We are closing on the end of another year, and the end of an era for DHF. Since this ministry began as Disciple Renewal back in 1985, it has been led by one of the three founders, me, Kevin Ray and Richard Bowman. The next phase of our ministry will involve other leaders, but the core of DHF will remain the same. DHF exists to encourage, strengthen and lead churches in fulfilling Christ’s mission.
The next few months will look a bit different, but our core mission remains the same.
DHF’s board has come to some conclusions as it has wrestled with how to make the transition to the next chapter of our story.
-We believe the financial crunch of the last couple of years has been a message from God to press us to create a new wineskin for the new wine of a non-denominational fellowship.
-We believe DHF should move to a bottom-up strategy rather than a top-down approach.
-We believe there is still a need for a national organization, but the focus of that organization needs to be on creating and resourcing area-based fellowships of pastors and churches.
-For the next few months, we will not attempt to fill the Executive Director position. Instead, Debbie Renfro, DHF’s office manager, will work through DHF’s board members and other volunteers to
fulfill our usual ministries and to recruit leaders for area-based fellowships.
-When finances allow, we believe there is still a need for a national leader, but in this transition time we will fulfill our mission through volunteers.
We are grateful for the example of DHF in North Carolina, a group of churches who have created a model for an area-based fellowship directly related to DHF. Our intention is to see this repeated in many parts of the country. There are serious limits to a national organization’s ability to create a sense of identity and connection that churches need. We also need face-to-face relationships that tie us to one another at the depth we need.
The decisions we are making are a move forward, not a step back. DHF needs your support more than ever as we respond to God’s vision for a new wineskin for a new era. It may be a bit chaotic as we learn a new paradigm, but the end will be a stronger, healthier and larger fellowship.
You’ve helped us create a new future several times over the last three decades. Please keep us strong for the next phase of the adventure!