WorldconneX revises budget to ‘jumpstart’ church-sending fund

DALLAS—The WorldconneX board of directors voted to adjust its budget to operate solely on 80 percent of the funds received from the worldwide initiatives portion of church-directed Texas Baptist cooperative giving.

The mission network’s board agreed to put 20 percent of the money received from worldwide initiatives into its church-sending fund, retroactive to Jan. 1. The board voted last year to establish the fund to help churches send their own missionaries.

The recommendation by the board’s executive committee noted: “We wholeheartedly support the efforts of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the executive director to bring greater emphasis upon the missions efforts of the BGCT and to address the financial concerns of the BGCT. We embrace the opportunity to champion the cause of the Great Commission as a vital partner with the BGCT and covenant to pray for it and the new director during these days of transition. We certainly want to be seen as part of the solution to the challenges facing the BGCT.”

A BGCT Executive Board committee reported in April that anticipated 2008 income falls $5.3 million short of the budget. The budget shortfall prompted cutbacks in spending and staffing at the Baptist Building.

Based on 2007 receipts, WorldconneX anticipated receiving $750,000 from worldwide initiatives, as well as roughly $500,000 from other BGCT funding sources, this year. The WorldconneX board agreed to release the $500,000 back to the BGCT and to operate on 80 percent—$600,000—of the worldwide initiatives, plus some funds in reserves, said Bill Tinsley, staff leader of the missions network.

Making the change in its budget not only makes sense financially, but also enables WorldconneX to provide a rapid infusion of dollars into the church-sending fund, according to Tom Billings, chair of the WorldconneX board.

“We want to be more closely connected to the churches. This will enable us to have that closer connection to churches, and it will help jumpstart the church sending fund,” said Billings, director of Union Baptist Association.

In addition to the budget changes, the board also agreed to relocate from its current location south of downtown Dallas to the Baptist Building. The move will save about $4,000 a month, Tinsley noted.

After creating the infrastructure for the missions network over the last four years, WorldconneX stands ready to help churches engage in frontline missions, Billings stressed.

“There’s a real passion for moving from the philosophical to practical implementation,” he said. “We’ve spent a few years in the formative stages laying the groundwork. Now we want to move aggressively toward implementation.”

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