After a difficult season in the Spring of 2021 culminating in the resignation of our former Executive Pastor, the Elders of CHBC contracted two external consultants to examine the health of our organization. The scope of their work involves direct engagement with the staff, with elders, and with many other members of CHBC. They will primarily be looking into our organizational structures and into the health of our staff and leadership culture.
Our hope is that these organizations will make helpful recommendations and observations leading to a strong and unified next season of ministry for our church.
This webpage will be updated regularly to be a convenient bulletin board for updates and the latest information. When we make updates, we will also put an alert in CHBC’s weekly newsletter (which is emailed on Fridays).
If you have any questions, comments, encouragements, etc., please email firstname.lastname@example.org - we look forward to hearing from you.
Because our desire to grow in health and fruitfulness as a church required insight into a complex set of situations, we have contracted with GRACE and Leighton Ford Ministries.
GRACE offers a variety of services to churches who are addressing trauma and abuse at any level. They will be providing an independent assessment of our church culture. The word “independent” is an important descriptor because, while GRACE is contracting with CHBC, they will be conducting their assessment free from direction from CHBC.
GRACE’s assessment will include their administration of the following components:
- Reviewing relevant internal documents
- Conducting a survey to get a sense of organizational culture
- Interviewing pertinent individuals with personal experiences or information
As of March 7, the survey was officially closed out by GRACE.
As of November 5, the assessment was received as a 64-page final report and recommendations. The Elder Oversight Team, Elder Board, Deacon Board, Advisory Team, and the Consulting Working Group read the 64-page document. This document was difficult to read, with important and heart-wrenching stories from former staff members and church members who have felt hurt over the years, but it was important for the leaders to read about the hurt experienced in our recent past. The CHBC leadership spent countless hours over two weeks processing and trying to discern how best to shepherd our church in light of the report, which we have anticipated for some time.
Because of the level of detail and the nature of those stories, from which the interviewee and subjects of the stories were easily identifiable, we asked the non-elder, non-staff members of the Consulting Working Group, to select a committee to provide an accurate and representative summary of the full report. During the writing process, the names of the writing committee were kept confidential so there would be no perception of influence on those writing the Summary. The committee writers were a deacon, an advisory team member, and an elder.
After receiving the 18-page Summary document from the committee, the Elders, Deacons, Advisory Team, and Consulting Working Group have affirmed this statement regarding the Summary and the GRACE Final Report and Recommendations:
This summary accurately presents the stories, teachings, and findings of the GRACE report. We recognize that any summary in nature is not conclusive, but this summary document seeks to communicate each aspect of the report, including tone, and does not add to nor correct aspects of the GRACE Final Report and Recommendations.
The GRACE Final Report and this Summary document are helping us to see our previous faults and issues and will help us apologize, care for, and reconcile with those hurting members. These documents will also help us better shepherd our church body now and in the future.
Leighton Ford Ministries offers a variety of services to churches and individuals and they will be consulting with us on church culture and governance. Their process will take us through two phases: Discovery and Development.
In Discovery, LFM will gather insight and information (method is detailed below in “Roadmap”) to assess culture, vision, governance and leadership, and overall health. The findings from the Discovery phase will be shared with leaders and the congregation and will inform our approach to the Development phase where we will work on opportunities for improvement and growth.
In Development, LFM has asked the Consultant Working Group to assemble a Vision Team, representing a cross-section of our church, to work through governance recommendations and to clarify and codify our "True North." See below for more info.
After announcing our work with LFM and GRACE in our June 2021 Annual Meeting, we began the consulting process. Though there were some delays external to CHBC, we are glad to have begun with both groups.
Rather than being a concrete roadmap with a guaranteed deadline for results, our next steps will be determined along the way as we gain insight and discern our course of action. We have begun the Discovery Phase which has different timelines, depending on the consultant:
Leighton Ford Ministries
- Staff-wide survey was conducted assessing organizational climate, leadership effectiveness, and employee engagement.
- Ministry Leaders took a strengths assessment to consider how they are wired and what kind of team they collectively form.
- CHBC shared documents for review to help LFM understand organizational structure, governing documents, strategic plans and more.
- LFM conducted 6 focus groups (45 people) to get the perspective of new members, long-time members, Ministry Operations, Ministry Leaders, Pastors, and Elders.
- LFM conducted one-on-one interviews with 13 individuals representing past and present elders and current and former staff.
- Leadership coaching sessions for our Lead Pastor began in September and continued to the end of 2021.
- Staff ministry leaders training session was conducted by LFM to give a picture of individual ministry leaders and the team as a whole.
Review of findings and clarification on next steps:
- Kevin Ford of LFM will presented findings from the Discovery Phase and worked through next steps the weekend of October 29-31.
