Phil Bauman pledges to keep us focused on the main thing

By Tim Allan | International

Commissioning of Phil Bauman as International Director of SIM with Gill Philips and Joshua Bogunjoko. Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, February 22, 2024. Photos by John Dudeck.

Phil Bauman pledged to ‘keep the main thing, the main thing’ as he was commissioned into the role of SIM International Director at a wonderfully uplifting service in Charlotte.

The Canadian, who has already served as SIM Ghana director and the SIM Global Director for Strategic Development, was visibly emotional as he spoke during the service at SIM USA’s office.

He said: “If you Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? I know I could not. It is a privilege to stand here and I stand by the grace of God.

“I am humbled to have been asked to take on this role. I am honoured, blessed and daunted by the legacy I now get to be part of.”

Phil re-affirmed his commitment to our purpose, mission and vision and paid tribute to his predecessors in the role, who have led the mission to this point. He also emphasised his commitment to the diversity and mutuality of SIM.

He said: “May we continue to remain committed to celebrating our diversity- a rich deep diversity - and pursue it with fervent intentionality. In our diversity I am committed to leading us toward richer diversity where everyone in this organisation feels as though they belong; regardless of our God-given gender, status, ethnicity or culture. May we work together as a Christ-like community that learns together and celebrates our diversity. May God help us by his grace.”

His immediate three predecessors – Joshua Bogunjoko, Malcolm McGregor and Jim Plueddemann – were all present to see him take over.

Left to right: Jim Plueddemann, Malcolm McGregor, Phil Bauman and Joshua Bogunjoko.

The service was led by the chair of SIM International’s board of governors, Gill Phillips, and exemplified our global nature, with contributions from people of every continent.

Every member of the board played a part in the service as they led Phil through the formal question and answer responses, which confirmed him in the role. 

He was also supported by representatives of SIM Canada and his sending church in Canada, and by others from SIM Ghana, where he served as director.

Keith Walker, who has worked closely with both Phil and Joshua, gave the Bible talk, taking us through the book of Romans in 20 minutes to demonstrate just how important the work of mission is in God’s eyes.

Of course, as Gill made clear, it is God who has led Phil and SIM to this leadership transition. The board appointed a search committee, who recommended Phil. He was then approved by the Global Assembly and then by a vote of the whole mission.

Although Phil starts his new role officially on March 1, the service marked the end of Joshua’s more than 10 years as International Director.

Joshua was clearly holding back tears as he spoke immediately after the more than 140 attendees had sung the great old hymn ‘Facing a Task Unfinished.’ The need to keep on with that task clearly weighs heavily on him.

He told how the places that hymn talks about included his own home little more than a hundred years ago. He stressed how important it was for organisations like SIM to continue the work of taking the gospel to places where Christ is least known.

As he stepped from the podium, he handed Phil a piece of paper with some familiar words written on it. They were the same words Joshua’s predecessor, Malcolm, had left for Joshua when he took over as International Director.

Those words are simply: Keep the main thing, the main thing. A reminder that sharing the good news of Jesus Christ has always been, and will always be, at the very heart of what SIM exists to do.

Joshua’s fond farewell

Joshua Bogunjoko marked the end of his tenure as International Director with a series of heartfelt goodbyes at the Fort Mill Office.

Joshua and Phil, the night before Phil's commissioning.

The climax was a celebration on the night before Phil’s commissioning, which saw more than 100 people gather to say goodbye.

Joshua was joined by his family, wife Joanna and children Joel and Jochebed, as he made his final speech at the South Carolina office. Among many others, Phil and Andrea Bauman, Malcolm and Liz McGregor and Jim and Carol Plueddemann gathered to say a fond farewell.

Joshua’s executive assistant paid warm tribute to her boss, especially his care for people, his humility and his grace-filled response to criticism

Speaking to the whole audience, Joshua said: “It is quite overwhelming  to feel your love, your kindness and encouragement, but I am so grateful that Angela pointed out we have feet of clay. 

“We haven’t done anything by ourselves and we are so grateful to all the people who have journeyed with us. Cross-cultural mission is a school from which you never graduate and want to say thank you to all those who have helped us grow, who have prayed with us and who have opened their homes to us.”

Joshua made it clear he will still very much be part of SIM and happy to be part of a mission led by Phil Bauman. Among other things, Joshua will be helping mentor mission workers from Africa.

Please pray: 

• Lift Phil and Andrea Bauman to the Lord. Pray they would trust in the Lord, be led by him and trust him in all things. 

• Thank God for his faithfulness to Joshua, Joanna and SIM during the past 10 years and for the things he has accomplished through them; pray he will continue to lead them in their lives, their ministry and their marriage. 

• Pray the foundations built during the last 10 years would prove firm as SIM embarks on a new era of leadership. 

SIM Asset Publisher Portlet

Agrégateur de contenus

SIM Asset Publisher Portlet

Agrégateur de contenus

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