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Stand in the Gap

A Goodbye Note: From Francois

By December 20, 2021No Comments

Dear friend,

After 13 years at Stand in the Gap, the Lord is calling me to a new chapter and I will be (semi) retiring at year end.  The SITGM Executive Director role will be assumed by the more than capable TJ Warren, who has been instrumental in our success over the past five years in “rebirthing” and substantially improving all aspects of our Life Launch program serving at-risk young adults. In his current role as Director of Programs, TJ lead our restructuring effort and significantly enhanced our program operations, processes and supporting infrastructure and systems.  We have also significantly strengthened our organization through wise hiring while adding important new positions such as our Enrichment Coordinator, responsible for the support and well-being of our key constituents (donors, volunteers, staff and board).  I can say without hesitation that we have the strongest and most capable team SITGM ever and that the future is very bright for the ministry of Stand in the Gap.

TJ and I have invested a full year in a very thoughtful and thorough transition including a full year of professional coaching for TJ to further invest in his leadership skills and capabilities.  In 2022 I will join the SITGM Board of Directors, will remain engaged with Stand in the Gap for the foreseeable future and will continue to support and mentor TJ.

Stand in the Gap has been the professional experience of a lifetime and I have been blessed and stretched beyond measure through this experience.  My faith has grown exponentially because of this journey and working with colleagues who are committed to Christ and committed to our mission. One of my top priorities in this new chapter is creating more capacity or space to invest in the people and organizations that matter most to me, but really my investment focus is people. My Stand in the Gap experience has drawn me to the cause of helping women impacted by incarceration and I will continue to actively serve on the board of several organizations we partner with at SITGM such as His House Outreach Ministries / She Brews, working with Rhonda Bear and team, and Branch 15 in OKC/Owasso and a few others.  These are organizations that my wife Laura and I will continuing to invest in with our time, talent and treasure and a major focus will be our vision to expand the She Brews Coffee House brand to other communities in Oklahoma.

In closing, I share this prayer with you that has impacted me at a deep level as I focus on finishing well, finishing strong and legacy in this next chapter.

A prayer to finish well:

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.
May I, as I draw closer to the end of my earthly life,
Be a man who loves your church more than I ever have,
A man who prays for Your church and Your leaders in the church,
A man who shows his commitment to Your bride in all that I do.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.
May I be a man of greater moral purity, so indwelled in your word and in prayer, that I am able to resist the temptations of the enemy, that my life shines as an example for You to the watching world.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.
May I be a man who loves my family more with each passing day,
A man more in love and dedicated to his wife,
A man who loves his adult children even more than I did when they were younger,
And a man who loves his grandchildren and generation to come.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.
May I be a man who loves others more as I grow older,
A man who is less judgmental and more giving of grace,
A man who realizes that the plank in my own eye is large,
and that I should forgive even as You forgive me.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.
May my life have greater joy with each day.
May I see the blessings of life and count them daily.
May I not grow old and more bitter,
But grow older rejoicing in You always.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.
As the day draws closer when I meet you face to face, may I be a man who is already drawing closer to You, a man who eagerly anticipates that day, and a man who leaves behind a legacy and not regrets.

Lord, strengthen me to finish well.
And then, and only then, can I say that my life was not lived in vain.


Author Tom Rainer, CEO LifeWay Christian Resources

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