CBF leaders refer strategic plan back to council for more study
June 29 2001 by Bob Allen , Associated Baptist Press

CBF leaders refer strategic plan back to council for more study | Friday, June 29, 2001
  • Adding a membership requirement that churches must "embrace" the CBF mission statement and organizational values to be counted as a CBF member. Some complain that requiring any action beyond financial support violates the autonomy of the local church. Others say it smacks of creedalism and would divide churches by forcing the issue in congregations where CBF and Southern Baptist Convention supporters peacefully co-exist.
  • Altering makeup of the Coordinating Council. The plan proposes reducing the size of the council to make it more efficient, but it also ends the practice of allowing state and regional CBF chapters to elect their own representatives to the national council. A nominating committee appointed by and reporting to a renamed Governing Board would in the future recruit new members. Critics say the move removes decision-making from the grassroots and moves the council's complexion toward a self-perpetuating board.
  • A general feeling that leaders of state chapters weren't included in early phases of developing the plan, when their feedback could have helped avoid some of the problems. Pushed by a desire to unveil the strategic plan in conjunction with the CBF's 10th anniversary General Assembly and to move beyond a strategic-planning limbo that has already spanned two years, some members felt the council was attempting to ramrod it through.

    "In terms of how this is playing at the grassroots level, this is not being well received, and I think it will hinder what we are doing in phase one if we don't clarify this," said Michael Tutterow, a council member from Wilmington.

    Forrester, a minister from Greenville, S.C., said the council had probably failed to communicate effectively how the first and second planning phases fit together.

    Moderator-elect Jim Baucom pledged to invite recognized experts to discuss polity concerns and to seek input from the broader constituency during the next year.

    Pam Eubanks of Knoxville, Tenn., recalled that leaders initially believed unveiling a strategic plan for the future on the group's 10th anniversary would serve as "a birthday present for CBF."

    "It would have been great for us to offer this as a birthday present," she said, " ... but we've all gotten birthday presents we were disappointed with.

    "Give us all time to chew on it, to think about it and maybe come up with a wonderful present for our 11th or 12th birthday."

    At a breakout session on June 29, CBF members talked about the need for more input on the issue.

    Ed Vick, a layman from First Baptist Church in Raleigh, said he thought that money should be a deciding factor to be a member of CBF. He also talked about the method of electing Coordinating Council members.

    "I think this is a grassroots organization and I think it's important we have grassroots input into the governing board," he said. "We do not want a self-perpetuating board."

    Hardy Clemons, First Baptist Greenville, S.C., suggested naming the group a "leadership team" instead of a "governing board."

    "If we end up with 'governing board' we have made a deep mistake," he said.

    Harry Poovey, a retired N.C. Baptist pastor who served on the Coordinating Council for four years, said he believes it is dangerous to get away from grassroots input.

    "Since I rotated off I don't know what's going on," he said.

    Bob Patterson, the coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina, said phase two of the strategic plan should be put together in a way similar to the method used for phase one.

    "Phase one was devised with the input of every one of us," he said.

    In another vote, however, the Coordinating Council refused to reverse an earlier position banning CBF funding of institutions that "condone, advocate or affirm homosexual practice."

    After discussion, the council voted 38-13 against a motion by Dixie Petrey of Knoxville, Tenn., to rescind the policy approved last October.

    The council did, however, change terminology in the statement from "organizational value" to "personnel and administrative funding policy" in an effort to clarify that it is an internal document for the Coordinating Council and does not speak for the CBF movement as a whole.

    (EDITOR'S NOTE - Biblical Recorder Assistant Editor Jimmy Allen contributed to this report.)

  • Friday, June 29, 2001

    CBF leaders refer strategic plan back to council for more study

    By Bob Allen Associated Baptist Press ATLANTA - Cooperative Baptist Fellowship leaders have sent a strategic plan slated for vote at this week's General Assembly back to the drawing board. Citing resistance from state and regional groups affiliated with the CBF, a national Coordinating Council voted on the eve of the June 28-30 gathering in Atlanta not to go forward with a second-phase strategic plan billed as a new course for the moderate group's second decade.

    The plan, which follows a first phase approved last year that included a new mission statement and reorganized staff, proposes to alter the makeup of the organization's governing board, the Coordinating Council, and change the way the national body relates to state and regional chapters.

    Since its release in February, the plan has drawn widespread criticism, prompting the Coordinating Council June 27 to refer it back for more study and dialogue with a goal of recommending a possibly altered plan at a future national gathering.

    "There's just been a virtual storm as people have read about this particular plan from their own perspectives and without all the information sometimes," CBF moderator Donna Forrester said.

    Among concerns cited in formal communication from state CBF groups in North Carolina and Virginia and informally in other states are:

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    6/29/2001 12:00:00 AM by Bob Allen , Associated Baptist Press | with 0 comments
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