In my undoubtedly biased opinion, Kentucky Baptists have the best trustees representing our agencies and institutions of any state convention.
There are five agencies and institutions in Kentucky whose trustees are elected by the messengers to the Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. These include Crossings Ministries, The Kentucky Baptist Foundation, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, Oneida Baptist Institute and Sunrise Children’s Services. The KBC also has a close relationship with Kentucky WMU. Each year the KBC provides orientation and general training for newly elected trustees.
I serve on the boards of all five of these agencies and institutions and, as a result, interact with their trustees. Kentucky Baptists can rest confident that our trustees provide excellent oversight of these ministry organizations.
Here are four traits of excellent trustees:
1. They show up. Trustees are expected to attend several meetings each year, either virtually or in person. For some of our trustees attending, these meetings will require a lengthy drive and a night away from home. Kentucky Baptist trustees do so without complaining because they care about the work of our agencies and institutions.
2. They speak up. Trustees are expected to give encouragement when encouragement is due and to voice a concern when the situation calls for it. Much excellent work of Kentucky Baptists has been preserved by God through the conscientious speaking out of agency and institution trustees. One of our agency presidents will often say, “I don’t want any ‘yes’ men, or women, on our board.” To which I quickly retort, “It’s a good thing, because you don’t have any.” Trustees are at their best when they are using their discerning voice to ask good and thoughtful questions.
3. They stand up. Once a trustee becomes aware of what is happening through their agency, they should be a cheerleader for the outstanding ministry taking place. Kentucky Baptists agencies and institutions are doing incredible life-changing gospel ministry across the commonwealth. Crossings Ministries has its highest registration ever for summer camps where students will hear the gospel and be challenged to live for Jesus. Oneida Baptist Institute is daily laboring to educate students, mostly kids from the Kentucky counties surrounding the school, for time and eternity. The Kentucky Baptist Foundation is investing record amounts of money to fund Great Commission work in Kentucky and beyond. Clear Creek is educating future church leaders and Sunrise is leading the way in providing care for some of Kentucky’s most vulnerable children. A faithful trustee will take every opportunity to celebrate the work of their organization throughout the state.
4. They shore up. The ministry conducted by Kentucky Baptist agencies and institutions requires faithful leadership and clear direction. There is a business aspect to what each organization accomplishes that cannot be overlooked. But our work requires more than this. Christian ministry depends on the power of God for its success and impact. Faithful trustees will pray for the organization of which they are a part and ask God to help them become better and more effective for the gospel.
As you are praying and giving thanks for the work of Kentucky Baptists through Clear Creek, Oneida, Crossings, The Foundation, and Sunrise, also remember to pray and give thanks for the trustees who serve these agencies and institutions so faithfully.