Boschman to transition to new opportunities in 2014
By Connie Faber
The USMB Leadership Board has announced the retirement of Executive Director Ed Boschman (pictured right) from full-time ministry, effective at the conclusion of Conection 2014, the next USMB delegate convention to be held in July 2014.
“Ed has been a strong visionary leader for us,” says Steve Schroeder, USMB Leadership Board chair. “I appreciate Ed’s enthusiasm that is evident in his preaching and in his leading.”
Boschman has served as the USMB executive director since October 2007. During his almost seven-year tenure, existing USMB ministries have been enhanced and new efforts have been initiated.
- The USMB staff has grown to include a full-time director of development and part-time Slavic ministries and social media coordinators.
- Church planting has aggressively moved forward. Current plans are to plant six new USMB congregations each year, beginning in 2012. “Ed has a true passion for reaching out to lost people,” says Schroeder. “He not only preaches that, but he lives it. He always has current examples to share about how God is transforming the lives of people in his sphere of influence.”
- Thanks to Boschman’s efforts, funding for national ministry initiatives may have stronger church support. Boshman worked with MB Foundation president and CEO Jon Wiebe to develop a proportional funding model that was approved by delegates at the 2012 convention and is currently in effect. The new model replaces a “norms” approach to church giving with a “first fruits” financial gift of 2.5 percent of the general church offerings.
- Boschman led the staff and Leadership Board in defining the common USMB vision to be: “We partner as one family, serving one Lord, on one mission, for the transformation of individuals, families and communities.”
- Boschman invested time and effort, along with USMB Board of Faith and Life chair Larry Nikkel, in planning and carrying out the January 2013 BFL Study Conference concerning Articles 12 and 13 of the USMB Confession of Faith.
- USMB communication efforts were enhanced under Boschman’s leadership. A new USMB web site that greatly enhanced the opportunity for U.S. Mennonite Brethren to interact digitally was introduced in 2008 and is currently being redesign. The Christian Leader was redesigned in 2010 as a full-color bimonthly publication.
Schroeder also credits Boschman with helping the national conference to grow in ways that cannot be measured or quantified. The Leadership Board chair credits Boschman with creating a sense of unity among various USMB partner ministries.
“Ed has worked passionately to bring increased harmony among our institutions and agencies—so that we would all be serving arm in arm, united in spirit and purpose,” says Schroeder. “Ed (was) determined that we find ways to work together and stay together as a family of churches.”
Schroeder cites Boschman’s commitment to supporting local pastors as another area in which USMB has benefited from Boschman’s leadership.
“Ed cares about pastors and has been proactive in trying to equip and encourage pastors. He and Carol often attend pastor’s gatherings in each of our districts,” says Schroeder. “He has worked effectively with our national BFL to clarify expectations of our pastors and has been instrumental in organizing some top-notch new pastor orientation gatherings.”
Boschman has also been a champion of National Youth Conferences, says Schroeder. “Ed has witnessed over and over how God uses that event in a very significant way in our denomination,” says Schroeder. “During his tenure as executive director, he has always been very encouraging and supportive of our youth conference planning teams.”
In his role as USMB executive director, Boschman has represented U.S. Mennonite Brethren churches well in the broader evangelical church world and among other Mennonite groups and agencies, says Schroeder.
Following the 2014 summer convention, Boschman plans to transition to other ministry opportunities, including some that will allow him and his wife, Carol, to serve together.
“The plan is to move out of the USMB executive director role but to continue to participate nationally, internationally and/or locally, in life coaching, leadership mentoring, local church health and effectiveness consulting and in an ongoing call to effective evangelism in our hometowns and neighborhoods,” writes Boschman in his June/July Christian Leader Conference Call column.
Prior to serving as USMB executive director, Boschman served for 28 years in local church ministry both in the United States and Canada and for six years as the first executive director of Mission USA, the USMB church planting and renewal ministry, serving in that capacity from 1996 to 2002. He also served as moderator of the binational General Conference of MB Churches from 1995 to 1999.
The Leadership Board hopes to hire the next executive director in late spring or early summer of 2014. Search committee members include Leadership Board chair Schroeder and board members Marv Schellenberg and David Hardt as well as Larry Nikkel, chair of the USMB Board of Faith and Life.
“We have begun the search process and we are confident that God will call out the right leader for us,” says Schroeder. Inquiries, suggestions or resumes may be sent to Schroeder at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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