Here are a few items that have accumulated regarding our venerable Cooperative Program. CP receipts by the Executive Committee through July are up. About $1.9 million more than for the same period last fiscal year. With two months to go in the fiscal year it's almost certain that the Executive Committee will be able to show an increase in CP receipts. This figure only includes CP received in Nashville. The Executive Committee also reports receipts of designated funds (mostly Lottie and Annie). This figure is down from last year about $13.8 million. Most of the decline is due to last year's … [Read more...] about Cooperative Program Dog Days of Summer Round-Up
GuideStone, our chief purveyor of advice on ministerial compensation, hates the compensation system expressed by the two sentences above. Better said, the professionals there and in our state conventions and LifeWay prefer a different approach to ministerial compensation that most SBC churches are using. While I think that my denominational staffers advocate for the better system, I'm not sure that churches have been weaned off of the natural methods of paying the preacher. That is, decide what the church has to allot for pastor pay and let (or work with) the pastor to divide this … [Read more...] about “Here’s your pay package, pastor. We will divide it any way you want.”
That would be the brusque answer to the question, "Why do so many churches have money embezzled from them?" The fuller answer would be that most churches are small, depend on volunteers for financial matters, and are far too relaxed about the handling of contributions and disbursements by the people who serve as treasurers and church financial secretaries. [It is also the answer to the question, "Why are churches targeted by pedophiles?" and I have heard experts be less kind about this. "Because churches are stupid and are easy targets."] Take LifeWay Research's examination that touches on … [Read more...] about “…because churches are too trusting.”
...so how's that working out for the few, the called, the already beleaguered pastors? Getting married? Chances are it won't be in a church is a splendid article in the Wichita Eagle by Katherine Burgess. Bobby Ross, Jr. the excellent Get Religion writer (who really 'gets' Southern Baptists) calls it a "fascinating trend piece." It likely does not surprise many of us that most weddings are sans-church facility these days. There are three wedding venues near me. One is a rustic barn facility and the other two are renovated and expanded old houses. There is, I hear, big money in these … [Read more...] about Most weddings not in a church these days…
SBC This Week is a great site. It is described as "a weekly news roundup from around the Southern Baptist Convention" and has "guest interviews from today’s top church leaders." The podcast is hosted by Amy Whitfield, Director of Communications for SEBTS, and Jonathan Howe, Director of Strategic Initiatives for LifeWay which, I suppose, makes it at least a semi-official SBC site. On their home page, lower right panel is a place where you can view current SBC entity trustees, all of 'em. This is available elsewhere but not so conveniently. An address for each trustee is given. Sometimes it … [Read more...] about Here’s a resource many have asked for: listing of trustees
SBC Voices is a leading source for information, opinions, and discussion of matters of concern for the Southern Baptist Convention. We appreciate the position and popularity that we have here and consider it both a privilege and responsibility to be able to have such a forum. In doing so, we welcome discussions, we value both agreement and disagreement, so long as it is done in a Christian manner. It's been a while since we did this so here are a few things that might be helpful to know, especially for newer readers. 1. Dave Miller is the editor for SBCV. A number of people assist, and, … [Read more...] about SBC Voices welcomes comments and discussion
See if you recognize any of these quotes or have read similar ones: ...a book that seeks to recover the Gospel heritage that has been vastly lost since the last century. ...look back at the first generation of Georgia Baptists, filtered through the biblical Gospel... ...our labors in this book have been to show the confessional faith of the first generation of Georgia Baptists as a whole. ...how our Baptist forbearers in Georgia came to these convictions biblically... Many Baptists in the twenty-first century have lost their way. ...capitulated to...pragmatic notions and … [Read more...] about Will Georgia Baptists be rescued by our 19th Century Calvinist predecessors?
I'm at Ridgecrest Conference Center for the night. I'm not attending a conference but it is close to where I went today so I reserved a night. In earlier years some group from my church would go every year, mostly students in the summer, but I haven't been here in a decade or so. Hmmm, it used to be Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center I think, but I'm OK for broader marketing if that's what is needed to keep our sole national conference center going. Glorieta, the other one, is alive only in the form of a Hail Mary lawsuit. It was closed years ago. My state convention gave away one of our … [Read more...] about Ridgecrest…one more time
Is it my own limited observation or is the old SBC stand-by, Cooperative Program guilting or shaming on the wane? I don't know who coined the phrase but I'd guess that most SBC pastors know what is meant by Cooperative Program shaming or guilting. Many have experienced it. I've seen it for decades. Here's my informal definition: Cooperative Program shaming is the implied or stated criticism of a church and/or its pastor and members for giving too little to the Cooperative Program. It is often measured either by an arbitrary percentage (commonly 10 percent often labeled the … [Read more...] about Waning Cooperative Program shaming
Our Southern Baptist pastor colleague Eric Hankins is the primary author of the kitchen table theological statement commonly known among us as the "Traditional Statement." I call it "kitchen table" because it is a private product, mostly by Hankins but with consultation with a few others. As of this writing, the TS has to my knowledge not been adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in annual session, by any of the 42 Southern Baptist state conventions, by any of the 1,139 Southern Baptist associations, nor by any individual church (although I suspect there may be some who have done so, in … [Read more...] about “Loyal opposition” and/or the opening shots of a new SBC war?