From an email sent to Sovereign Grace Ministries elders from Mike Bradshaw on behalf of the SGM Executive Committee:
We are looking forward with faith-filled anticipation to our time together in Orlando next month. Thanks again to all who participated in the Ratification Vote. The new polity structure will, we believe, be of great help to Sovereign Grace (SG) churches in fulfilling our gospel mission together.
In accordance with the new SG Book of Church Order (BCO), this letter serves as formal notice to all SG elders of our previously announced Special Meeting of the SG Council of Elders (CE). The Council will convene at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, FL, on May 23-25, 2013.
Each SG church eldership has already identified its representative to the Council prior to the Polity Ratification Vote of April 12. Every SG church eldership that gives notice of inclusion to the Director of Church Care by signing the Letter of Intent is welcome to participate in this CE meeting.
Others SG elders are welcome as observers. Also welcome are the elders of those historical SG churches who have not yet signed the Letter of Intent but who are considering doing so.
This meeting constitutes a “special meeting” since it is not coinciding with our annual Pastors Conference (BCO III.B.2.c). We realize that, as a movement, we are just getting used to functioning with a Book of Church Order and that the language of formality may be a bit foreign to us all.
Please do not let formal language detract from what we believe will be a time of significant blessing and spiritual communion among our elders.
The formal business action required by the CE will be the confirmation of the Executive Director.
“After the Executive Committee has chosen the Executive Director candidate, he must be confirmed by a simple majority of the Council of Elders.” (BCO III.B.3.g)
After careful consideration, including the review of input from our pastors, a detailed interview process, and much discussion and prayer, the Executive Committee has chosen Mark Prater to be the first Executive Director of the SG Leadership Team to be put forth for confirmation. The Committee believes that Mark is most suitably qualified to direct the Leadership Team in the near future. Mark has ably proven himself as the Regional Leader of a strong Region and as the Acting Director of Church Care and Church Planting. The Committee believes Mark is the best choice among several qualified candidates to bring the necessary leadership at this most critical moment in our history and to meet our most pressing needs: the implementation of our new polity, the restoration of trust and unity among the elders of SG, the facilitation of the care of our participating churches, and the coordination of our Regional Assemblies and our movement in the planting of new churches domestically and internationally. The Executive Director’s responsibilities are outlined in the Leadership Team section of the BCO (III.E.4.a).
We will be supplying each Council of Elders delegate with more extensive biographical information and justification of our decision to select Mark Prater. We do this so that each delegate can carefully and prayerfully consider his vote of confirmation. Furthermore, the Council of Elders meeting will include a formal nomination and discussion of Mark’s candidacy before a final vote is taken. A more detailed agenda of the meeting will be forthcoming in the next week or two.
Again, it is with much anticipation that we approach the convening of our first SG Council of Elders meeting. This meeting will mark a new chapter in the life of our family of churches. We ask that you all approach this time together prayerfully and in faith for what God will do in our midst.
Grace and peace in the name of the Lord Jesus,
Your brothers on the Executive Committee
Sovereign Grace Ministries
Interim Communications Manager | sovgracemin.org