David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

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David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Sandy » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:20 pm

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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Matt Richard » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:05 pm

Sandy wrote:http://www.baptiststandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13321&Itemid=53

Predictable choice.


I'm not really in the loop, so I'm curious why you would say this is predictable. I've read some other bloggers that have said the opposite, and some who have not even heard his name. I do not know him personally, but have heard generally good things from the folks I know around Waco and Truett.
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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Sandy » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:44 pm

Matt Richard wrote:
Sandy wrote:http://www.baptiststandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13321&Itemid=53

Predictable choice.


I'm not really in the loop, so I'm curious why you would say this is predictable. I've read some other bloggers that have said the opposite, and some who have not even heard his name. I do not know him personally, but have heard generally good things from the folks I know around Waco and Truett.


It is predictable in that he has close ties to Baylor, both as an alum and as a current staff member, has perpetually served on convention trustee boards and committees, including a couple of committee chairs and at least two full terms on one of the university boards. He's served interims in pulpits that are only accessible to a few well-placed insiders, and while he has connections with Texas CBF and TBC, they are low profile. He has a resume quite similar to that of both of his most recent predecessors. He's a native Texan. I would guess that there were at least a dozen similar candidates. I would also guess that this pattern indicates that there is still a very traditional mindset with regard to the way the state convention is going to operate, and they chose someone who matches up with that, rather than a younger innovater.

I'd be interested in what David Montoya has to say, because I'm sure he's done his homework on this guy.
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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:16 am

Sandy wrote:
Matt Richard wrote:
Sandy wrote:http://www.baptiststandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13321&Itemid=53

Predictable choice.


I'm not really in the loop, so I'm curious why you would say this is predictable. I've read some other bloggers that have said the opposite, and some who have not even heard his name. I do not know him personally, but have heard generally good things from the folks I know around Waco and Truett.


It is predictable in that he has close ties to Baylor, both as an alum and as a current staff member, has perpetually served on convention trustee boards and committees, including a couple of committee chairs and at least two full terms on one of the university boards. He's served interims in pulpits that are only accessible to a few well-placed insiders, and while he has connections with Texas CBF and TBC, they are low profile. He has a resume quite similar to that of both of his most recent predecessors. He's a native Texan. I would guess that there were at least a dozen similar candidates. I would also guess that this pattern indicates that there is still a very traditional mindset with regard to the way the state convention is going to operate, and they chose someone who matches up with that, rather than a younger innovater.

I'd be interested in what David Montoya has to say, because I'm sure he's done his homework on this guy.


Ed: So Sandy what you mean by Predictable is that the chances where better than 50/50 that they would select some one with Texas connections, right?
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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Sandy » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:42 pm

The BGCT is in dire straits at the moment. It is losing churches faster than it can replace them with new church starts. It has seen budget giving through the Cooperative Program drop by 35% in about five years time. It is not that far removed from a major scandal involving more than a million dollars in misappropriated church planting funds. One exec director retired as a result of it. The resulting drop in CP giving, church departures, budget cuts and staff layoffs could not be reversed, and that led to a very short term of service for Randel Everett.

During the time between Wade's retirement and Everett's selection, the search committee asked BGCT churches, pastors, and individual church members for input regarding the selection. They set up a series of "listening sessions" attended by committee members and local church leaders and members, to hear what Texas Baptists had to say about the next exec. I attended one of those. There were two very clear messages that were spoken. One was that they wanted a leader who was more closely aligned with the SBC than the previous administration had been. The other was that it was becoming clear that denominational structures were becoming obsolete, and that a younger leader with some creative innovation ability was needed, capable of some out of the box thinking to streamline the operation and make involvement more appealing to churches. The feeling was that they might have to look outside of Texas, and outside of the circle of influence of people who rotate from committee seat to committee seat and board to board. Going a little younger in the age category, and perhaps even away from someone who had a resume with a long list of "prestigious" pastorates, to someone who had some public relations ability and training and a business background. The committee said, "thanks for the input" and then promptly ignored it in selecting Everett. Unable to reverse the steepening decline, he bailed and used his connections to get a large church from which to retire. And so, at a time when their churches are telling them to repair the relationship with the SBC by selecting an exec who is more sympathetic to Southern Baptist causes, and to be on the cutting edge of organizing a twenty first century state convention, the committee picks yet another insider who is still operating under the good ole boy system.

