In an effort to use resources for its maximum impact, Grace Brethren North American Missions (GBNAM) has restructured staff and moved administrative offices to Souderton, Pa. “Our desire at GBNAM is to be a ministry that produces fruit for Christ at the highest level possible,” said Executive Director Dr. Tim Boal in a late November announcement to donors and corporation members.
Boal, who has served as executive director for the last two years, added that the changes will allow the organization to respond more strategically to existing opportunities and with greater financial support where God is at work.
According to Boal, the organization is currently involved, along with local congregations and district organizations, in some phase of development with 31 new churches. Additionally, new pastors are being helped in their ministries to reach North America through training centers around the nation.
“We anticipate that from these training and operation centers more than three dozen new churches could start in 2007,” he said. “Also, through ministry in urban, suburban, and rural settings as well as across ethnic groups of various sorts we are seeing a large harvest opportunity in North America,” he added. “There are many church planting conversations and movements beginning to happen in North America and GBNAM is excited to play a part in maximizing these opportunities for the gospel. We believe many souls will be saved by what God is doing through us.”
Boal outlined changes that have been made with the approval of the GBNAM Board:
- Administrative expenses have been trimmed, including the layoff of staff, because the emphasis on training and operation centers does not need the size and scope of a “home office,” according to Boal. He pledged that the organization would not draw upon cash reserves for church planting to simply meet administrative overhead. “GBNAM is financially sound but we must streamline our administrative overhead in order to be more focused on field expenditures, since this is where the funding is most needed, and where the lost need to be reached,” he emphasized. Some administrative staff were offered new positions within the restructured organization.
- Resources are being shifted from administrative headquarter(s) toward multiple regional training and operations centers that are intended to be action-oriented.
- Continued support will be provided church-planting efforts among the Navajo Nation. The Native New Life American church plant in Albuquerque has been placed under the oversight of its native Navajo pastor. Administrative staff positions in the Grace American Indian Ministry have been be eliminated. “We fully anticipate the Native American ministry to continue under indigenous leadership for many years to come and will do everything we can to realize church planting among Native American peoples,” said Boal.
He also noted that indigenous leadership is being raised up among Grace Brethren Haitian and Trinidadian ministries.
“These ministries are flourishing and we are grateful for God’s hand of provision in these areas,” noted Dr. Boal, adding that Hispanic and Latino ministries are in full bloom and many new leaders are “in the pipeline for church planting.”
“In all of these areas we will be investing our time and monies as God provides in the church-planting and leadership-training efforts presently underway,” he said.
He noted that effective ministry continues in the major cities of the North American continent. “We anticipate being able to share much with you in the near future of the good church planting opportunities arising in urban areas,” he said. “Canada also remains a bright light where our team is enjoying an open door from the Lord for effective and fruitful ministry.”
Operation centers are emerging in every region, according to Dr. Boal. “It is our belief they will create a flourish of church-planting activity. Our desire is to provide real human and financial resources to these important ministries.
He concluded that the restructuring of GBNAM has meant personal stress for many long time employees. “I would ask you to pray for them as they go through a time of transition in their ministries and as they seek God’s next assignment.”