Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kentucky Baptist Convention: Making serious 50/50 split news

State conventions are the biggest beneficiary of Cooperative Program dollars with considerably more than 50% on average staying within each state convention. Many SBCers think that while state conventions do good work and while the division of the CP dollar between states and national entities is consistent with historic levels, state conventions should not be keeping over 50%.

Count me in this number and count me skeptical that the states will ever do much to rectify this for a couple of reasons.

One, everyone can justify their budgets and find an endless stream of in-state projects to eat up CP dollars. Second, state conventions have long been deep into fuzzy math when it comes to CP accounting. In many cases when a state says "50/50" what they really mean is "60/40" or "55/45". Third, the inertia that comes from legacy funding of schools, campus ministries, and other state spending is very tough to overcome.

But I give the Kentucky Baptist Convention credit for taking steps to move their CP split towards 50/50. Baptist Press has a story from the KBC state paper, Western Recorder, on the move: Ky. advisory group proposes $700,000 CP shift.

That is about a 14% shift and is not insignificant. Most of the $700,000 is being taken from two KBC colleges and The Western Recorder has a good chunk of their CP funding removed as well, about 20%. For those three entities this is quite a serious move.

If this is implemented, the new funding scheme is just a proposal now, the KBC will be closer to that 50/50 split, which in Kentucky's case actually means 55/45 but the convention is committed to making that 53.5/46.5.

Confused? Join 99.9% of Southern Baptists in that. I will explain later.

I commend the KBC for their relatively agressive movements in getting more money out of their state and into SBC seminaries and mission boards. The are ahead of most state conventions in this.

Does it make much difference?

The math helps us get to a conclusion on that. Stay tuned.

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