Saturday, September 04, 2010

A Different Take on Dr. Kevin Ezell's Leadership in His Church's Small CP Giving

When Al Mohler's office issued a press release in early January 2008 that the President of Southern Seminary would allow his name to be entered into nomination for President of the Southern Baptist Convention, I wrote a blog detailing the reasons why I believed Dr. Mohler would not be elected President.

The third reason for my rationale involved Al's home church, Highview Baptist in Louisville, Kentucky, Highview's low percentage giving to the Cooperative Program and their nearly non-existent giving to the traditional SBC missions offerings, including the Lottie Moon Offering for international missions and the Annie Armstrong offering for continental missions. I wrote in January 2008 the following:

"Mohler is a member of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, where he serves as a "teaching pastor" and a Sunday school teacher. The church contributes 3.3 percent of its $5 million in undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program and nothing to the SBC's two mission offerings according to Baptist Press. The mission's giving of one's home church is more important than it might seem at first glance, and in the coming months and years I am quite positive that this issue will only grow in importance in the minds of those whom will chose who leads the SBC."

Although Al Mohler later pulled his name from nomination for President of the SBC, Highview Baptist Church and her pastor, Dr. Kevin Ezell, spent a few weeks "clarifying" their missions giving. In one press release Highview's pastoral leadership explained that the church gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to missions, just  not through the traditional CP mechanism. Explaining their low CP giving, Dr. Ezell stated:

"As for our Cooperative Program giving, Highview has chosen to give the majority of our cooperative funds directly to the SBC instead of funneling the funds through the Kentucky Baptist Convention. The reason is simple: The KBC retains 64% of those funds, and we want to ensure that more of our dollars went directly to evangelism, missions and other programs that Highview supports."

Last week, September 1, 2010, the Search Committee for the President of the North American Mission Board announced they would be presenting Dr. Kevin Ezell for approval as the new President of NAMB. One of the advantages of the Internet is to look back over the past several years and make observations based upon the written record and not simply one's faulty memory. I'd like to give a couple of observations on Dr. Ezell's nomination that might be a different take than most.
(1). The Southern Baptist Convention has just come through a mega-shift in terms of leadership. Dr. Ezell has publicly stated that he led his church to bypass his state convention in the church's missions giving, and then the Presidential Search Committee of NAMB, the mission organization tasked with working directly with the respective SBC state conventions, is nominating Dr. Ezell as NAMB's President. I believe Dr. Ezell is a phenominal leader and a wonderful man. I have no argument against him as a person. My observation is a philosophical one. When Dr. Ezell is elected, the Southern Baptist Convention's Cooperative Program as we have known it for decades will be over. We are increasingly moving toward the 1800's model of SBC giving called "societal." Churches will give to those "societies' or "agencies" that best reflect their own ideology or philosophy and/or benefits them the most. Cooperation between state and national agencies in the Southern Baptist Convention, cooperation between churches and their respective state conventions and national missions' agencies, and between mission minded SBC churches will be over. SBC churches, SBC state conventions, and SBC national agencies will be emphasizing their own work and requesting respective cooperation from others, depending less and less on the "Cooperative Program."
(2). When Dr. Ezell is elected, a new crop of leadership, including the new President of the Southern Baptist Convention (Wright), the new President of the North American Mission Board (Ezell), and the impending new President of the International Board (the top prospect is a stunner), will now be asking for people and churches in the Southern Baptist Convention to give more to the Cooperative Program and the national missions offerings, but at the same time, attempting to cut cooperative links traditionally tied to the offerings. As I mentioned in the previous post, I find it very interesting that those who formerly refused to give to the CP change their tune when elected to leadership. What's changed? The answer of course is, "The leaders have changed." So, I must ask the question: Do we give to the CP because we like the leaders or do we give to the CP because we like way we are doing missions? I think if Southern Baptists stepped back and took a hard look at the missions work of the SBC over the past few years, we would come to the conclusion that there is something fundamentally wrong with our agencies when we spend millions of dollars to "change" the way we do missions every time new leaders are elected. The gospel is not a political philosophy that changes like the platforms of Democrats and Republicans. However,  the SBC is looking more and more like a wasteful government agency than a gospel organization.
(3). I like Bryant Wright, Frank Page and Kevin Ezell. They are really fine men. The concern I have with the SBC as it relates to my church is the fact that our church gets way more excited about the mission work we do directly in India, Africa, Guatamela, New York and our own state than we do trying to figure out why our national agencies spend tens of millions of dollars constantly changing methodologies, organizational structures, and the way they do missions at the whims of new leadership. Frankly, I wish we listened more to the missionaries on the field (state, national and international) than we do to the ever changing leaders in Nashville, Richmond and Atlanta. Until we have a mechanism that allows our appointed missionaries to have more of a say in what our Convention accomplishes in the field, there is a hesitancy to give more to national offerings just because "new leaders" have emerged.
A Principle: Any move toward "societal" giving in the Southern Baptist Convention creates an atmosphere where larger churches become more and more convinced that the best "society" for accountable, effective missions giving is the local church, not a national board.
I'm not saying the above principle is right or wrong, it is simply a fact. That's the danger of political and ideological infighting in a Convention built on cooperation. The cooperation fractures to the point the local church believes the best investment in mission dollars is the work being done by its own members.


