Kansas-Nebraska reduces CP allocation
    October 6 2010 by BP Staff

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) — The Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists has reduced the percentage of Cooperative Program receipts forwarded to Southern Baptists’ national and international causes from 32 percent to 22 percent, the convention’s news publication has reported.


    Two factors caused the decision, according to Ron Pracht, president of the Kansas-Nebraska convention: the impact of the economic recession on churches; and diversion of cooperative missions funds into direct missions causes.


    The action is retroactive to the first of the year and is temporarily in place through the remainder of the year.


    The CP reduction was approved by 40 members of the convention’s mission board while one board member registered opposition, Pratt reported in a front-page column in the September edition of the Baptist Digest, the KNCSB’s news publication.


    “Because of the state of the economy across Kansas and Nebraska and because some churches in KNCSB have chosen to redirect some of their mission dollars in light of the adoption of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report, we need to consider a redirection of funds received through KNCSB,” Pracht wrote.


    “Great Commission Giving” was endorsed by the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Report. However, messengers to the SBC annual meeting in Orlando this past June adopted the report and recommendations only after an amendment was made that emphasized “that designated giving to special causes is to be given as a supplement to the Cooperative Program and not as a substitute for Cooperative Program giving.”


    “This was a difficult and painful decision for us to make,” Pracht wrote in the Digest. “As I told the members of the Mission Board [80] percent of our budget is invested in people ... Short of massive layoffs or significant pay cuts, this was the best short term alternative we could find.”


    In an accompanying editorial Digest editor Tim Boyd wrote that without the action by the convention’s mission board, mission work in the two-state convention would have been crippled.


    While the GCR recommendations challenged churches to give sacrificially so the gospel could be taken to people groups that have yet to hear it, Boyd expressed concern in his editorial that some congregations are redirecting money away from initiatives to reach their cities, states, and nation in order to boost giving to international projects.


    10/6/2010 4:22:00 AM by BP Staff | with 5 comments

Tommy Kiker
I do agree Brent, that if this is just a stop gap move to save the jobs of staff members I can better understand it. However, and I'm sure you would agree, state conventions are going to have to take responsibility in communicating to their member churches that whatever amount they determine to keep in their particular state is a valid amount. If some choose to bypass the State Conventions and send their money directly to the SBC or to other missionary endeavors we have to recognize that they are choosing (with thier money) a way they deem better to do missions. State conventions and the SBC must prayerfully labor to refine, communicate, and practice a way of spreading the gospel that encourages churches to greatly desire to continue a high level of support for the Cooperative Program. The CP has been and still remains one of the greatest tools for the spread of the gospel, but we can not rest on our laurels.
10/7/2010 3:29:18 PM

Brent Hobbs
I'm glad the third paragraph has been added to clarify the situation. As I said above, while I don't pretend to like the course of action, I see it may be the best option available to those in leadership of that state convention.

I do question if it is possible for the entire year's percentage to be changed by the board when the original percentage was approved by a vote of the convention as a whole. It seems like a vote would be needed by the whole convention again to change, even temporarily, the CP percentage.

I also question the original Baptist Press report [i]if it did not include the information[/i] that the change was only effective for 2010 and in 2011 the percentage would return to 32%. If the BP story did not indicate that fact, it is either a serious oversight which brings into question the competency of whoever wrote the story, or was intentionally misleading to cast a negative light on the effects of the GCR movement.
10/7/2010 3:21:34 PM

Brent Hobbs
In reading some more about this at the Baptist Digest website ( http://www.baptistdigest.com/archive/article/mission_board_addresses_new_reality/ ), it seems like this may just be a 1-year change, whereas the BP article doesn't include that fact, giving me the impression that the change was going to be permanent. It says they plan on moving back to 32% for the year 2011. [b]If that is true, then I want to take back the statements I made above.[/b] As long as this is only a temporary (1-year) measure to save jobs at the convention, then I understand their reasoning and the likely necessity of the move.
10/7/2010 12:31:36 PM

Brent Hobbs
This is terribly discouraging in many ways. First of all is the self-preservation mode the Kansas-Nebraska convention has lapsed into. It's easy to blame the GCR recommendations, but I highly doubt that there has been any significant movement in funding since June. I think it's telling that no numbers presented before/after GCR. I suspect that the Kansas-Nebraksa convention has seen consistently declining revenues for some time. I also suspect that blaming the GCR for the funding downturn is mostly an opportunity to take a shot at that movement.

I expect with the decrease in percentage going to the national level, there will now be a huge drop off in giving through the state CP. The ironic thing is that this move for self-preservation will likely hurt the state convention itself much more than budget cuts and layoff would have in the short term. I hope they get enough feedback from churches that they reverse this decision.
10/7/2010 11:27:42 AM

Bill Tomlinson
Many of us said that this is exactly what would happen if the GCR Report was adopted. Sadly, we now know that we were correct and it gives no joy. The CP has been and unbelievable funding tool that has allowed Southern Baptists to impact the world by working together. That cooperation is now facing demise as each church decides which mission agency it supports.
10/6/2010 7:42:54 PM

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