March 11, 2018 — Change at the Top

I landed in Atlanta on time and arrived at my hotel by bedtime last Sunday night. I had a light schedule on Monday, which I much appreciated. It gave me the chance to unwind from the intense weekend prior (see my previous post).

Tuesday was the meeting of RUF’s national oversight committee, and the primary concern was replacing our national coordinator. Tom Cannon had notified the Area Coordinators the previous Friday that he had resigned immediately, but we were not to discuss it until the national committee met.

Important: Tom didn’t do anything wrong. There is no scandal. Friday March 2 Tom had his annual performance review with members of the national committee. Tom has done much to improve RUF. But he felt that the leadership needs in the future will require skills that are not his strength. No one asked or expected Tom to resign. It was his idea, based on what he feels capable of bringing to the situation.

Tuesday was intense, but not controversial. Rod Mays was asked, and agreed, to serve as interim National Coordinator for RUF. Rod was the National Coordinator for 15 years until Tom took over four years ago. There was widespread satisfaction that Rod will be leading RUF for the next months. A search committee is being assembled to find a permanent National Coordinator.

On Wednesday the Area Coordinators and office staff met with Rod to discuss outstanding issues. There are some things we need to watch out for, now that Tom is not here — but I see no disruption in the RUF ministry. Rod is very capable, and the other leaders are very competent. I doubt most people will notice any change in our work.

I returned home Wednesday night, and was planning to attend the annual retreat of our presbytery. That was cancelled due to a forecast of a foot of snow. It turns out that most of the snow didn’t stick, but I enjoyed several days at home — a rare thing in the middle of the semester.

Pray for Tom and Rod and their wives. RUF will be fine, and so will Rod and Tom. But undoubtedly this sudden change will be a shock to their lives. Pray for God’s grace, power, and comfort.