The board of directors of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) approved three motions aimed at aligning the structure of the board with the convention’s strategic emphasis on disciple-making.
The motions adopted by the board at its May meeting included:
Requesting that the board’s articles and bylaws committee draft proposals to change the meeting dates of the board from a Tuesday/Wednesday format to a Monday/Tuesday format.
Affirming the roles of the board president and executive director-treasurer to that ensure reports and presentations made at board meetings align with the convention’s strategy of “impacting lostness through disciple-making.”
Affirming the efforts of the board president and executive director-treasurer to shape committee meetings that reflect a move toward more engagement and involvement of board members in the work of the board.
The motions approved by the board were based on recommendations made by a special task force appointed by 2015 board president Perry Brindley to evaluate board meetings and explore ways to improve how the board conducts convention business.
John Mark Harrison
Board and executive committee member John Mark Harrison, pastor of Apex Baptist Church, served as chairman of the task force and presented the motions and other recommendations to the board on Tuesday, May 18 during the meeting held at Caraway Conference Center and Camp near Asheboro. The task force includes past and current board officers and members as well as the current convention officers.
“We have not adjusted the structure of our meetings in many, many years,” Harrison said. “Every other structure has been tweaked and aligned to the convention’s strategy for impacting lostness through disciple-making.”
The BSC’s “impacting lostness through disciple-making” strategy was approved by the board’s executive committee in April 2013 and endorsed by the full board in the next month. The strategy was announced to convention messengers at the November 2013 annual meeting, and implementation of the strategy began in January 2014.
Strategy implementation included a reorganization of the BSC’s staff into new groups and teams. The reorganization included the formation of the strategic focus team, which is comprised of strategy coordinators who work in and around eight population centers across the state that were identified as having the most concentrated populations of individuals who do not know Christ.
One of the goals in changing the meeting dates and agenda of the board is to give board members more opportunities to engage in deeper conversations about the strategy. The change in board meeting dates will allow changes in board meeting schedules that are limited by the current dates. In addition, the task force hopes that board members will also interact and build relationships with one another and convention staff. Harrison said the task force hopes the increased interactions and stronger relationships will result in more advocacy and engagement in implementing the strategy and developing a disciple-making culture across the state.
Harrison said the approved motion to change board meeting dates from Tuesday and Wednesday to Monday and Tuesday will now be sent to the articles and bylaws committee, which will draft amendments to the convention’s bylaws for consideration at the September board meeting. If approved, the proposed bylaws change will be presented to messengers at the BSC’s 2016 annual meeting in November.
The task force also made several other recommendations. These recommendations require additional study and input. Formal action on these items will not take place in 2016, but the task force anticipates that by 2017 recommendations for the following could be finalized:
Transitioning the Christian Higher Education Special Committee into another structure.
Restructuring the Christian Social Services Special Committee as part of a newly formed Convention Relations Committee. This committee will include the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, N.C. Baptist Hospital, the N.C. Baptist Foundation and the Biblical Recorder.
Assigning the four at-large members of the executive committee to the new Convention Relations Committee. Each of the four at-large members of the executive committee would also represent one of the same four convention institutions and agencies.
Harrison asked that feedback on these recommendations be shared with the task force, particularly from members of the committees and representatives from the institutions and agencies that would potentially be impacted by the recommended changes.
Milton A. Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer of BSC, thanked Harrison and the task force for their work and the board members for their consideration of the proposed changes.
“This is still a work in progress,” Hollifield said. “We’ll see how this plays out and make modifications as they need to be made. These changes along with others that are to come in the future will further align the board with our strategy to impact lostness through disciple-making.
“The steps you have just taken related to these changes will help us fulfill the BSC’s vision of becoming the strongest force in the history of this convention to reaching people with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In other business, the board:
Voted to change the dates of the BSC 2018 annual meeting from Nov. 12-13 to Nov. 5-6 due to a scheduling conflict with the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.
Voted to authorize John Butler, executive leader for business services, to execute the necessary documents to assign BSC’s lease with Cullowhee Baptist Church for the property upon which the campus ministry building at Western Carolina University resides to the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina. The facility was constructed by the BSC in the 1960s but the property is leased by the convention from Cullowhee Baptist Church. The Baptist Children’s Homes plans to use the facility for a new ministry to college students who had previously been in foster care and to facilitate churches in the area in ministering to the campus community.
Voted to transfer 20 percent of the BSC’s 2015 income over operating expenses to the convention’s contingency reserve funds. The amount of the transfer will be $65,187.
Announced that the sale of the campus ministry property at Appalachian State University has closed. The sale price was $500,000 and proceeds from the sale have been placed in the reserve fund for collegiate partnerships.
Board president Brian Kinlaw also appointed three board members to serve on the nominating committee of Fruitland Baptist Bible College. They were Bob Garbett, Ken Jones and David Spray.
Beverly Volz, director of accounting services, informed the board that Cooperative Program giving from N.C. Baptist churches is slightly ahead of pace for this year’s $29.5 million budget. Volz said Cooperative Program giving receipts exceeded $9.75 million through April 30, which is a little more than 1 percent ahead of pace this year and nearly 4 percent more than was received through the same time period last year.
In addition, Volz noted that giving from N.C. Baptist churches to the Southern Baptist Convention’s two major missions offering were both up by close to $1 million when compared with the same time period last year.
So far in 2016, giving to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American missions is approximately $3.4 million, $961,000 more than the same time last year.
Giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is approximately $9.3 million, reflecting an increase of more than $978,000 through the same time period in 2015.
Brian Davis, associate executive director-treasurer, reported that giving to the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) in 2016 equals more than $268,000 through April 30. NCMO supports the 17 ministries of N.C. Baptist Men, also known as Baptists on Mission, and it also provides a significant portion of the BSC’s church planting team’s budget. Davis encouraged board members to promote NCMO leading up to the offering emphasis in September.
Hollifield thanked N.C. Baptist churches and their members for their generosity in giving to missions.
“We praise the Lord for what He is doing, and we are grateful for what churches are contributing,” Hollifield said.