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A New Structure for 2016

A new approach to how we relate to and connect with our churches throughout Virginia… and beyond!

Posted: 3/22/16 at 7:00am.

bgav-icon22015 brought major changes within the field strategist ministry of the BGAV. Two significant retirements occurred, and one field strategist returned to the pastorate. This generated an opportunity and a need to rethink the strategy.

Field strategists had indicated that in a typical week of working 60 hours, nearly 20 of those would be spent traveling from location to location.  They were frustrated with the loss of huge chunks of time which could have been better spent with churches and church leaders, and they were often disappointed that they were not able to attend important occasions in church life throughout their regions because of schedule conflicts.

All these challenges pointed to an obvious shift in how the ministry should be done in the future. It was evident that a team approach, rather than individual, would better serve the needs of an area. At its September meeting, John Upton, Executive Director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, presented the restructure plan to the Executive Board for their input and approval. It was unanimously approved by the Executive Board.

Shortly thereafter, the Congregational Field Staff was created. It builds upon and expands the individual model. The new structure places a team of staff in an area to better respond to the demand and requests of churches.

The deployed staff is a combination of full-time and part-time staff. We are already seeing benefits from the new model. On any given Sunday in a region, multiple churches have field strategists available–not just one church.

In addition, the collegiate/young adult ministers are bringing their relational gifts to the larger team by offering themselves as resources to area churches. They do this while continuing to serve full-time as campus ministers. They are contributing their unique skills and engaging young adults as well.

Creative ministries are being formed with students and churches working together in new ways.  “The campus ministers are excited to serve in this way,” Welford Orrock said. “I’m so proud of their willingness to play an even greater role in connecting with BGAV churches.

There will also be a number of content field strategists available for churches. Susan McBride said, “We are able to provide help to churches with such things as Sunday School, deacon training, ministry placement, young adult ministries, worship ministries, and so much more.”

There are other new ministries that have emerged out of the restructure as well. Ken Kessler has launched a Virginia Baptist coaching network called Empower. “Throughout the restructure process, the importance of coaching for both staff and BGAV churches was evident,“ Upton explained.

Other changes include Caitlin Figura’s joining the mission development staff as community missions coordinator, where Dean Miller serves as team coordinator. Fresh Expressions and V3 Church Planting works with the new growth and venture team, led by Wayne Faison.  A new venture, Mosaic, now coordinates multi-cultural ministries.

“I firmly believe we are well positioned and poised to follow God’s leading as we advance the Kingdom together,” Upton said.