NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The immediate past president of the Stewardship Development Association (SDA) is pleased that SDA is now the preferred provider for production of stewardship and Cooperative Program (CP) materials.
Spencer Hutson, who also oversees CP for the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), said the new partnership announced Feb. 23 by Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee President Frank Page respects the historic equipping role that SDA has filled for 40 years.
“They even said we’re going to be the preferred vendor, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be at the table,” Hutson said.
Page wants the SDA, which is a consortium of state stewardship specialists, to help craft a 10-year CP promotion strategy around “a single, nationwide CP theme” that all state conventions and SBC entities can promote, Baptist Press reported. He said leaders have agreed on a long-term plan that would be customizable but unified, requiring a retooled CP image and identity, BP reported.
Page noted that the Executive Committee would still control use of the CP name and image and also help determine how CP is promoted, “maintaining the ability to review materials” along with SDA leadership, BP reported.
Taking a cue from last year’s Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) language where states were urged to “take the lead” in CP promotion, the MBC last October produced a series of four videos under the theme of “Together We Are There.”
Vince Blubaugh, MBC communications and development director, met with his counterpart from the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia Convention, Brandon Pickett, in Atlanta to shoot the videos over two days. They are now being shown in pioneering states like Montana, New York and Iowa.
“We said two state conventions working together is going to be better than us just trying to do it alone,” Blubaugh said. “Those videos were developed so that they could be shown in any state in the country and no one would know where they’re from. We hired a firm to do it because we wanted a network-quality video.”
Page is tracing the GCR pattern that will result in a unified CP strategy with clearly established goals by the 2013 SBC meeting, BP reported. Last November he cut the Executive Committee’s CP and stewardship division and assumed responsibility for CP promotion. Several staff positions were deleted in the move, including those with primary responsibility for production of CP materials. The printed Missionary Moments prayer guide will still be available, but as a general rule, “we are getting out of the resource business,” according to Ashley Clayton, who serves as the associate to Page for CP and stewardship.
SDA President Stan Smith, when asked by Baptist Press for his reaction to the new developments, described it as “a new day in the Executive Committee’s commitment to partnering with state conventions.”
ALLEN PALMERI/associate editor