Dr. Benedict, our organizational president, gave his report to the general council today. He brought us a reasonably concise picture of the good news and bad news that we face as an organization. Everyone needs honest self-assessment and this was healthy conversation.
More significantly was a a discussion about coaching. Dr. Benedict told the story of how funding became available for 16 denomination leaders, including Dr. Benedict himself, to go through extensive ministry (I'd say executive) coaching. Dr. B is a former college president, successful businessman and former pastor. And so he talked about his own experience in the process.
Then he brought his coach up on stage and opened up the whole process before the gathered group of 3,000 Alliance leaders. His coach interviewed him, sharing how Dr. B and his coach articulated 7 areas in his life that need attention if he was going to be more effective in his role.
I was frankly shocked that he would have the courage and transparency to do this. How many "corporate presidents' have you heard stand before their "shareholders" and explain the coaching that they are getting and encouraging others to follow suit.? Cool stuff.
We also heard good news and bad news from John Soper, the vice-president of national church ministries. Some of the good news is that the Christian & Missionary Alliance is the most ethnically diverse denomination in the Untied States. The bad news is that we one behind the curve in both developing ethnic leaders AND in providing places of ministry for those already in leadership. Soper said this with tears.
From International ministries we head great news about progress being made around the world. We heard about plans being laid to set up short-term receiving centers around the world. Here's the problem: we have a maximum capacity to host 2,000 short-termers on our fields. Yet last year 10,000 CMA people went oversea for short -term experiences. Obviously that means that 8,000 went out with other organizations. Those people develop affiliations and relationships with organizations other than our own.
We also had the privilege of hearing from the leadership of the CMA church in Vietnam. When our missionaries left there in 1975 there were 100,000 believers. Today there are over 1,000,000, this despite 25 years of difficulty. So we heard from the first CMA delegation from Vietnam since 1975. Awesome.