Leesburg, Fla.—A reorganization of the Florida Baptist Convention staff that reduces the number of employees statewide by 47 percent—from the 115 currently employed to 61 employees—was approved by the State Board of Missions Sept. 18 at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center.
The reorganization and downsizing was the fulfillment of a promise made by Executive Director-Treasurer Tommy Green on May 29 after being elected to the post. He stressed the need to have a responsive, lean missions organization that is decentralized, regionalized and personalized.
The downsizing will make it possible to send 51 percent of the proposed 2016 Cooperative Program Budget to the Southern Baptist Convention—a nearly 10 percent increase—and ultimately “put more missionary families on the field,” he said.
The new structure is comprised of five major program groups—Executive Director-Treasurer Office, Next Generation, Regional Catalysts, Mission and Ministries, and Support Services—reflecting an effort to streamline and decentralize the convention staff to more effectively provide ministry support to local churches and associations.
The reorganization includes 28 board-elected (ministry) staff; and 33 administrative approved persons who serve as ministry assistants and support personnel. The 33-member support team includes 13 employees at Lake Yale Conference Center in Leesburg and a caretaker for the Blue Springs Conference Center in Marianna.
Four new staff persons were elected to fill vacancies within the restructured organization. The remaining staff members were reassigned to newly defined roles.
The board approved an executive management group to be called the Leadership Team—formerly known as the administrative staff—to provide counsel and decision-making advice and perspective to the executive director.
The Leadership Team will be composed of the executive director-treasurer, director of strategic initiatives, director of communications, lead catalyst of the Next Generation Ministries Group, the five regional catalysts, lead catalyst of the Missions and Ministries Group and the assistant executive director/director of Support Services.
The Next Generation Ministries Group will be directed by a lead catalyst and include seven collegiate ministries campus ministers.
Regional catalysts will be assigned to minister to churches and reside within five designated areas across the state.
Five staff persons will serve in statewide catalyst and consultant roles, including a multicultural Church/Leadership catalyst, a Hispanic Church catalyst, a Black/Multicultural Church consultant, a Haitian Church consultant, and a Music/Worship consultant. All but one will reside in South Florida, the state’s most ethnically diverse region.
A downsized Missions and Ministries Group now will be comprised of four ministry catalysts: Church and Community Ministries; Migrant Ministries; Disaster Relief and Recovery; and Women’s Missions and Ministries/Missions Education.
Statewide, 22 board-elected employees were identified to be released from convention employment, including five who will retire and three who will remain in consultant roles. Additionally 29 administrative approved (support staff) persons were released from employment.
The board eliminated 36 board-elected staff positions, some of which were vacant. Green said that displaced persons were treated fairly and generously with their compensation packages. (BP)