The committee doesn't get it.
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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Bruce Gourley » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:59 pm

Sandy wrote:And so, at a time when their churches are telling them to repair the relationship with the SBC by selecting an exec who is more sympathetic to Southern Baptist causes, and to be on the cutting edge of organizing a twenty first century state convention, the committee picks yet another insider who is still operating under the good ole boy system.

The committee doesn't get it.


I'm not sure that I get it: how can these folks want 1) to be aligned closer to a 20th-century declining, good old boy denomination (SBC), AND at the same time 2) want to be a "cutting edge" 21st century convention?
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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Sandy » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:54 pm

Bruce Gourley wrote:
Sandy wrote:And so, at a time when their churches are telling them to repair the relationship with the SBC by selecting an exec who is more sympathetic to Southern Baptist causes, and to be on the cutting edge of organizing a twenty first century state convention, the committee picks yet another insider who is still operating under the good ole boy system.

The committee doesn't get it.


I'm not sure that I get it: how can these folks want 1) to be aligned closer to a 20th-century declining, good old boy denomination (SBC), AND at the same time 2) want to be a "cutting edge" 21st century convention?


Your statement indicates that you know very little about the BGCT, the SBC and anything related to being cutting edge in the 21st century. I have to smile just a little bit on the inside when I hear a moderate speak of the SBC as "declining" and in the context of a "good ole boy" denomination. If it is now, it's because they learned the art of it from those in charge prior to 1979. They had perfected influence peddling and favor granting with people's sacrificially given tithes to an art form.
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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Bruce Gourley » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:41 am

Sandy wrote:
Bruce Gourley wrote:
Sandy wrote:And so, at a time when their churches are telling them to repair the relationship with the SBC by selecting an exec who is more sympathetic to Southern Baptist causes, and to be on the cutting edge of organizing a twenty first century state convention, the committee picks yet another insider who is still operating under the good ole boy system.

The committee doesn't get it.


I'm not sure that I get it: how can these folks want 1) to be aligned closer to a 20th-century declining, good old boy denomination (SBC), AND at the same time 2) want to be a "cutting edge" 21st century convention?


Your statement indicates that you know very little about the BGCT, the SBC and anything related to being cutting edge in the 21st century. I have to smile just a little bit on the inside when I hear a moderate speak of the SBC as "declining" and in the context of a "good ole boy" denomination. If it is now, it's because they learned the art of it from those in charge prior to 1979. They had perfected influence peddling and favor granting with people's sacrificially given tithes to an art form.


The percentages of $$ that Southern Baptist churches are contributing to the SBC is down 50% (probably more, actually) than prior to the Takeover. Since the Takeover, total SB membership has dropped for the first time since the 1920s. Baptism ratios are now lower than they've been in over half-a-century. And I could go on. Explain how you spin that to not mean the SBC is in decline. I'd really like to know.
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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:25 am

So the selection of David Hardage is "predictable"?

Come on, Sandy.

On the one hand, you claim Hardage is part of some good ole boy system. Yet, you don't even know who he is. Heck, many people don't him. Unlike Everett (was picking a guy from Virginia "predictable" too?), Hardage's ministry has been here in Texas. But he's not exactly a well-known Texas Baptist name.

The pick should be seen as surprising not predictable. Predictable would have been choosing someone well-known and deeply involved in the executive happenings of Texas Baptist life.

Also, a big chunk of Baptist professionals in the South have some sort of Texas ties. It's a big state with alot of Baptists, Baptist churches and Baptist institutions. You have "Texas ties." Shoot you even ran for BGCT office.
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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Sandy » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:05 pm

The bulk of Everett's ministry was in Texas, prior to his time in Virginia.

