National Coordinating Council Reports, June 20, Fort Worth, Texas
Personnel Committee General Assembly Report — Jason Coker, chair
This year has been an historic year for personnel changes within the Fellowship. The Personnel Committee has functioned in an advisory role for the officers in the selection process of the Interim Executive Coordinator and the Interim Coordinator for Global Missions. We also have a representative working on the Executive Coordinator Search Committee and will have a representative on the Coordinator for Global Missions Search Committee. Beyond these duties and our regular duties, we have written a letter of appreciation to Daniel Vestal for his 15 years of service to all of us, we have sent letters of appreciation to all of our field personnel for the service and sacrifice they render to God daily, and we have developed a review process for all of our personnel policies. The review process was put into place because our committee has never systematically reviewed the personnel policies, and we wanted to set a review process that held us accountable to all of our personnel policies. To that end, we developed a three-year review process whereby the Personnel Committee will read through all personnel policies and determine if there are any changes that need to be recommended to the Coordinating Council. This will happen every three years since that is the current rotation period for those serving on the Coordinating Council. We began this work immediately and after careful consideration of the personnel policies and with a thorough understanding of the current historic circumstances of CBF, i.e., 2012 Task Force and transitions at the highest level of leadership, we recommended no change.
Fellowship Advancement General Assembly Report — David Turner, chair
During the past year, the Fellowship Advancement Team has made great strides in its three areas of responsibility – communications, marketing and development. In addition to the bi-monthly magazine and the weekly electronic newsletter, the communications team has been strategically managing the Fellowship’s social media and web presence while producing award-winning materials. In the six weeks leading up to the Assembly alone the communications staff produced 60 projects. The marketing team has successfully revamped the CBF Store, restoring the credit card payment and automatic download functions while finalizing the transfer of the fulfillment and bookkeeping from an outside vendor to an in-house operation. The CBF Advocates program has grown to nearly 400 advocates through networks in 11 states, and the CBF Offering for Global Missions campaign is holding steady at 94 percent as of the end of May. Development initiatives this past year have focused on establishing four annual appeals, generating in excess of $222,000, cultivating relationships with the highest giving churches to ensure ongoing support during the leadership transition and strengthening ties with individual donors.
Global Missions Committee General Assembly Report — Ed Sunday-Winters, chair
We’re delighted to report that five new field personnel will be appointed at the Commissioning Service on Thursday evening. Here are their names, team assignments and locations:
- Latin America/Caribbean Team — Andy and Jutta Cowie, Haiti, community and vocational development.
- Sub-Sahara Africa Team — Missy Ward, Uganda, women’s advocacy
- Transformational Development Team — Jessica and Joshua Hearne, Danville, VA, poverty and community development
In addition, 45 Student.Go appointees will be serving around the world.
We can also report some good news on the financial front. As of the end of May, total contributions to the Offering for Global Missions stood at $3,744,000 which represents a 9 percent increase over the same period last year. We’re grateful for the positive message this sends to our field personnel about our support of their ministries and our partnership with them on mission in the world. Please remember that many of our personnel do raise a significant portion of their own support, including all five of this year’s appointees.
A word about disaster response, Charles Ray has served as our national disaster response coordinator since January 1 of 2007. Charles will be transitioning at the end of this year from that position to assist us with fundraising for disaster response. We will be announcing a new national disaster response coordinator in the next few weeks who will begin service on January 1, 2013.
We continue to work on a recommendation from the Global Missions Initiative Team to create a 501c3 for disaster response. This recommendation will go to the Coordinating Council at the October meeting after it is approved by the Global Missions and Legal Committees.
Many thanks to Rob Nash for his dedicated and thoughtful leadership. Best wishes to him as he continues to impact the world for Christ as he shares his passion for missions with students.
Jim Smith begins his service on July 1 as interim Global Missions Coordinator. Please pray for Jim in his new role and for our global missions staff and field personnel as they move through this time of transition.
