ATLANTA – The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Coordinating Council unanimously approved the 2012 Task Force report May 1, sending it to the General Assembly in Fort Worth in June for a vote.
“I was so impressed by the number of Council members who made the effort to be there in person for a two-hour, one-agenda-item meeting,” said David Hull, chair of the 2012 Task Force. “To me, it says the Council believed this was important and worth the effort.”
A quorum of the Council met in Atlanta, on the phone and through virtual meeting software to receive the Task Force’s response to the Council’s questions and suggestions at the February meeting. After detailed discussions and with only slight wording amendments, the report was unanimously approved by the Council.
“I believe this is important – life-changing important,” said Ruth Perkins Lee, vice chair of the 2012 Task Force. “We have 20 years of amazing shared history. The experiences as well as the stories continue to be formative. We have been moving forward since our birth, and I believe this allows us to continue to do so.”
Key provisions of the report that changed since the February Council meeting are as follows:
• The name “Governing Council” was changed to “Governing Board” to better distinguish it from the Missions and Ministries councils. The Governing Board has direct hiring and supervisory responsibility of the Executive Coordinator and sets policy for the Missions and Ministries councils.
• Terms of service on the three leadership groups – the Governing Board, the Missions Council and the Ministries Council was addressed by balancing continuity of leadership with inclusion of new voices. The report was changed so that service on the Governing Board could be two successive three-year terms while service on the Missions Council and Ministries Council would be a single, three-year term. Members can be re-elected to the Missions and Ministries councils after a one-year break in service.
• The identity section was changed to reflect how the Governing Board and Missions and Ministries councils relate, and the wording of the identity criteria was made more invitational rather than mandatory.
• The composition of the Nominating Committee was clarified. Two names will be submitted by the Missions Council, two names from the Ministries Council and one name from the Governing Board. The nominees to make up the Nominating Committee will not be on the Governing Board, Missions Council and Ministries Council but will simply be names offered by those three groups.
• The Missions Council’s function was clarified. It will convene people to provide vision, strategy, education and sustainability for CBF Global Missions, but not exert governance responsibilities. Also, it was expanded from nine to 12 members.
• The Ministries Council’s function was also clarified. It will provide a forum for collaboration, communication and sharing of ideas. It will not have governance responsibilities. A representative from CBF-endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors was added to the make-up of the Ministries Council, and the responsibility of developing giving plans was removed from the Ministries Council and assigned to the Governing Board.
• The funding plan was changed from a giving plan to a funding strategy approach. The giving template was removed from the report, and a separate section was added to address partnerships. Entities with the Fellowship community will maintain separate budgets, and cooperative funding agreements will be negotiated between CBF and the state/regional organizations. Churches can customize giving plans and do not necessarily have to follow the state giving plan.
“The part of this report that has changed the most since February is funding,” Hull said. “We have moved away from a funding plan and have recommended a funding strategy that focuses on freedom and cooperation.”
The final report will be posted to www.thefellowship.info/2012taskforce prior to General Assembly, and copies of the report will be distributed at the Assembly. The Task Force will present the document to the Assembly on June 21, which will be followed by discussion sessions in breakouts before the vote is taken on June 22.
If the report is approved, implementation will begin immediately following the Assembly.
CBF is a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.