One of the most important aspects of building something that lasts is to build it on a solid foundation. While this is true in construction, it is equally true in ministry.
I would like to offer some insight into the things necessary for California Southern Baptist Convention to operate on a solid foundation. This is not an exhaustive list but rather some key aspects to consider.
First: purpose. The purpose of the CSBC is to assist churches as they fulfill the Great Commission. For the staff to achieve their purpose requires a different approach to ministry
The state convention is not filled with experts who tell churches what to do. Rather, the staff helps the church determine what it needs to focus on, then walks alongside to assist in accomplishing the most important goal.
Second: a plan. The plan for CSBC moving forward is very simple: resourcing the vision of the church. Resourcing can take many forms. It can range from a consultation, to providing monetary support to carry out an outreach project or training event. Each of our teams as well as trained field consultants understand this plan and are constantly engaging churches to assist.
Third: a primary funding source. California Southern Baptist Convention has as its primary funding source the Cooperative Program. This is a plan whereby all churches can give part of their offering through CSBC. A portion stays in California to fund church planting, evangelism, revitalization and small church initiatives. Currently 62 percent of Cooperative Program receipts stays in California and 38 percent goes to the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, six Southern Baptist seminaries and a host of other ministries — which allows a church of any size to participate in something much larger than that church could do alone.
CSBC has a solid purpose, a solid plan and a solid primary funding source. However, there are secondary funding sources that give additional strength to the Convention. The California Mission Offering is emphasized each year, and 100 percent of that offering stays in California to meet the needs of our churches. CSBC also has endowments that help provide additional resources in perpetuity.
This past year Cooperative Program receipts edged upward for the first time in years, the California Mission Offering held for the second straight year at eight-year highs, and new monies were received through wills, trusts and endowments.
It is exciting to be operating on a solid foundation. Thank you to all the churches who partner with CSBC.
I hope this gives you an insight into what, why and how CSBC does what it does.
The best is yet to be.
See archives of Dr. Agee's previous Insights.