I think I surprised a friend over the weekend when I told her that I would be looking for another job after December 31 when I step aside as coordinator of Tennessee Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. She pulled me aside later and said, “Were you serious?” I assured her that I already had a couple of things in mind to do after the first of the year, but this was always my intent (even before the economy took a nosedive).
Cecil Sherman noted in By My Own Reckoning, “Never retire FROM something; retire TO something.” When I notified the Coordinating Council early in the year that I would be leaving TCBF, I avoided using the word “retire.” I already did that once when I left the Tennessee Baptist Convention. I am not leaving TCBF because I have reached a certain age but because it is time for me to do something else and for the organization to seek new leadership. When someone has been part of an organization (especially a small “start-up”) for as long as I have, the entity tends to take on not only the leader’s strengths, but his or her weaknesses as well. After ten years, I think someone else can provide a new perspective and, perhaps, a new direction for TCBF.
Dr. Molly Marshall and Dr. Paul Stevens have graciously offered me a contract to continue my work as director of the Central Baptist Theological Seminary site in Murfreesboro and agreed to allow me to teach from time to time. I have enjoyed the diversity of the students in the classes, the stimulating discussion, and the opportunity to encourage ministers-in-training. I hope I can contribute to the stability and growth of this important work.
I will also be working with my friend Mark Tidsworth as one of the associates with Pinnacle Leadership Associates. My primary interests with Pinnacle are clergy coaching, staff development, and making Pinnacle a success. In the next couple of months, I will be developing a one-day workshop on “Developing Effective Staff Teams.” This is an important topic and it is one of those things that they don’t teach you in seminary! I will provide information about this workshop in this blog after the first of the year.
And don’t forget that I have some grandparenting to do as well. We are expecting another grandson in February, so Rita and I will be investing some quality time in that endeavor as well as spending time with our other grandchildren.
So, you can see, I have several “jobs” ahead. It should be fun.