FRESNO — A proposed $15.9 million ministry budget for California Southern Baptist Convention, with a Cooperative Program objective of $6.8 million, was approved by the CSBC Executive Board during their fall meeting Sept. 10-11.
The budget includes all sources of income: designated gifts, fees, special offerings and North American Mission Board matching gifts through a jointly funded budget. The CP objective relates to gifts from Convention churches. The $6.8 million objective is unchanged from 2015 in the proposed spending plan for 2016.
Richard Spring, chairman of the Board’s finance committee and pastor of First Baptist Church in Hesperia, said projected income for 2015 will come close to the $6.8 million mark and the committee felt that was a realistic goal for the coming year.
An executive summary outlined challenges in formulating the plan with changing percentage ratios between CSBC and NAMB, coupled with increases in percentage giving to the Southern Baptist Convention.
The percentage ratio for CSBC/NAMB increases 1.5 percent from 26.5/73.5 in 2015 to 28/72 in 2016. This is the third year of a five-year transition plan to culminate in a 30/70 ratio by 2018.
In 2013 messengers voted to increase giving to the SBC for world missions by 2.5 percent until the total for SBC causes reaches 35 percent. In the proposed budget, the SBC percentage increases from 33.5 to 34 percent.
Messengers to the annual meeting, Oct. 27-28 at Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, will vote on the budget that also allocates 5 percent to California Baptist University, 1 percent to California Baptist Foundation and 60 percent for missions in the Golden State.
Any CP gifts exceeding the $6.8 million goal will go to SBC world mission causes.
In other business the Board approved the auditor for 2015, and that accumulated earnings from trust and endowments at CBF be transferred to revenues as needed to meet budget requirements (approximately $18,500) for 2015.
Board members heard that $5 million in deferred gifts has been raised in 2015 by the CSBC office of strategic giving.
Jenness Park, the Convention’s camp near Sonora, reported 235 professions of faith so far this year. Almost 6,882 campers and more than 45 pastoral families already have been guests at the camp in 2015.
The strategic ministries committee reported progress on a partnership agreement between CSBC and the Union of Latvian Baptist Churches.
During his presentation to the Board, Phil Kell, president of the Foundation, distributed a booklet titled, “Protecting Your Ministry” (from sexual orientation/gender identity lawsuits). It is a legal guide for churches and Christian groups produced by the Alliance Defending Freedom. The booklet is endorsed by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and can be downloaded at www.erlc.com.