Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Has anyone seen one of these "Cooperative Agreements"?
Two summers ago I made a long trek to St. Catherine’s monastery in Sinai. It was a great thrill to gaze upon some leaves of one of the greatest of all Bible manuscripts, the Sinaiticus. My old greek prof would invariably affix the adjective “Great” when mentioning it. Of course there’s an easier and closer way to see it – go to the British museum in London where the bulk of the document resides but you miss the aura of the old monastery, Tischendorf, musty old buildings and ancient icons of St Catherine’s.
The most significant practical part of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force’s recommendations has to do with some venerable documents of North American Mission Board, the ‘Cooperative Agreements’ with state conventions by which some $50 million or so of Cooperative Program and Annie Armstrong dollars are kicked back to states. The GCRTF, much to the chagrin of lots of folks, recommends ending these agreements so that NAMB can control their own budget.
Well, I’ve seen what is perhaps the greatest of the ancient Bible manuscripts but I cannot see one of these Cooperative Agreements. I asked my state convention whose finance guy kindly replied with a somewhat helpful description of our Cooperative Agreement. The Georgia Baptist Convention receives $835,000 from NAMB which funds 18 full time and 5 part time positions in our state and some of a bunch of programs. Well and good.
I’d like to see the document.
Sorry, you cannot.
Because the document “belongs” to NAMB and because it involves “personnel information,” “confidentiality,” and stuff like that.
One of my complaints about SBC stuff is that there is far, far too much that is not transparent.
If folks in the pews put their dollars in the offering plate and some of those dollars go to Atlanta to the GBC, then to Nashville to the SBC Executive Committee, then back to Atlanta to NAMB, then down the road to the GBC building, then around the state to various personnel and ministries, why shouldn’t I be able to see exactly how those dollars are spent and where they go? Why is it an issue if some state staff person receives X dollars or X% of their salary and benefits from NAMB? Whose money is it, anyway?
I haven’t pushed it and appreciate the manner in which my state financial guy responded to my questions…but I’d like to see the documents and details.
Looks like I may have to be satisfied with seeing the Sinaiticus.
Has anyone seen these Cooperative Agreements?