Today the AIM board arrives in Gainesville. They are wonderful people – partners in ministry who help safeguard the ministry.
For example, Liza has been helping lead ministry with us for 14 years. Mac is one of my best friends from college and the most successful financial manager at Northwestern. Roger, Steve and Stu, similarly, are highly successful businessmen who were friends first before they became stewards of the ministry. And Andrew is the man who, 18 years ago taught me about the kingdom and has done more to spiritually activate me than anybody else. Together we hope to see 100,000 trained leaders going to the nations.
I trust them. They have proven themselves to have the 1 Timothy 3 qualifications of an elder. They know my heart and aren’t going to make decisions that undermine what God has given me to do. If anything happens to me, they will ensure a safe transition to Michael or Clint’s leadership. One of the best things I’ve done at AIM is to identify godly men and women to steward the ministry.
I remember when I first got into ministry with an organization called OI, a board member wounded me by doing something Machiavellian. His explanation to me began with the line, “I don’t hate you, Seth.” His name was Dick. I always remembered that traumatic encounter and purposed in my heart to never do that to someone.
The office politics in that place were unbelievable. Later, the board brought in an incompetent leader who made our lives miserable. The coup de grace came when that guy fired me.
Then there was the wonderful experience of the board of directors at another organization called WS. They left me feeling eviscerated. I vowed that I would never let a board of directors do that at AIM. The shepherds should protect, not wound the sheep.
In Swaziland, when nightfall comes, the men prey on the women and children whose husbands have died and who are left unprotected in their homes scattered around the countryside. I’ve heard stories about an inordinate number of sexual predators there. It’s one reason AIDS stalks the land.
Have you ever been wounded by a board of directors? Well-meaning people who exercise their authority in inappropriate ways. A lifetime of someone’s heart and soul flushed down the toilet. It can be devastating. I’ve seen happen at so many churches and ministries. Thank God for faithful, godly leaders.