Shared expenses and Southern Baptist State Conventions
In our previous post (SBC Loyalty?) we focused mainly on our generation, but this post speaks more to the generation before us. It would seem that there is a lack of transparency when it comes to allocating the CP dollars that ma and pa Southern Baptist are sacrificially giving, specifically in terms of shared expenses between the state conventions and the SBC. Since the inception of the CP, “the SBC recognized its obligation to compensate the state conventions for their partnership in promoting the entire Cooperative Program.” There are questions that need to be asked: (1) Are we being transparent about where CP money is going and (2) What are legitimate shared expenses?
The recent impulse has been to see state conventions move to a 50/50 split for CP funds. Our fear is that this category of “shared expenses” is being used to mask the fact that some state conventions are not moving towards more for the SBC and less for the state convention. This fear in many ways is being confirmed by the numbers. State conventions designated 9.2 million dollars as shared expenses in 2011, but that has risen 116% over the last two years to 19.9 million dollars being designated as shared expenses in 2013. Over the last two years we have seen an increase from only 4 state conventions that separated out shared expenses as a separate line item from the percent of funds kept in state to 17 state conventions. In many ways these budget categories of shared expenses make it look like conventions are moving closer to or have achieved a 50/50 split when it’s not actually happening.
Our grandfather was a deacon in a cooperating Southern Baptist Church. He was a blue collar worker who gave generously and sacrificially in cooperation with other likeminded churches so they could send more missionaries, plants more churches, and train more gospel ministers together than they could apart. This giving allowed the Foreign Mission Board (now IMB) to send missionaries to unreached and underserved peoples around the world. This giving allowed the Home Mission Board (now NAMB) to plant churches throughout the US, and this giving allowed for young men to get a great seminary education at a discounted price. All of this giving was to propagate the gospel locally, nationally, and internationally.
Piper, John. Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry, Updated and Expanded Edition. Revised ed. Nashville: B&H Books, 2013, xii+308p. $14.99, paper.
Review by Shane Shaddix
Baptist21 will be hosting a panel lunch at this year’s Florida Baptist Evangelism Conference. Baptist21’s Scott Wilson will moderate the discussion. Scott is the senior pastor of FBC Melbourne, Florida
Topic: Disciple-Making: An Ancient Call for the 21st Century Church
Some Topics Covered:
Review by Aaron Lumpkin
Greear, J.D. Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2013, xiv+128p., $12.99, hardback.
Have you asked Jesus into your heart? J.D. Greear has. A lot. In fact, he believes he may hold the world record for doing this. In Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart, he provides a retelling of his own journey in answering this question. If you don’t know J.D., you should, not simply because of the warm recommendations in the beginning of the book but because of his honest and forward approach to handling difficult questions that speak truth into the lives of his readers.
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