Hardage's resume includes:
1. Development director of the BGCT's only theological school, at Baylor. How are you a development director for the only theological school in the convention and yet "not well known"?
2. Director of Missions of Waco Baptist Association, one of the state's largest, and with Baylor in it, very high profile and well connected, since Baylor and Truett put a lot of their grads in Texas Baptist churches.
3. 13 years as pastor of FBC Sulphur Springs, one of the BGCT's largest churches in East Texas.
4. Chairman and full allowable term member of the state missions commission, which is one of the central, most important and active convention committees.
5. Chairman and long term member of the state missions funding committee, another central committee with a high convention profile.
6. Trustee at East Texas Baptist University.
7. Trustee at Latham Springs Baptist Encampment.
8. Interim at Columbus Avenue, which is one of the largest and most visible churches in Waco, and where many Baylor faculty and administrators attend.

So a guy who's been in convention connections almost continuously for over 20 years is "not well known" and a "surprise"?

He's probably much less controversial than some of the names that were tossed around during the process, but even if you take the "Texas ties" out of predictable, you've got someone here who has pastored a big, prominent, influential church, and moved into an institutional executive position with more committee and board service than his predecessor had. So I still say he's a predictable choice.

He'll probably have to shoulder the same expectations that Everett did, though the expectations now might simply involve stopping the freefalling decline of Cooperative Program gifts, and stopping the exit or dual affiliation of churches to the "other" state convention instead of expecting the exec director to single-handedly reverse those trends. If it doesn't work out, this job will add enough to his retirement, and he's close enough to it, that he could exit with a nice golden parachute.

Just out of curiosity, BDW, who did you think had an "inside track" to this position?
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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:18 pm

Sandy, you stated: "I'd be interested in what David Montoya has to say, because I'm sure he's done his homework on this guy."

Your comment and reference to "this guy" sure left the impression that you weren't exactly familiar with Hardage.

I'm sure that Hardage is known to those potential and current Truett donors. He's not exactly well-known to the average BGCT messenger.

Heck, you ran for BGCT office and clearly weren't familiar with Hardage.

I've heard from a few long-time involved Texas Baptists who were surprised. Hardage just wasn't on their radar. He obviously wasn't on Montoya's radar either.

As for well-known names: I'd be shocked to learn that Steve Vernon wasn't seriously considered. And Jim Denison comes to mind. I don't think that the BGCT theologian gig has really turned out the way he hoped it has. His center has changed names at least once. It hasn't exactly "taken off." I would think that the former megachurch pastor would want a more visible, more executive position in Baptist life.
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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby William Thornton » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:34 pm

Big Daddy Weaver wrote: And Jim Denison comes to mind. I don't think that the BGCT theologian gig has really turned out the way he hoped it has. His center has changed names at least once. It hasn't exactly "taken off." I would think that the former megachurch pastor would want a more visible, more executive position in Baptist life.


Exactly how was the center supposed to take off? His biggest moment was a disaster.
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Re: David Hardage to BGCT as Exec Director

Postby Sandy » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:19 pm

Big Daddy Weaver wrote:As for well-known names: I'd be shocked to learn that Steve Vernon wasn't seriously considered. And Jim Denison comes to mind. I don't think that the BGCT theologian gig has really turned out the way he hoped it has. His center has changed names at least once. It hasn't exactly "taken off." I would think that the former megachurch pastor would want a more visible, more executive position in Baptist life.


I'm not surprised that Vernon wasn't the nominee, and though his name probably did come up, I know at least two people on the committee who would have tanked his nomination in a heartbeat. Same with Ken Hall, whose name also came up at one point. Denison would have been a good choice, but the "theologian in residence" tag didn't go over well, and even though the position was privately funded, it didn't appear that there was a need for it. Moving him to Exec might have given the appearance of yet another "rescue" operation.

Predictable doesn't necessarily mean well known all the way around. Someone who has rotated committees and boards would certainly be known by most of the search committee, in most cases fairly well, since they are generally folks who also rotate from committee to committee.

At any rate, becoming the executive director of the BGCT in 2011 is probably not going to be an easy job.
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