John Wylie said...

Wade my church is not SBC, but does all CP giving have to start at the state or local level? I'm asking if a church gives directly to the national SBC is that not CP giving? I'm just asking because I don't understand.

Also is the NAMB president appointed by a board or elect at your national meeting?

Anonymous said...

The "top prospect" for IMB President is "a stunner"?!? Sort of like a stun-gun? Sounds disconcerting to me! Dominus Deus, miserere nobis! said...

I am on my way to the Oklahoma football game. I can't dialogue, but wanted to answer your question.

The SBC has recently voted to change how CP funds are figured. Now, giving "directly" to a seminary, agency, etc... is counted as "CP" giving.

Prior to 2010 it was not.

The NAMB President is voted upon by trustees, it is not a national election.

Anonymous said...

"The SBC has recently voted to change how CP funds are figured. Now, giving "directly" to a seminary, agency, etc... is counted as "CP" giving."

This is not good at all. Very bad form. Very self serving for some.

Anonymous said...

"Very self serving for some."

would this be 'channeling' money into higher salaries and perks for the 'suits' ?

Bennett Willis said...

"As for our Cooperative Program giving, Highview has chosen to give the majority of our cooperative funds directly to the SBC instead of funneling the funds through the Kentucky Baptist Convention. The reason is simple: The KBC retains 64% of those funds, and we want to ensure that more of our dollars went directly to evangelism, missions and other programs that Highview supports."

The old "OUR MONEY goes for important things and not for trivial state stuff" approach. If they did not do this then KY could increase the fraction going to the national organization. The new system will make it more difficult to sort things out and harder on the state conventions to maintain the programs they run.

Did they ever say what their total contribution to the "state and federal" Baptist organizations was?

Bennett Willis said...

To answer my question (from Highview Press Release link above):
In 2006, Highview gave a total of $724,984 to missions. In the Associated Church Profile (ACP) we submitted to the SBC in 2006, we simply chose not to specifically categorize our missions giving. Frankly, at the time, we did not think such categorization was necessary to promote our church.

In 2007, we gave $836,681 dollars to missions. Last year, we did specifically categorize our contribution in the ACP report. Highview gave $64,158 to the Lottie Moon fund and $13,752 to Annie Armstrong.

As for our Cooperative Program giving, Highview has chosen to give the majority of our cooperative funds directly to the SBC instead of funneling the funds through the Kentucky Baptist Convention. The reason is simple: The KBC retains 64% of those funds, and we want to ensure that more of our dollars went directly to evangelism, missions and other programs that Highview supports."

Note that when the information is given in this way (as it apparently may be in the future when all "Baptist contributions" will count as CP funds), it is difficult to sort out how it is actually distributed.

And this particular press release apparently would count all "mission contributions" regardless of whether they went to Baptist organizations or not.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting discussion, and you have stated your thoughts well.

I have posted here and other places that I has never made sense to me that giving to the national organization was done through the states, with the states taking 65% or more before sending it on.

Because our church, when it was founded in 1992, was more interested in national programs than the state ones, we wrote 2 checks - one to the state, and another directly to Nashville.

Giving to Nashville directly, for distribution to the agencies according to the CP allocation budget is not "societal" giving.

As I read the GCR report and what has been adopted, GC giving will now include all giving directly to Nashville and to SBC agencies. CP giving will still be run through the state.

I believe that is a good development because it recognizes what is already being done by churches. Whether the trend to give to the national convention directly around the state conventions will just depend on the continued relationships between the states and the churches.

