BGCT Presidential Journal 30 (Executive Board)

Dallas: This week I had opportunity to participate in the Executive Board meetings in Dallas. This two day meeting is pack with meetings, both formal and informal, as the board oversees the work of the convention between annual meetings.

One huge development this week was the absence of John Petty, who resigned as chairman of the board. Petty stepped down for personal reasons, and his presence was missed. Petty had proven himself as a capable leader over the past two years, and helped Dr. Everett greatly in his re-introduction into BGCT life. Petty was open, fair, firm, and a very capable leader.

Debbie Ferrer, who served as vice chairperson, stepped up in Petty’s absence and did a wonderful job overseeing the events of the week. In addition, Ferrer was elected to be chairperson of the board next year. Joining her in leadership will be Van Christian, pastor of First Baptist Church, Comanche, who will serve as the vice chair next year. Christian will be moving up from his post as chairperson of the Missions and Ministries Committee. Christian also serves as chairman of the Christian Life Commission. Both Ferrer and Christian care deeply for the future of the BGCT and will do a good job helping the convention navigate the coming days.

The big item of discussion this week was the proposed BGCT budget for next year to be recommended for approval at the Annual meeting in Houston. The $41 million budget marks another sharp reduction in spending by the BGCT. Dr. Everett and Jill Larson should be commended for their attempt to bring the spending of the BGCT in line with its income projects for the coming year. Over the past two years under Everett’s leadership, the budget has been slashed 20%. Yet, the spirit of the convention and the Executive Board staff seems to be very optimistic in spite of this reality.

In order to trim spending to meet the anticipated income for next year, the budget required sacrifices on every front. Two noteworthy sacrifices were on the part of the BGCT staff and institutions. The staff will see their employee contributions to their annuities reduced by 50% (10% to 5%). This cut in benefits will save the BGCT over $600,000. In addition, the universities, seminaries, children’s homes, hospitals and other institutions experienced another reduction in revenues. These two actions appear to have been necessary, but these trends need to stop if the convention is going to be a force for change in the future.

To address the issue of institutional support, the EB will form a study committee to take a hard look at how the BGCT funds its institutions and this committee will be making a report to the board by its May meeting. It is critical for the committee to help the BGCT to develop an effective strategy for funding its institutions for the future. Even though the Cooperative Program has taken some hits in the last decade, it still seems to be the most effective and efficient means of funding Kingdom enterprises.

I believe the EB is working hard to help the BGCT move forward into the future. Dr. Everett and his staff are giving visionary leadership, and I hope next year when we meet to discuss the budget we will actually have more money to spend and will be talking about a larger budget. When I was a church planter in the early days of Mission Texas, we were taught “the resources are in the harvest.” Let’s get to work on Texas Hope 2010 and trust God to provide the resources we need for today and for tomorrow.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “BGCT Presidential Journal 30 (Executive Board)

  1. I was saddened by the E.B.’s decision not to have electronic committee meetings without even a test of such a system. Once again, we allowed our fear of what “might” happen to paralyze us. One board member told me he voted “no” simply because there were questions no one could answer. I cannot imagine presenting a motion without anticipating all possible questions and being ready to answer them. Anyway, I hope the issue isn’t completely dead.

  2. Ken,

    My sense of the room and the vote was that the vote had to do more with involvement in decision making rather than rejection of the technology. I don’t remember what question was asked without answers. It appeared that Everett and Vernon were prepared, but not fully anticipating the mood of the Ex Board.

    Since most of the members of the EB were part of the board when it was reduced in size. They anticipated and want to be more fully engaged in the process of making decisions. This engagement appears to be a work in process, but I anticipate that in the years to come a good balance will be struck between the work of the EB staff and the EB members themselves.

    The primary motive for the reduction of the meetings was cost savings, but the EB apparently believed that cost savings at the risk of losing influence was not worth it.

  3. Why has there been no reported reduction in Salaries of Leadership? It seems that it isn’t unprecedented considering the circumstances. People give because of perceived ministry, especially the ministry of our Institutions (Colleges, Hospitals, River Ministry, etc.). People get less excited about giving for six-figure salaries.

    Tim

  4. Tim,

    Thanks for your comments. Concerning your question about salaries, the salaries were not reduced but the annuity benefits to the staff were reduced by 50% or (5% per staff member). This reduction reduced the benefits paid to the staff by $600,000.

    I have gone over the records closely, and the truth is the vast majority of our BGCT staff make much less than six figure salaries. Our staff is paid fairly and professionally.

    When one judges the use of CP dollars for salaries, one must remember that personnel on the ground equals ministry in the fields. Much like most of our churches pay a large portion of their budgets to personnel and expect ministry to happen the same is true at the BGCT.

    Thanks for paying close attention.

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