Les Ollila in conference at Colonial Hills Baptist Church: "Our schedule also includes what will no doubt be a very interesting Q&A. "

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mmartin's picture

Based on the titles of the topics Dr. Ollila will be covering it almost appears he is trying to separate himself from the current happenings at NIU.

DavidO's picture

I had a face to face conversation with someone who had a face to face conversation with Dr. Olila.  I was told Dr. O said he is "no longer connected to NIU."

Steve Newman's picture

I have also had indirect info (firsthand to the person that told me) that Doc O. has not been involved in NIU for about 2 months and has been grieved with what has been taking place..

 

Jay's picture

Dr. Ollila decided to retire sometime at the beginning of the '12-'13 school year, according to the people I spoke with at NIU. 
 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Donn R Arms's picture

I once heard that someone said to the friend of a neighbor of my cousin's co-worker something different.

Donn R Arms

jimfrank's picture

Hey!  I can go to this conference.  Will this give me the opportunity to meet some of you personally?

 

JohnBrian's picture

jimfrank wrote:

Hey!  I can go to this conference.  Will this give me the opportunity to meet some of you personally?

No! but you might meet someone who knows someone who knows some of us personally!

CanJAmerican - my blog
CanJAmerican - my twitter
whitejumaycan - my youtube

dgszweda's picture

JohnBrian wrote:

jimfrank wrote:

Hey!  I can go to this conference.  Will this give me the opportunity to meet some of you personally?

No! but you might meet someone who knows someone who knows some of us personally!

 

Actually, many of us have separated from that someone.  Our level of fellowship might keep us on the other side of the room, lest we "share a row", so it may be difficult to meet that someone personally.  Rest assured though that everyone will be with that someone at the conference.  So I am confident that we will bump into an individual who may have met that someone personally while at the conference.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's a bit late now, but please don't post reports of what somebody said to somebody you talked to etc.... especially when we're talking about people and their employment status. That's the sort of thing to wait for official announcements for. And since SI doesn't have a news reporting staff, we can't really investigate these things.

(I'm pretty sure we've got something about it in the Comment Policy... if not, we'll add it)

Jay's picture

How can we properly 'separate' from that someone?  I mean, they might wind up in the same building as that someone - but not even know which someone they're supposed to avoid!

Help!

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Mike Harding's picture

Excellent admonition for all of us who lead a church or Christian organization by Dr. Doran

 

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things to Him be the glory forever." Romans 11:36
Glory & Grace:  Leadership Is A Stewardship
Posted by DMD on May 22, 2013

The leadership of an institution is a stewardship entrusted by both God and men. I followed a man who shepherded this congregation for forty years. The same man was the founding president of DBTS. I serve a congregation with a clear set of doctrines and by-laws which govern it, and they called me to serve because I affirmed my agreement with those. Yes, I think God directed my life to this place of service, but He did so by the means of human agency–a pastor, a pulpit committee, and a congregation.

I fully acknowledge that this is one of the great challenges of leadership in ministry contexts. The leaders are not free to pursue all of the paths available to him. They must work within the boundaries of their defining documents. They must work under the authority of whomever invested them with the stewardship of leadership. That means that beliefs of the leaders are not the de facto beliefs of the organization. If I changed, for example, my view of end times, it does not mean that Inter-City Baptist Church has changed its view. I don’t get to make that the call. The congregation does.

When the leader’s beliefs shift away from the organization’s stated beliefs, there are two options which involve integrity and one which does not. Integrity would lead the leader to either resign because he no longer can affirm his agreement or to put the question of changing the organization’s position before whomever has the authority to make the decision. For the leader, however, to take actions which are contrary to the organization’s beliefs and governing documents is a serious breach of integrity. Dress it up in whatever pious language you want, but it is deceptive and destructive.

For a pastor to chart a new course which effectively empties the church until the only ones remaining agree with him is unethical. For the leader of a service organization to pursue a new direction that leaves the organization vulnerable to collapse unless people go along with his choices is simply wrong. This is not servant leadership. Really it is not leadership at all; it is coercion. The congregation or organization is not allowed to make a free, informed choice about its new course or direction. The leader has imposed his will, not served.