In the SBC Annual Report this year (before the adoption of the GCR report) total gifts given by churches directly to the SBC in Nashville are already 15th in "State" giving. If you go and look at the gift totals from the states, you will see "churches", and I believe it is 15th. The GCR committee considered that heavily and thought that it would be good to recognize that giving (that is already taking place) is some form. I am glad they did.

I agree with you that merely changing personnel at the helm of agencies will not increase giving. And I agree with you that direct missions projects always generate more excitement that simply giving to an agency.

But leadership does matter. Effective leaders will have a positive impact. Ineffective leaders will not. So I am hoping that Mr. Ezell will be effective.

I am also hoping that the NAMB board will be more effective.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Wade. This info is interesting to follow and analyze no matter what state you serve in since the leadership of NAMB affects us all.

Even more interesting is the fact that just a few weeks ago, the KY Task Force for the GC released it's report. See it here.

The report calls on the KBC to aggressively move toward a 50/50 CP split in 7 yrs. It also calls on all KBC churches to move toward an 11% goal in their giving. It will be interesting to see if HBC moves in this direction. I realize, from what I read here, that they don't even give through the KBC (something I find strange since all but one of their "campuses" according to their website, are in KY) but will this change anything for them?


Anonymous said...

"I realize, from what I read here, that they don't even give through the KBC (something I find strange since all but one of their "campuses" according to their website, are in KY) but will this change anything for them?

I have found this strange, too, since Mohler and co have been agressively stacking the KBC with their people.


Anonymous said...

"It all boils down to a simple formula: The extent of misuse is directly proportionate to the distance between the giver and the spender."

So, we create more distance? At least I can know the state people to see if they are trustworthy.

Now Highview can claim more CP giving because they changed the formula? And that formula is not necessarily in missions but also other entities?

Anonymous said...

Does this mean Russell Moore will become the senior guy at Highview and give up his seminary salary in addition to his salary at Highview as teaching pastor?

How many others will be allowed to double dip with this new formula? After all, we are paying for his time and attention at the seminary. Quite well, too.

Jeff said...

Personally, I would prefer that my church gave money directly to the SBC. My church is in the BGCT, and the BGCT keeps 72% and passes only 28% to the SBC. Only half of that goes to international missions. Therefore, the majority of the money that my church gives to CP never leaves the deep south. Until state conventions stop hogging all the money, more and more churches will bypass them. Another issue is that a lot of the state convention executives have very high salaries.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wade - can you tell us what your sources say about who has the inside track as the new prez of the IMB?

Bob Cleveland said...

One might observe that, at the time of the institution of the Cooperative Program as we know it now, international missions would have been extremely difficult for a local church to do. Even nationwide, or state-wide would have been difficult. But that was a long, long time ago.

So the system that was begun then may not be what is needed, now.

Our church started Riverchase Baptist Church, here in the Birmingham area. The state didn't have a lot to do with it (albeit they did kick in some money after we got the mission up and running), and in fact, was on the verge of giving up on the area.

We helped Red Hills Baptist build a Community Outreach Centre in Kingston, Jamaica, and the SBC didn't have anything to do with that (aside from telling us, in 1991, that Red Hills would be a good place to have a mission trip).

A long time ago, a church couldn't have done those things. Now, they can. That spells, to me, a need for change in the means NAMB and the IMB should be employing, to fulfill what should be their purpose today.

I'm not at all sure that's happened.

Our church, by the by, gives 10% to the CP, 2% to the local association, and designates another 2% for missions locally and elsewhere. Right now, we have 8 members on a mission trip, in Tarapoto, Peru, whom we assisted in their trip.

Lydia said...

"So the system that was begun then may not be what is needed, now."

I totally agree with this. In this day and time, we can know the missionaries we support, have a personal relationship with them via modern communications and support them directly.

Why pay all the high salaries of bureaucrats and those cronies that jobs were created for when it could go to more boots on the ground?

James Hunt said...


Now THAT was an awesome post!

I went to my first (and most likely last for some time) SBC this year. I have a contact that told me some of the ways the SBC spends cooperative dollars (and he is in a position to know as he sees budgets, etc). His info made me sick and angry. Truly ticked off actually.

Irony: At a convention that cost 1.1 million dollars the powers that be bemoaned the downsizing of our IMB missionary force due to lack in cooperative giving. REALLY! I thought to myself, how about just do the SBC annual meeting a different way and put some of the savings toward more missionaries?!

