Rev. Dr. James O. Wolfe
Budget Review Officer
Dr. Josué D. Gómez-Menéndez
As the major policy-making body of the denomination, the Board of General Ministries is highly representative of American Baptist diversity in gender, ethnicity, geography, age, as well as in a balance of ordained and lay leaders. It addresses business and polity. Through policy statements, resolutions and other declarations, it offers its best wisdom to autonomous churches and individuals on issues of faith and practice as it discerns the mind of Christ. While Board of General Ministries decisions give direction to national staff, they in no way obligate American Baptist congregations or regions to any position or course of action.
The Board of General Ministries also plays an important role in mission planning and coordination. The Board of General Ministries hears reports from Program Boards to coordinate planning and carry out denominational envisioning. It also plans the Mission Summit/Biennial through its Mission Summit Biennial Program Committee.
The Board of General Ministries conducts its business as “Worshipful Work,” which is a style of operating as church bodies doing business which places Jesus Christ as the Head of the Body at the center of its work. In “Worshipful Work,” scriptural themes underlie the work, and are often cited. The agenda is arranged in ways to highlight the Worshipful nature of our work. Worship services are frequent, and scripture and prayer are offered repeatedly throughout the meeting. Members are invited to share in reminding the Board of General Ministries of a scripture that certain business may bring to mind, or a prayer that is needed. Whenever possible, consensus is used as a means of conducting business. The Board of General Ministries has a Chaplain who not only provides personal support to Board of General Ministries and staff members who may come to meetings with a particular need, but takes the “temperature” of the meetings and interjects scriptural and spiritual reminders when s(he) detects that this intervention may be needed. In these and other ways, we seek to honor Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior throughout the work of the Board of General Ministries. The goal is for both our process and our decisions to honor Jesus Christ and build up the Body. In “Worshipful Work,” we seek to discern God’s yearning in a particular situation or for a particular issue.