PHOENIX — Seven recommendations from the SBC Executive
Committee were approved by messengers during the opening session of the SBC
annual meeting June 14.
Four recommendations related to the “Great Commission Resurgence” report
adopted at the 2010 annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.:
- Providing additional funding for international missions by reducing the
Executive Committee’s share of Cooperative Program funding and proportionately
increasing International Mission Board funding. The proposal adopted by
messengers calls for reducing the Executive Committee budget share from 3.4
percent to 3.2 percent in 2011-12, with a goal of over time reducing it to 2.4
- Adding a new Annual Church Profile reporting category called “Great
Commission Giving” to highlight each church’s financial commitment to Southern
Baptist mission enterprises. The recommendation also reaffirmed the Cooperative
Program as “the most effective means” of missions outreach and asked churches
to increase their Cooperative Program contributions by 2.5 percent of
undesignated receipts by the end of the 2013 calendar year.
- Amending the International Mission Board ministry assignment to allow the
organization to “provide specialized, defined and agreed upon assistance to the
North American Mission Board in assisting churches to reach unreached and
underserved people groups within the United States and Canada.” The current
ministry assignment focuses IMB work outside the U.S. and Canada.
- Rewriting the North American Mission Board’s mission statement and ministry
assignment. The new mission statement refocuses NAMB on partnership with
churches, associations and state conventions in “mobilizing Southern Baptist as
a missional force” in North America. The new ministry assignment consolidates
nine points to six and rearranges its priorities. Where appointing missionaries
was the first assignment, planting churches now heads the list. A previous
ministry assignment on “Christian social ministries” has been merged into an
assignment to assist churches “in the ministries of evangelism and making
disciples.” The assignments of “communicating the Gospel … through
communication technologies” and “strengthening … and providing services to
associations” have been eliminated.
Two recommendations related to the 2011-12 budget:
- Adopting a $186 million 2011-12 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget that
increases the International Mission Board’s percentage of budget receipts from
50 percent to 50.2 percent and decreases the Executive Committee’s percentage
proportionately to 3.2 percent.
- Adopting a $7.47 million 2011-12 SBC Operating Budget that allocates $2.2
million to administration expenses and $5.26 million to operations expenses.
The budget represents a reduction of more than $1.2 million over 2010-11.
The final recommendation was a response to motion made during the 2009 annual
meeting, directing the Executive Committee to study greater involvement in the
convention by ethnic churches and leaders. The proposal offered 10 specific
points “designed to foster conscious awareness of the need to be proactive and
intentional in the inclusion of individuals from all ethnic and racial
identities within Southern Baptist life.”
The points included encouragements to make committee appointments and select
program personalities that represent the diversity within the convention, “particularly
ethnic diversity.” A failed attempt to amend the recommendation, brought by
Channing Kilgore of South Whitwell Baptist Church in Whitwell, Tenn., would
have replaced ethnicity with “Gospel minded” as the criterion for selecting
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Kelly is senior writer and assistant editor for Baptist Press.)