I want to make sure I’m not misunderstood here. I’m not referring to interpretive calls about what fits within the church or organization’s governing documents. I’m talking about contradicting and circumventing them. It is the mindset that treats a leader as if he has some direct pipeline from God that gives him the right to ignore the boundaries properly held in place by the by-laws and articles of faith. It is the evidence that no matter how much lip-service we pay to being God-centered, too many of our churches and parachurch organizations are really built around men.

A genuine servant leader lives within the stewardship boundaries outlined for him in the governing documents of his church or ministry. If he finds himself in conflict with those, he either removes himself or calls for the church or ministry to reconsider its position. If he does the latter, he does that first, not after positioning things so that saying no will lead to catastrophic consequences. Leaving people no choice but to bend to your will is the antithesis of servant leadership.
.

Pastor Mike Harding

Jay's picture

I suspect Dr. Doran is obliquely referring to the NIU mess, so let me pose this question:

What do you do when the Board tells you that you're "within the stewardship boundaries" and others - on the Board, on staff underneath you, from the alumni, or from those "outside of the realm" - suddenly decide that you actually aren't within the boundaries and demand changes to suit their vision of the "boundaries"?  Then what?  You can't just fire all of them.

The big issue at NIU seems to be that the Board didn't cast a clear vision and was pitted against itself.  But that's just my .02 on the matter, and I really have no desire to get back into another NIU discussion.  I have a really, really, really hard time believing that Dr. Olson just decided to jump headlong into their current position without getting some kind of Board backing.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Marsilius's picture

I am not sure to whom Dr. Doran is referring, but I really appreciate what he has said. The type of behavior by leaders that he speaks against, happens again and again, and has for decades (probably centuries, but I am not that old). I am glad when someone gives the admonition: "No hidden agenda when you sign the contract." And please, I have reference to no one in particular with this statement. I have observed the hidden agenda method to happen repeatedly, particularly in churches.

Thank you Dave Doran!

Todd Bowditch's picture

I appreciate Dave Doran's comments. I think he is probably referring obliquely to the NIU situation.

 

I would suggest that his comments on servant leadership are reflective of most people involved at Northland.
Both Les Oilila and Matt Olson have demonstrated a humble spirit in their dealings. I believe that the resigning board members and Dan Patz have also exercised humility in the way in which they made their decisions.

Now, I suppose that someone could choose to act differently and make this comment irrelevant....but to my knowledge, that has not happened yet.

May Christ Be Magnified - Philippians 1:20 Todd Bowditch

Steve Newman's picture

He is probably referring to NIU, but his message does apply to all.

There have been lots of historical instances of congregations, parachurch organizations, etc. "hijacked" by a leader and his viewpoint which is contrary to the governing doctrines and documents of that institution.

If you don't agree with the stand of the organization, don't volunteer to lead it. It's like the spouse that marries and hopes to change their mate once they marry!

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Steve Newman wrote:

He is probably referring to NIU, but his message does apply to all.

There have been lots of historical instances of congregations, parachurch organizations, etc. "hijacked" by a leader and his viewpoint which is contrary to the governing doctrines and documents of that institution.

If you don't agree with the stand of the organization, don't volunteer to lead it. It's like the spouse that marries and hopes to change their mate once they marry!

While I agree that someone should not join an organization with the idea of completely going against what it stands for, there would, for example, likely be no possibility of ever calling a new pastor to a church if he had to agree on every single point beyond a very basic doctrinal statement or creed.  I think both the organization and the person coming to lead it should expect some change.

However, I do agree with being open and honest about the points of disagreement and attempting to work them out in plain view rather than trying to "sneak" in change behind the scenes.

Dave Barnhart

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

What does a leader do when the fundamentalism practiced in the church pews and chapel seats is different than the fundamentalism described on paper?  The last time a fundamentalist survey was done, it revealed that a host of young fundamentalists embrace the fundamental doctrines of fundamentalism but differ greatly over applications of separation.

 

 

 

 

Joel Tetreau's picture

Doran is gifted and is almost always not only right but brilliant in his analysis. This time is no different. I think his comments are especially right for his context because his institution is tied to a local church. One of the challenges of institutions not directly accountable to a local assembly is this - "who is the congregation" in a non-church based institution? What is it - a church or a business? So while certain aspects of Doran's thoughts are applicable to a situation like Northland......all things here are not equal.

So what is equal? Much of this has already been stated but in my own thoughts - I would think the following items in a church or a para-church ministry would need to be present before a leader takes a ministry through a change.

