Calif. convention celebrates church planting; refers task force report to board

by Terry Barone & Holly Smith, posted Monday, October 31, 2011 (2 years ago)

FREMONT, Calif. (BP) -- Messengers to the California Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting celebrated church starting and referred the Focus 21 Task Force report to the CSBC Executive Board.

Messengers also approved a lower budget and Cooperative Program objective for the second consecutive year during the Oct. 25-26 sessions at held at New Life Church in Fremont.

Highlighting the convention theme, "Together: Making Disciples of every ethné," the meeting featured special recognition of 72 church starters during the Tuesday evening session. The group represented nearly 15 ethnic/culture groups. Each year for the past several years, CSBC has started about 100 new churches for African American, Anglo, multi-cultural and ethnic groups.

Francis Chan, noted teacher and author, was guest speaker during the recognition service, encouraging the audience of more than 700 to get outside the church to show Christ's love by serving their communities.

Messengers voted to refer the Focus 21 Task Force report/recommendations to the CSBC Executive Board. The "Great Commission Resurgence"-type committee was appointed in 2010 and charged with discerning how California Southern Baptists could "most efficiently and effectively focus our efforts for the glory of God in fulfilling the Great Commission."

The motion also had included the caveat that the task force bring a final report to the 2012 CSBC annual meeting.

Instead, the task force brought its report to the 2011 gathering. According to task force chairman E. Glen Paden, retired pastor and president emeritus of California Baptist Foundation, the group met several times in 2011 and felt it had completed its work. By mid-September the task force released its report outlining seven recommendations.

Those recommendations will be considered by the CSBC Executive Board in 2012, with a report from the board at the 2012 annual meeting. They range from defining what it means to be a "cooperating church" and reducing denominational overlap, to prioritizing church planting and global responsibilities.

In making the motion to refer the recommendations to the CSBC Executive Board, Paden said the task force wanted them to be "accelerants to the mission of California Southern Baptists" and to be "processed through the governance and under the leadership of the CSBC and its entities." He noted the task force did not want to "bypass these processes," but wanted to establish "a path for these groups to accomplish future progress in key areas."

Messengers approved a 2012 budget of $10,866,414 with a CP objective of $6.44 million. The nearly $11 million spending plan is a $209,400, or 1.9 percent, decrease compared to the 2011 budget of just over $11 million. The 2012 CP objective is $480,000, or 6.9 percent, below the 2011 allocation. However, the 2012 spending plan calls for a one-half percent increase in CP gifts to the Southern Baptist Convention, bringing CSBC's allocation to 30.5 percent.

If the CSBC Cooperative Program objective is met, $1,964,200 is earmarked for SBC national and international missions and ministry. Even with the percentage increase, the amount allocated for 2012 is $111,800, or 5.4 percent, less than 2011 due to the reduced CP objective.

Steve Davidson, pastor of Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis, was re-elected for a second one-year term as convention president; Pedro "Pete" Ramirez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista White Road in San Jose, was re-elected as first vice president, both by acclamation. Also elected without opposition was Alan Thompson, pastor of First Baptist Church of Clairemont in San Diego, second vice president.

Adrian Wells, worship leader at New Seasons Church in San Diego, was elected music director over Kimberly MacNeill, pastor of spiritual formation at Clovis Hills.

Messengers approved two resolutions: one of appreciation for the City of Fremont, East Bay Baptist Association and New Life Church for hosting the annual meeting, and another calling for prayer, cooperation and communication between CSBC and Southern Baptist Convention entities.

Recommendations for nominees to serve on the convention's committee on committees and agencies -- CSBC Executive Board, California Baptist University trustees and California Baptist Foundation directors -- were approved without discussion or challenge.

The 2012 annual meeting is scheduled for Oct. 23-24 at Clovis Hills Church.


Terry Barone is editor of the California Southern Baptist (www.csbc.com/csb), newsjournal of the California Southern Baptist Convention; Holly Smith is the paper's managing editor.