I think all major state conventions have a foundation that does estate planning, manages funds, makes church loans and offers investment options. The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma would be happy to have your money even if you are not in Oklahoma. They’ve even launched a new brand, WatersEdge Ministry Services to be more appealing to folks outside Oklahoma. “Waters” and “Edge?” I have no idea about the name but they do use a baptism picture in their slick, full page ad in SBCLife. I’m all for competition but it’s a brave, new Baptist world I suppose. Let’s see what kind of swag they’re giving away in Birmingham.
Ronnie Floyd has hired an assistant, Ed Upton, one of his staff guys at Cross Church. Frank Page reduced both staffing and budget. Bears watching. Floyd says of his assistant, “Dr. Upton has grown up under my ministry in northwest Arkansas,” Floyd said. “He knows who I am, what I am about, the culture I want to build and what is most important to me. Therefore, when I know I will need someone to help me forward and advance the vision, the values, the culture and the priorities that I want to establish in this role, I cannot think of anyone more prepared, more energetic and more committed to help me do this.” Well, OK. As long as he doesn’t get a directive to “brand” Floyd. Upton is said to be (by his boss) highly connected. Got it. But, I’m open to new ideas from wherever they come. I wish the new boss and new assistant well, as long as Floyd doesn’t take an interim pastor gig. Seems like this would be the rule for all entity heads…eh?
Dave Ramsey is touted far and wide by the SBC Executive Committee. He had considerable platform time at last year’s convention. I thought that was a little much and it was highly tedious. Yeah, I get that he promotes financial responsibility and tithing and all that. And, yeah, I understand that he discounts his material. SBCLife reports with a big promo piece that he “partners with sixteen state conventions.” What do the state conventions get for marketing his material to their staff, churches, and pastors? Just asking. This has to be a very lucrative arrangement for Ramsey. Churches have long offered financial education to their members.
MinistrySafe is a private child protection service for churches and other nonprofits. My church uses it and I have no complaints. The costs are quite reasonable and it covers an important area of ministry. Several states promote this as well. Now that the SBC is releasting their own, ChurchCares, what will become of these partnerships? My understanding at this point, and the actual SBC product will be available in Birmingham, is that MinistrySafe has elements that ChurchCares does not. I’ll give a full review of the latter when I see it.
Two short articles on depression were in the latest issues of SBCLife: Pastors and Depression, Part 1 and Part 2. While you can’t cover the issue in two short articles, I highly recommend them both. The last point is: Stop viewing your depression as a spiritual problem or a human weakness. Well put. NAMB has a free, confidential help line for pastors with depression.
Question: Will Ronnie Floyd attempt to rebrand the Cooperative Program? It needs some new ideas.