This could have been a routine story about an organization’s change in leadership, but when you read how God moved during the process, you will be encouraged and inspired.
As he approached his tenth year as SIM USA’s president, Bruce Johnson sensed it was the right time for him to step aside so a younger leader could step in. This put in motion a rigorous executive search process to find the right replacement.
One of the names that emerged was Randy Fairman, who served Jesus as a businessman overseas with connections to SIM for 12 years. But Randy wasn’t looking for a new job. In fact, he had just taken a senior global ministry position with SIM and wanted to honor the commitment he had made there.
But some nine months later as the search continued, Randy sensed God telling him that he should at least be willing to consider the role as Bruce’s replacement. Randy’s supervisor agreed that it would be right for them to be open and pursue the Lord’s will.
SEEKING GOD’S WILL
Depending on God is core to SIM, and the board sought His guidance as they considered Randy as the leading candidate. But the discussion went through the afternoon without reaching a firm conviction.
“This is the most important decision a board of directors makes,” said Bruce. The members did not want to act until they were confident that they knew the will of the Lord.
Finally, they agreed to take a break for dinner, and then go to their rooms to pray.
The next morning, the chairman opened the meeting and asked, “Any thoughts that you had overnight?”
Bruce raised his hand, saying he had been awakened at 2 a.m. and had the sense that the Lord could be speaking to him. What he believed the Lord told him was: “I have made Randy. I want Randy to do this. Randy is a special person, gifted by Me. And I am going to use him powerfully in this position.”
Just then, across the room, another board member raised his hand with tears running down his cheeks. Looking at Bruce, he said, “I was awakened at 2 a.m., and I was actually called to pray for you. I didn’t know what I was supposed to pray, but it was heavy on my heart and mind. I needed to pray for you.”
A “HOLY HUSH”
As Bruce recalls, “there was a holy hush” in the room. And Randy was confirmed by a unanimous vote.
Bruce said it brought to mind the story in Acts 15 where Paul, Barnabas, and Titus went to Jerusalem and had a very robust conversation with the church leaders there. In the end they agreed in unity, saying, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” (Acts 15:28)
“That defined that moment for our board of directors,” said Bruce. “This was one of my most significant ‘God moments’ in over 40 years of ministry leadership.”
As Bruce and Randy work together before this change of leadership on March 1, they both can move forward with confidence. “There was a real outpouring of the Holy Spirit that happened at the time that decision was made,” said Randy. “We’re both seeking to further the organization and both sense that God is in this transition.”
Be encouraged that God’s hand is on this ministry during this time of change! Pray that—together—we can continue to reach people for Jesus where He is least known.
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