MCDONOUGH, GA (BP) – An 11-member vision team will study ways to help Southern Baptist state associations implement recommended changes including a new title and system-wide professional proficiencies for directors of missions (DOMs). The Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders (SBCAL) vision team will research ways to help state associations implement a study team's recommendations that were adopted during the SBCAL annual meeting in June. The new vision team will report its findings to the SBCAL executive team in advance of the 2019 SBCAL annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala., June 9-10.
Included in SBCAL-adopted recommendations are the use of the title "associational mission strategist" for all directors of missions and the adoption of certain foundational, relational and strategic proficiencies for the job description. Vision team leader Bob Lowman, executive director of the Metrolina Baptist Association in Charlotte, N.C., told Baptist Press the proficiencies are more important than the name change.
"The title is an important factor," Lowman told BP. "The proficiencies discovered and recommended as well as the partnerships that can develop to help promote those proficiencies -- those are really the more important factors to be emphasizing." Among recommendations are six foundational, five relational and six strategic proficiencies deemed essential for the DOM position.
Each DOM, or associational mission strategist, should also be called by God to associational leadership and be a person of character, spiritually mature, committed to learning, emotionally intelligent, authentically vulnerable, a supportive coach, an active listener, a vision caster, a leadership multiplier (developer) and a consultant, among other proficiencies, according to the study team report posted online at www.sbcassociations.org/report.html.
"Our goal will be to take the findings of the study team ... and do our best to implement those and encourage implementation of those findings in associations across the country," Lowman said. "We really want to take what was learned through the team's work over the past year and then translate that into action and vision and renewed mission on behalf of associations across the convention."
Partnerships between associations, state conventions and SBC entities, as well as changes in the name and structure of the SBCAL itself, are being considered, Lowman told BP. "Right now we're the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders, but that name may be adjusted. It has been adjusted in the past, but it may be adjusted to better fit the findings of the study team and what the vision team recommends to SBCAL."
Joining Lowman on the vision team, announced in the August SBCAL Encourager newsletter, are ex-officio member Ray Gentry, SBCAL executive director, McDonough, Ga.; Stan Albright, pastor, First Baptist Church, Oxford, Ala.; Mark Dance, director of LifeWay Pastors, Nashville; Dale Fisher, executive director and associational missionary, Caldwell Baptist Association, Lenoir, N.C.; Steve Holt, church services director, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board; and Jason Lowe, DOM of the Pike Association of Southern Baptists and executive pastor of First Baptist Church, Pikeville, Ky.
Completing the team are Mark Snowden, director of missional leadership, Cincinnati Area Baptist Association, Cincinnati; David Stokes, executive director and lead church consultant, Central Kentucky Network of Baptists, Lexington, Ky.; Rick Wheeler, lead missional strategist, Jacksonville Baptist Association, Jacksonville, Fla.; and Tony Wolfe, director of pastor/church relations, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' general assignment writer/editor. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.