- This included a facilitated debrief which solicited input from the membership.
- On the afternoon of Oct 31, CHBC leadership worked with LFM to synthesize input from the congregation, along with information collected to date, and started to chart a path forward.
- October also featured a meeting in the Chapel with a group of concerned members who had written a letter to leadership expressing their concerns. You can find the response to the letter here.
The Vision Team
February - May 2022
LFM instructed the Consultant Working Group (CWG) to invite up to 25 individuals to comprise the Vision Team. The guidelines we were given can be found below.
- People who are recognized as helpful leaders and influencers in the church, including longer term members who are respected
- Pastors/ministry team leaders who are strategic thinkers
- Discerning elders/deacons who will be helpful contributors based on their service to the church and professional experience
- Members who can be counted on to speak with one voice after the retreats
- Members who can participate in all three meetings/retreats
In nominating members for the Vision Team, it was important for the CWG that the team have broad representation from our congregation. The Vision Team is thus comprised of members who meet the criteria above.
VISION TEAM MEMBERS:
- Erin Bethany
- Tom Bojanski
- Gaby Correa
- Rodrigo Dinsmore
- Layla Dowdy
- Margaret Faircloth
- Velinda Hatcher
- Sarah Hoover
- Tao Huang
- Christopher Kigongo
- Steven King
- Michelle Kirtley
- Jakob Klemm
- Kyle McManamy
- Julie Raynor
- Eric Rodgers
- Matt Smith
- Jay Thomas
- Margie Tippett
- Moriah Tuchman
- Emily Williams
This small group cannot contain everyone who would want to be a part of it. Yet our hope is that along with input and feedback from the congregation, and with prayer and discernment, our work would prove to be fruitful and helpful as we look to the years ahead.
- The team’s first meeting took place on Sunday, February 6th, where LFM led us through their recommendations for governance roles.
- The Vision Team worked on a first draft of proposed recommendations to be presented at a Members Meeting from 2-3:30 pm on February 13th in the Sanctuary. The purpose of this gathering is to share progress and to receive input and feedback.
- The Vision Team reconvened for a retreat on February 19-20th to continue working on governance roles, informed by congregational input, and began working on our True North.
- A second Members' Meeting took place on Sunday, May 15th, to consider the governance recommendations of the Vision Team and gather input from our membership.
June 2022 Annual Meeting - Hopeful Target
Overall, we find ourselves with the desire to both give the consulting process the time it needs and not have to wait too long before we are at the finish line. As we have expressed this desire with the consultants, they have expressed that we should set our hopes for a “finish line” in 2022, agreeing that, while the timeline of our process could change the more we get into it, we will endeavor to complete it before our Annual Meeting. We welcome your prayers and participation to help us reach that end.
For more updates and details following the June 2022 target, go to our Latest Consultant Leadership Updates page.
Please pray for the following:
- For unity in the body
- That the consultants would help us grow into a thriving community of Christ followers
- For this process to bless our public witness
- For clarity and discernment through the process
Who is the Consultant Working Group (CWG)?
To manage our ongoing work with the consultants, we assembled a team representing long-time members, the Deacons, Staff, and Elders. This team facilitates logistics for the consulting process and will help with communication to the leaders and larger church body of CHBC.
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My wife, Mary, and I have been at CHBC for 10 years and, for most of those years I have served as the college minister, interim communications director, founder of Triangle Fellows, or elder (a role in which I now serve). Professionally, I have also worked as a brand manager, strategist, and ministry designer. I now work at Duke Divinity School’s Ormond Center, focusing on tools and training to create agents of thriving in congregations and communities.
My husband John and I have been members at CHBC since 2014. We have two children and live in the Briar Chapel neighborhood in south Chapel Hill. This is my second year on the Deacon board and I have served at the church in other capacities, such as the Jubilee planning committee and in Kids Ministry. Professionally, I am the communications director for research administration at UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to Carolina, I worked at NASA, also in communications, in Washington, D.C. and at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
I have been at the Bible Church since 1981 where I met and married my husband. We have one adult daughter. Over the years I have been involved as a kids Sunday school teacher, Building Committee member, Life Group leader, Treasurer, and Deacon. At present I am a greeter on the Connections Team and Morning Coordinator for The Well. As a nurse I spent most of my career in healthcare administration, followed by a second career as business manager of my husband’s manufacturing business. I am now happily retired.
My wife, Katie, and I have been at CHBC since 2007 when I joined staff as the Youth Minister. I have served in a variety of roles since including College Minister, interim Worship Minister, and am now the Missions Pastor. I have served on the staff of three different churches, one smaller and one larger than CHBC. We have three sons (one of whom is adopted) and actively extend hospitality as God provides opportunities.