Steve Murray and I invested a day in Albany removing the files, furniture, equipment, etc. from storage. Most of the items were donated to the Capital City Rescue Mission. Much of our work is now conducted through a “virtual office.” Of particular note is the establishment of a ZOOM account, enabling video-conferencing for Board and AD meetings, interviews, consultations and Virtual Learning Communities.
LEADERSHIP LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Stan Rieb and Paul Borden concluded their work in establishing our Leadership Learning Communities last year. The LLCs have been handed off to Area Directors and other pastors who have transitioned into their role as LLC facilitators:
- Auburn MA, Faith Church (2nd Tuesday) Facilitator, David Forsythe
- Brewer ME, United Baptist Church (1st Wednesday) Facilitator, Bruce Stevens
- Nashua NH, Trinity Baptist Church (2nd Thursday) Facilitator, Steve Murray
- Peekskill NY, First Baptist Church (2nd Tuesday) Facilitator, Gershwin Grant
- Queens NY, Living Hope Church (2nd Wednesday) Facilitator, Nehru Grant
- Three Virtual Learning Communities facilitated by Steve Murray (1) and Stan Rieb (2)
Through last year the LLC’s worked through Church Unique and Resilient Ministry. This fall is an elective season. Some LLCs are focused on William Mancini’s God Dreams. Another is making use of Tom Mercer’s The World is Smaller Than You Think to learn the OIKOS model for outreach. Still others are working through Taking Your Church to the Next Level. The Virtual Learning Communities have also proven to be a good alternative for those not within reasonable driving distance of a LLC. Over fifty pastors participate in the Learning Communities.
We are in a gradual transition to assume responsibility for the work of conducting Church Health Assessments– To date I have assisted National Facilitator Stan Rieb in conducting six Church Health Assessments for Mission Northeast churches. Stan has mentored and coached me through the assessment process.
Training– On May 18-19 we brought 10 pastors from across the Mission Northeast region to Sacandaga Bible Conference for training by Stan Rieb in the Church Health Assessment process. Three trainees of that group have subsequently served as members of at least one CHA Team.
Regional Executive Director Meetings– The REDS extended a warm and collegial welcome to me as I entered into a covenantal relationship with them. As a reminder, CBAmerica is a covenantal association of missional networks. All of the REDS have offered assistance and resources to me and have encouraged me with their prayer support. Among the projects we are working on is a national survey to be rolled out early next year. We are looking to gather both quantitative and transformational statistics. The objective is to assess the health of our churches in their respective regions. In representing Mission Northeast to CBAmerica I have attended meetings of the REDs hosted by two of the regions:
- Southwest Church Connection, Phoenix AZ – January 25-27, 2016
- CB North Central, Blaine MN – June 22-24, 2016
The meetings rotate so that each regional board has an opportunity to meet with CBAmerica for consultation, updates, exchange of ideas, and mutual encouragement.
National Connector– The REDS have entrusted me with this responsibility to “steward the relational connectedness of the ‘Regional Executive Directors,’ encouraging the REDS with regard to their shepherding/spiritual health needs and their relationships with one another.”
MISSION NORTHEAST CONNECTIONS
Services Attended Representing Mission Northeast
- The ordination of one of our Ethiopian pastors in Boston
- The installation of the pastor for Barrington Baptist Church in Rhode Island
Church Visits – The work of Mission Northeast was promoted in two churches with a Power Point presentation I developed for that purpose.
Revitalize! New England – Attended the charter meeting hosted by The Journey Church, Belmont MA for the development of a “clearing house” to provide Interim Pastors for New England churches. This has proven to be a valuable opportunity to connect with leaders, pastors, potential pastoral interims and to provide training.
Denominational Leaders of New England – I have attended two meetings of New England leaders of evangelical denominations. Designed for peer support, the group meets three times yearly for prayer, exchange of ideas, best practices, resources, and strategies.
Travel – Throughout this last year I have traveled 6,000 miles on behalf of Mission Northeast.
GOALS for 2017
Area Directors – Raise $36,000 to add three Area Directors (CT/RI, NH/VT, ME)
Leadership Learning Communities – Initiate two additional LLCs.
Training – Conduct Church Health Assessment Training for ten additional pastors.
Ministry Mapping – Conduct six Church Health Assessments in 2017.
Urban Churches – Establish a missional relationship with the Boston/Providence churches.
Communication – To see the Website and Database/E-mail directory brought current.
Coaching – Continue professional development via Coach Approach Ministries.
CBAmerica – Host CBA REDS for Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 meeting with MNE Board.