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Showing posts from May, 2010

Doug's Thoughts on the SBC GCRTF---Addendum

A couple of quick notes on the blog series last  week:

1.  I think it would not hurt one bit for state conventions to consider some of the same suggestions.  The best way, in my opinion, to restore funding is to restore confidence.  This will require a renewal of accountability.
2.  Just as several people have pointed, most notably Ben Stroup at Church Giving Matters, churches are no longer the only avenue that Christians give money through.  There are other groups and organizations that the people in the pews are considering.  Many of these are good causes.  Some of them are even Kingdom-building causes.  Just as we have long struggled in the SBC (at least every church I've ever been in, from baby on up) to remind people that special offerings, whether building funds, Lottie Moon, or Gideons, are above your tithe, so we have people choosing to move their tithe outside of the church.
This is the same thing the SBC is facing: competition for those dollars.  It really will require f…

Doug's Thoughts on the SBC GCRTF Part 5

While there have been comments recently downplaying whether anyone cares what bloggers think, I'm going to chime in with my own opinion about one of the current issues we're facing in Southern Baptist life. Now, this is a long thought, so it's going to be spread across 5 blog posts. There's a “Contact” link at the top of the blog. Email me if you want the whole thing in one document. Or click here for a PDF (I hope!)
Doug
10.  Re-establish mandates for each entity that cannot be exceeded without approval of the SBC at Annual Meeting. Fund these entities with these percentages of National CP receipts:

Executive Committee: to promote cooperation between SBC Churches, entities, and states. 2% of CP, maximum.

Seminaries/Education: Provide effective education with a primary emphasis on preparing for service within SBC Missions or Churches. Maintain historical records of the SBC. 10% of CP, maximum.

North American Mission Board: Promote cooperative missions inside the US/Can…

Doug's Thoughts on the SBC GCRTF Part 4

While there have been comments recently downplaying whether anyone cares what bloggers think, I'm going to chime in with my own opinion about one of the current issues we're facing in Southern Baptist life. Now, this is a long thought, so it's going to be spread across 5 blog posts. There's a “Contact” link at the top of the blog. Email me if you want the whole thing in one document. Or click here for a PDF (I hope!)
Doug

Peg the compensation of all executives for any entity receiving CP funds to the pay scale of IMB/NAMB missionaries. Vice-Presidents would be pegged to 1.5x the salary and Presidents 2.5x the salary of IMB/NAMB Missionaries. Use a publicized average salary level to derive this number. This would also apply to administrative/executive positions at seminaries receiving CP funds. Benefits and cost of living/locality pay should match what missionaries receive. (As a side note: I think the salary information would be pertinent to each church as they determi…

Doug's Thoughts on the SBC GCRTF Part 3

While there have been comments recently downplaying whether anyone cares what bloggers think, I'm going to chime in with my own opinion about one of the current issues we're facing in Southern Baptist life. Now, this is a long thought, so it's going to be spread across 5 blog posts. There's a “Contact” link at the top of the blog. Email me if you want the whole thing in one document.  Or click here for a PDF (I hope!)
Doug
V.  Is there anything that can be recommended? Are there other possibilities? While I am not a mega-church pastor, seminary president, or other great and note-worthy individual, here are some things that I would suggest. I'd be interested to hear anyone else's critiques or additions:

Allow each church to set the amount given to their state convention and to the national level. This eliminates the debate over state percentage division with the national entities. If local churches are the focus point of our obedience and our plan, put this deci…

Doug's Thoughts on the SBC GCRTF Part 2

While there have been comments recently downplaying whether anyone cares what bloggers think, I'm going to chime in with my own opinion about one of the current issues we're facing in Southern Baptist life. Now, this is a long thought, so it's going to be spread across 4 blog posts. There's a “Contact” link at the top of the blog. Email me if you want the whole thing in one document. Or click here for a PDF (I hope!)
Doug
IV.  Some questions that I'm wondering at this point:

Are the GCRTF recommendations to change NAMB/State agreements and to celebrate “Great Commission Giving” going to recover the funding that churches now send to non-SBC missions work? Or has that funding left because churches feel that other organizations are better stewards of missions dollars?

Are these recommendations intended to deflect the criticism that is often brought against churches, and their leaders, that have grown large enough that they consider themselves “too big” to give on the …

Contact Doug link fixed

Ok, my lack of HTML skills are showing.

