Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Restructuring in Missions Office Explained

After reviewing the Coordinating Council recommendations (see the March 9 issue), I reached out to Executive Director of Missions Dr. John David Smith and asked if he would explain the reasoning behind the changes that are being recommended. What follows is a summary of the explanation from a phone call with him on March 21:

The main thing that drives the proposed change is that “structure always has to bow to mission and vision.” In our conversation, Dr. Smith referred to the “exponential growth” of the Missions Department, especially internationally, that has required some changes in how things need to be done in order to “do more with less.”

The current structure calls for electing an executive director of Missions, who would then recommend directors of operation for international missions and North American missions. In May 2021, after the resignation of the director of operations for international missions and the realization that one man would simply not be able to fill that role adequately because of the growth, they were presented with an opportunity to better organize and restructure the work.

There are now eight regional coordinators for international missions that help maintain the connection with our missionaries in their designated region. The coordinators are:

• David Dickson, senior field coordinator for Central/Latin America,

• Johnmichael Poulin, field coordinator for South America/Africa,

• Charlie Costa, field coordinator for the Middle East,

• Eric Johnson, field coordinator for Mexico,

• John Meriweather, field coordinator for Southeast Asia,

• Stan Scroggins, field coordinator for Asia Pacific,

• Larry Wood, field coordinator for Europe and

• John David Smith/Eliezar B. Semedo, field coordinators for Portuguese-speaking countries

For North American Missions, there are five coordinators that work with Director of Church Planting and Church Health Larry Barker. These coordinators are:

• Elvis Garcia, coordinator of Hispanic Church Planting,

• Ashraf Sara, coordinator of Arabic Church Planting,

• Dr. Scott Carson, chaplaincy Director,

• Heidi Sorrells, pastor advocate for Church Health and

• Eliezar B Semedo, North American church planting assistant.

There are also many that fall under the umbrella of Mission Connect Ministries. These include the following:

• Jerry Kidd, director of Missionary Care (if recommendations are approved, he will become a consultant for missionary care),

• Jonathan Montgomery, assistant director of Missionary Care (if recommendations are approved, he will become the full-time director of Missionary Care),

• Dr. Ralph Izard, director of Operations for BMMI (Baptist Medical Missions International)

• Dr. John Ladd, associate director of Operations for BMMI,

• Angela Rice, short-term missions,

• Sidney Vines, church relationship manager and

• Holly Meriweather, lead writer.

When asked about the name change from “executive director” and “director of operation” to “president” and “vice-president,” Dr. Smith said the main thing was to help everyone realize that there was a change. He also emphasized that the name change is not what matters as much as the structure that is now in place that gives them the ability to lead as there is continued growth and expansion of ministry. The new structure would allow them to add a “vice-president” as they saw a need arise in a certain area, rather than having to present a new change to the current structure.

There are some important things to note concerning the proposed changes:

• There are no job description changes that are part of these recommendations.

• There are no new hires to fill new roles. (The regional coordinators are already in place and were chosen from current missions personnel.)

• These structural changes have already been in place for a year with the approval of the Missions Advisory Committee.

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