Posted by: ritagone | December 13, 2017

Leading On!

I have just come home from two and a half days in the Denver area, meeting with the Board of Directors of Communitas International, the ministry I have served for over 20 years as a board member and then board chair.  We are a church planting ministry focused in Western Europe but also in North and South America, Eastern Europe and further east there, and we have weathered some pretty incredible changes over the almost 50 years of our existence.  Last month our third president tendered his resignation after being with the organization for a decade in two key positions, and so we gathered with the Senior Leadership Team to discuss, to pray, to dream, to figure out where God is taking us next.  We also got to meet with Dudley to say good-bye and to de-brief with him, to hear his heart and to bless him before he moves on to a ministry in Texas that is a wonderfully close fit for his giftings and personality.  We were able to say good-bye to his wife and two lovely teenaged daughters, closure which is not always possible in these situations, and for that we are immensely grateful.  It was not an easy time: there were lots of tears and emotion and expressions of love and thanks.  A bit of criticism and “what if’s.”  That’s to be expected.  But after all of that, we eight, with the help of a consultant/facilitator who had been a part of the ministry for many, many years in the recent past, were able to talk, to plan, to organize, to laugh, to dream.  “How do we reassure the staff, who are probably worried and concerned in this time of transition, that they are in good hands?”  That was one of the questions we tackled, and I think we answered it well, or at least began to do so.  “What are some of the key measures we need to put into place right now for stability and continuity?” was another key question.

We didn’t get everything answered and settled, by any means, but when we finished our meeting on Tuesday afternoon, I think we felt that we had accomplished quite a bit.  I think we were comfortable with a job well done.  We had set ourselves up for the next “gathering,” a phone conference call for January, and the next gathering after that, another in person meeting in Southern California toward the end of February.  We’re meeting.  We’re talking.  We’re praying.  (That’s probably the most important part to all of this.)  We’re committed to moving forward with a mission we all believe in.

If you look at the photos below, you’ll see on the left the “serious” shot of us as a group, taking a break to take our picture together.  I wish I weren’t in the front.  I’m always in the front because I’m shortest.  Yuck.  But if you’ll notice, we’re smiling.  We’re standing close to one another.  There’s no tension.  No fists.  No weapons are drawn.  That’s a good thing.  The second photograph speaks for itself.  “Let’s do something silly,” someone said.  And we very easily slipped into silly mode.  Someone suggested that I looked like I was biting off Jeff’s ear.  I was not.  But it makes for a funny photograph, doesn’t it?

Pray for us.  In that mix of people are those who love and care for Communitas International right now in a special way.  Pray for wisdom and discernment and strength and insight for us.  And maybe even a donation or two thrown in for good measure.  We love serving a vibrant and intimate and loving God.

I hope you’re serving Him somewhere, somehow today too.


  1. Welcome home! So interesting to read. All bitter sweet. I really liked Dudley. The ministry is too important, it has to keep going. I know I will still give to it. Was a leader picked?

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Good for you folks. Who was your consultant; couldn’t tell from the pix?


    Len Sunukjian

    FishBowl Ministries

    64 La Cumbre Circle

    Santa Barbara, CA 93105-4442

    Cell: 805.390.0993


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