The executive board meeting of the Louisiana Baptist Convention dealt with business when they met in regular session Tuesday, Sept. 25. They also took time to worship God, and speakers took care to encourage the 92 board members, plus LBC staff and other guests.
WOODWORTH – The executive board meeting of the Louisiana Baptist Convention dealt with business when they met in regular session Tuesday, Sept. 25. They also took time to worship God, and speakers took care to encourage the 92 board members, plus LBC staff and other guests.
“I do like the fact that it’s not all business. There’s some worship; I really think that sets the stage for doing the Lord’s work,” said Frank Ducharme, pastor of First Baptist Scott, in his first session this term as a board member. “I liked the fact that they were trying to streamline things,” he added. “It looks like Dr. Hankins is trying to make things better.”
In Executive Director David E. Hankin’s report to the executive board members, he suggested the possibility of combining some board committees and reworking the schedule so the board would only need one day to complete its business. It wasn’t a matter to be voted on, he said. He just wanted the board to think about it and see if the idea would sit well with them.
“It sounded like a good idea to me,” Ducharme said. “It’s hard for a pastor to be gone two days when you’ve got people in the hospital and other people to visit.”
Among business matters, the executive board approved a Cooperative Program budget of nearly $21.2 million for 2008 – $170,826 more than the $21 million Cooperative Program budget for 2007.
If approved by messengers to the LBC annual meeting in November, State missions services is to receive the biggest hike: up $77,775 from 2007’s nearly $8.86 million. Louisiana College is to receive a $26,034 increase over last year’s budget. The Baptist Message, $3,874 increase over 2007. Convention operating needs: $2,500 over the $88,281 it required last year.
By previous board action, 35.5 percent of LBC’s Cooperative Program budget is forwarded to the SBC Executive Committee for global distribution in a formula voted on by messengers to the SBC annual meeting in June. This means the SBC’s global missions entities are to receive $60,643 more from Louisiana in 2008 than in 2007, if budget projections are met.
By previous board action, income over budget would be distributed 50 percent to the SBC and 50 percent to LBC on the same ratio of budget amounts.
Cooperative Program giving in Louisiana as of June 2007 was 2.13 percent – $231,748.08 – ahead of 2006, according to information supplied by the LBC business office.
In another business matter, The executive board voted to restrict membership on the board to people from churches in associations with a minimum of seven churches and 1,000 members total. They approved a 3 percent rate increase at Tall Timbers Conference Center.
Each of the entities related to LBC gave a report to the executive board: Wayne Taylor for the Louisiana Baptist Foundation, Perry Hancock for Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home, Joe Aguillard for Louisiana College and Kelly Boggs for the Louisiana Baptist Message. Ken Ward also gave a report for the Louisiana Moral and Civic Foundation.
But from the opening devotion by Executive Board President Frank LaRocque, pastor of Emmanuel Lake Charles, to the final challenge by LBC President Scott Thompson, pastor of Oak Grove Eros, encouragement was the theme of the day.
“A glorious high throne is our refuge,” LaRocque preached from Jeremiah 17:12. He used 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 and 16 to explain how to have courage in the hard times. “These things we’re going through are just temporary.” And then he sang, “Today I have a mountain I have no strength to climb … [but] what’s a mountain to an eagle soaring by.”
After asking prayer for pastors in Jena, left to minister to people whose town recently was flooded with thousands of protesters, Executive Director David E. Hankins explained, using Deuteronomy 7 as his text, God’s strategy for eating an elephant.
God’s strategy for conquest, Hankins said, is ‘little by little.’ He spoke of two dangers in church work: looking for a magic bullet, and rejecting everything that doesn’t produce immediate victory.
Hankins spoke of three rules for ‘heavenly small ball’ – a baseball term – when he explained God’s strategy for overwhelming odds: Don’t despise small beginnings; don’t forget the small details; don’t undervalue small steps in the pursuit of a goal.
Scott Thompson became LBC president when then-President Bill Robertson was named LBC’s director of pastoral leadership. He preached to the executive board members from Psalm 133 on the need for unity, and from 1 Peter 1:22 on the need to love each other and to spur each other to good works.
The next meeting of the LBC Executive Board is set for Nov. 12 in Alexandria.