The Proposed 2013 Vineyard USA National Board

Last week Phil Strout, the Vineyard USA National Director Elect, announced twelve of the members of his new “Executive Team” or national board. While there are still a few appointments pending, I have to say that I am pretty pleased with Phil’s section as it gives the board a well-rounded view of what God is doing throughout the USA.

The Proposed 2013 Vineyard USA National Board
  • Current Members Who Will Continue:
    • Brian Anderson –Southwest Regional Overseer and Vineyard Church North Phoenix (AZ) pastor
    • Mark Fields –Missions Task Force Director
    • Michael Gatlin – Church Planting Task Force Director (as of May 2011) and pastor of the Duluth Vineyard (MN)
    • Happy Leman –Midwest Regional Overseer and pastor of The Vineyard Church – Urbana (IL)
    • Rich Nathan – Large Church Task Force Director and pastor of the Vineyard Church of Columbus (OH)
    • Rick Olmstead –Greater Rocky Mountain Regional Overseer and Vineyard Church of the Rockies (Fort Collins, CO) pastor
    • Lance Pittluck –Western Regional Overseer and Anaheim Vineyard (CA) pastor
  • New Board Members:
    • Phil Chorlian – North Jersey Vineyard (Teterboro, NJ) pastor and current Regional Church Planting Coordinator for the Northeast
    • Jeff Heidkamp – Editor of “Cutting Edge” magazine (a Vineyard USA church planting resource) and co-pastor of the Mercy Vineyard (Minneapolis, MN) with his wife Le Que, who leads the Vineyard USA National Ethnic Diversity Task Force.
    • Jay Pathak – Mile High Vineyard (Arvada, CO) pastor and Greater Rocky Mountain Church Planting Coordinator
    • Dianne Leman – Current Women’s Task Force co-director, co-senior pastor of The Vineyard Church – Urbana (IL) and Co-Regional Overseer for the Midwest Region with her husband Happy (it sounds like Dianne’s role is being enlarged so I’m listing her as a “new” member)
    • Becky Olmstead – Current Kids Ministry Task Force Director, co-senior pastor of Vineyard Church of the Rockies (Fort Collins, CO) and Co-Regional Overseer for the Greater Rocky Mountain with her husband Rick (it sounds like Becky’s role is being enlarged so I’m listing her as a “new” member)
The Good…

I love the fact that Phil is including ‘second generation’ Vineyard leaders (Phil, Jeff and Jay) in the board as I feel that they bring a fresh perspective to the changing culture within the USA. Moreover, I’m fairly happy with the increased role of Dianne and Becky even though I wish that Phil would have chosen ladies who were not married to current board members as it gives the Olmsteads and Lemans a greater voice than the other members….

Phil is also doubling the number of regions from eight to sixteen in an effort to “foster effective relationship building among pastors.” This means that each of the current Regional Overseers on the nation board will have to resign their position in order to stay on the Executive Team. This move will allow ‘new blood’ to move up in leadership while maintaining a certain amount of mentorship and continuity. (Marty Boller’s has posted some good thoughts about the next wave of ROs.)

The Not-so-Good…

The saddest thing about the board is the lack of a rural and/or small church pastor as the folks on the proposed executive team comes from either a mega church and/or multi-site church in an urban area. While I know that being on the board would be harder for a small church pastor due to staff limitations, I hope that Phil will notice this gap and recruit some rural/small church leaders for the national board.

The Challenges…

In looking at the folks Phil choose, I have a feeling that the Vineyard USA leadership team is going to focus the next few years on church planting. This is good as the number of new church plants in the USA have dropped considerable over the last 30-years. However I will have to say that I hope they change the way they plant churches as the way in which we ‘do’ church is changing. We need to move with the Spirit and start recognizing alternative methods of being the local church – a shift which shouldn’t be too hard as the Vineyard USA already recognizes the authority of the local church to govern themselves.


Like I mentioned at the beginning, overall I like the sound of this team and I’m very excited about the future of the Vineyard USA Movement. God is not done with us. We still have a role to play in this post-Christendom society loving those who do not know Jesus and blessing those who already do.

Hang on Vineyard, we are in for quite a ride these next few years. 😀

3 thoughts on “The Proposed 2013 Vineyard USA National Board”

  1. Hey Josh. HAPPY NEW YEAR. God is large and in charge, so if we can all keep ourselves near to the ground with our ears turned upward toward heaven, 2012 can be a fruitful year in Kingdom ministry. May we see more of Jesus leading His church and less of our ‘good idea’ agendas. Keep going, bro. Love your posts!

  2. Good thoughts Josh! Mine go in a similar direction…I understand relationship and ability to lead and give good guidance, but like you, if we are serious about diversity and not getting lost in “group-think”, then there needs to be more diversity. Where is a La Vina pastor represented here? Two women out of 12 so far…OK, but location is really important, almost everyone is a suburban church, except for Heidkamp (and techinically Pathak has a satellite campus in the city), where are the rural and small church representatives? We have a Large Church Task Force, where is the Small Church Task Force or the Rural Church Task Force or the Urban Church Task Force?

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