Contact Doug link is now fixed.  Fire away.

Doug

Doug's Thoughts on the SBC GCRTF Part 1

While there have been comments recently downplaying whether anyone cares what bloggers think, I'm going to chime in with my own opinion about one of the current issues we're facing in Southern Baptist life. Now, this is a long thought, so it's going to be spread across 4 blog posts. There's a “Contact” link at the top of the blog. Email me if you want the whole thing in one document. Or click here for a PDF (I hope!)
Doug
The hinge point of the GCR seems to be about structural change and the control of funding. Specifically, we seem to be having an extremely large stir about “Great Commission Giving” and the dissolving of “Cooperative Agreements” between state conventions and the North American Mission Board. The stirring point for the whole action seems to have come from our inability to fund the IMB Missionaries we've wanted.
The first observation I'd like to make: SBC churches have always been allowed to designate every dime they give to the work of the Con…

Monday May 17 & Romans 16:20

Ok, well, yesterday was a good day at church, with just a few minor blips.  However, you can click back to the previous post and listen to the whole AM service and the sermon from Sunday night and judge for yourself.  (Alternately, you can take the podcast.  It's worth every penny!*)I found Kara Sawyer's testimony particularly challenging to me.  I'm on a slow roll towards finishing a degree, and her testimony of dealing with life and finishing hers pushed me to make sure I'm striving as I should toward my own.This morning, I was finishing up the book of Romans in my study time.  I've only been pouring through this book for about a year now, and finally, I've come to the end.  Romans 16:20 struck me:"The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." (NASB)What struck?1.  God crushes.  Not me.  Leave it to Him.2.  Satan is the promised crushed one.  He's the enemy, not anyone else.  Including politicians.3.  God remains the God of peace even…

Sunday Sermons May 16

Go To FileFactory.com Above is the music player.  The AM file contains the entire service, while the evening file is just the sermon.  Here are the sermon outlines:Text: Matthew 10:5-15Theme: First Things FirstDate: May 16, 2010Location: CBC Monticello First Action: Go to those around you. The disciples are sent to the children of IsraelThese are the people they have encountered all their livesThey will, eventually, scatter across the whole worldWe have a responsibility to start hereAnd then we go onFirst Purpose: Preach the kingdomEverything else proceeds from this point. The church is not here solely to do social workNeither is the church here to be a social clubOur lives are meant to be wrapped around preaching the KingdomFirst Evidence: Heal, raise, cleanse, cast out.There are certain problems that interfere with people hearing of the KingdomDo what God has enabled you to do about those problems:The Disciples prayed and miracles happenedGod has given you gifts to use: Spiritual, em…

A song recommendation-- @downhere "You're Not Alone"

I'd like to point you to a song well worth the downloading.  Legally, of course, because they could use the sales numbers!! (And the money.  Rock stars need money, after all.) It's entitled "You're Not Alone" and it's from the band Downhere.  You can get it from Amazon.com or from iTunes, but here's a quick link to Amazon for it: Why Amazon? It's an affiliate link. If you buy it from that link, I'll make a nickel. If that much. That's not the point. The point is that this song is worth your listening to. It's an encouraging song, and it's very much a message that I've needed to hear these days.Here are the lyrics, for those of you that either don't listen to the rock or, like me, can't quite hear perfectly well! You feel the isolation, slowly take a toll
This season of waiting, is starting to get old
Looking for acceptance, and aching for a home
So tired of trying to make it out on your own
There's no eas…

Romans 16:16

16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.Romans 16:16 (ESV) I thought I'd take a look at this verse, and ponder a few things that come from what it says.  I.  This verse gives us a good look into how we don't take the Word at face value these days.  How many of us greet our fellow church members with a kiss?  (International readers, we know some of you do.)  Why do we not do what the Word says?II.  Ah, we don't do it because we're not convinced that, while it seems to be a plain command, we shouldn't just automatically do it.  Why not?  Typically, we don't do the plain commands of Scripture because we think we shouldn't have to do them.  Now, some of you are wondering how to get around this, aren't you?III.  This verse shows the need to extract the meaning through the cultural context.  The greeting with a holy kiss would be culturally the action of greeting between people that know, trust, and honor each other.  So wha…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

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The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Revolution…