Tragedy: Read a study recently tracking a dollar given by an Oklahoma church to the Cooperative Program. In the common person's mind who has a clue that they are southern baptist...when a cooperative dollar is given they assume it's for missions...yet, truth is, fewer than 10 cents on the dollar actually goes toward a missionary on an international field. REALLY!

Archaic: The current IMB spends well over a $100,000 five times a year for trustee meetings...where they fly in trustees, put 'em in nice hotels and buy 'em food. Yet, most trustees have never been on a foriegn mission trip. Hey, how about doing trustee meetings in a way that saves money? Use the savings to put more missionaries on the field...oh, and limit trustees to only those who've gone abroad on mission endeavors (tours "watching" missions don't count - get yer hands dirty).

Don't know, Wade. I think the writing may be on the wall. I think we're headed for a paradigm shift. Think it's already begun.

Anonymous said...


Several months back, the word-on-the-street was that the #1 in Wake Forest was the frontrunner to become the #1 in Richmond.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - wow, Riley Skinner, Wake Forest quarterback? That is a stunner.

Anonymous said...


I think you're talking about the #1 in Winston-Salem not Wake Forest; W-S #1 would be Ted Stachitas (maybe Tanner Price?) now, not Skinner-Gone-Wild.

William said...

Whatever the Great Commission Task Force might have said about the primacy of the Cooperative Program, the choice of Ezell clearly indicates that the CP is to be viewed as something less than that.

Ezell, Bryant Wright and others recognize that and give accordingly, seeing limited value in state convention ministries, which Wright said should be cut by half.

The CP has been declining for dedcades but Ezell and Wright cannot promote it because they didn't believe it as pastors. Their role is to manage a declining product.

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...

The cooperative program came about when churches collectively decided on a better way of funding all the various SBC operations. At that time, communications, travel, and knowledge being what they were, it was undoubtedly the best system for funding the SBC's role in the Great Commission.

Today, with the huge changes that have gone on, I don't think that's the case any more. And an example of that might be the IMB's precluding missionary service over what a majority of SBC pastors think is a valid gift. Sort of the servant becoming the master, as it were.

It is up the the local church pastor to see that the church he leads does its part of the GC as best it can. If a church sees that mission money is better spent outside the CP, then it should do it.

One thing that'd mean is that the SBC has failed in its duties to be the best system for helping the local church fulfill its role in the GC.

Maybe the GCRTF and their report, and its effect on downplaying the CP in favor of churches becoming involved in other ways, is precisely what the CP needs to (A)wake up and fix the problems and (B) stop being some sort of icon by which others judge a church's fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Maybe this is the best thing that's happened in a while, in the SBC.

Jon Estes said...

CP Downside...

If anything, the CP has allowed churches to not be involved in missions, first hand. We have given to the point we have not gone. We have become dependent upon others doing what we have been called to do.

Are our mission agencies really helping the local church accomplish be missional?

Anonymous said...

Johnny Hunt stunning candidate?

Inkling said...

Totally OT, but did anyone else notice today's juvenile twitter rant from @dannyakin about "new evangelicals"? For him, as apparently for so many, it's still 1983 and liberal skunks are the great evil.

Anonymous said...

I will dare to take a really wild guess for the next IMB President...

Dr Patterson of SWBTS


Ramesh said...

The next IMB president: Ergun Mi'kael Mehmet Giovani Janel.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wade - any chance you can turn on your blog's categories? They are very helpful in searching for past articles. Thanks!

John Fariss said...

Jon Estes,

When you said, "If anything, the CP has allowed churches to not be involved in missions, first hand. We have given to the point we have not gone. We have become dependent upon others doing what we have been called to do," you may just have a point. Historically, the CP was about the only way for churches to participate on the mission field--and I am speaking pre-1980s, maybe pre-1950s, when the idea of a church going on a mission trip, especially overseas, was alien and virtually undoable. Today, however, is different; even teams (or individuals) from small churches out in the boonies are able to go, IF they just will. The questions before us are, "Are very short-term missions--i.e., a church mission of one to two weeks--what is needed to be effective on the mission field?" and "Is there a way to both coordinate and maximize the efforts of direct local church involvement in missions work?" This, it seems to me, fits right into your final question, "Are our mission agencies really helping the local church accomplish be missional?"

John said...

FBC Watchdog,

Let me see what I can do. I would also recommend the search tool on my own personal blog (top left hand corner).

It works really nicely.

Anonymous said...

