The offering that supports the field personnel of CBF is experiencing a deficit. Please consider a gift to help us keep the promises of being the presence of Christ among the neglected of the world. If you are from North Carolina your gift will be matched by your state CBF. (See article below) That's a guaranteed doubling of your investment! Even Wall Street can't do that!
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State CBF challenges churches for global missions
By Norman Jameson, Associated Baptist Press
Monday, April 11, 2011
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (ABP) -- Saying Fellowship Baptists need to “keep the promises” made to missionaries and the neglected peoples they serve, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina has issued a $100,000 challenge on behalf of the CBF Offering for Global Missions.
In the 13 weeks between the North Carolina CBF general assembly in Asheville and the national CBF general assembly in Tampa, Fla., CBFNC will match every dollar given from a North Carolina church or individual to the global missions offering, up to $100,000.
With the offering at just 50 percent of its $5.5 million goal through March and beneath the hovering threat of having to recall missionaries, North Carolina CBF Executive Coordinator Larry Hovis said: “We decided on the challenge to encourage North Carolina Fellowship Baptists to redouble their efforts in supporting the offering. Ultimately it is supporting people struggling to be the presence of Christ among some of the most neglected people groups in the world.”
“Twenty years ago, Fellowship Baptists made a commitment to the marginalized and least evangelized,” Hovis said in making the challenge announcement. “We agreed to tackle the global missions enterprise as ‘cooperative’ Baptists engaging in global missions together, agreeing to pool our resources so that the poor may be fed, clothed, housed, medically treated, educated, given economic opportunities and introduced to Jesus Christ. The Fellowship cannot make good on those promises to the most neglected with contributions from partnering congregations continuing to decline.”
CBF national receives the missions offering through September. Controller Larry Hurst said gifts to the offering income are about where they have been the past few years at this point in the calendar, but that rate has left the offering a half million dollars short of goal. CBF Executive Director Daniel Vestal warned last June that continuing offering shortfalls could result in recalling missionaries.
North Carolina is typically near the top among state CBF fellowships in supporting the Offering for Global Missions. The challenge reflects both the state’s commitment to global missions and receipts that solidly exceeded their operations budget. Hovis said the fiscal year runs April 1 through March 31, and this year churches oversubscribed the budget, leaving a fund balance to use for the challenge gift.
“By offering the challenge we are not just encouraging people to give but saying, ‘We’re going to lead the way,’” Hovis said. He said he believes a successful offering is the difference between missions personnel coming home and being able to send additional workers to the field.
CBF leaders at the national level are promoting this year’s missions offering by calling on Baptists to “keep the promise” made both to fully-funded field personnel and the marginalized people they serve.
“North Carolina CBF has been a significant partner in global missions from the very beginning,” said Rob Nash, CBF coordinator of global missions. “For CBFNC to come to the plate with this kind of challenge grant means that we’re going to be able to overcome this deficit funding we’ve experienced over the past couple years. It will enable us to keep our field personnel in places of ministry to which God has called them.
Hovis said while the missions support “lifeline has frayed,” he believes CBF senses the support of congregations “in a myriad of ways that is encouraging to them.” He does not believe the mission offering struggles to meet goal is the byproduct of anything other than the economy and the struggles of congregations to meet their own budgets.
Vestal said last year that he finds it “puzzling” that churches don’t give more to the Offering for Global Missions.
“I am totally puzzled,” he said at the June meeting of his Coordinating Council. “I am confused. I don’t understand why churches don’t give to the Offering for Global Missions. Every dime goes either to pay a missionary’s salary or project or living ministries of a missionary.”
Norman Jameson is reporting and coordinating special projects for ABP on an interim basis. He is former editor of the North Carolina Biblical Recorder