Every month and again at the end of each year, the Yeats household reconciles its finances with the bank and credit union we do business with. As a matter of stewardship, we need to know what’s going out, where is it going and how does it fit with our family mission. Then we want our numbers to match with the institution’s numbers. It’s called reconciling.
New devices and apps assist us with that process. We are grateful for the partnerships our family has forged with the professionals who serve us.
There are several applicable parallels in our family operations and our giving/accountability with our local church and our church’s giving/accountability through the Cooperative Program and the Rueben L. South Missouri Mission’s Offering. As a parenthetic note, Dr. South was one of my predecessors who did much to pull Missouri Baptists together and many powerful, missional things were accomplished thru his leadership.
One example of accountability
You will find in the next issue of The Pathway, the annual treasurer’s report of giving by our churches to the Cooperative Program (CP) and Reuben L. South Missouri Missions Offering (MMO). It is important that church leaders compare the numbers the MBC actually received and the amount your church thinks it has sent toward the cooperative mission and ministry work beyond your local church operations. If we made a mistake per your local church’s records, we want to help discover the problem and make certain we are accurate.
I’m so glad to be part of a local church that is committed to the Cooperative Program as the primary channel for its mission giving. It is not the only mission giving Deer Creek Baptist Church does but CP is our primary way of support. And our financial records show it. I thank the Lord for my pastor’s leadership in the realm of church stewardship. Every dollar through the church to CP holds the rope support for powerful ministries.
“Cancel Culture” is a new term we hear far too often. The idea is that if a company or a public figure or a ministry has ever done something controversial or says something deemed politically incorrect, they are ostracized. It is a form of boycotting something or someone who doesn’t agree with your perspective. Wikipedia states, “For those on the receiving end of the cancel culture, the consequences can lead to loss of reputation and income.” And the cancel culture leaves no room for an appeal or recourse especially in the court of public opinion.
Who cares what the facts are? You can be protested, picketed in your front yard, or cancelled from an engagement simply because you are accused of something by somebody. Sadly, the media is not innocent in this process. Neither is social media. Just because something is printed on paper or appears in a social media app, doesn’t make it true. That’s why people of the Book, especially Baptists, need to carefully receive information.
Because a MBC or SBC institution receives contrarian news, that is no reason for a church to withhold CP funds. It is better to stay engaged and work toward a solution that reflects the processes and principles Baptists have cherished for centuries.
Each of Missouri Baptist’s three universities are phenomenal institutions of higher learning and each has an exceptional board of trustees nominated and selected by the messengers from our churches. They are true to their historic fiscal responsibilities. To say otherwise is a failure to acknowledge the facts.
Southwest Baptist has been under fire of late. Following a complaint claiming that SBU’s trustees had handed over the control of SBU to the Missouri Baptist Convention of churches The Higher Learning Commission launched an investigation. As an eyewitness, I am super impressed with the response by SBU administrative leaders, SBU trustees and legal counsel working harmoniously to clarify our historic Baptist governance model.
After a recent meeting, SBU trustee chair Dr. Eddie Bumpers shared, “SBU’s corporate structure has not changed; it is still organized as a benevolent organization under the same statute it has always been organized. The addition of the sole member language is simply updated language that represents the relationship that has always existed in SBU’s structure. This Sole Member language also exists within our sister SBC Universities which have had no concerns presented to them regarding HLC accreditation.”
Your church supports SBU, its administration, faculty, staff and students. Your primary way to do that is to 1. Send your students, 2. Pray for SBU trustees and the SBU team, and 3. Continue to generously give through the Cooperative Program. In 2020, Missouri Baptist churches thru the CP gave 22.46 percent of all the private contributions to SBU.
Now is a great time to run forward in support of our institutions that hold our biblical values.