ATLANTA—An ad hoc group of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Governing Council has been appointed to work in earnest on the final piece of a massive revisioning adopted in 2012—funding.
“We have to find a way to provide resources for state and regional organizations, our partner organizations, as well as the work that will be ongoing in the Decatur office,” outgoing CBF Moderator Bill McConnell, a layman from Knoxville, Tenn., told the 2014 CBF general assembly. “We must continue to fund missions, and we have to find a way to fund missions more completely.”
Much of McConnell’s and past moderator Keith Herron’s one-year terms of service focused on implementing governance changes recommended following a two-year study by a 2102 task force led by Alabama pastor David Hull.
The final section of the 2012 task force report calls for a new funding strategy “that fosters missional collaboration rather than competition for resources,” McConnell said.
“This funding plan must be fair to all, and it has to recognize where strengths lie within the Fellowship. We have to find a way for churches and individuals to designate gifts for ministries and missions that are important to them, yet we still have to have avenues for undesignated gifts that will keep the framework of our Fellowship work going.”
The task force recommendation seeks to maximize freedom with donor-directed giving, both designated and undesignated, through a variety of channels. It also calls for greater cooperation between national and state and regional CBF organizations during budget development processes.
McConnell reported he and Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter asked Doug Dortch, senior minister at Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., to chair an ad hoc Governing Council committee to study funding strategies. Similar conversations already are underway within state and regional organizations, and CBF staff are working on branding and advancement strategies, he said.
“I urge you to be in prayer for all of these efforts and be ready to enter into conversation when appropriate,” McConnell said.