Monday, November 15, 2010

Florida votes overwhelmingly for a 50/50 split but will they ever get there?

Good, honest question.

Answer to come in 4 to 7 years.

At least the Florida Baptist Convention but a timetable on it, however soft whereas the leader of the Baptist Convention of North Carolina said that their move to 50/50 may take a "protracted period".

The Florida Baptist Convention voted overwhelmingly to move “within 4-7 years” to a 50/50 Cooperative Program split with the SBC. The split is now 60/40, the 60% naturally staying in the Sunshine State for their use. The recommendation to move in this direction came as a result of a lengthy study and, after an hour and fifteen minutes of presentation and debate. Only a “small number” of messengers voted against it.

How does the administrative leader of the FBC view a move that would cut his revenue stream by about 17 per cent? Here is what John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, said:

“Let’s be sure we understand; we are not making budget decisions in this convention,” Sullivan said. “We are asking the SBOM to study these proposals; come back in the 2011 convention and report how we handle these recommendations.”

Sullivan said he has told the task force and the SBOM if the allocations change, it will require churches “stepping up to the plate and saying, ‘we are going to increase our Cooperative Program giving.’”

“I make this commitment to you,” Sullivan told messengers. “We will not allow the Florida Baptist Convention ministry to lose its integrity nor its effectiveness. This is an absolute essential. I do not have any problem going to 50/50. I do have a problem going to 50/50 and destroying the integrity and the effectiveness of this wonderful state convention.”

Let's do a little figuring here.

If the FBC had a 50/50 split on their present budget, rather than the 60/40 split, the International Mission Board would receive about an additional $1.5 million. If the FBC, in order to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of their ministries, puts the burden on the churches to just give more to the CP in order to implement the 50/50 split, then churches would need to give another $6.3 million to the CP. And that is with the assumption that the FBC can live on what they are living on now about a $31 million budget, an assumption that is probably not justified.

What will FBC churches do? I haven’t the faintest idea but if they felt strongly that overseas needs were a priority, why would they give $6.3 million in order to get less than a quarter of that, $1.5 million, to the IMB?

It seems to me that state conventions are responding positively to the Great Commission Task Force recommendations, but then, as John Sullivan pointedly said, “we are not making budget decisions” just yet.

Until then, it doesn't cost anyone anything.

We will see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

None of these time windows will be acceptable to the big boys.

I wonder if some profile state executive directors will take a popularity hit for delaying the reduction?