PHOENIX — A 12-member study group is expected to recommend in 2018 a new title, credentialing process, and expectations of effectiveness for Southern Baptist directors of missions (DOMs).
The Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders (SBCAL) appointed the group at its conference held June 11-12 in advance of the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Phoenix. The team is charged with submitting a report at the SBCAL 2018 meeting in Dallas.
The changes are needed as the SBCAL works to better serve missional leadership needs across the SBC, SBCAL Executive Director Ray Gentry told Baptist Press.
“We feel like it’s time for a new name for the new century and the new demands upon us and the new opportunities before us,” Gentry said. “In addition, a profile of associational effectiveness with competencies … is even a bigger enchilada than the title.
“There really is no commonly accepted job description for a DOM,” he said, “and so we want to come up with a profile with competencies for search committees and for purposes of coaching and helping new DOMs. We feel like that’s going to be very, very important and very helpful to raise the credibility and the profile and the effectiveness of DOMs.”
The SBCAL has never had a process of credentialing for DOMs, Gentry said, pointing out the common practice of business associations in particular to have credentialing processes. A cross-section of respected Southern Baptist leaders named to the study team is intended to encourage widespread use and approval of any recommendations the SBCAL adopts from the study group, Gentry said.
Rick Wheeler, the lead missional strategist from the Jacksonville Baptist Association of the Florida Baptist Convention, will lead the team on which Gentry will also serve. Two Tennesseans were also named to the team — Steve Holt, church services director, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, and Roger S. “Sing” Oldham, vice president for convention communications and relations, SBC Executive Committee, Nashville.