Plodder is beholden to no man, woman (save my wonnerful wife), or animal (save my beloved pooch) and feels no compunction to hold back on possibilities for improving the Cooperative Program. Here are three suggestions:
1. Close a seminary. Shut down, shutter, and sell either Midwestern or New Orleans. We do not need regional seminaries and have not for some years. Regional seminaries are a relic of the mid-twentieth century. We could have closed NOBTS after the hurricane. MWBTS lacks the economies of scale that Southwestern, Southeastern, and Southern have, besides Southern Baptists have started and supported from scratch, without the Cooperative Program, a seminary in that area that is thoroughly SBC but independent of the CP – Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
Golden Gate has made it by selling fabulously expensive real estate but that golden goose may be about dead. The idea of an SBC seminary in California was/is good. How much are we willing to devote to it?
This idea doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Gehenna of being implemented, since both MWBTS and especially NOBTS have substantial allies. Would the SBC be able to educate ministers for the foreseeable future without either or both of them? Sure.
2. Set an informal standard for elected leaders, trustees, and executive employees. If you want to be elected SBC officer, trustee, or employee you have to have been a member or pastor of a church that gives at least X% to the Cooperative Program and/or X% in Great Commission Giving. If we are serious about the CP and SBC entities, prove it by telling pastors who want a job, or want to be trustees, or their laypeople that if they don’t give a minimum percentage to the CP/GCG then they should not expect to be employed or elected as a trustee of an SBC entity.
The Executive Committee through the new consortium of Cooperative Program specialists could implement this. Even if it is only a suggestion and does not, indeed cannot, force the SBC in annual assembly or the Committee on Committees or the Nominating Committee to nominate or vote for folks who met the threshold standard it could be a powerful factor in future elections.
3. Ask all SBC entities – the mission boards, the Executive Committee, the seminaries – to reduce the number of trustees and trustee expenses. The IMB has 96, count ‘em, trustees. I believe I saw an annual trustee expense figure of about a million dollars for that mob. NAMB doesn’t seem to have prospered the last decade or so with a huge number of trustees. Save the money and maybe get a better result with less, I say. Someone commented that Golden Gate seminary has more trustees than it has faculty. Why? We all know the reasons that there are so many trustee slots – we SBCers love positions, titles, and perks. The savings would be in the millions.
Any other irreverent and outrageous suggestions?