July 25, 2012
LOUISVILLE– Tuesday, the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s business and finance committee unanimously approved a budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year that KBC leaders describe as “exciting” and “historic.”
The budget increases dollars for church assistance programs and moves KBC closer to the goal adopted by messengers to the 2010 KBC Annual Meeting to send half of all Cooperative Program receipts to Southern Baptist causes, including national and international missions.
Describing the proposal as “a marker” in KBC’s historic timeline, Lowell Ashby, leader of the KBC Finance and Business Services Team, said it builds on a “million dollar shift” of funds reached earlier this year from the KBC Mission Board and Kentucky Baptist agencies and institutions to the SBC.
Ashby said the shift means that Kentucky Baptists are responsible for funding the work of 12 more International Mission Board missionaries than they funded in the previous fiscal year. It also means more dollars from Kentucky Baptists for the North American Mission Board and other SBC causes.
The new budget takes the next step, according to KBC Executive Director Paul Chitwood, enabling Kentucky Baptists to reach the 50/50 goal sooner than the target date of 2017-2018 that was approved two years ago.
KBC President Adam Greenway said “no compelling reason exists for Kentucky Baptist churches not to continue to give sacrificially through the Cooperative Program, and prayerfully for our pastors to lead their churches toward increased financial support.”
The new budget addresses needs in all mission fields Chitwood explained.
“Given the significant reduction in overseas missionary personnel, coupled with the growing lostness of North America, more funding for international and national missions is imperative,” he said. “This budget also makes strides for ministry in Kentucky.
“As a result of the 10-year decline in CP giving, and the poor economy, the budgetary landscape was constantly changing for mission board staff serving our churches,” he continued. “They were providing services without a clear picture of the resources available to accomplish that work because the picture just kept changing.”
In recent years, as CP gifts repeatedly missed approved budget goals, “multiple mid-year adjustments” in the budget had become the norm. The new budget “has us in a much stronger position,” Chitwood said.
The firm footing is a result of a staff restructuring that mission board members approved in May. The plan eliminated 37 staff positions and included retirement/resignation incentive packages for all employees. Twenty-seven full- and part-time staff accepted the packages. Additionally, it was decided that contracts for nine part-time ministry consultants would expire without renewal next month.
The estimated savings in salaries and benefits for the current fiscal year totaled $928,849, Ashby said, describing it as “a sacrifice” that enables KBC’s bottom line to be in alignment with Kentucky Baptists’ stated priorities.
The savings makes possible a 20 percent reduction in fixed costs for the mission board.
Ashby said a “tremendous blessing” is that the entire cost of the retirement and resignation packages for the staff will be absorbed during the current fiscal year.
“We’ve gone through a major shift and it’s one we can be excited about,” Ashby said.
Another trend visible in the proposed budget is the mission board staff’s decreasing dependence on non-CP dollars, such as the North American Mission Board and dwindling restricted and investment funds, to provide services to churches.
An estimated 91.23 percent of the mission board’s programming will be funded through the Cooperative Program in the next fiscal year.
The budget proposal includes the following program team allocations:
· Missions Mobilization Team: $1,326,837
· Evangelism & Church Planting Team: $2,373,870
· Church Consulting & Revitalization Team: $2,359,088
The two support teams tasked with serving churches by compiling the Annual Church Profile, processing gifts, promoting the Cooperative Program, facilitating mission board business and other vital services are allocated as follows:
· Finance & Business Services Team: $990,910
· Executive Office Team: $1,404,611
Follow news of the KBC Mission Board staff restructuring and its impact on Kentucky Baptist churches at www.kybaptist.org/relaunch.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention is a cooperative missions and ministry organization made up of nearly 2,400 autonomous Baptist churches in Kentucky. A variety of state and worldwide ministries are coordinated through its administrative offices in Louisville, including: missions work, disaster relief, ministry training and support, church development, evangelism and more.
For more information, visit the KBC website at www.kybaptist.org become a fan of “Kentucky Baptist Convention” on Facebook or follow “kentuckybaptist” on Twitter.
Story by Dannah Prather, marketing & media relations associate, KBC