Passing the Baton of Leadership
During the final session of the IBC’s Annual Convention Meeting, General Secretary Jimmy Martin passed the baton of leadership to incoming General Secretary Tim Faulkner. Martin will retire at the end of the year, completing 18 years of service as the general secretary and 10 years as a pastor in the IBC.
Martin passed the baton literally – giving Faulkner one engraved with the names of the founders and general secretaries of the IBC. “I was handed the baton of leadership 18 years ago, and today I am handing it to you, Tim,” Martin said.
Martin continued encouraging and challenging Faulkner.
“The Apostle Paul compared the Christian life and ministry to running a race, Martin said. In a relay race, there is an ‘incoming’ and an ‘outgoing’ runner. At different times, and in different races, runners must play each part.
“With the help of God, I have tried to sprint toward the changeover zone, which is where we are today. I have sought to keep from dropping the baton during my leg of the race. You and I have had an opportunity to spend time together to make the transition a successful one.
“Tim, God has prepared you for your leg of the race. You have experience as a missionary and pastor and leader in the IBC. You have the strategic vision to see the lanes ahead. You have the energy and stamina that God’s Spirit gives to help you to be faithful and effective. As you depend on the Lord, He will enable you to run the race set before you.
“It is your leg of the race to run as the leader. Some may think they know better than you how to lead, but God has put you in this place of leadership and, while you can and must learn from and depend on and work with many others, you are the person God has called — and the Convention has called — to lead. Lead humbly but lead confidently. Let the Lord use the gifts and abilities He chose to give you to run the race He has set before you.
“I and many others will be praying for you and cheering you on. We are here to give assistance and encouragement, but the race is yours to run. In the end you must answer to the Lord, the One who matters most.
“And I am confident that when you come to the occasion where you will pass the baton to the next runner, you will be able to do so with confidence that you have not run in vain nor aimlessly but with speed and skill and purpose and diligence.
“The baton also references 2 Timothy 2:2: ‘And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.’
“May the Lord bless you as you take the baton and begin your leg of the race.”
Laurie Martin also present Jacki Faulkner with some gifts symbolizing her role as the general secretary’s wife – a travel bag, a journal, and coffee cups. The installation service also included a charge to the Convention from GS Search Team Leader Nick Howard and a prayer of dedication by Carsten Lotz, pastor of International Christian Fellowship, Oberursel, Germany (see article on page X).