Executive Board approves new staff member, higher CMO goal

Published Feb 02, 2016

FRESNO — Election of a volunteer mobilization specialist, setting a 2016 California Mission Offering goal and recommending budget adjustments for the new year topped the Jan. 20-22 California Southern Baptist Convention Executive Board meeting.

Mike Bivins, co-pastor of Gold Country Church in Auburn, was elected as volunteer mobilization specialist with primary responsibilities for helping CSBC churches mobilize volunteers, partnership missions and Disaster Relief ministries. Bivins replaces Don Hargis who has led CSBC DR part-time for the last three years. Prior to that, Hargis was the Convention’s Baptist men’s ministries and DR leader for more than 20 years.

Bivins brings a variety of experience to the newly designed post, including serving as director for Camp Alta for seven years and as a leader with DR.

Mike McCullough, CSBC associate executive director and leader of the missions discipleship group, said Bivins will seek to assist CSBC congregations to “mobilize members for mission opportunities in California and throughout the world.”

Bivins has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia College and a master of religious education degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife June have two adult children.

Executive Board members also approved a 2016 California Mission Offering goal of $430,000. Allocations for distribution of gifts are: 68 percent for church planting and evangelism, 10 percent for associations, 15 percent for DR and missions discipleship, and 7 percent for season of prayer and promotion.

It was announced that gifts to the 2015 CMO totaled $430,330, or 101.25 percent of the $425,000 goal.

Board members also approved a recommendation giving staff discretion to reallocate line items within the 2016 budget to achieve a balanced spending plan, in response to a new funding strategy with the North American Mission Board, resulting in a shortfall of approximately $78,000.

Jenice Moore, chairman of the finance committee, explained that subsequent to adoption of the 2016 budget by messengers at the annual meeting in October, the funding arrangement regarding benefits for NAMB appointees changed. She noted further changes including doing away with “jointly funded missionaries for church starting and evangelism.” As of Jan. 1, NAMB fully funds all church planting catalysts (CPC) and CSBC fully funds all evangelism personnel in the state. The new strategy involves 16 missionaries.

Moore noted future funding from NAMB will be reduced, but not require matching funds by CSBC as per tradition. The recommendation explained that the actions impacted the current year’s spending plan and require further efforts by staff to rebalance the budget.

Two Executive Board bylaw amendments were introduced and are slated for consideration at the May 12-13 meeting. They deal with the election of the Board chairman and additional duties for the board operations committee (BOC).

The first amendment allows a chairman serving his first year during the last year of his first term on the Board, to be reelected for a second year as chairman, contingent on his being reelected to the Board.

The new duties for the BOC include reviewing recommendations submitted by the CSBC committee on resolutions, credentials and membership from churches seeking affiliation with the Convention. The BOC would then recommend to the Board those approved for affiliation. The issue stems from a new membership affiliation procedure approved by messengers at the 2015 CSBC annual meeting in Bakersfield.

The Board welcomed back two members for a second, four-year term and nine other members for various terms of service.

In other business the Board approved:

  • committee assignments for 2016,
  • Board meeting dates for 2017-19,
  • the business services group leader to designate housing allowances for qualified employees in 2016 and
  • corporate officers and their ability to transact business for CSBC during the year.