After six months as your executive director, I am more excited than ever about the churches and ministries of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Through the work of our churches and the mission partnerships we have formed, each day the cause of the Kingdom is advancing on earth and the rolls are expanding in Heaven.
While these months have been incredibly enlightening and encouraging for me, they have also served to confirm the magnitude of the challenges facing us. With so many families and churches struggling financially, budget deficits in a mission organization like the KBC come as no surprise. Some of our churches, embracing the More for Christ challenge, have elevated their commitment to the mission work funded through the Cooperative Program. For others, simply maintaining their current level of giving is a huge sacrifice. Still others have been forced to make reductions.
With all of that accounted for, figures indicate that average CP giving in KBC churches has plummeted by roughly one third over the past decade, down from just over 10 percent of undesignated receipts to the current level of just under 7 percent. That, along with the commitment of Kentucky Baptists to get more of our resources to the nations without a gospel witness, is dramatically impacting the ministry budgets of the KBC. The time has come to re-envision our work.
To that end, I have been meeting with as many Kentucky Baptists as possible, including state missionaries, pastors, church staff members, directors of mission, and each of our Mission Board staff members. I have listened to their perspective on the work of our convention. Over the course of the next several weeks, I will meet with representatives from some of our churches with strong CP giving records to discuss many of the ideas that have been shared with me.
My prayer continues to be that God will use these ongoing conversations to continue to reveal His vision for our convention. That we will not be able to continue funding all of the work we have undertaken in the past has become clear. Yet, Kentucky Baptists are still giving a significant amount of Kingdom resources through the CP and no doubt want to see those resources invested in ministries that are vital to Kingdom advance. Targeting those funds will entail the difficult process of choosing between things that are good and things that are great. More importantly, targeting those funds will entail the process of seeking God’s will in knowing that which He would have us do and that which He would have us no longer do.
I covet your prayers and pledge to keep you informed as we move into the future God has planned for us.