One of the questions I have been asked is, “What changes should we anticipate coming to the KBC?” I communicated to the search team five key areas I want to focus upon as I begin to serve Kentucky Baptists. While many other important roles for the KBC will always exist, these are “opportunity areas” that can help us ensure Kentucky Baptists of the value of your Cooperative Program investment and, God willing, grow that investment.
The first opportunity concerns the Great Commission Task Force report. With an estimated 1.7 billion persons in the world having virtually no access to the gospel, and so much work yet to be done in Kentucky, the appeal of the Task Force for Kentucky Baptists to make a “recommitment of our lives, our churches, our families, and our resources” to the Great Commission is a prophetic call.
Regardless of differing opinions on how that recommitment should impact the work of the KBC, I know Kentucky Baptists are passionate about the Great Commission to make disciples. Yet, our passion for disciple-making will require us to embrace new methods to reach an ever-changing world with the unchanging gospel.
A paper recently published by Will McRaney brings this fact to light. McRaney sites research indicating that out of every 100 boys connected with our Southern Baptist churches at age 6, only 13 will be connected at age 30. That is a loss of 87 percent! When only 13 percent of our own children are being discipled to become contributing members of our churches, Southern Baptists are struggling at best. Social Science would refer to this dilemma as “institutional breakdown.” With God’s help, we must turn the tide!
Under Bill Mackey’s leadership, KBC staff immediately began to align their work with both the recommendations and the spirit of the GCTF report. Since the magnitude of change envisioned by the task force requires an adjustment of resources and personnel that will continue for multiple years, I want to assure you of the commitment of your new executive director to embrace these changes.
The report called first for the launch of “More for Christ,” an intentional time of repentance, renewal, and redirection for the future. Understanding that reaching Kentucky for Christ will require God’s blessing and our sacrifice, the More for Christ theme is being embraced and promoted by your KBC staff. But promotion has little to do with heartfelt repentance, genuine spiritual renewal, and individuals embracing a new direction that prioritizes the Great Commission over everything else in our lives. In fact, the GCTF personalized the call by asking that Kentucky Baptists to give more of themselves in personal surrender and witness, give more of their family, more for the lost, more for the needs, and more for the nations.
Second, the report included a reallocation over the next 10 years to provide for 50 percent of CP funds (after shared administrative expenses) to be forwarded to the SBC and 50 percent going to the KBC. While this directive will continue to be challenging for your staff, the sacrifice required for getting the gospel to the nations should be a source of joy for each of us. We will embrace it.
Third, the goal was set to grow CP receipts at least 3 percent per year for the next seven years. Although your staff only have direct influence in the churches where we are members, our role in helping Kentucky Baptists reach this goal is vital. We pledge to do everything we can to keep our pastors and churches informed of the mission work and ministries being accomplished by CP dollars. I’ll share more about this pledge in the posts to come. My goal is to Kentucky Baptists see your CP investment for what it is, a wonderful opportunity to be faithful to the Great Commission!
How can we help you and/or your church become more excited about investing your Kingdom resources through the CP? I’d love to hear your suggestions!