|Sullivan says ‘We are on target’ with all six GCR recommendations
By Barbara Denman
November 19, 2012
ORLANDO—“We are on track to be 50/50 in the next seven years,” John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention told messengers to the 2012 Florida Baptist State Convention meeting in Orlando, Nov. 12-13.
During the meeting, messengers approved a stagnant 2013 Cooperative Program budget of $31.6 million, an amount identical to the 2012 budget. The budget will increase giving to the Southern Baptist Convention by one percent to 41.5 percent.
The increase in the SBC portion sustains a commitment by Florida Baptists to raise the percentage allocated nationally to an even 50/50 percent division of funds between the SBC and state.
The $31.6 million will be divided between the SBC, 41.5 percent; Florida Baptist Convention operating budget, 46.60 percent; and Florida Baptist agencies and institutions, 11.81 percent.
Affected by the economic downturn and decreased giving from the churches, since 2005 the Convention has sliced $10 million from its budget and downsized its staff by 58 employees, or 25 percent of its work force.
During the meeting, Sullivan assured messengers the state is “on target” with six Great Commission Resurgence recommendations approved by messengers at the 2010 Convention meeting.
“Every recommendation has been implemented or is in the process of being implemented,” Sullivan said.
Among the implemented recommendations was a spiritual renewal emphasis, “ReVision Florida;” a move toward the 50/50 percent distribution of Cooperative Program funds; and development of evangelistic pastoral leaders through increased availability of theological education.
An emphasis on church planting regionalization produced 117 new church starts in 2012, Sullivan announced: “The best calculation that we can make about planting churches is that about 20 percent of every dollar that comes through the Florida Baptist Convention goes to church planting. We are on target in planting churches in the state of Florida,” he said.
“The best partner we have in the state of Florida is the North America Mission Board. I commend Dr. Ezell for cooperating and listening… I am thankful to God for the NAMB and for their help in planting churches,” Sullivan quipped.
Also implemented was a reorganization and regionalization of staff along Convention priorities.
Sullivan credited the Convention staff for the “excellent and efficient progress” made in accomplishing the goals. “Our staff has been exceptional in making adjustments and assuming additional responsibilities and maintaining relationships throughout the state.”