Why don't we look at some of the pastors at these churches that are a tenth the size of Highview but are giving ten times more to the CP and missions?

My home church gives almost 200K a year to Lottie Moon and we're a tenth the size of Highview. We probably even send out more missions teams around the year as well with our own monies.

Just saying...


Anonymous said...

1. 45,000 SBC churches---100% of them led by Senior Pastors (0% led by associate pastors); 70% plateaued or declining in terms of their numerical growth---means . . . what about those churches, those Senior Pastors, and the future of the SBC???

2. MY church determines where/how the resources passed along to the SBC are spent---and whether or not the SBC will have ANY of the agencies mentioned in this blog posting; so does YOUR church---but probably a minority of the total number of SBC congregations are anything like "involved" with the convention; what does THAT mean for the future of the SBC (probably more of the same . . .)???

3. Because it gives at the rate it does annually, my church is CARRYING Mohler's church in terms of CP---and it doesn't matter what its pastor or staff says about their total dollar amount given. Most of the megachurches stats I've studied indicate the same thing (see #1 above).

4. Jeff (posting above): my church also is BGCT; thankfully, the BGCT keeps as much CP money in-state as it does---for natural disasters like the major flooding in my town a couple of years ago; the BGCT had actual money to give directly to members of my church whose homes flooded---the SBTC: had NOTHING.

Collective IQ.

Jon L. Estes said...


I leave Thursday and fly to Cuba. This is in partnership with the BSCNC. I am not sure if I would have thought of Cuba without the state partnership.

We probably would not be going if we had not decreased our CP to make more funds available to do missions, hands on. Although we are paying our own way, there is a 2000.00 requirement from us to be able to partner with them. This money we take to Cuba and leave in Cuba for the supplies needed. The BSCNC is matching that 2000.00 also. I like that kind of partnership with our hands on stuff.

A few years ago I called NAMB (when I was in El Paso and was seeking help to plant a church out of our church. I was kindly told that NAMB does not plant churches.

As a lifelong SBCer I found this odd.

Anonymous said...

My inside track says that Glenn Beck is to be the next IMB President.

Anonymous said...

I vote Guy Muse for IMB President.

Gene Scarborough said...


I appreciate your insights. I think you have the situtation fairly well diagnosed.

What I see is a level of MISTRUST generated by Executive high life while missionaries labor on meager incomes. There have been too many stories of a private jet for the NAMB / fancy mansion for Paige Patterson / all kinds of high living where, once, Executives were servants rather than highly paid CEO's.

It is no wonder churches can't trust the SBC to wisely use their gifts for our main purpose: MISSIONS!

I just don't understand why popularity and large church has become the criteria for leadership.

Pre-1979, no SBC President came from a church giving less than 10% to the CP. Many were giving as much as 50%!

In addition---it was given in trust and good faith!!!

I think CONTROL has become a main tenant over TRUST.

We have good intentions by sending mission groups. They bring back dramatic stories which get more people interested in personally going.

HOWEVER--there is no substitute for a career missionary living among the people in the homeland or overseas.

I remember a group from SEBTS goating years ago with how they had made great strides to share the Gospel in Brazil. It was a glorious story---UNTIL I talked with our DOM who was a former missionary to Brazil.

He explained their culture: they will welcome any stranger / listen with attentive ears / AND RETURN TO THEIR FORMER WAYS THE SECOND THEY LEAVE!!!

I think we are making a mistake with MISTRUST. I think we are getting a cheap thrill with overseas travel (which is tax deductible) to the exclusion of a perminent presence of a resident missionary who gets help from time to time from a church group which goes back home to encourage CP giving.

This will happen ONLY when we learn to trust again and our leaders show us they are worthy of such.

Anonymous said...

I agree Gene,

While there are great purposes for short term mission trips, the whole summer vacation for Jesus thing is a slap in the face for both the indigenous and the career missionary. (many exceptions of course.) William Carey must be begging God to allow him to come back and show us the way to reach the heathen.

Gene Scarborough said...

Wade--it's so nice to have a blog which does not confuse and distort as does the SBC blog addressing this subject. Let me ask you less antagonistic and more intelligent approach the pertinent question is asked over at SBC:

Can anyone give a quick outline of the last 5 CEO’s?

Where they came from (church / administration / mission field)?
What was accomplished during their leadership?
What went wrong during the same?
What issues let to tension?

I can give a good one for Corts Redford / Arthur Rutledge who both had long tenures and great success in 1950-60′s. My father and I both worked under that era as Chaplains to the Juvenile Court in Atlanta and Raleigh.

