LITTLE ROCK – The 2020 Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) unified Cooperative Program (CP) budget of $21 million was approved unanimously by the ABSC Finance Committee May 14.
The 2020 budget is the third year of a new five-year budget formula approved by messengers in 2016, which increases the amount of CP dollars sent out of state to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) causes from 43.77 percent to 45.82 percent by 2022. The 2020 budget increases the convention’s percentage to 45.42 percent.
The increase in the amount of CP funds sent out of state includes 1.05 percent from ABSC Executive Board ministries, with the remainder coming from ABSC institutions and agencies for a total of 2.05 percent. The increase from the institutions and agencies amounts to a .2 percent increase to the SBC each year of the five-year budget formula period.
The percentage of what ABSC calls Out-of-State Missions is 2.58 percent for a total of 48 percent in 2020, projected to grow to 48.40 percent in 2022 under the new five-year formula.
The Out-of-State Missions percentage includes funds allocated to ABSC to connect churches to SBC strategies, CP promotion and administration and the SBC Executive Committee. The SBC budget allocation from ABSC totals $9,538,200.
ABSC programs and related entity budget allocations for 2020 are $11,461,800 – which is 54.58 percent of the total CP budget. (For individual agency allocations, see related table.)
CP funds received in excess of the annual budgeted amount will be split 50/50 between the International Mission Board and ABSC at the end of the fiscal year and distributed to each state entity based on the established budget formula. (Visit arkansasbaptist.org/agencybudgets2020 to view or download agency budgets.)
The Finance Committee recommendation will be voted on by the ABSC Executive Board on Aug. 9, before being sent to messengers for consideration at the state convention annual meeting Oct. 22-23 at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, Little Rock.
The budget moves the ABSC closer to achieving a historic 50/50 split in the portion of its CP receipts given to SBC missions and ministries versus what it
keeps in the state.
In other reports, members of the Finance Committee:
– Heard from J.D. “Sonny” Tucker, ABSC executive director, who told the committee their work is a “holy trust,” with the ABSC Executive Board and convention agencies accountable to them.
“(W)e come to do this because it is a holy trust, not a rubber-stamp meeting today. This is not perfunctory,” said Tucker. “Your agencies and institutions – the children’s home, the foundation, Arkansas Baptist News, Camp Siloam, Ouachita and Williams – are also accountable and responsible to the individuals and churches who give money, and they also are a part of this holy trust.”
Tucker added, “So, it’s all about missions what we’re here to do. Let’s make that the focus of who we are and understand that we are a missions organization. Let’s celebrate what we do.”
– Heard “team impact” stories from Andrea Lennon, ABSC women’s ministry specialist, about increased participation of Baptist women in leadership events and the Inspire women’s conference, and from Greg Addison, ABSC associate executive director, who gave an update on convention efforts to educate churches on preventing sex abuse. Addison said over the past several years more than 1,000 Arkansas Baptists have been trained, representing 300 churches.
– Heard a Terminated Pastor/Staff Assistance Committee report from Dubs Byers, pastor of First Baptist Church, Dumas. Byers said from May 1, 2018, through April 30, 2019, nine ministers received one-time assistance totaling $22,800, and two ministers received assistance of up to four months in the amount of $1,208.62, for a total amount of assistance provided of $24,008.62.
Program Committee meets
Also May 14, the ABSC Program Committee met to hear an overview of 2018 Executive Board team goals and outcomes and to approve 2020 Executive Board team goals and strategies. (Visit arkansasbaptist.org/absc2020reports to view or download team reports.)
During the two committee meetings, Tucker led discussion groups comprised of committee members to address the following topics: 1) How can we get the message to our churches about the ministries of the ABSC? 2) Preventing sex abuse in our churches and 3) The deacon’s role in evangelism and church health.
Contact Tim Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org.