- Our funding formula of 80/20% for many of our state convention staff salaries would collapse.
- NAMB would have the authority to unilaterally appoint people to work in WV and put them in place, with no cooperation with our state convention.
- A "new and liberated NAMB" would develop a strategy for West Virginia, apart from input from our state convention and it's churches (page 10 of the report) We presently develop mission strategy and confer with NAMB for approval.
In West Virginia, if the agreements ended today, we would lose major funding for:
- 9 of our 10 local association Directors of Missions
- The State Convention Director of Missions
- The State Evangelism Director
- The State WMU/Women's Ministry Director
- All three Campus Ministers
- Our Resort Missionaries
- 12 Church Planters
- Our State Missions Volunteer Coordinator
- 35% of our state convention budget
As you can see, this would be a true crisis for our state convention if it were to happen today. The report recommends phasing out the agreements over seven years. Even then this would be a difficult pill for the Mountain State to swallow.
Members of the Task Force have assured some of our state pastors, that we "don't have to worry about West Virginia. It will be taken care of." That is all well and good, but the report does not address how the agreements will be replaced. We are facing a lot of unknown out there and to some of us it almost smacks of the verbiage that we heard with "Obamacare". "Just trust us!"
We want to trust these men that we have long held deep respect for, but it is asking a lot, to just go along with the recommendations, with no firm answers to our questions anywhere in sight. Seriously, the whole thing is just open ended enough to cause concern, and that is why I say the jury is still out on this component.
These are my basic disagreements with the report. Many folks are in agreement with me on these points. That doesn't make us bad Southern Baptists, it just means we have a difference of opinion. Unfortunately I have already seen subtle charges that paint those who may disagree with portions of the report to be negative, and somehow opposed to "Penetrating the Lostness" in America and around the world. I can't answer for everyone who may have issues with the report, but I can say unequivocally that I love the SBC. I love lost people. I love the members of the GCRTF. I believe in the Great Commission, and I am committed to continue to lead my congregation in maintaining and growing in its 95 year history of being a Great Commission Church. We have planted other churches in the past, and we look for opportunites to do so in the future. We will continue to give 10% to the Cooperative Program We will continue to support our local association. We will continue to give to Annie, and Lottie, and Ola Cox. We will continue to be involved in Disaster Relief, and short term overseas mission trips. We believe in the Great Commission!
I'll vote my conscience on the seven recommendations from the GCRTF, but if I happen to vote "No" on two of them, don't tell me I'm not in favor of "Penetrating the Lostness".
That is one West Virginia pastor's opinion, "For What It's Worth".