Today’s post is part two of my three part series based on the report I delivered to the KBC Mission Board at the May meeting.
The changing culture creates greater challenges in some areas of our work than others. The drama surrounding Sunrise Children’s Services in 2013 is a perfect example. While Sunrise still has the difficult job of navigating government contracts, be assured that the board and interim administration are clear on this: Sunrise will be distinctly Christian in its ministry, including its hiring practices. With that commitment brings a greater opportunity and greater need for support from our churches. Thank you for approving the one-time “Shine!” offering. We look forward to seeing how God uses that offering to provide for the needs of this ministry to hurting kids as we move forward.
The recovery of Sunrise is a perfect example of why the details of our relationships with our agencies and institutions matter. KBC agencies and institutions owe their existence to the Cooperative Program of Kentucky Baptists, individual donors who are Kentucky Baptists, and/or a special offering from KBC churches.
The Western Recorder, Kentucky Baptist Foundation, and Crossings have CP as their lifeblood. Though an auxiliary, the WMU we know today exists because of the Cooperative Program and because Kentucky Baptists give through the Eliza Broadus Offering.
Our institutions are also benefactors of their relationship with the KBC. For example, Campbellsville University and the University of the Cumberlands would be hard pressed to find a donor who, every decade, gives direct support and scholarship assistance to each of these institutions nearing $15 million, not to mention the additional millions of dollars donated by individual Kentucky Baptists. Some may point to the small percentage that those funds represent in annual budgets larger than $40 million but the wise leader understands that walking away from the kind of support given by Kentucky Baptists would be as foolish as running a marathon the day after having a leg amputated. You might still be in the race but 26.2 miles is a long way to limp.
In exchange for throwing their support behind their agencies and institutions, KBC churches have the privilege of making board appointments, appointments designed to give direct accountability of the agency or institution to the churches. To the quote the Covenant Agreements that govern each of these relationships: “The Kentucky Baptist Convention shall in return for funding be given the right and responsibility in the selection and orientation of trustees.”
This “right and responsibility” is the only meaningful accountability that can be exercised by our churches. Since tens of millions of CP dollars from our churches have been invested in these organizations, the process of trustee selection must be approached very carefully by the KBC Committee on Nominations and convention messengers.