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Transitions and new assignments

February 23rd, 2021 / By: Jim Richards | Executive Director / comments

Transitions and new assignments

It is my privilege and honor to welcome Nathan Lorick as the new executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. Nathan is a known leader in Southern Baptist life. His work in Colorado has been favored by God.

When Nathan served at the SBTC as evangelism director, he took the ministry to the next level. He understands the local church and loves serving people. While other godly people could have been chosen, it is clearly the Lord’s will that Nathan is the one for the job. I look forward to serving with him over the next few months and supporting him in the future.

It was about two years ago that I began to consider transitioning from my position. The executive board adopted a new succession plan last year. The plan allows for Nathan to serve as executive director-elect for a three-month period. Although I will technically be in the chair, Nathan will give direction regarding where we need to go. On July 1, I will move into an advisory capacity through the end of 2021. I am grateful to Nathan and the executive board for allowing this smooth handoff.

The principle of succession is well established in the Bible. Moses prepared Joshua to shepherd the Israelites into the Promised Land. Joshua had proven his ability to do the hard task. Elijah had Elisha. In 2 Kings chapter 2 the scene unfolds with Elijah about to be taken into heaven. Elisha had been Elijah’s servant and understudy. Elisha was prepared to move into Elijah’s role as prophet to the nation. With a double portion of God’s Spirit, Elisha performed twice the number of miracles as Elijah. Others serve their purpose and then move on. David handed off the kingdom to his son, Solomon. Paul mentored Timothy. 

In all the above examples, a person dies, and a new leader emerges. By God’s grace, I will have the joy of watching someone assume the reins at the SBTC and cheering him on.

Often in ministry God gives us a different assignment. I started as a student evangelist. I served on staff and pastored for over 20 years. When I became a director of missions, I changed states and ministry type. Now, for 22-plus years I have served the churches of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. I am looking forward to what God has for me in the days ahead. I want to be active in ministry until I see Jesus face to face. My “yes” is on the altar to whatever God has in store.

Welcome Nathan Lorick, his sweet wife, Jenna, and their children! Embrace them as God’s gift to the SBTC. June and I love them. You will, too. And we will continue to love the wonderful people of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.