JEFFERSON CITY – Reflecting a recent increase of Cooperative Program (CP) giving within the state, Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Board members increased its 2018 CP goal. In other business, they recommended that Missouri Baptists, gathered for their annual meeting in October, take up a special offering to fight human trafficking.
2018 CP goal and Executive Board budget
In April of this year, Executive Board members set the 2018 CP goal at $14.5 million, which equals the actual CP giving receipts from 2016 but is less than the 2017 goal of $14.8 million. But during their most recent meeting, July 10-11, they increased the 2018 goal to $14.8 million. Their decision reflects a recent rise in giving among Missouri Baptists to the CP. During the month of June, for example, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee reported that the CP allocation budget receipt from Missouri was up by 23 percent, as compared to the same month last year.
As noted in the background to the board’s recommendation, the new 2018 CP goal of $14.8 million “is better in line with the expected giving” for 2018.
Budget allocations for 2018 remain the same as those set by the board earlier this year. The board has removed the 5 percent “shared expenses” category, which in previous years has helped to fund The Pathway and annuity protections, although the money needed for these ministries will now come from funds allocated for MBC causes. The Board allocated 60 percent of the 2018 CP goal for MBC causes, while allocating the remaining 40 percent for Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) causes. Any CP receipts above the 2018 goal will be split evenly between MBC and SBC causes.
The Executive Board also recommended that, during its annual meeting in October, the convention approve a proposed 2018 Executive Board budget of $7,103,485. This 2018 proposed budget shows a slight increase from the 2017 approved budget of $7,074,164.
Special offering to oppose trafficking
In other business, MBC board members also recommended that the convention approve a special offering to support the Restoration House of Kansas City in its ministry to victims of human trafficking. The Restoration House is a Christian recovery program for survivors of sex-trafficking in the area, and the Blue River-Kansas City Association is heavily involved in the ministry. If approved by Missouri Baptist messengers, the offering will be collected at the annual meeting, Oct. 24.
In other business, the MBC Executive Board:
- recommended that the MBC enter into a five-year, state-to-state missions partnership with the Minnesota and Wisconsin Baptist Convention. The partnership will begin Jan. 1, 208 and end Dec. 31, 2022, although partnership period could eventually be extended for another. five more years.
- approved an additional $75,000 from general reserves for the renovation of the sixth floor of the Baptist building in Jefferson City, which will house an extension center operated by Hannibal-LaGrange University (HLGU).
- recommended that the MBC provide a mailing list of Missouri Baptist churches to MBC entities to enable the distribution of information. The recommendation prohibits the use of these mailing lists for the solicitation of funds, except for the promotion of the CP.
- approved a withdrawal of $2,000 from the Missouri Missions Offering reserve funds, which will provide scholarship assistance for ministerial students at HLGU in honor of the late Jim Wells. Having received an undergraduate degree and an honorary doctorate from HLGU, Wells served for five decades as a Missouri Baptist pastor, Director of Missions, and MBC staff member, as well as SBC registration secretary for 15 years. Wells died after battling cancer on June 17, 2017.
- approved various organizations to have exhibits at the MBC annual meeting at First Baptist Church, Raytown, Oct. 23-25.
- amended the MBC’s retirement contribution policy, affirming that “all new hires of eligible employees after Jan. 1, 2018, receive a contribution equal to 5 percent of salary (including housing) plus an option for an additional 2.5 percent matching contribution from the MBC.”
- amended “Section 112 Church Affiliation,” of the Executive Board Staff Handbook to read, “It is the preference of the Missouri Baptist Convention that all employees be members of Missouri Baptist Convention affiliated churches. It is with rare exception, and with Executive Director approval, that any employee pay grade level four and above (Specialist or State Missionary) be a member of any church other than a Missouri Baptist Convention affiliated church.”