1. A clear distinction between those "differences" that are personal vs. those that will effect the ministry. If it's personal and frankly doesn't need to be aired than everyone can live with it and move on. If it potentially can become an issue - transparency and at least a review by the "board" should be the rule.

2. If you as a a leader are convinced that a "sharpened-pencil" approach to this or that aspect of our mission is needed - the leader must make sure that the board and key leaders are on board. It seems to me that if they are not and if the "deal" is large enough - you move on. However it also seems to me that if the all or most of the key leadership of the change are on board - you clarify it, review it, pray over it, communicate the change, explain what will not change, plan the implementation of the change, implement the change, chart the effects of the change, make whatever after-course corrections you need to make and move forward.

3. In honesty if you are in a significant position in a ministry and the majority of the leadership and the main "ethos" of those involved in the ministry want to head further in a direction you personally are uncomfortable with - it is the high road to move on quietly instead of making a stink. In some cases if the change is not that big enough, those that are with you will want you to stay even though they know you aren't entirely on board with everything that's changed.

4. If you look to be involved with a ministry that will believe just like you do - you will end up on some island wiht just you and your wife.......and she'll be suspect.

A few thoughts from while in Alaska - away from the heat and the cacti of Arizona.

Straight Ahead!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

dgszweda's picture

I would agree that what Dr. Doran is talking about is more in line with a church ministry than a stand alone institution like NIU.  I agree that it is a stewardship, but it acts more like a corporate organization than a church ministry.  At the end of the day, either the board was aware, or the board was remiss in it's duties.  Dr. Olsen did not do this in a vacuum, and most outside of the organization was aware that big changes were being made.  How much more were the board, who Dr. Olsen reports to, was aware of the changes.  I think you have a lot of pastors who sit on these type of boards, or frequent this forum, who real that this needs to be run like a church and that is not the case.  Boards are rarely 100% behind everything or even direction changes for an organization in the corporate world.  There is always a lot of jostling and work going on behind the scenes.  I see no reason why Dr. Olsen needs to follow an organizations vision or strategy.  It is up to him to set this with board approval.  These are often changed all the time.  There is no congregation that needs to review these things.

Don Johnson's picture

dgszweda wrote:

I see no reason why Dr. Olsen needs to follow an organizations vision or strategy.  It is up to him to set this with board approval.  These are often changed all the time.  There is no congregation that needs to review these things.

David, the integrity issue are the NIU constitution and bylaws and statement of faith. If you can't abide by them, it is unethical to operate in contradiction to them. DMD doesn't name who he is talking about, but his comments can be applied directly to the NIU situation. The integrity issue is bigger to me than the doctrinal/cultural disagreements I have had with Matt and NIU.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Jay's picture

Don Johnson wrote:
David, the integrity issue are the NIU constitution and bylaws and statement of faith. If you can't abide by them, it is unethical to operate in contradiction to them. DMD doesn't name who he is talking about, but his comments can be applied directly to the NIU situation. The integrity issue is bigger to me than the doctrinal/cultural disagreements I have had with Matt and NIU.

I'm sorry, Don - I wasn't aware that standards of music were in NIU's constitution and bylaws.  I must have missed that.  Could you point that statement out for me?

And since you're on this thread, why don't you take a crack at the question in my first post?

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

mmartin's picture

Jay,

Don didn't say anything about the music issue. Maybe he was referring to other things. Not sure why you are focusing on that single issue.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist on either side of the NIU controversy to see that NIU has often not followed their own handbook regarding items they have changed or allowed to take place. Even regarding the things they have said they were changing, ie music, some of their recent actions have gone far beyond that.

I agree with Don that NIU has some serious integrity issues based on actual happenings. Some may disagree. I think at the very least by many people there is a perception of an integrity problem at NIU.

Ron Bean's picture

I'm on the mailing list of a fundamentalist paper. Their recent edition featured an article on NIU in which they drew heavily from Lou Martuneac. Here's their conclusion: (Notice the first sentence.)

.......The drift began back in 2009 in spite of Dr. Les Ollila's protestations to the contrary and now we see the result. They were not truthful then and they are only now admitting to their changes.

My friends, this is the Devil's work, not God's work! There is no teaching of the difference between the holy and the profane now at Northland International University. An egalitarian approach to holiness and error is now the standard. They can co-exist, holiness and the profane, because we say they can. This is an affront to the authority of the Word of God.

