With a new fiscal year beginning for the Kentucky Baptist Convention in September, the tangible impact of the Great Commission Task Force recommendations is now visible. The first big step in transitioning the division of Cooperative Program funds toward a 50-50 split (less 4 percent shared expenses) between the KBC and Southern Baptist Convention is being taken.
After subtracting 4 percent for CP promotion, the KBC will use 52.46 percent of CP funds during the 2011-2012 budget year for instate mission work and to help fund KBC institutions and agencies. The other 43.54 percent will be forwarded to the SBC Executive Committee. From there, the funds will be divided between the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, and SBC institutions and agencies.
Both the Kentucky GCTF and the SBC Great Commission Resurgence Task Force expressed concern for more funds to get to the IMB to support mission efforts overseas. To better understand that concern, consider that, in the past year, the number of missionaries under appointment with the IMB dropped from 5,700 to 4,911. That drop was due simply to the lack of funds necessary to support our missionaries.
But the concern is not merely for hundreds of called and qualified Southern Baptist missionary candidates having to be told that Southern Baptists apparently cannot afford to send them to the field. The greater concern is for the 6,000 unreached people groups of the world and for the 3,800 people groups yet to be engaged. The greater concern is for the 1.6 billion people in the world with no access to the gospel and for the thousands of lost people who die and go to hell every day who have not heard the gospel. And the greatest concern is for our God to receive the glory due His name from people of every tribe and tongue He has made.
With these concerns on my own heart, I am pleased to report that, under our new funding formula, the IMB received an additional $48,893 from KBC churches during September. Since it costs roughly $40,000 per year to support an IMB missionary, Kentucky Baptists provided enough money during September to send one more worker to the harvest fields of the world. If KBC churches give at last year’s pace, that number will be 16 by year end. If, however, our churches meet the 2011-2012 CP budget goal, that number jumps to 22 new missionaries!
We are continuing to streamline our work here in Kentucky and make the adjustments necessary to get more resources to the nations without abandoning our work at home. Would you join me in praying that every KBC church will embrace the More for Christ spiritual renewal emphasis and commit to giving more through the CP? Mission work at home and abroad hangs in the balance.