In no particular order:
“…while shared ministries are supported at all levels of Southern Baptist life, the phrase itself and the concept in general are no longer communicating the allocation of funds clearly, [Alabama Baptist State Convention Executive Director Rick] Lance explained. So going forward, the budget language in Alabama will only deal with state and national percentages.”
So, instead of the ABSC making a statement like, “we divide Cooperative Program receipts equally with SBC entities,” a technically correct statement, since the division was 45% state convention, 45% SBC entities through the allocation formula, and 10% “shared ministries” the ABSC will simply say (for the 2016 budget year): “We keep 53% of a CP dollar and send 47% to the SBC.
This accounting in state convention budgets that includes a vague category of “shared ministries” should end. It is confusing and deceptive, though not nefarious.
Rick Lance’s explanation reported in the article (link) summarizes the situation.
It is the right move to deep-six this confusing business in Alabama. Tell it like it is. All states should drop the fuzzy accounting business.
“We are a mission sending agency in Georgia”
Robert White, the CEO for our state convention, commenting on the “reinvention” of the Georgia Baptist Convention. The “reinvention” includes a public (but not corporate or legal) change of name to “Georgia Baptist Mission Board.”
Some were confused by this, thinking that the new GBMB was going to compete with our North American and International Mission Boards in appointing and sending missionaries. No.
The GBC administrative leadership has tried for years to brand state convention employees as missionaries, “Georgia Baptist missionaries.” While I value our state workers and while they are sent to serve us, there is considerable distance between consulting on church music, preschool, or student ministry with a Georgia Baptist church in Thomasville, Georgia, USA and serving in Tbilisi, Georgia, Asia. The GBMB will do the former, not the latter.
[Florida Baptist Convention] staff persons will no longer serve as interim pastors,
So stated Thomas Green, new CEO of the Florida Baptist Convention. He added the obvious reason for the change in policy: because serving a single church for an extended period of time prevents them from visiting churches every week.
Let’s see. A state’s churches pay a good salary to a state worker. He does his work during the week but on the Lord’s Day is in the one church that pays him a salary, and thus for six months or a year of Sundays. Get your workaday, average SBC pastor talking and this will be a sore spot. While state workers do well for some churches in a interim capacity, wouldn’t the bulk of churches and the state organization be better served if more churches were exposed to more state staff?
I still say that one good state program would be to provide state staff (at no cost) to fill in for smaller churches who would agree to give ther pastor a sabbatical of a month or more.
Thomas Green made a wise decision here. The legacy state conventions should follow his example and do the same.
[The Missouri Baptist Convention is] not primarily a provider of goods and services to [Missouri Baptist] churches
John Yeats, Missouri Baptist Convention CEO, explaining part of the MBC’s “reorientation.”
Yeat’s full statement, one of four numbered points under a list that elaborated the MBC “reorientation” plan, was: “A strategically driven staff. While we continue to counsel with church leaders and meet their needs, we are strategically driven to transform lives and communities with the Gospel. Therefore, we are not primarily a provider of goods and services to churches, but a strategic leader offering a clear, compelling, and cooperative vision for Missouri Baptists.”
Does this make the MBC a parachurch organization?
This is rather tricky and since I’m not in Missouri, perhaps some Missourian will, uh, show me, what this means if it is more than just corporate buzzspeak.
The Christian Index, the oldest Southern Baptist newspaper, stops the presses, disbands trustee board, and becomes the publicity arm of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.
Well, circulation is down all over and the CI will go to a free online presence. The paper did some pretty good reporting in the past. I understand numbers and dollars (there is a considerable savings in Cooperative Program expenditures in this change) but I hope the CI will still have the independence to report on some hard SBC stories. You don’t often see a Baptist board of trustees vote themselves out of existence.
“In January, 2016 there will also be a second phase [of the IMB personnel reduction plan] – a “Hand Raising Opportunity” – for all personnel and staff to pray about whether the Lord is leading them to a new place of involvement in mission outside the IMB.”
I didn’t capitalize the Hand Raising Opportunity, that was from IMB. The HRO is to follow as phase two after the VRIs. This is a little obscure to me. Will certain personnel be given a hint that their positions will be terminated and they might want to pray about raising their hand? Will further non-retirement incentives be offered before the HROs? We will see soon.
Churches bypass state conventions with CP gifts less in 2015 than 2014
Some have suggested an alternative to the system where churches give their CP gifts to their state convention, state conventions then take a hefty slice of them (average of 62%) and then forward the rest to the Executive Committee for allocation to the mission boards, seminaries, etc.
The alternative is for churches to send direct to the EC and there is no denominational law against that. The EC will take the money. For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014 about 3% of the EC’s CP receipts came direct from churches, by-passing state conventions. That dropped to 2.8% for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015.
This CP work-around isn’t going anywhere.
As always, I’m wide open to being told what I missed, misunderstood, or where I am off-the-wall.