FRESNO – A report related to recommendations from the Focus 21 Task Force and a $10.8 million budget for 2013 were approved by the California Southern Baptist Convention Executive Board Sept. 13-14.
Addressing Focus 21 recommendations
The Board’s report addresses four of the seven Focus 21 recommendations and provides a “response” and “action” for each. The recommendations being addressed include “clarifying cooperating churches,” “enlarging California’s influence,” “communicate more effectively” and “planning for the future”.
The Board’s executive committee chose to defer consideration on three of the recommendations: “prioritizing church planting,” “prioritizing global responsibilities” and “denominational overlap.” Those will be studied in 2013 due to new strategic initiatives of the North American Mission Board “that have, and will have, significant financial impact on the ministries” of CSBC.
Since the full extent of those actions is not yet known and two of the three recommendations call for reallocating Cooperative Program resources, “recommendations from the Executive Board will be delayed until 2013 when the Board has a more complete understanding of how the NAMB/CSBC joint budget will impact the resources of the Convention. A decision to reallocate mission dollars given by CSBC congregations must fully realize the interconnectedness of available NAMB resources and Focus 21 recommendations.”
The report indicates the Board also is delaying action concerning “denominational overlap” until all other components of the Focus 21 Task Force have been addressed by convention messengers.
The Board went into executive session to discuss the Focus 21 recommendations presented to the full Board by its executive committee. Don Fugate, chairman and pastor of Foxworthy Baptist Church in San Jose, said he wanted to “give Board members the freedom to discuss issues related to the recommendations” and felt “executive session was the best way to accomplish that.”
The session lasted a little more than an hour and Fugate noted, “Most of our discussion honed in on understanding the meaning of ‘evangelical churches of like faith and order’ concerning enlarging California’s influence and how that might be interpreted.”
He added, “There were a few changes to the report, but nothing substantive.”
The Board also approved a $10,819,487 operating budget for 2013 with a Cooperative Program objective of $6.8 million, a $360,000, or 5.6 percent, increase (see budget page 12.)
In presenting the budget to the Board, Milton Steck, chairman of the finance committee, said the CP objective originally was “$6.6 million, but the committee increased it to $6.8 million because we felt we were on target for this year’s budget and needed to be … stretched in our faith for the future.”
If the CP objective is met in 2013, the Southern Baptist Convention would receive $2,210,000, or 32.5 percent (up 2 percent over 2012), for world missions; CSBC Executive Board ministries would total $4,182,000, or 61.5 percent (up .5 percent); California Baptist University would receive $340,000, or 5 percent (down 2.5 percent); and California Baptist Foundation would receive $68,000, or 1 percent (no change).
Several questions were asked about raising the percentage to the SBC and changes at NAMB. In answering the questions, Steck noted the Convention still is discovering how the jointly funded CSBC/NAMB budget will work, “especially with CSBC moving from a 22/78 funding ratio to a 35/65 ratio by 2018.”
Steve Pearson, CSBC chief financial officer, said the NAMB funding ratio being applied to the 2013 budget is 22.5 (an increase of .5 percent). He explained CSBC will spend $20,930 more dollars, but will receive $20,930 fewer dollars from NAMB.
He also noted the elimination of four ministry evangelism positions resulting from NAMB’s new initiatives and strategy. “This is the first step toward the 2018 NAMB target to eliminate funding for all ministry evangelism field personnel,” Pearson explained.
The four missionaries were recognized during the meeting for their 60 combined years of service to CSBC. Tammy Cookson, Dorothy Rowell and Julie Shockey, all community ministries field specialists, and Fred Weatherly, resort ministries field specialist, were honored.
Pearson noted the 2013 spending plan also includes restoration of salaries to June 2009 levels for Ministry Resource Center staff.
Steck added the committee “is aware of the concern to give more for international missions, and increased the SBC portion by 2 percent.”
The Board approved transferring accumulated earnings for 2012 from the Executive Board Reserve and O. Dean Johnson Trust, as well as the Cooperative Program Endowment, to revenue as needed to meet budget requirements for 2012.
Also approved was a recommendation that the “California Challenge 50/50” provision of the CSBC budget be waived any year such a distribution to the SBC Executive Committee would be made using the Board’s accumulated surplus funds, i.e. general reserves (see recommendation page 14).
The CP Challenge was adopted by messengers at the 1996 annual meeting and calls for the distribution of CP gifts in excess of the objective to be allocated equally (50/50) between the SBC for worldwide missions and CSBC for California missions.
Steck said, “This works well when we are not drawing from reserves to balance the budget.”
Phillip Alfeld, vice chairman of the Board and a member of South Valley Church in Newhall, added, “We don’t want to send money to Nashville when we are pulling it from our savings account.”
In other business, the Board:
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