In my opinion, Northland is beyond hope now. I would encourage every fundamental pastor to get their young people out of Northland before the walls of Jericho fall. We will now watch as Northland slides into destitution and failure, for the Word of God is now but a prop in a play, not the main actor. How utterly sad and needless.

__________________

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Don Johnson's picture

We have documented and discussed the integrity issues at length here. Perhaps some of you missed it, but Jay was involved in the discussion. It is quite disappointing to see him act like my comments are a surprise.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Todd Bowditch's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

I'm on the mailing list of a fundamentalist paper. Their recent edition featured an article on NIU in which they drew heavily from Lou Martuneac. Here's their conclusion: (Notice the first sentence.)

.......The drift began back in 2009 in spite of Dr. Les Ollila's protestations to the contrary and now we see the result. They were not truthful then and they are only now admitting to their changes.

My friends, this is the Devil's work, not God's work! There is no teaching of the difference between the holy and the profane now at Northland International University. An egalitarian approach to holiness and error is now the standard. They can co-exist, holiness and the profane, because we say they can. This is an affront to the authority of the Word of God.

In my opinion, Northland is beyond hope now. I would encourage every fundamental pastor to get their young people out of Northland before the walls of Jericho fall. We will now watch as Northland slides into destitution and failure, for the Word of God is now but a prop in a play, not the main actor. How utterly sad and needless.

__________________

 

Aye, there's the rub, for Lou Martuneac's opinion of Northland does not matter at all to me.

May Christ Be Magnified - Philippians 1:20 Todd Bowditch

Ron Bean's picture

Todd Bowditch wrote:

Ron Bean wrote:

I'm on the mailing list of a fundamentalist paper. Their recent edition featured an article on NIU in which they drew heavily from Lou Martuneac. Here's their conclusion: (Notice the first sentence.)

.......The drift began back in 2009 in spite of Dr. Les Ollila's protestations to the contrary and now we see the result. They were not truthful then and they are only now admitting to their changes.

My friends, this is the Devil's work, not God's work! There is no teaching of the difference between the holy and the profane now at Northland International University. An egalitarian approach to holiness and error is now the standard. They can co-exist, holiness and the profane, because we say they can. This is an affront to the authority of the Word of God.

In my opinion, Northland is beyond hope now. I would encourage every fundamental pastor to get their young people out of Northland before the walls of Jericho fall. We will now watch as Northland slides into destitution and failure, for the Word of God is now but a prop in a play, not the main actor. How utterly sad and needless.

__________________

 

Aye, there's the rub, for Lou Martuneac's opinion of Northland does not matter at all to me.

 

Opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one. The opinion I posted and Lou's are opinions I've chosen to ignore. "Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are they?"

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Jay's picture

MMartin - they changed their handbook, and they changed their rules.  Not sure why that's a problem.  Businesses and schools do that all the time - both Christian and secular.  Are you saying they have no right to do so?  Are you saying that NIU should not make these changes when they feel it's the right thing to do?  Especially if/when some Board members backed the changes?

While you're at it, why don't you take a crack at my question?

Don Johnson wrote:
We have documented and discussed the integrity issues at length here. Perhaps some of you missed it, but Jay was involved in the discussion. It is quite disappointing to see him act like my comments are a surprise.

Don,

I'm pretty clear on your position - especially since you stated that:

Clearly, the whiplash effect is an embarrassment – NI”U” is a sham school. It is hard to see how they have any credibility going forward. Will they have more than 200 students next year? Would you risk your hard earned $$$ to send a student there?

and at one point you specifically told people:

Really, in my opinion, you shouldn’t send your kids to Northland International University. The school and its president have taken a strange turn – this is the latest example. Several of Matt’s friends on Facebook, mutual friends of ours, protested at this link in the comments that followed. You won’t find those protests any longer, they’ve been deleted (after Matt responded to one).

The latest comment, “Have you been hacked, Matt?” Alas, if it were only that simple. I’m afraid all of us who once supported Northland have been hacked.

Don’t send your kids there, you will be very disappointed.

So when you say that they violated their Constitution, Statement of Faith and Bylaws, it ought to be fairly easy to do.  While you're at it, you can take a crack at my question - which is what I actually asked you to do.  Stop dodging the question with protestations of NIU's 'integrity issues'.  'Integrity issues' aren't in those documents.

As for Lou - I wouldn't waste my life on his rants, whether blogged or written.

 

 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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