I began as KBC Executive Director-Treasurer on July 1, 2011. After spending 6 months observing and asking questions, I assembled a team of pastors, directors of missions, and laypersons from across our state to assist in planning a strategy for reorganizing. Three compelling reasons for reorganizing were the decline in Cooperative Program giving, the Great Commission Task Force recommendations adopted during our KBC annual meeting in 2010, and the need to refocus the ministry of our mission board staff upon the needs of the local church.
I’m fairly certain the KBC was the first state in the Southern Baptist Convention to adopt “Great Commission Resurgence” type initiatives. The GCTF recommendations in Kentucky sought to move our CP budget to a 50/50 split between KBC and SBC missions causes, including a CP promotional budget item we refer to as Cooperative Program Resourcing (CPR: Giving Life to the Great Commission).
Changes to last year’s budget and the next two budgets will find us at that 50/50 with 7 percent going to CPR. When compared to budgets adopted by other state conventions across the SBC, we will now be forwarding a higher percentage of CP to SBC missions than any convention except the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention.
To make that shift, we reduced our full-time staff by about 25 percent through an early retirement and resignation incentive offering. We are also preparing to present recommendations to our board in May that will adjust the CP allocation to our in-state agencies and institutions over the course of the next two budget years to complete the shift of funds to SBC missions.
While difficult, we have streamlined our operations and re-prioritized our work in ways that we believe will make us more relevant and effective when it comes to serving our churches. While we have lost a few dozen positions in Kentucky, the International Mission Board has lost well over 700 hundred front-line missionaries. Given the scarcity of a gospel witness among so many people groups around the world, we count our sacrifices here in Kentucky as small and accept them with the deep joy of knowing that God will be glorified among the nations.
Because of these changes, we sent additional funds to the IMB this past year that would support another 16 missionaries than our previous CP allocation percentage would have allowed us to support. That number will continue to grow over the next two budget years.
Thank you, Kentucky Baptists, for the sacrifices you make to get the gospel to the nations!