The year 2018 was very interesting, with many twists and turns that kept us on our toes. We are now back into full swing with all that comes with a new year, but there are some things that are worth reflecting upon as we get started. Let me share a few of them to give you a better insight into where the Convention stands and where it is headed.
First, CSBC team leaders spent a few days in strategy development. Our guiding documents were well over 20 years old and did not clearly express the things the Convention holds as priorities. The strategy process helped us refresh and recalibrate so we are able to remain focused on what is most important for the future.
Teams, churches and associations
Our four teams have come together well and are focused on how to best serve the churches in California. The ministry teams consisting of church planting, revitalization, evangelism and small churches touched well over 1,500 churches in 2018. They continue to work closely with association directors of missions throughout the state to provide resources churches need to be successful in this very interesting day in which we live and serve.
Gifts and budget
In 2018 great strides were made on the economic front. Cooperative Program receipts were up for the first time in many years. The California Mission Offering was shy of the goal by less than 2 percent. Unaudited year-end results reveal gifts of $427,831, or 98.35 percent. This is on par with gifts received in 2017 of $436,000. I believe this is one area for growth in giving among our churches.
The 2019 budget represents the first balanced budget in many, many years. What this means is that the Convention staff understand what receipts are expected to be and that expenses are not to exceed those receipts.
Looking forward to 2019
2019 is shaping up to be a great year as well for California Southern Baptist Convention to reach out and resource the churches as they do battle for souls on the front-lines of ministry and strive to reach people for Jesus Christ.
I want to thank all the churches that faithfully give of their resources so the needs of their sister churches are met. We are stronger together than we are alone! That phrase is more than a cliché — it is the lifeblood of Southern Baptists everywhere and especially here in California.
Please pray that our churches will see a great outpouring of God’s Spirit, and that many souls will come into the Kingdom. Also pray that people will answer God’s call to serve in this great mission field called California.
See archives of Dr. Agee’s previous Insights.