Legal Committee General Assembly Report — Patricia Wilson, chair
In conversation with Atlanta staff represented by Connie McNeill, the legal committee has had its sleeves rolled, preparing for the work that we know will come our way, assuming approval of the Task Force Report. In the meantime, this year, we worked with the Coordinator of Global Missions, Rob Nash, in structuring CBF Responds, a new entity that will be focused on disaster response.
Partners and Seminaries General Assembly Report — Justin Joplin, chair
New to the Council structure this year. The Partners and Seminary committee, joined by staff liaison is Steve Graham, has worked to communicate with CBF partners and seminaries at a council with the goal of facilitating on-going communication at the different level. Our goal has been to create an avenue of openness for dialogue at the governance level that creates a broader awareness of the ministries and resources available within our Fellowship. This has been an enlightening and hopeful process which I believe, should the Task Force Report be passed, will continue to be a key conversation moving forward. A full report of our work is available online.
Networks General Assembly Report — Emily Hull McGee, chair
The Networks Committee, attended by our staff liaison Devita Parnell, is also new to the council this year. Over the course of our time together, the Networks Committee has been hard at work, seeking to carry out our various purposes: to formulate a dynamic, interactive list of networks and make available to the Fellowship community, to identify existing networks and enable our members to link to them, to provide structure, guidelines, and resources for new and existing networks, and to be a network among networks. We worked with several functioning networks to define a “CBF network” as a group of people naturally formed by common passion or practice who come together for support and the sharing of resources and, in turn, build capacity to be better practitioners. We also dialogued closely with several members of the CBF staff and are encouraged by their commitment to highlighting networks’ importance in the life of the Fellowship and empowering networks to be a primary source of life-giving support to our community.
Perhaps the most challenging piece of our work has been to create a working list of CBF networks. By their very identity, networks are dynamic and organic, and the list is obsolete nearly as soon as it is compiled! As is also true in a list of partners, in the Global Missions area alone there are many networks related to missions. There is much in the way of technological advances that can be employed to further empower and enable networks to do their work, and our committee looks forward to exploring these ways further in the year to come.
Our findings give voice to the inexhaustible ways that this Fellowship can be the hands and feet of Christ through the vast array of very specific networks we have created among us. CBFs non-denominational structure represented by the abundance of multiple inter-connected networks has us strategically positioned to navigate the changing cultural landscape of Baptist life more effectively. The value of understanding them and discovering creative ways to harness their power cannot be underestimated. A full report of this year’s preliminary findings is available online.
Missional Congregations General Assembly Report — Tony Vincent, chair
Missional Congregations, coordinated by Bo Prosser, continues to equip congregations towards acting missionally in our world. I offer five highlights from the last 12 months:
Among the training events, retreats and gatherings offered by Missional Congregations was A Baptist Conference on Sexuality and Covenant, held in April in conjunction with Mercer University. Many were involved, but I would like to particularly recognize Rick Bennett and David Gushee for modeling on a national scale, the hosting of a difficult conversations in a beautiful, meaningful, Christ-like ways. My church is in better place moving forward because of my presence in conversation and dialogue at this conference.
In response to conversations related to CBFs endorsement of chaplains following our assembly in Tampa, Bo Prosser and his staff have focused significant energy hosting conversations with the pastoral counselors and chaplains. Your challenge to us last year resulted in nationwide survey, listening sessions and refocused communication has through social media and an electronic newsletter. A blue ribbon group of chaplains and pastoral counselors convened for a weekend with staff to strategize and dream. Chaplains and pastoral counselors are important to this fellowship. We continue a strong commitment to the endorsement process and to supporting these who extend the ministries of CBF.
In response to conversations related a motion affirming attention towards church re-starts Missional Congregations has worked to make the great depth of resources more readily available and hosted a recent conference in Charlotte called “traditional churches.” Conversations are on going with partners and state and regional leadership in this area.
The development of a new resource called “Dawnings” is on going. Following the tradition of the “It’s Time!” this resource will be available in the coming year.
Finally, a significant grant was applied for and received to assist “first call ministers,” those in their first ministry settings following their education experience. Terry Hamrick will be administering this grant. Terry is retiring at the end of June but will be contracted give leadership to this important endeavor. Thank you Terry for your 15 years of hard work and vision, and for your continuing investment in our future.