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The General Assembly meeting agrees with the propositions of changes

All during 2018-2019, workgroups have applied themselves to refine the propositions presented at the 2018 General Assembly meeting, taking into considerations the suggestions given.

As a result, regional church centers have been set up, with more to come, working in synergy with our church union, Alliance Pour Christ (APC). For the moment, we have four: Haguenau, Épinal, Valenciennes and Lille. The members of these centers will learn to work together under the inspiration of a regional “pilot.” Some of these pilot-leaders have already been found, and others will be. From there, we’ll need to find the best way to care for our more isolated churches.

FPC is creating new structures, which will help us in our need to simplify and optimize our decision-making process. These structures will also allow an overlapping representation with APC, bringing an outside perspective. A strategic board of directors will be set up, composed of missionaries and non-missionaries, with a representative from APC. They will be elected by the General Assembly. This board will be the official “Board of Directors.” It will determine the guiding strategies and will be responsible to the General Assembly. The board of directors will also establish a board of operations, composed of missionaries, which will be charged with carrying out the directives taken. This board will direct the missionary team and will report back to the board of directors on the progress of the work. Finally, an advisory council, from outside the mission, but with its director elected by the General Assembly, will evaluate FPC’s operations and will propose any necessary recommendations to the General Assembly.

One of the first will be to adapt our statutes and by-laws to our new way of functioning. We can’t just change our way of working without also changing those. The team which has worked on our changes will also work on updating these documents, to present the new version to the General Assembly meeting in 2020 and bring this transitional time to an official close.

The coming year will also allow us to test our changes. We need to learn to work together, to coordinate our strategic and operational boards, to find a work-pace that fits our needs. We need to progress in our ability to “pilot” by our objectives. The board of directors will work at choosing and establishing our objectives. The board of operations will work at transforming these into specific operations to be worked out by the missionary team. Then, we need to learn how to report back on our activities, to establish an evaluation process allowing for necessary adjustments. The challenges are many!

And finally, during this year the outgoing leaders will be carefully passing the baton, taking into account all this reorganization. While remaining the official director until the 2020 Annual Meeting, Jeannot will be leaving more and more initiative to his successor as of now, even if he is still involved in following up on current projects. This transition year might be a bit uncomfortable, in that we’re not just changing people while keeping their jobs intact. The actual responsibilities of each will be redistributed differently, and their job descriptions may be modified. Certain key functions might hang in limbo for a while, until new recruits can be brought in to cover these needs. And we want to minimize any discomfort caused by ricochet on other co-workers.

Despite all these changes, we are grateful to be able to persevere in the mission we have set before us. We are proclaiming the Gospel to our contemporaries. We are aiming at multiplication, equipping disciples and leaders who will continue to do the same. And finally, we are working to connect the churches to one another and to develop a healthy network of churches, so that new churches may be planted, and that God may be glorified.

Daniel Kessely

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