Back then we didn’t trade horses in the middle of the stream nor criticize the horse to the point someone wanted to blow his brains out.

We know precious little factual material on Ezell. Can anyone supply such? I get tired quickly of a 400-comment discussion where possibly 30 of them have much factual or intelligent input.

Anonymous said...

"our church gets way more excited about the mission work we do directly in India, Africa, Guatamela, New York and our own state than we do trying to figure out why our national agencies spend tens of millions of dollars."

I know a lot of us think that way. I believe easy access to almost unlimited information via the internet and other media outlets has caused CP funded groups to become more vulnerable to that line of thinking.

When I was younger my exposure to the IMB and the HMB was limited to what visiting missionaries shared while speaking to the church. You never heard all the grisly little details about people being fired, mission opportunities that failed from poor planning or read blogs that contained information that differed from SBC released information.

Lets face it, it was a simpler time. We trusted a lot more, as we should be able to I might ad. But its different now. With the internet we can look at anyone's annual report, we can get information on meetings, hiring and firing, new programs, pastors sermons from all over the world.

CP funded organizations within the SBC aren't really used to that kind of scrutiny. They've always told the story the way they wanted to tell it. A minority of the SBC used to know what the majority of the SBC is capable of learning today.

Looking at an annual report won't tell you who makes how much (although top exec's salaries are easily found) or how much they spent on office supplies and airfare. But it does give you a peek at the big picture. I never saw an annual report from any part of the SBC until the internet made it possible.

I work for a non-profit, we spend 13% of the money we raise on administrative and overhead costs, the rest goes directly to our cause. We're proud of those numbers. We are results driven, if our missional objectives fail we raise less money.

SBC entities on the other hand get their funds with very few strings attached to them. In the past the general member didn't have the inclination or access to the information that even allowed them to ask the tough questions.

Those questions get asked now. Sometimes the answers are less than satisfactory and the easiest way to make sure your money is spent wisely is to control it more directly. Information is power. Transparency is key to trust. When people/churches trust their money is being spent wisely they'll be more likely to fund organizations outside their direct sphere of influence.


Gene Scarborough said...

Here is an interesting article printed today in the NC Biblical Recorder!!!

Nicolas Gold said...

Fabulous article, Pastor Wade! That really is great analytical reasoning and a careful apprehension of recent SBC history and movements. Given 1961 to 1979 and then 1979 to the present, such “societal” giving was inevitable.

- No more “liberalism” in the convention supported by SBC funds, so liberals/moderates removed from positions.
- Since the SBC will no longer employee, appoint, support, or train such people, the “liberal” and moderate churches start CBF etc. for their members and CP giving declines.
- Moderate/conservative churches split their giving between the SBC and the CBF until the SBC raises a fuss about split giving, so some of these churches cease supporting the SBC and, therefore, CP giving declines.
- Then the SBC prohibits employees/ministers who are charismatic, who were baptized in churches that believe in apostasy, or who denounce the policy of prohibiting such employees/ministers. The churches of these employees/ministers cease supporting the SBC and, therefore, CP giving declines.
- No more “liberalism” supported by SBC funds, no more “bad theology” supported by SBC funds, no more “theology/praxis we don’t really like” supported by SBC funds, and now no more “methodology of which we disagree” or “leaders that we don’t really like” supported by SBC funds.

No wonder why CP giving is declining.

But I’m still very much optimistic that God is doing amazing things for his Kingdom in this country, through the SBC, and with the CP. At the very least, “societal” giving is just another tool in Christ’s belt.


theotrek said...

"Until we have a mechanism that allows our appointed missionaries to have more of a say in what our Convention accomplishes in the field, there is a hesitancy to give more to national offerings just because "new leaders" have emerged."

That is exactly what we had prior to the "Conservative Resurgence." Back then, missionaries were commissioned, resourced, and supported. Now they are employed to follow orders issued in Richmond.

Bruce Prescott said...


I'm surprised no one has asked for your response to Ezell's statement about the bloggers criticizing his church's giving record:

"Because of the visibility of the position, there are people across the United States who want to look for things that perhaps I do not do as well or they think we should do different, and perhaps be critical of myself or of Highview, just to try to get their name in the paper," he said. "Typically those are bloggers who live with their mother and wear a housecoat during the day. Just ignore them, but I apologize if you are hurt by anything that they might say about me or indirectly about you."