Moving Us Forward
Amy Nickerson | November 2017
I often wish I knew the future. If I could just see what God was leading me to, I feel I could do a better job at getting there. As I’m sure you already know, that’s not always how life works and discerning the right path to walk down can be difficult.
When considering the future of an entire organization, this process can be even more complex. Prayer. Accountability. Counsel. Finances. Vision. There are many factors that go into keeping an organization like Josiah Venture healthy and moving forward in the right direction.
One of the ways JV seeks to keep our team on track is through appointing wise leaders to be on our board or ambassadors and accelerators team (a-team). Jack Webster, a certified leadership trainer and ordained pastor from Louisville, KY, happens to be a member of both.
Jack first got involved with Josiah Venture back in 2011, when Southeast Christian, the church he helped lead at the time, realized they needed more training in disciple-making. He and some others took a trip to Europe to connect with Dave Patty, JV’s president, and see how Josiah Venture develops disciples who make disciples.
Jack says they were blown away by what they saw and have since taken other church trips. “Every time somebody comes back, our church is better, we’re stronger, we know more about disciple-making. JV’s a great organization.”
After seeing first-hand what God was doing, Jack prayed about how he could be more involved. Although he would have liked to be in Europe, God ultimately led him to be on the board instead.
The JV Board
The JV board, consisting of Dave Patty, Jack, and seven others, is what Jack calls “a good mix of different people with different interests.” He says, “You have two or three of us with pretty strong financial backgrounds. You have several of us who are ordained, the pastoral side.” Unique to JV, there is also a national team leader appointed to serve a two year term, who is able to give the board an insider’s perspective on ministry in Europe.
The board meets three times a year to discuss complex issues and help hold Dave accountable at a high level. When asked what they do, Jack says they look at the long-term strategy, values, and vision of the organization in order to keep us moving forward in a healthy, God-honoring way.
While the JV board focuses on JV’s broad level direction, the a-team is a newer group that has been formed to fuel and assist the JV mission; advocating for the team in our mobilizing countries (UK, Canada, and the States) and offering their experience and giftings --everything from hospitality to financial expertise-- to help the team when opportunities arise.
For Jack, this means being a designated leadership coach. “I’ve taught leadership for years and led a large organization, so I hang out with whoever wants me to hang with them and help them be more effective as leaders. To me, it has some value just as an older person going over and encouraging them. And I love those guys, so it’s an easy job.”
With both roles, Jack thinks it’s a privilege to be a part of Josiah Venture. He says he cares about JV because of the clear vision to see a movement of God among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe that finds its home in the local church and transforms society. “I think it’s amazing…. I have helped facilitate teams and boards to create visions and this is just uniquely awesome. It just is. So, I wanted to be a part of it.”
We are thankful he is and love having a board and a-team working closely with the rest of us to keep Josiah Venture a healthy organization so that we can continue making disciples who make disciples here in Europe.
Jack asks that you would join us in praying for the JV board, that they would keep “praying for the ministry, staying strategic, staying at the high level, encouraging and challenging, but not getting into the weeds.” Pray that they would keep supporting the mission and vision of JV and that God would help them to be faithful.
For the a-team, please pray for more members scattered across our mobilizing countries. Pray that they would see and take the opportunities to support the JV team and use their giftings well without imposing; being responsive, but not proactive in how they care for us.