Allow me to take a moment of personal privilege and give you some “Insight” into where California Southern Baptist Convention stands financially so you can know best how to pray.
During my message at the CSBC annual meeting, I shared that the Convention was just limping along financially. Upon further research it was discovered that the situation was far more serious than first thought. Suffice it to say that extreme measures have been taken since then and the Convention is once again operating in the black, with protocols in place to ensure continued fiscal responsibility.
The bottom line is this: missions giving across the board and from some key churches has declined over the past few years, at the same time the Convention ramped up the percentage of Cooperative Program gifts forwarded to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee for world mission causes.
The result is that CSBC is very limited in what can be offered to our churches.
Something has to change for the situation to improve. Ideally, our churches stepping up and covering the shortfall with increased giving is the best and easiest solution. However, if that does not happen other more uncomfortable options must be considered.
I do not enjoy sharing this information with you but I feel you have a right to know — and need to know — where we stand. We are only able to respond to needs in our churches because churches give through the Cooperative Program and through the California Mission Offering. We have said “no” to more requests than I would like, but if the resources aren’t available, we cannot provide them for our churches.
Here is what I am asking you to pray about.
- Consider making a one-time gift, over and above current giving, to California Southern Baptist Convention to help close the financial gap.
- Consider making the California Mission Offering a priority of support so we can address the needs of California churches. One hundred percent of gifts through CMO remain in California for ministry.
- Plan to include the Cooperative Program in next year’s church budget if you haven’t already.
Currently more than 1,000 churches do not participate in Cooperative Program giving. Your faithful giving will make a difference in reaching California for Christ.
Thank you for your prayerful consideration of these issues. If you have any questions or want to know specifically how you can help please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See archives of Dr. Agee's previous Insights.