This article originally appeared at Tim’s blog, “Southern Baptist in NC“.
It was 2006 and many were pushing for leadership to come from churches that had ten percent of their undesignated funds being given to the Cooperative Program (CP). The Executive Committee (ExComm) was entertaining a motion to come before the convention by the State Executives that year calling for trustees of entities to be from churches that give 10% to the CP. A small group met in Memphis calling for public repentance and holding trustees accountable to the convention’s sacred trust. This call was more loudly voiced by one of their own making a mockery of the trustee system by publicly releasing private information from IMB trustee meetings. The trustee responded by arguing the information, while private, should not have been and he felt vindicated by making it public.
These three unrelated squalls in the months leading up to and coming together during the annual meeting created the perfect storm. Dr. Johnny Hunt was the one rumored to be in the running for presidential nomination. However, months before Dr. Hunt contacted Dr. Floyd and asked him to pray about his (Floyd) name going forth. After many weeks of prayer and seeking wise counsel Dr. Floyd agreed and Dr. Hunt announced he was making the nomination.
When Dr. Hunt made that announcement the self-appointed journalists, known as bloggers, went into action. Many complained that Dr. Floyd was hand chosen behind the scenes and they were tired of the President being chosen by a select few.
An ad hoc committee of State Convention Executive Directors was presenting nine recommendations concerning the CP. The ninth recommendation called for a definition of the CP. (One amazing fact is recommendation #9 was not passed until 2007. It is this recommendation that calls for CP giving to be done through the state conventions. In 2008 Dr. Floyd was leading his church to give through the convention approved definition of the CP) With all of this talk about the upcoming CP recommendations someone looked at the Annual Church Profile (ACP) of Dr. Floyd and FBC Springdale (Cross Church). Dr. Floyd’s ACP revealed in 2005 of $11,900,000 in undesignated giving his church forwarded $34,000 to the CP. In fairness to Dr. Floyd and FBC Springdale (Cross Church) they actually gave $222,000 to the CP that year. The $34k was CP giving through the Arkansas Baptist State Convention and nearly $200k was given directly to the ExComm. This type of giving was done by many churches and even continues to this day. But because Dr. Floyd did not give through “normal” channels it appeared he gave much less than he actually was forwarding to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). It seemed that Dr. Floyd was doomed before his name was ever placed before the 2006 convention.
After Dr. Floyd was announced other candidates were placed before the convention. Dr. Frank Page was the go to person for those that were disgruntled with anything that was SBC. Then we had another conservative candidate that was widely known among Southern Baptists announce he was going to allow his name to go forth. Regardless of the reasons behind the movements of the convention that year it ended with a defeat of Dr. Ronnie Floyd. I understand from Dr. Floyd that he was disappointed and discouraged about the misrepresentation of his church. Dr. Floyd viewed this personal disappointment as God’s will that it was not the season for him to be in an elected level of leadership for the SBC. Because he loved missions and uniting with others to fulfill the Great Commission Dr. Floyd stayed engaged and participated in the SBC as anyone else would do. His prayer to God was just to be used by Him in any area God saw fit.
Some quiet years from Dr. Floyd followed and he encouraged Dr. Johnny Hunt to pray about allowing his name to go before the convention as President of the SBC. Dr. Hunt was elected after Dr. Frank Page’s term expired. Dr. Hunt’s crowning legacy was bringing in the Great Commission Resurgence which called for our leaders to make a commitment to slimming down in order to increase CP giving and called on state conventions to move to a 50/50 split. Dr. Floyd was announced as the Chairman of that committee and delivered a report to the convention in Orlando, Florida that consisted of seven components. After the report was passed at the convention Dr. Floyd announced that he was going to reposition FBC Springdale to a more slim structure and direct more funds to the CP.
In 2011 Dr. Floyd led FBC Springdale to change her name to Cross Church. This change was implemented because the church began their third campus and needed to do it for the simplicity of communicating who they were. However, as early as 2008 Dr. Floyd was leading their church to increase their giving. In 2008 they received $14,700,000 in undesignated funds and forwarded $324,000 through the 2007 defined CP giving. Within three years Dr. Floyd led his church to move from giving $34,000 through the state to giving $324,000. That is a huge increase. But that is not all. Dr. Floyd led the church that was giving $54,000 to Lottie Moon in 2005 to giving $107,000 in 2008. This is a significant increase and certainly in just three short years one can see that Dr. Floyd was more committed to the SBC. This was not only in funding but also giving as the convention had voted concerning Recommendation #12 of the ExComm report in 2007.
From 2008 one can follow Dr. Floyd and see his heart for reaching all people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He has made a conscious decision to do this through the SBC. Notice his latest 2012 ACP; it reveals from a budget of $15,900,000 he has led the church to forward $616,000 to the CP. However, for this article I asked Dr. Floyd to forward to me the totals for 2013 from his state’s records. According to the Arkansas records, given to Dr. Floyd by their State Executive, Cross Church gave $716,826 through the state convention for CP causes. That amount should place Cross Church in the Top 15 churches giving through the CP. All along Dr. Floyd has led Cross Church in placing major funds in church planting above the CP, Lottie Moon, and Annie Armstrong funding. His church planting efforts are done through SEND North America. In 2012 alone they mobilized 750 of their laypeople on missions endeavor around North America and the World.
As we return to the financial aspect of Cross Church. In less than ten years Dr. Floyd has led his church to increase their CP giving from $34,000 to $716,826. When was the last time one has seen that kind of increase? According to their 2013 figures, for those who look at percentages, that means Dr. Floyd has led Cross Church to give 5% of their undesignated funds to CP.
It is clear that Dr. Floyd has placed his money where his mouth is. He said he would increase his CP giving and he did. Wow, did he ever! Thank you Dr. Floyd for your leadership in giving along with your leadership in the prayer gatherings. I pray God will continue to use you in your endeavors as a leader in the SBC. God has developed Dr. Floyd in leading people and it is evident that Dr. Floyd is not allowing that to be wasted. His leadership is developed around uniting people and he is leading Cross Church in financing and finishing the task well.