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BSC starts GC Partnerships office, chops budget
Norman Jameson, BR Editor
July 19, 2010
5 MIN READ TIME

BSC starts GC Partnerships office, chops budget

BSC starts GC Partnerships office, chops budget
Norman Jameson, BR Editor
July 19, 2010

With 2010

Cooperative Program (CP) receipts 10.9 percent behind budget through six

months, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) Executive

Committee approved a 2011 budget proposal that is $2.1 million smaller than the

current budget, and is the smallest since 1999.

Meeting July 15

in Cary, the Executive Committee also approved establishing an office of Great

Commission Partnerships; heard Venture pastor Austin Rammell share his reasons

for proposing a shift in priorities for the North Carolina Mission Offering

(NCMO); and were asked to consider having their churches provide travel

expenses to their meetings.

Directors also

named Brian Woodall of the Bridge Community Church in Fayetteville to fill the

unexpired term of Brett McKeithan on the Board of Directors.

The move to ask

Executive Committee members to consider funding their own expenses does not

indicate a budget emergency, but is simply “a matter of stewardship” to

consider options as members fill out expense reimbursement forms, said budget

committee chairman Steve Hardy.

Milton A.

Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer, said some members of the

budget committee had told him “they were glad” to handle their expenses through

their churches, or personally.

“Please do not

feel this Convention cannot afford to do that,” he told the Executive

Committee. “It is the responsibility of the Convention to pay this, and I’m

glad to do it.”

Great Commission

Partnerships

Since 1996 North

Carolina Baptist Men has managed both its own missions partnerships and those

of the Baptist State Convention. On July 15 Executive Committee members

approved formation of an office of Great Commission Partnerships, which will

separate management of BSC partnerships from the direction of N.C. Baptist Men.

BR photo by Norman Jameson

From left, John Butler, executive leader for business services, Chuck Register, executive leader for missions and resource development and Milton Hollifield, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

The separation,

which came at N.C. Baptist Men’s initiative, changes nothing that N.C. Baptist

Men does, according to Executive Director-treasurer Richard Brunson. N.C.

Baptist Men will continue everything it does and continue to look for new

avenues in which to involve North Carolina Baptists in missions.

Through the

newly approved Great Commission Partnership office the BSC will be involved

more in missions strategy and in training pastors to be missions strategists

than in specific projects, according to Chuck Register in his presentation as

executive leader for church planting and missions development.

The BSC will

continue its partnerships in New England, eastern Canada, metropolitan New York

and among unreached people groups, Register said. Additionally, the BSC will

seek to identify and to link churches that are involved in their own national

and international projects with each other to help make the efforts of all more

coordinated, effective and efficient.

The Great

Commission terminology also resonates with the Great Commission Resurgence

emphasis adopted at the Southern Baptist Convention in June.

The new office

will be funded by the $370,500 in the state convention’s partnership missions

budget. N.C. Baptist Men will no longer have access to those funds as they will

no longer be managing the BSC partnerships.

N.C. Baptist Men

is an independent auxiliary of the BSC but its staff is considered to be BSC

employees. In the BSC administrative structure, it will return to the

administration and convention relations group. It had been in that group prior

to moving to the church planting and missions development group when it was

formed with the arrival 19 months ago of Chuck Register from Gulfport, Miss.

Hollifield said

that move will help N.C. Baptist Men relate more easily to all the BSC groups

and to other BSC agencies and institutions.

He said Brunson has

done “a wonderful, wonderful job” managing the BSC partnerships, and that N.C.

Baptist Men is “doing tremendous work.” He said the division of labor in

partnerships could be defined as N.C. Baptist Men’s work being more project

related, while the office of Great Commission Partnerships will be more

strategy oriented.

Brunson called

it “different kinds of fishing” during his presentation to the Executive

Committee, and said, “There’s lots of fish in the sea.”

Since 1970 when

the BSC established a partnership with Baptists in Togo, N.C. Baptist Men has

handled volunteer recruitment, mobilization and travel, Brunson said.

In 1994 the

Convention established an office of partnership missions, led for two years by

O.D. Martin. When Martin retired in 1996 Brunson was asked to direct the

office.

“Many, many

people have gone on mission projects,” Brunson said. “It’s changed their lives

and their churches forever.”

While having

both partnership areas coordinated from the same office has been a “very

beneficial, win-win way of doing partnership missions,” Brunson said

establishing a new “strategy driven approach” through the office of Great

Commission Partnerships will “get more churches involved.”

Register said

the new office would help churches “focus on unreached and underserved people

groups, even in your own communities.”

He said he will

be going to Moldova soon with Alan Blume of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in

Boone to explore the possibility of establishing a BSC partnership there. He’s

learned that already at least four North Carolina Baptist churches are working

in Moldova: Hickory Grove in Charlotte, Calvary in Winston-Salem, Englewood in

Rocky Mount and Tri-City in Conover.

The change will

“capitalize on the passion, experience and ministry experience of BSC

personnel” and will “provide North Carolina Baptists with a holistic missions

model,” said Register. He said the change also will “increase the opportunities

to cooperate in projects with NAMB (North American Mission Board) and the IMB

(International Mission Board).”