Royston outlines five-year plan
February 2 2001 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Royston outlines five-year plan | Friday, Feb. 2, 2001

Friday, Feb. 2, 2001

Royston outlines five-year plan

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor The next five years will be characterized by strong growth for the Baptist State Convention (BSC) if Executive Director-treasurer Jim Royston gets his wish. Royston outlined his goals for the next five years in a Jan. 30 address to the BSC General Board. Royston said the BSC's mission statement, "Mobilizing Baptists for Ministry," is fleshed out through four emphases: Proclaiming the gospel to North Carolina's 3.5 million unchurched residents, birthing new congregations, revitalizing existing congregations, and resourcing BSC congregations, associations and institutions.

He listed several BSC "strategies for the 21st century." The General Board staff will work to develop resources for the digital age, Royston said, building a platform to make the BSC a digital convention. Royston acknowledged that not every church will go "high tech," even within the next 25 years, but he pledged Convention support for those that want to use technology more effectively.

The BSC staff will assist in the revitalization of congregations, Royston said, helping up to 500 congregations per year find renewed energy and new expertise to fulfill their calling.

Birthing new churches is also important, Royston said. "Several years ago, I began talking about how we needed 1,500 new churches in the next 10 years just to be close to the same ratio of N.C. Baptists we had in 1960," he said. "We are now focusing on starting fewer churches, but giving them more resources, with the intention of planting churches that will reproduce themselves in five years."

The BSC will use all its resources to accomplish these goals, Royston said, utilizing networks and partnerships to share resources. Baptist associations will be strategic partners in the effort, he said.

Royston said he expects the strategies to produce net results over the next five years that include a budget growing to $50 million from the current $35 million, 43,000 baptisms annually, the birth of 150 new congregations and the addition of 125,000 new Baptists to BSC rolls. Other results would be developing the best staff and consultant network in denominational work, building the best possible platform for delivering digital resources, and mobilizing 35,000 volunteers annually, he said.

Inflation alone should bring the budget to about $42 million in five years, Royston said, adding that is not enough to meet BSC goals. N.C. Baptists should be challenged to give more, he said.

The goal of baptizing 43,000 people annually could be reached if every church averaged just one more baptism per year during the next five years, Royston said. In 2000, BSC churches baptized about 29,000, the highest total in 25 years.

"I'm perfectly at home in the call God has given me," Royston said. He pointed to several recent meetings - a BSC staff retreat for group leaders, the annual evangelism conference and a retreat for General Board staff and directors of missions that had included times of spontaneous prayer leading to a renewed sense of revival. He challenged General Board members to catch the spirit of renewal and support his vision for the BSC's future growth.

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2/2/2001 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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