On 29th August Dave Quintana will take over as Presiding Elder from Ken Noecker. We caught up with him to get his perspectives on his new job.
What is your assessment of the brotherhood as you take on your new role?
I think we are doing well and are healthy. There is steady growth which has actually picked up in the past five years. The affiliates and trainees currently looking at our life are excellent men.
Younger men are increasingly taking responsibility in our life. Three summers ago we had a so called “Leadership Forum” with all the brothers under 50, and we sensed God forging a new generation of leaders among them.
Also the fact that we will be opening a house in Lebanon and thus expanding into the Middle East is very encouraging. (To read more about this click here)
I think we are doing well and show signs of health: we have had steady growth, in fact more growth than in previous years. In all our regions there are excellent affiliates and trainees looking at our life. A group of younger men is beginning to take increased responsibility in our life: for example, we had a Leadership Forum two years ago where we gathered all the “under 50s” for some time of vision building and encouragement. The result was a strong sense of the Lord forging something among them.
But we are also facing challenges, some external, some internal: the situation in the world and in the church is becoming more difficult. We have aging brothers and we are still figuring out how to care for them, what “retirement” looks like and so forth. Especially in Europe and North America we have demographic challenges, and that will impact our houses. As we grow as a brotherhood, there is a question whether there are enough paid positions in mission for younger and older men to keep all our brothers fruitfully employed. And last but not least, growing in holiness remains a challenge (at least for some of us).
What will be your priorities during this first term?
Leadership and leadership transitions will figure prominently: in many ways, my election signals a change of generations, if we consider Steve Clark, Bruce Yocum, John Keating and Ken Noecker having been previous presiding elders. We will move even more toward a team approach. And there is great need to raise up new trainers, stewards and elders.
Recruitment will remain a key priority: we can never stop attracting and forming young men. We have started looking at care of our brothers, especially as they age, and that effort will continue. Finally I will be quite involved in launching our Lebanon house.
So what concrete plans do you envision?
In the fall of 2020 we will start a house in Lebanon. Leading up to it, Paul Codouni and I will be visiting and working there quite actively. We are likely to change our meeting patterns in order to maximally leverage the various gifts of our brothers. We will probably “fasttrack” some brothers, i.e. bring them more quickly into leadership than expected, in order to facilitate the leadership transition. And I expect some of the older elders to take the lead in helping our aging brothers adjust to their new circumstances.
What is your perspective on the brotherhood’s 50th anniversary?
I think it is a significant moment, one that marks a change of seasons. So we will want to take a spiritual approach to it. We will want to express our gratitude to the Lord through celebration, and we will try to get a larger number of brothers together in one place, both for celebration and to pass on a legacy from one generation to the next.
And we will have an anniversary fundraising campaign, since we will need increased resources for our work and mission in the years to come.
Finally, what can we pray for?
For the whole brotherhood, I would appreciate if you prayed for the younger men who are investigating our life, for God’s grace on our brothers in aging and illness, and for the many transitions of brothers this summer.
For me personally, please pray for grace to listen well to the Lord and the brothers, and for wisdom and courage to take on what I am supposed to take on.