The past ten days in the BGCT have been quite a roller coaster for me. Last Friday I met with the Randel Everett, CFO Jill Larson, and BGCT Executive Committee to begin planning for the 2010 BGCT budget. Money is tight as you might imagine, and hard choices are going to have to be made. Like most churches and organizations across the land serious evaluation must go into financial planning for the future.
The BGCT leadership has decided to face the future with a prudent and yet faithful approach. The budget will reflect our recent history and trends, and will boldly challenge us to continue to streamline yet to stay on task. One thing is clear, we need more financial support for the Cooperative Program if we intend to continue to hold the ropes of our institutions and if we are serious about implementing Texas Hope 2010. The BGCT receipts reflect the status of our churches, but this can change if our churches begin to turn the corner, or if our churches increase their financial support, or if we add a large number of new churches to our team.
I believe we need to work hard on all three fronts: 1) healthy churches make for a strong cooperative effort, 2) many of our churches may need to re-evaluate their percentage given to the CP and seriously consider giving at least 1% more, and 3) we need to start new churches by the dozens, and invite establish churches to join the fun. I am beginning a personal effort to reach out to strong churches across the state to ask for them to join us in our effort to make Texas Hope 2010 more than a slogan. If you know of a church that may consider being part of our effort and you want me to make contact with them, please pass the information on.
Hispanic Baptist Convention/Shared Leadership
One of the great joys of the week was the opportunity to participate in the Hispanic Baptist Convention held at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas. This was my first opportunity to participate with this exciting gathering of Baptist people. It was an amazing family reunion. The energy was high. The music was moving, and the preaching passionate.
One lesson I took away from the Hispanic convention was the simplicity and power of an open election. After Baldemar Borrego served a three year term as president, the convention had five qualified nominees to serve as president. After a couple of run offs, Victor Rodriguez was elected president. I had a brief opportunity to congratulate him for his election to leadership during the 100th year of this great convention. I am confident he will serve well as president, and it was exciting to see the people select their leader.
I believe the BGCT can learn from this example. I hope and pray for the day when we too will have a number of qualified candidates nominated. I remember when my father was elected president in Waco in early 1980’s there were at least five nominees for president that year.