Wednesday, June 27, 2018 Our One Priority Briefing from George Bullard

Our One Priority: Starting and Strengthening Churches to Serve as Vital and Vibrant Missional Communities.

Thank You for the Opportunity to Serve You! This week I complete my first year as Director of Missions for the Columbia Metro Baptist Association. It is a privilege to serve among you. I look forward to another four to six years of service to our churches-in-association. (Five to seven years was my agreement when I began this position July 1, 2017. Pray with me as I fulfill that commitment to you.) Always know you can call on me at 803.622.0923 or at GeorgeBullard@ColumbiaMetro.org.

The Transition of Baptist Collegiate Ministries Director Andy Weems: This is the last week Andy Weems will be in the role of director of the Columbia area Baptist Collegiate Ministries. He is transitioning into a clinical pastoral education program with Palmetto Health. If you get a minute, wish him well by calling him at 937.361.5555, send him an e-mail at andylweems@gmail.com, or connect with him on Facebook at https://facebook.com/andy.weems.5. Kelsey Phillips will serve as the interim director for at least the summer.

Planning for Your Church’s Financial Future: The 12th episode of the Columbia Metro Connection podcast is now live. Listen to it at http://www.columbiametro.org/podcast-012/. It is an interview with Nathan McCarthy, President, Baptist Foundation of South Carolina. Every congregation needs to think wisely about how it will develop a financial legacy. Nathan was our speaker at the most recent Vision Tuesday experience.

When You Prepare Your 2019 Church Budget—I hope you will think about your financial contributions to CMBA. When I arrived a year ago the regular income from churches was well below budget expectations. I led our association to cut our budget from $360,000 last year to $300,000 for the current year. We then engaged in some cost cutting actions to bring our spending in line with our income. We were running a deficit of about $5,000 per month in our overall fund balance. During the past 12 months we have stabilized our financial situation and are slowly growing our fund balance back to a healthy level.

We rejoice in this, but it has not allowed us to empower the strategy you have asked us to fulfill as an association. It would be great if each church would prayerfully consider what you might do to increase your contributions to CMBA for 2019. We are preparing a “benefits” sheet that we can provide to the leaders in your church who will be considering where the association fits in your missions commitment for 2019. We will send this to you when it is ready.

CMBA Awarded a 501(c)3 Status: We are excited to announce that we have received our formal 501(c)3 letter from the Internal Revenue Service. CMBA discovered late last fall it did not have a formal non-profit status with the IRS. This hindered the ability to ask for individual and corporate donations, and from receiving grants from foundations. Also, with an official non-profit status we can get certain products and services at a discount. With the help of our accountant we made application in December and received our letter of approval this month.

Praying for our Churches-in-Association: One of the key things you can do to support our family of congregations is to pray—even in your public worship services—for members of our family of churches.

Currently we have churches considering relocation, becoming a location partner in the facilities of another church, disbanding if they cannot accept a new vision from God for their ministry, purchasing a new site to serve as a ministry center, or starting a new congregation.

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