Our fearless leader, Wayne Schmidt, will post next Monday a fuller reflection on the Wesleyan General Conference that is now over half way through in Lexington, Kentucky. I recognize that most Wesley Seminary students are not Wesleyan, but I thought I would mention a few decisions that may be of interest to you.
First, we have changed our leadership structure. It’s too late for Dr. Bob Whitesel to weigh in toward the decision 🙂 but we have gone to a single “General Superintendent.” The thought is that this structure will make it easier to cast vision and set a spiritual tone for the denomination. It has long been coffee talk that many of our most gifted leaders did not seem interested in top leadership positions in the denomination. This situation may now have changed.
Second, Dr. Joanne Lyon is that top leader. The Wesleyan Church has been ordaining women since the late 1800s, and yesterday we demonstrated again that what we are looking for in a leader is the anointing of God, and that gender is not a factor in the consideration. As in the kingdom of God, we voted yesterday that in the Wesleyan Church there is not “male and female.” Calling and giftedness is what we should be looking at in leadership, not irrelevant physical characteristics.
Thirdly, two key individuals in our seminary life were placed in executive director positions. Russ Gunsalus, one of the founders of Wesley Seminary, was elected as Executive Director of Education and Clergy Services of the Wesleyan Church, directly under Joanne Lyon. If the seminary is any indication, a period of innovation is ahead for Wesleyan education. Hold on to your hats.
Next, Jim Dunn was elected Executive Director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship. He has faithfully served Wesley as one of our main online leadership professors. This newly created position will oversee the evangelism, spiritual formation, church planting, and other related areas of the Wesleyan Church.
No doubt there will be varying opinions, but I believe the Wesleyan Church is on a great course. Thanks be to God for his grace to us!