Insight - November 2019

By Bill Agee, executive director, California Southern Baptist Convention on October 30, 2019

Today I am thinking and praying about the annual meeting and all it represents.

To the typical California Southern Baptist it may seem like just another meeting, but in actuality it is far more than that.

In the Insight articles I try to give you, the reader, an insight into the workings of the Convention. In this edition I want to give insight into my role and some of the things I deal with getting ready for the annual meeting.

An annual meeting contains aspects that are joyful and others that are not. This meeting is actually a business meeting and as such there is naturally business that will take place. Most people avoid business meetings like the plague, but every organization must deal with certain business aspects to be successful. I hope it was as interesting and painless as possible!

One of the joyful aspects involves fellowship with people you maybe have not seen since last year’s annual meeting. Another is to hear about the churches that have been blessed by the ministries of the Convention. There is always good preaching by pastors who are making a Kingdom difference in California. The annual meeting has many joyful and exciting aspects that make it a very special time.

An aspect maybe you do not think about is the questions I am asked before the meeting that range from theological to business, to procedural aspects of the Convention itself. I certainly do not mind the questions since I find that in my preparation for the meeting I have asked some of the same questions and am comfortable with my answers when the time comes.

Let me deal with a couple to give you an insight into my preparation. One question I have been asked deals with the financial situation: “How did the Convention get into the situation it is now facing?”

This is a very valid question and to the best of my understanding, looking back Convention leadership made decisions to utilize reserves to address deficits.

Those reserves are now gone.

Another question is, “Is it self-serving

to promote the California Mission Offering?”

Again, a valid question.

The California Mission Offering addresses the needs of churches in California. The first 10 percent of CMO goes to the local association to meet the needs of churches and the other 90 percent goes directly to California churches. None of the offering is used for personnel or administration.

If promoting CMO is considered self-serving, then the North American Mission Board promoting the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering or the International Mission Board promoting the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is self-serving. Mission experiences and mission projects are needed throughout the world, in North America and in California, and the three offerings have specific distinctions.

As you can imagine, my life is never dull since something new comes along every day! Thank you for the privilege to serve here in California.

See archives of Dr. Agee's previous Insights.

This Convention serves our culturally diverse congregations as we fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.