I am pleased to announce that Rankin and Morgen Wilbourne have joined RW360 as the leaders of our new “Broom Tree Media” division. The purpose of this new division is revealed by its name.
When Elijah was fleeing the death threats of Jezebel, he went far into the wilderness and collapsed under the shade of a broom tree (1 Kings 19:1-8). As Elijah rested in that shade, God sent an angel to encourage and nourish him with food and water, which renewed his strength and enabled him to continue to faithfully fulfill the mission God had assigned to him.
There are many church leaders and members today who are experiencing the same weariness, discouragement and hopelessness that drove Elijah into the wilderness. Like him, they need to receive comfort, encouragement and spiritual nourishment so they can renew their strength and continue to serve the Lord and his church.
This is what Broom Tree Media is designed to provide, and I know of no better couple than Rankin and Morgen to be channels of this kind of grace.
Corlette and I have been blessed over the years by listening to many of Rankin’s sermons and reading his two excellent books, Union with Christ and The Cross Before Me. We met him in person in 2016 and have had the privilege of hosting his family in Montana twice since then. We have hiked many miles in the mountains together and sharpened one another spiritually through long talks about spiritual issues.
But it has been in the fires of spiritual adversity that our lives were truly welded together. As Rankin shares in his personal testimony, God has graciously put him through a pruning process that exposed areas of his life where he was not living the principles that he was preaching.
As his church grew and his staff expanded, his relational skills did not keep pace. Consequently, he failed to see how his attitudes, words and actions wounded some of his coworkers. Three years ago, these failures led to a division within the staff that cost Rankin his pulpit.
It was through this painful pruning process that God was preparing Rankin for a new type of ministry. Instead of serving one church out of his strengths and successes, he is now serving many churches out of his weaknesses and failures.
He has been humbled under the mighty hand of God and is now able to speak and teach with greater empathy and understanding as he urges church leaders to avoid his mistakes and learn how to serve their people with the humility, gentleness and kindness of Christ.
In John 15:2, Jesus makes a sobering and yet encouraging promise: “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit [God] takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
All pruning is painful, but when a Christian receives it with humility and faith, it will only make him more fruitful in the long run.
That is what I have seen in Rankin. I have walked side-by-side with him through these challenging times. He has sought to implement every word of advice that I have offered on how he could learn from the past, improve his relational skills and seek reconciliation with others. I was privileged to facilitate one such meeting recently and was deeply moved to hear two brothers tearfully confess their sins and forgive each other as God has forgiven them. Rankin would welcome similar conversations with anyone who desires reconciliation
Seeing God’s work in Rankin’s life, I invited him to serve as a keynote speaker at our 2021 and 2022 Sowing Peace Conferences. His talks were so well received that I’ve asked him to speak for us again at this year’s conference.
More importantly, I’ve invited Rankin and Morgen to join the RW360 team as leaders of our new Broom Tree Media division, where they can be channels of God’s redeeming grace and equip church leaders with hope, insights and wisdom that will enable them to build healthy and viable churches that embody the surpassing love of God.
Please join me in praying that God will bless this couple as they join our team and serve his church through this much-needed ministry. If you would like to invite Rankin to speak at your church, ministry or conference, please reach out to him through this link.
~ Ken Sande
PS – Wanting to help Christian leaders strengthen their ability to build strong relationships and resolve conflicts with wisdom and grace, RW360 has just released a new 2-hour seminar entitled The Relationally Wise Leader, which is available for free through the RW Academy. I encourage church and ministry leadership teams to go through this training together so that they can set an example of relational wisdom that others will eagerly follow (1 Tim. 4:15).
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© 2023 Ken Sande
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