For the past decade IBL has had a growing involvement in the southwest United States. We are grateful for the many opportunities God has given us to impact pastors, leadership teams, and churches in that region of the country.
After much prayer and waiting on the Lord we are excited to announce that, starting in 2013, we will have a regionally-based coordinator to help advance our services throughout the Southwest, West and Northwest. Dr. Joel Tetreau, the Senior Pastor of Southeast Valley Baptist church in Gilbert Arizona, will be taking on the role of Regional Coordinator for IBL-West.
Joel has long been involved with IBL. Our relationship began many years ago when, as a graduate student, Joel took a course on biblical leadership from Russ Lloyd. That began a long-term, collaborative ministry with Joel, including one-on-one leadership coaching, consultation and training with his church leadership team, and referrals and support for impacting other leaders in the area. For the last several years Joel has served on IBL's Board of Directors where his enthusiasm and positive outlook have been a great blessing.
We have spoken with Joel for several years about taking on a more active role in the development and execution of IBL's ministry. After much discussion, prayer and godly counsel we have now all agreed that the time is right to take this next step. Joel's key responsibility as Regional Coordinator will be to increase IBL's capacity for ministry and strengthen our support network in the western region of the US, spanning from New Mexico to Montana to the Pacific coast. He will continue to serve as Senior Pastor of his church, dedicating three to four days per month to advancing the ministry of IBL.
Joel brings to IBL more than twenty years of pastoral experience. In addition, over the years he has come alongside a variety of ministries and their leaders both here in North America as well as around the world. He has assisted many ministries with clarifying their vision and mission; has provided counsel and support to leaders in crisis; and has provided leadership training in a variety of forums. Joel has a particular interest in the application of scriptural principles to the decision-making process of local churches and will soon be publishing his book, The Pyramid and the Box: The Decision-Making Process in a Local NT Church.
Joel recently commented on taking this next step of service with IBL:
IBL represents so many different aspects of biblical ministry about which I am passionate. IBL’s ethos places a heavy emphasis on servant-leadership vis-à-vis a top-down, autocratic approach to so-called leadership. This necessarily requires an attitude and skill-set conducive to developing a healthy team approach in ministry. We stress at IBL the importance of the leader's character and then actively encourage one another in the faithful application of biblical leadership. It is this “side-by-side” emphasis of IBL that has blessed me perhaps the deepest.
I love the classic by John Bunyan, “Pilgrim’s Progress.” What is striking in Bunyan’s tale is how God keeps sending “Christian” various leaders and fellow-Pilgrims to help steady his journey. In Christian’s case it was friends like “Evangelist,” “Faithful,” and “Hopeful” that steady his journey to the Celestial City. I have often viewed what we do at IBL in a similar light. We walk “side-by-side” with leaders who are not only sacrificially leading for the sake of their family and ministry, but who more often than not are physically, emotionally or spiritually exhausted and who simply need an Aaron to come and hold up their arm in the midst of the battle.
We welcome Joel to our ministry team and are excited about what God will be pleased to accomplish in the days ahead.
Straight Ahead! (1 Corinthians 15:58)
David Phelan, IBL Executive Director