Board hears update on strategy, approves 2014 budget

by BSCNC Communications
Monday, September 30, 2013 | 325 days old

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) Board of Directors met Sept. 24-25 at Caraway Conference Center. During its May meeting, the Board approved a new BSCNC strategy and staff structure.

During the September meeting, the Board heard a progress report from executive director-treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. about how the BSCNC is preparing for the January 2014 implementation of this strategy and its supporting structure.

“Much has been accomplished over the last four months since we last met,” Hollifield said. “Some of our churches developed strategies for impacting lostness through disciple-making long before the Board approved this strategy. Convention staff has been seeking out these congregations and meeting with church and associational leaders to learn not only what they are doing, but how they are doing it.”

During this regularly scheduled meeting, Hollifield shared with the Board that through the new strategy the Convention will focus on assisting churches as they impact lostness through disciple-making.

“Numerous other Baptist entities, conventions, associations and churches are focused on impacting lostness, but few are looking at this effort through the lens of disciple-making. It is important that we think of disciple-making as the overarching understanding of evangelism plus discipleship,” he said.

Hollifield shared several examples of how North Carolina Baptists across the state are already seeking to implement strategies to help develop a disciple-making culture in their churches. For example, Chris Hawks, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Hamlet and BSCNC Board member, has helped leaders in his congregation learn how to disciple others. As leaders learned what it means to be discipled they began discipling others, and God has saved 44 people since January.

Hollifield is praying that more churches across the state will begin to see disciple-making “not as an age dated program, but as a process. Disciple-making happens when individuals invest their life in another person with regularity and teach them through scripture how to be a follower of Jesus,” he said.

Since the Board last met, Hollifield and staff have also been working with churches and associations to explore and develop campus ministry models in order that churches are better equipped to work with Baptist Campus Ministry students on different college campuses.

Hollifield and Convention staff have also met with nearly all the directors of missions and associational missionaries in proximity of the eight population centers (read more about these centers) and are beginning to meet with leaders outside these areas.

“The response of the overwhelming majority of these men has been positive. They are expressing appreciation for the framework of the strategy, as it values the input and participation of local leaders; the focus on impacting lostness through disciple-making; and the opportunity to partner in these endeavors,” Hollifield said.

“Our goal is to understand the context of each population center and the various unreached/unengaged people groups in these centers so that we might better assist in reaching the lost.”

Messengers to the Nov. 11-12 Annual Meeting in Greensboro will be able to learn more about the new strategy during a special presentation Tuesday morning. More information is available at www.ncbaptist.org/strategy or www.ncannualmeeting.org.

Budget Report

The Board approved the proposed $30 million budget presented by the Budget Committee, and as a result, the budget will be presented to messengers for approval during the Annual Meeting. The Executive Committee approved the budget during its July meeting.

The proposed budget reflects a decrease from the $33.5 million 2013 Cooperative Program budget approved by messengers during last year’s Annual Meeting. The budget includes an additional one-half percent increase in the percentage of Cooperative Program receipts that are sent to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). This is the ninth year in a row that the Budget Committee has proposed increasing the allocation going to the SBC.
In the proposed budget BSCNC institutions and agencies will receive approximately the same percentage of the budget as last year, but with an overall reduced budget, these percentages will reflect fewer ministry dollars.

Beverly Volz, BSCNC director of accounting services, brought the financial report. Cooperative Program receipts through August 31 total $18,850,354.12, which represents a 4.3 percent decrease as compared to the same time last year.

Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute

Kelly Robbins was recognized during the Board meeting as the first recipient of the Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute Scholars Program, which is a cooperative effort involving the BSCNC and its five affiliated educational institutions.

Robbins received a two-year scholarship awarded to Fruitland students who, upon graduation from Fruitland, desire to continue their education at one of the affiliated institutions. A maximum of two students at each institution are eligible for the scholarship, with the scholarship renewable up to two years.

Robbins began this fall as a student at Gardner-Webb University and plans to study Christian counseling. Also participating in the special time of recognition was Tracy Jessup, Gardner-Webb University president, and Rit Varriale, chair of the Christian Higher Education Committee.

“Your Cooperative Program gifts make this scholarship possible. It is awarded to a very deserving young lady,” said David Horton, Fruitland president.

Horton also challenged North Carolina Baptists to participate in Fruitland’s “One in a Million” campaign. The campaign is an effort to raise $1 million in order for Fruitland to repay debt related to expansion of the campus chapel, addressing other facility needs, and preparing for the next steps in seeking accreditation.

“It’s about you and your churches; we are your school and we need your help,” Horton said.

Churches are encouraged to receive a special offering during October for the campaign. More information is available at www.fruitland.edu.

The Board approved three appointments to the Fruitland Board of Directors: Stan Welch, pastor of West Asheville Baptist Church; Gordon Benton, pastor of Beech Glen Baptist Church in Weaverville; and Rit Varriale, pastor of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Shelby.