TBMB restructures state’s ‘mission fields’
By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
Several years ago, the TBMB developed strategy geared toward reaching various sections of the state (harvest fields). The goal was to have a team leader assigned to it. That individual would then become the primary “face” of the TBMB to the churches and associations in the respective harvest field, according to Steve Holt, church services director for the TBMB.
The team leader would live in the harvest field and regularly connect with the HF’s churches and associations in order to gain a knowledge of their needs and guide other TBMB staff in developing customized responses to those needs, Holt noted.
The original harvest field team leaders were TBMB staff who had other ministry assignments, Holt observed.
During this past year, positions were reevaluated and priorities were strategically reassessed, Holt said. Beginning in September, each harvest field was assigned a full-time team leader, committed to the work of the harvest field.
“In moving to full-time HF leaders, we felt it was important to reconfigure the existing seven geographical harvest fields to be more consistent in terms of the number of churches and associations contained in each one,” Holt said. “We determined that each HF leader would handle approximately 500 churches and 10-12 associations,” he added.
As a result, the number of geographical harvest fields were reduced from seven to six. Five of those six include at least one metropolitan area in its boundaries. A seventh harvest field will focus on the state’s ethnic congregations.
Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the TBMB, explained the restructuring to the board of directors during their September meeting.
“Harvest field leaders are invaluable to the work the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board has been doing and will be doing,” Davis said.
He also noted that “we wanted HF team leaders to live in the harvest field they serve. An added benefit is that five of the six leaders actually grew up in the harvest field they will be leading, Davis noted.
Harvest field team leaders are as follows:
Harvest Field 1 — Danny Sinquefield (part-time until Jan. 1, 2022)
Harvest Field 2 — Josh Franks
Harvest Field 3 — Robert “Bo” Irvin
Harvest Field 4 — Steve Pearson
Harvest Field 5 — Joe Sorah
Harvest Field 6 — Randy Pressnell
Harvest Field 7, ethnic congregations — William Burton
For a closer look at each of the HF leaders, see related story.
Holt noted that Joe Sorah will lead and coordinate the work of the harvest field team leaders.
“We could not be more excited about the gifted, passionate, and called individuals God has brought to our staff to serve as harvest field team leaders. Each brings a unique skill set that will add tremendous value to our service to churches,” he said.
He observed that harvest field team leaders “serve as the eyes and ears of TBMB, giving us valuable feedback on how churches and church leaders are doing, as well as what kind of resources they require to be more effective.
“This ‘new and improved’ version of the Harvest Field ministry is another example of Dr. Davis’ great passion for Tennessee Baptist churches and their leaders. Under his direction, the staff has taken our work with churches and the quality of the resources we produce to an even higher level of excellence. He keeps our mission of ‘making Christ known by serving churches’ at the forefront of everything we do.”
Holt encouraged every church leader in Tennessee to get to know the harvest field team leader in his/her area of the state. “These men are excited to get know you and your church.” B&R