What’s the latest with rcli?
The Board has been exploring ways to strengthen how RCLI develops Christian leaders in metro Richmond. With that in mind, the Board has made three big decisions:
1) We will not be fielding an RCLI Class in the fall of 2019.
2) We are fully committed to delivering a great class experience for the current class of participants in the program.
3) We plan to take a year to re-imagine what RCLI could be.
What was the thinking behind these decisions?
There were hours of prayer and discussion that got us to where we stand today. These decisions weren’t made lightly. RCLI’s model is proven, but a lot has changed since RCLI began.
Technology has become far more powerful in the last decade. Fun fact: the original iPhone hit the market in June of 2007; RCLI started its first class that September. The evolving role of technology is important as we consider the changing ways adults learn and how we deliver engaging class content. We want to imagine what a program like RCLI might look like in 2025 or 2030, based on what we know today.
There are other Christian organizations in Richmond that do great work. There may be better ways to complement each other’s efforts for the benefit of all.
RCLI’s finances have been tight for some time. While our financial situation played a role in the Board’s decision-making, it wasn’t the only factor.
The Board is taking a step back to listen to the Lord, ask some new questions, draw new voices into the conversation and imagine what’s next.
Was this just because the money was tight?
It’s a legitimate question. While it’s true that our finances have been tight for some time, there were multiple factors at play. The Board has been considering a set of strategic questions, and it will be helpful to have the time and space to give them the prayer and attention they deserve. Our hope is that, with added clarity on our future direction, we can build engagement and a stronger financial foundation.
What does this mean for the current class?
RCLI’s Operations Coordinator, Erin Nogueira, will continue to support the planning and execution of the monthly class sessions. Rev. Gina Maio intends to serve as a Session Leader each month in a volunteer capacity as a consistent presence through their commissioning at the end of June.
Several Board members will be focused on the quality of the monthly class content. We also have a dedicated set of volunteers – many of whom went through the class themselves – who have volunteered to help execute the class sessions, as we do every year. As a note, the first two classes of RCLI were run exclusively by volunteers. Today, we have twelve years of relationships and institutional memory to draw upon – from churches, to expert speakers, to session materials and activities.
what’s the LATEST WITH STAFFING?
In the short term, we do not plan to hire an Executive Director. We intend to retain our Operations Coordinator (Erin Nogueira) on staff as long as funding is available for her role. Erin does so much to keep RCLI going: planning the monthly class sessions and guiding their execution, creating ongoing external communications, managing the design of this website – and that’s just a start.
We are likely moving into a season where we’ll be relying more on the support of people like you. Like the early days of RCLI – the Board and a group of passionate volunteers will be jumping in to help with the planning and execution of the work.
So IF you don’t plan to hire an executive director ANYTIME SOON, what DOES THAT MEAN for the future of rcli?
The strength of RCLI has never been dependent on one or two people. Our strength is from the Lord. And His strength is made real in our network of supporters and our 300+ alumni across our region. And that’s not nothing.
At its core, RCLI is a group of people who want to see God’s heart reflected in metro Richmond. That’s it. As we consider the path forward, it will be that very same group of people – guided by the Heavenly Father – who discern what’s in store and respond in faith to imagine what’s next.
SO what can i expect going forward?
The board and our base of volunteers is focusing on delivering a great experience for the current class of participants. We will also be hosting a series of listening sessions geared towards re-imagining RCLI. Click here for more information on how to get involved.
In all honesty, there’s a lot we still don’t know. But that’s not the worst place to be because that’s the place where God does what He does. We are prayerfully taking things step by step, aiming to be open to the Lord and working to be strategically rigorous.