Oregon Conference Votes New VP Position

In its April meeting, the Oregon Conference executive committee and joint nominating committee elected Dave Schwinghammer to the new role of vice president for church ministries.

In 2022, nearly half of Oregon Conference churches find themselves in a statistical state of decline. Members emphasized this reality in recent town hall meetings, commonly sharing the deep desire to see local churches revitalized through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. In response to this need, conference administration, with support of the executive committee, is developing an intentional strategy to facilitate the revitalization of Oregon Conference churches. This vice president position is the first step in that strategy.

Dan Linrud, president, emphasizes that the Oregon Conference headquarters, “exists to serve local churches and schools, enabling and empowering their success in accomplishing our common mission.” The vice president for church ministries will focus on church revitalization, providing additional support to congregations by strategically coordinating the delivery of conference ministry resources for maximum revitalizing impact.

Strategic Efficiency for Missional Effectiveness

For three years, conference administration has focused on strategic efficiency for missional effectiveness, applying resources in the best ways to maximize impact. This announcement aligns with the strategy. Through realignment, the conference will add focus to revitalization, without utilizing any additional financial resources.

“It starts with listening,” Schwinghammer explained. “There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for church revitalization.” Instead, Schwinghammer expects to spend lots of time with pastors, lay leaders and conference departments collaborating in dreaming, learning, coordinating and mentoring as they undertake the work of revitalization together.

“Elder Dave Schwinghammer is uniquely gifted for this role,” noted Linrud. “Between his doctorate in spiritual vitality, former conference leadership in church health and his personal experience as a pastor in revitalizing struggling churches, Schwinghammer will be a tremendous blessing to our Oregon Conference churches.”

While he’s excited to get started, Schwinghammer will wait to lean into this role fully until after the Oregon Conference constituency session in September. Until then, he will continue to carry the duties of executive secretary to ensure that necessary preparations are in place for the quinquennial constituency meeting. A new executive secretary will be recommended by the nominating committee at that time.

Confidence in the Future

“I have great confidence in God’s continued faithfulness and leadership in the future of the Oregon Conference,” said Linrud. “Jesus’ greatest joy is for his bride, the church, to be beautiful with radiant vitality. It is our constant purpose to seek to strategically pursue this in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. I believe this role of vice president for church ministry will help the churches of our conference accomplish this for God’s glory. This is crucial as we prepare for Jesus to return.”

Featured in: July/August 2022

Author

Jonathan Russell

Oregon Conference assistant to the president for multimedia communications
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