Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that there is a season for everything. Five years ago, that season saw us bring Rev. Mike Jones on as the Executive Director of Outreach North America. Mike had been planting and pastoring Hope Church in the Tampa area in our Florida Presbytery. We saw the way that he was gifted by the Lord in that work. Having an experienced church planter and Senior Pastor to lead ONA carried on the tradition set by Dr. Alan Avera and Dr. Jim Corbitt.
Being the Executive Director takes quite a unique set of skills. The Director of ONA must have leadership skills to lead the board and the denomination proactively into all the areas that Synod has commissioned ONA. Those areas are New Church Development, Church Vitality, Evangelism Strategies, enhancing the ARPC National Presence and Administration. The Executive Director is our face for recruiting church planters. He is our liaison to presbyteries. He carries a strong presence in national organizations and he must be an excellent administrator for our staff and a superior steward of the Lord’s finances.
Mike has done all these jobs with excellence. During the last five years, ONA has drawn alongside ARP presbyteries to plant nearly 20 churches in 9 of our presbyteries. Mike and his staff/team have developed a funding and vision plan to responsibly plant up to 66 churches over the next ten years! In addition, Mike has also recruited and groomed Rev. Wayne Frazier as Church Vitality Coach and together they have developed a reproducible church vitality program that is unique to the ARPC. The Framing the Future of your Church and Ministry approach (FFCM) is a 12 month, leadership team based approach to church vitality no matter where a church is on the church life cycle.
Financially, Mike has led us to greater sustainability and increased our bottom line significantly with an emphasis on getting more DMF dollars into the field. Mike has tirelessly promoted ONA church vitality an expansion to members and churches in the ARP so that he might be able to fund the work that God had called him to. He has also introduced “Gospel Conversations” to the ARPC with an emphasis on sharing the Gospel with clarity to those in closest proximity.
But as I said, there is a season for everything and Mike’s season of leading ONA has come to a close. Even though he has enjoyed the last five years at ONA, he realizes that he is first and foremost called to be a pastor. He will be heading to Fort Myers, Florida where he had been called as an Associate Pastor at New Hope Presbyterian (EPC). We will desperately miss his leadership at ONA, but with the Lord’s leading perhaps we can build upon the fruits of his labors for many years to come. I would ask that you would please join us in prayer for Mike, Gina and his family as they transition on Jan. 1, 2020 to the new ministry. And please join the ONA Board as we pray for the next season of ministry at ONA. It is my goal in the next 30 days to have a succession team established and to have discussion regarding any changes that might need to be made to the existing job description for the future ONA Director. Please keep our ONA staff in your prayers as well.
In the grip of His grace alone,
ONA Board Chairman
Rev. Wayne Frazier will continue his work as Church Vitality Coach. Office staff Erin Hipps, Connor Hipps, and Tessa Taylor will continue their work as well.