On May 6 Open Bible President Randall A. Bach virtually welcomed everyone to THRIVE21, the virtual 2021 Open Bible National Convention. Participants were treated to inspirational speakers and workshops via video.
On Tuesday, May 11, Deborah Pegues, a nationally known speaker, author, and leader shared an inspiring message about moving beyond survival mode of the last coronavirus year to thriving with the anointing and favor of the Holy Spirit. On Thursday, May 13, Kadi Cole, a bestselling author, speaker, and consultant spoke to Open Bible women about knowing how to speak up and what to say, and identifying when not to speak without regrets. Kadi was joined by a panel of Open Bible women: Julie Cole, Renita Collins, Sarah Holsapple, and Paula Sutherland. From May 24-26 Nathan Smith, a worship leader, songwriter, and educator, offered workshops for pastors, worship leaders, and tech leaders: The Five Elements of a Complete Worship Band, The Ten Things That are Killing Your Live Stream, and How to Build a Joyful Community in Worship and Tech Teams. All these workshops are available at http://thrive21obc.com/sessions/
The Association business meeting of credentialed ministers and official church lay delegates, held May 20, 2021, was also conducted online. Among other bylaw amendments the most significant change that was approved affects the composition of Open Bible’s National Board of Directors. A Strategic Foresight process that began in 2018 recommended that composition of the national board be broadened to include more voices that bring the perspective of women, ethnic groups, younger leaders, and a variety of professional experience.
The new national board, which will begin functioning at its first meeting in November 2021, will consist of up to fifteen people in addition to the president. In order to make room for additional breadth without expanding the size of the board, seven national and regional leaders will transition from members of the national board to a new Executive Leadership Team (ELT) that will work in close and visionary consultation with the president. The ELT will also serve in an advisory capacity to the national board and specifically will be the group that first considers and recommends changes to Open Bible’s Statement of Faith, Official Statements, or ministerial credential policies, and responds to any other matters for which the national board requests assistance. The National Board’s focus will be on governance while the Executive Leadership Team will serve in a strategic advisory role.
Members of the National Board of Directors, at least half of whom must be credentialed Open Bible ministers in good standing, will serve in one of three appointment categories. Their appointments must be ratified by the national board.
- Geographic Appointees (five members) – A lead pastor of a fruitful, affiliated church ministry will be appointed by each regional board to serve on the national board. Visionary, fruitful ministry results will be prioritized over tenure as selection criteria when these appointments are made.
- Collaborative Appointees (five members) – The president will appoint, in consultation with regional executive directors, a member from each region with the goal of contributing to the breadth of the national board’s composition.
- At-Large Appointees (up to five members) – The president will nominate up to five at-large members of the national board, who shall be appointed by the national board. The nomination objective will continue to be adding to the national board’s overall breadth.
When reflecting on these changes, President Randall Bach commented,
“I could see the hand of the Lord guiding us throughout the over two years it took from strategic planning to implementation of these changes. I am proud of Open Bible Churches for its continued readiness to change in order to pursue our mission more effectively to globally make disciples, develop leaders, and plant churches. I eagerly look forward to working with the new national board and am excited about developing a close consultative relationship and workmanship with the new Executive Leadership Team. We will function similarly to a church with a governing board and a pastoral staff. I am humbly confident that the Lord is going before us as we move into a new era of governance and strategic Open Bible leadership.”