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