Partnerships For Reaching Texas
by Tom Goodman
December 1, 2011
You'll see a new line item in the proposed 2012 annual budget. The line item will expand our partnerships for reaching Texas with the gospel.
In addition to our participation with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT), the proposed 2012 budget gives us a chance to partner with fellow Baptists through the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC).
Here are answers to some questions you may have.
Why should Hillcrest participate in two Baptist state conventions?
Plain and simple: The decision enables us to partner with more Baptists to reach Texas with the gospel.
The Christians who most closely share our faith convictions in our state are in two conventions: the BGCT and the SBTC. Think about leadership training, youth rallies, church
planting, river ministry, disaster relief, and many other important services. If you want to find people doing these things who most closely share our faith convictions, you're going to find them in both the BGCT and the SBTC.
So, this decision isn't about deciding which convention got it "right" in debates from 30 years ago. This decision is about the 21st-century realities of partnering with other Texas Baptist churches. You may strongly prefer the policies and
personalities of just one of the two conventions, but participating in both the BGCT and the SBTC allows Hillcrest to engage with all other Texas believers who most closely share our faith convictions. We want to be involved in Super Summer (BGCT) and the Student Evangelism Conference (SBTC). We want to support river ministry (BGCT) and the Ezekiel Project (SBTC).
Will this mean a reduction in support to our historic ties to the BGCT?
Historically, our support of the BGCT has been a percentage of our undesignated receipts. The 2011 budget committed 2.7 percent of our undesignated receipts to the BGCT, and the 2012 budget will commit 2.7 percent, also.
That should result in $27,000 to the BGCT in 2012. By contrast, we propose we send $1,200 to the SBTC.
(By the way, the $100 a month we propose to the SBTC will not come out of our support of the local Austin Baptist Association or our support of the national Southern Baptist Convention. Like the BGCT, we support the work of these partnerships through
a percentage of our undesignated receipts. Those percentages will not change from 2011 to 2012.)
What process did our church follow in making this decision?
The Missions Committee has the responsibility of submitting the missions budget to the congregation, but it seemed best to include the deacons in on this decision, also. So, in the summer, members of the Missions Committee and the deacon body met
together with representatives from the BGCT and the SBTC. After a week to pray, the members of the Missions Committee and the deacon body met again and decided to include the SBTC with the BGCT in our 2012 budget.
This joint decision is reflected in your copy of the proposed budget. The church will have a chance to discuss and vote on the 2012 budget in December. This Sunday, December 4, you can come to a "Q&A" from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in O-107. This is an informal
time for people to ask any questions they have about our budget and budget process. Then, on Wednesday, December 7, join us in A-161 for our special called business meeting to discuss and vote in the 2012 budget.
If you have any questions, drop me a line or give me a call! God bless our church as we look for ways to partner with other believers to reach Texas with the gospel!
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