By Allen Palmeri
JEFFERSON CITY—Messengers to the 175th annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) at First Baptist Church, Raytown, Oct. 26-28 could approve a final 2010 budget figure of $15.05 million if the Executive Board acts on a unanimous recommendation by its Administrative Committee to trim a $15.75 million budget estimate agreed on July 14.
MBC Executive Director David Tolliver, who has been pushing for a much more realistic budget than the current $16.3 million structure, noted that current Cooperative Program (CP) gifts for 2009 are on pace to be at or near the projected budgetary number for 2010.
There are two giving plans in the budget. Plan A would direct 3 percent of budgeted funds toward the Agency Restoration Fund (ARF) to cover legal fees involved in the recovery of five breakaway agencies. Plan B would allow churches to direct those same funds to the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home (1 percent) and Christian Higher Education (2 percent) instead.
“The alternative giving plan guarantees that their dollars will not go to the lawsuits,” Tolliver said.
A new MBC logo for 2010 was introduced to Administrative Committee members Oct. 8. Proclaiming that Missouri Baptists are strategic mission partners in green and blue, the logo mirrors the Southern Baptist Convention’s CP colors—a pattern that should last at least five years.
“It’s a very simplistic statement that identifies us as the first mission partner to the churches and associations of Missouri,” Tolliver said.
The executive director, who will be installed Oct. 26, has prepared a visionary address based on the MBC being “spiritually healthy Christians, coming together in healthy churches, going to an unhealthy world with the healing Gospel of Jesus Christ.” In tandem with that is the 2010 MBC theme of “Moving Forward—In Christ—For Health—On Mission.”
Tolliver, who served nearly two years as interim executive director before getting the position Feb. 3, was asked to comment on the language.
“A healthy church is on mission,” he said. “We don’t have church health for the sake of church health. We have church health for the sake of fulfilling the Great Commission.”
The convention theme is “From Everlasting to Everlasting.”