April 14, 2012 by
The Sovereign Grace Ministries Board of Directors met this past week in Louisville, Kentucky. Many, many thanks to all of you who have prayed, both for us personally and for collective wisdom in addressing the tasks before us. We wanted you to get an update on decisions we’ve made and what you can expect to hear from us in the near future.
We met with Ted Kober of Ambassadors of Reconciliation and discussed his final report after eight months of study of our ministry practices. We appreciate the thorough and careful work of this independent ministry committed to gospel-informed reconciliation. We should have the report up on our web site in the next few days.
We spent extensive time thinking through a process for developing governance principles and practices for SGM and our partner churches. We are in the process of appointing a committee to serve the Board by proposing a future governance structure and partnership agreements. We have not yet finalized each appointee to the committee. Names and a description of the process should come to you from the committee in the next few weeks.
We also nominated, discussed, and approved officers for the Board. John Loftness will serve as Chairman and Paul Buckley as Vice-Chairman. Tommy Hill, though he is not a Board member, will continue his service as Secretary and Treasurer.
This Board’s role will be different than the role adopted by the interim Board over the past year. Our responsibilities are to appoint, evaluate, and advise members of the leadership team. The Board is also responsible for the evaluation and approval of an annual budget, review of bylaws and practices related to legal obligations, and oversight of the ministry to insure fidelity to our doctrinal and partnership agreements. We are not responsible for day-to-day leadership and management of the ministry. Typically we will meet three times per year. Any work done outside of these meetings will usually be done by subcommittees of the Board. How the Board is selected and its role and terms of service will be reviewed by our polity committee and stated in the polity we adopt when the committee finishes its work and the Board, in partnership with our pastors, produces a final document.
The leadership team will provide leadership to the ministry, propose future plans and a budget for Board review, and implement these plans. For the immediate future, C.J. Mahaney will serve as President, Dave Harvey will lead church planting and church care, Jeff Purswell will serve as Dean of the Pastors College, and Tommy Hill as Director of Finance and Administration.
Numbers of you have inquired about conflict between the Covenant Life Church pastors and the SGM Board and President. Since this past July, C.J. and the interim Board have sought to engage the CLC pastors to better understand their actions and public statements and to explore our differences. Earlier this year, Ted Kober proposed a meeting between three members of the Board and three CLC pastors led by a neutral third party facilitator. The CLC pastors expressed a willingness to meet but said that they wanted to wait until after the AOR report was made public. Since the report will soon be released, we expect a meeting in the near future.
All of these things reflect forward progress for our family of churches, and so we left Louisville encouraged. As we consider the work of God through 90 partner churches, our Pastors College, our church planting efforts, our music and song writing, and many other collective ministry efforts, we see overwhelming evidence of God at work to bring his gospel message to the world and demonstrate the effects of his gospel in our many, varied church communities. We’ve also been heartened by the many expressions of appreciation we have heard from leaders outside of our ministry for the works of grace in our midst. We are working as we wait for the Lord to fulfill his promises to us. And we are grateful for all of you who have partnered with us in this great gospel mission.
On behalf of the Board,