DALLAS (BP) – GuideStone Financial Resources has realigned certain job responsibilities and restructured its workforce as part of its effort to identify and implement new ways to become more efficient. It also announced last month three new executive officers promoted from within the organization.
The restructuring dovetails GuideStone’s update to its long-range plan, GuideStone 100, and flows from the 2015 theme “Year of Efficiency,” when the Southern Baptist Convention entity sought new efficiencies in people, processes and policies. And the changes come as the entity looks to carry the ministry to its centennial in 2018, and beyond 2020.
“These steps we have taken will enable us to further enhance our ministry as we prepare to enter the second century of our service to Southern Baptists, while maintaining optimum staffing levels going forward,” GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said in an Aug. 15 news release.
This past spring, GuideStone offered an early voluntary retirement option to qualified employees 55 years of age or older. Fifty-nine individuals – about half those eligible and about 10 percent of GuideStone employees – chose the early retirement package.
Nine employees were unable to be accommodated in open positions and were offered severance packages. Many positions were combined or redeployed, and many other employees were reassigned to open positions.
Opportunities to improve efficiency were identified and implemented throughout the organization, including streamlining employee hiring and training, renegotiating energy contracts and bulk mailing, and adjusting medical group sizes to assist more churches.
Citing a market environment that continues to be evidenced by low interest rates and sluggishness in the economic recovery, Hawkins noted GuideStone’s commitment to its participants.
“The balance between ministry and God-honoring business practices is what we deal with every day,” Hawkins said. “In maintaining this balance we are guided by our mission statement, drawn from Psalm 78:72, that reminds us we are ‘serving those who serve the Lord with the integrity of our hearts and the skillfulness of our hands.’”
Chief Operating Officer John R. Jones echoed those sentiments.
“We take the stewardship of our ministry seriously,” Jones said. “GuideStone at its heart is a ministry that adopts best business practices.”
GuideStone previously reduced its headcount in 2008-2009 through a combination of attrition and a similar voluntary retirement program.