DOMs emphasize unity
ROCKY MOUNT—Bill Hulse, a North American Mission Board (NAMB) leadership trainer from Tulsa, Okla., said he noticed a spirit of unity among the directors of missions (DOMs) Oct. 9-11 at the DOM Fall Conference here at Cross Pointe Retreat Center.
“I was here 10 years ago when it was a different group of directors of missions, and this is by far a more unified group,” Hulse said. “There’s a lot of passion here, a lot of unity to reach the state and cooperate together. It’s been an exciting group to work with.”
Ever since May 15, when Save Our Convention (SOC) announced at First Baptist Church, Harvester, in St. Charles that part of its political strategy was to work with the Missouri Baptist DOM Fellowship to help elect a certain slate of officers at the 173rd annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) at Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach, meetings like the one at Rocky Mount have been watched. Would statements about the need for DOMs to recruit messengers who will vote for particular candidates be uttered in public? Steve Patterson, president of the Missouri Baptist DOM Fellowship and DOM of Spring River Baptist Association in Joplin, told The Pathway in an Oct. 10 interview on site that the retreat center was not being, and would not be, politicized in that manner.
“Even in a time where there is a perceived disunity in some of the Convention, we’re finding that our brotherhood is very strong as directors of missions and our overall goal is headed the same direction,” Patterson said. “We don’t see an ‘us against them.’ We do see an ‘us’ with one point of view and another part of ‘us’ with a different point of view, but still going in the same direction and trying to learn from each other.”
There will be two slates of candidates at Tan-Tar-A for the MBC’s four elected officer positions. There are two DOMs on one slate and one DOM from a large association tied to the other slate through his status as one of 11 founding organizers of SOC. Patterson has taken note of all of that and has said that the Missouri Baptist DOM Fellowship is not taking sides.
“We are all concerned about the state Convention finally pulling back together as a unified body,” Patterson said.
Training transcended politics at Rocky Mount. DOMs came for Next Level Leadership Training in an effort to build powerful ministry teams. The unifying ministry of the Holy Spirit was able to flourish for three days in a setting where DOMs had plenty of time to dig into the meat of the Word.
“I’d love to see all of our directors of missions take advantage of the training that is available each time we gather,” Patterson said. “The Next Level training really helps to give an equipping edge to a director of missions or anyone in a pastoral leadership kind of setting to know how to build teams and how to work together with people who may have differing points of view, and yet still move in the same direction toward a purpose.”
“Even though Next Level’s been around for nine or 10 years, it is a fairly new concept for us here in Missouri,” Roach said. “Because my role as a NAMB missionary is leadership, this is the way that we bring this in.”
Building unity in groups like the Missouri DOM Fellowship through the teaching of sound leadership principles brings joy to Hulse, pastor of Parkview Baptist Church in Tulsa and a Next Level regional director.
“It teaches the core six principles of leadership,” he said. “It’s the framework which we build everything off of, and for this particular meeting we’re equipping the directors of missions.
“This isn’t a workshop, and it isn’t a program. This is just a way of living. What this is all based on is really Jesus’ style of leadership. Psalm 78:72 is our theme verse, which is David led them by the purity of his heart and the skill of his hands. We’re making sure it happens.”
There is a desperate need for this type of leadership training in Southern Baptist life, Hulse said.
“Ninety percent of what we do as ministers is working with people, and in seminary we don’t get people skills,” he said. “We don’t get leadership training, for the most part. We don’t get management skills. Some people think that’s because that’s the business world. Well, it’s not. We see it throughout all of Scripture—principles of leadership that we just really have not been equipped with.”