Timing is everything, and I haven't wanted this post to be perceived as targeted at one particular political escapade.  However, now that tonight (March 22) we're one day removed from Congress approving a trillion dollar health insurance change law, and there's no telling what will come next, I'm going to finish writing this post and then program it for later.  If something major happened yesterday, I'm not commenting on that directly.I'm pondering the general direction of our country.  That direction is apart from itself and adrift from the intent of its founding.  It really is.  We have made great strides as a nation.  We've come to the understanding that "all men are created equal" is to be understood as "all humans are created equal" whether they look like us or not.  We've embraced, at least in idea, that race or gender has no place as a determinant in the future of a person.  We've acknowledged that those old enough to be d…

Monday Morning May 10

It's Monday morning again.  Weren't we just here last week?  Ok, so it comes once a week.  Well, to the day:Step 1: Review recording from yesterday's services.  It's awful.  Too much space between recording point and source.  The microphone we're using is not designed to pick up a single speaker across a gymnasium.  So, this week, we've got no sermon audio for you.  Which, in all honesty, doesn't bother me that much.Why?  Well, I'm not sure I was well on track with my speaking skills.  The text was good, the outline was good, but the delivery, I thought, sounded a little shaky.  Part of it was that we had a children's skit at the beginning of the service, and one of the participants was about as hammed up as one can get.  He's usually a good kid.  Just a little on the goofy side, like his father.  So, it was a little hard to recover from my son's antics in the skit.  I think my voice was shaky from it, and I didn't project well.  Which i…

Book Review: Radical by David Platt

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It's a two book review week.  Next week, there will only be 1, and then 1 the next week.  After that, I'm not sure when my next book reviews will come.  I've got a few books I'd like to get read for my own personal growth, and then there's the desperate need to gather and grow for ministry purposes.  Then this fall school starts, and I'll be writing book reviews for the academic process.  That's going to be different from the blog book review writing.  Anyway, read the Disclosures! regarding whether or not I get paid for reviews.  Summary: I don't.  WaterBrook/Multnomah gave me the book, gave me a copy to give away, and asked that I send you on the link to their website for more info.  Enough said.Review:  The subject of today's review is Radical by David Platt.  The subtitle is Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.  If you'd like to take a read at the first chapter, there's a link right here.  Here's how the book looks:Radical…

Some Extended Thoughts on SBC Life

In 1925, a loose organization of churches came together to find a way to establish stable support for their collective efforts. What was born from the experience is now called the Cooperative Program. It's grown to be the funding basis for over $300 million in annual support for mission work, higher education, political activism, and coordination.The difficulty has become this: where money goes, power and controversy follow. The truth seems to be that there is rarely enough money to go around. I remember the first year the IMB went over a $200 million budget, and it was wonderful! Then, it became not much, and has since become far too low. Same thing with the budgets of seminaries and the North American Mission Board.As such, we've had our share of fighting and disputing over the years about how to prioritize and spend the money. We've had plenty of moments where we've not been pleased with how the decisions were being made. It has extended, at times, to disputes with …

Book Review: Plan B

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Today, we're going to take a quick look at Pete Wilson's new book,  Plan B.  It's coming out today from Thomas Nelson Publishers.  And, of course, to warn you: I got the book free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for writing this review.  It's from their Booksneeze program and you can read more in Disclosures! if you need to.  Of course, I think the FTC (and any government agency) should be a little more concerned about real problems than whether or not a blogger with a small audience paid for the books he reviewed or got them free…moving on:Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?Review: Pete Wilson has written a good book here.  I don't think you'll see it go down in history as one of the great classics of Christian writing, but neither should it rapidly find the "please, just take this book away" pile.  It's written in an easy style, and the content is well grounded in Scripture.What Wilson has done in thi…

Monday May 3

In case you've ever wondered, not that you've asked, but I typically spend my Mondays trying to process the Sunday before.  I go back over notes about the service, attendance information, notes from any committee meetings, and sometimes listen to the worship service.  I try to figure out what went well, what went poorly, and what caused anything else.This I usually do while I'm getting the church sermons put together to put online.  I'm not sure either one of these is doing anyone any good, but the exercise in futility helps me to understand some things better.  How was yesterday?  Well, we had some technical problems in the morning service which caused a rough start, but it went ok.  Music was alright.  Solo was good, but bizarre microphone popping was a distraction.  Sermons were ok morning and evening, not great, but not the worst I've ever delivered.  Committee meetings in the afternoon was about as I expected it to be.  Meanwhile…I've now got the files rea…