GBOD Executive Committee Statement on the IOT Restructure Plan
As the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) met in August 2010, the initial research of the Call to Action was just beginning to be released. Board members recognized that many items lifted up in the Towers-Watson and Apex reports aligned with GBOD's strategic directions, particularly related to:
- Resourcing local congregations around the identified drivers of vitality: worship, small groups, and lay and clergy leadership
- Supporting new church starts
- Equipping young people for leadership
- Instituting a process to measure the effectiveness of provided services
Other items in the research prompted GBOD to evaluate its structure and operational processes. This resulted in the formation of a task force to study the implications of moving to a smaller competency-based governance board. Over the next year, the task force led the board in a discernment process that culminated in proposed General Conference legislation that would reduce the number of board members by more than 50%.
- They were in strong agreement with the need to focus on vital congregations, but were unclear as to how the proposed legislation led to this result.
- Since the mission of GBOD is directly related to equipping leaders for congregational vitality, there would be an increased need for the resourcing provided by GBOD, and yet the suggested budget reductions would result in reduced resources.
- The consequences of these proposals for the Central Conferences are not clear.
- This does not embrace the strength that diversity brings to our connection.
- There is a lack of emphasis on lay leadership.
- This would weaken our connectional nature and push the Church toward congregationalism.
- The proposed flow and allocation of funds needs to be much more specific and transparent, so that decision makers can clearly understand what would be lost as well as what would be gained.
"With hope and confidence, GBOD looks forward to being a faithful leader in the journey toward vitality," the statement concludes. "We pray the General Conference will listen well to the voices of the Church, recognize the ways God is working among us, and commit anew to the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."