By Ronnie Floyd, Senior Pastor Springdale, Ark.
For a few months, God has really been working in my life about what actions I need to take and our church needs to take to get the Gospel to the nations in a more effective manner. Serving as the Chairman of Southern Baptist’s Great Commission Resurgence Task Force has truly changed my life and ministry perspective.
[img_assist|nid=6483|title=Ronnie Floyd, Senior Pastor First Baptist Springdale, Ark.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=67|height=100]I have been on national television for about 20 years. In fact, upon Richard Jackson’s retirement from the North Phoenix Church, I became the Invitation to Life preacher for the Southern Baptist Convention’s former Radio and Television Commission.
Through the years, we have been on the former ACTS network, WGN in Chicago, and for the past several years, only on the DayStar Television Network, which is a growing national and international Christian Network out of Dallas, Texas.
I announced to our congregation that for a season of time – two or three years or perhaps even longer – we are suspending our national and international television ministry in order to allocate more money to seeing the nations come to Christ through the work of Southern Baptists.
I shared with the congregation that I had to ask myself several hard questions: Is the pure Gospel being preached on this channel by someone besides me? The answer is yes. Is this the best way to appropriate monies so the Gospel can go where it has never been before?
The answer is no.
While exceptions to this might be justifiable on a secular network, I felt the answer was no on this network, even though we had witnessed many come to faith in Christ.
I felt for us to allocate more monies so that more missionaries could go to North America and to the nations of the world would at this time be more beneficial for Kingdom work.
Therefore, on Sunday, July 18, we will have our last national and international television broadcast for this season of our lives.
Therefore, under clear and definitive leadership from the Holy Spirit, we are suspending this national and international broadcast in order to allocate more monies to reaching the nations.
If we ever go back on television nationally and internationally, it will be beyond the monies we will begin allocating in October of 2010. We will continue to have a weekly reach into our region and perhaps our state through major television affiliates.
The entire experience of some of our SBC leaders questioning the GCR Task Force’s recommended Great Commission Giving, saying that it jeopardizes the Cooperative Program, never made sense to me at all. Why? Well, I knew our own growing commitment to the Cooperative Program.
The following has been our journey in monies allocated to the Cooperative Program:
In the past two years, in the worst of economies, our Cooperative Program gifts have increased 64.60 percent.
The $400,000 we are giving to the Cooperative Program this year is coming from a budget allocation, as well as from some monies that come from the “Reaching Our Mission Offering” our people give to annually.
With the decision announced to suspend our national and international television ministry in order for more monies to be allocated to the nations, we will begin to give the following to the Cooperative Program, which is our financial priority as Southern Baptists to see the nations come to Christ: 2010-2011 $500,000 (October 1-September 30)
We are praising God for this decision our leaders have made with us. Therefore, when September 30, 2011, arrives, we will have seen our Cooperative Program giving double over the last four years – in some of the worst years of economic challenges in our history.
An article reported that our $400,000 gift to the Cooperative Program this year places our church in the Top 50 Southern Baptist Convention churches in total giving to the Cooperative Program, so perhaps this elevation to $500,000 will move us into the Top 25 or 30 churches in total Cooperative Program giving.
This has occurred even while last year our own church cut our budget $600,000 and our staff team is closing in on year two without any raises. Hopefully, this 2010-2011 budget will permit me to grant salary increases to our team.
The great news in this Cooperative Program allocation is that all these monies will come from the source of our budget alone, be consistent annually and become our base commitment in years to come.
This will also allow more monies in the future to be allocated through our “Reaching Our Mission Offering” for Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. This past year may have been our best for those offerings due to our church walking with me in this GCR process. I shared with our team, as well, what I feel these two offerings need to become in the next years and I believe we will see it happen.
This is a huge, strategic shift for us in regard to ministry and finances, but we are confident of God’s leadership. Our church broke out in spontaneous applause when I announced this to both of our campuses.
We believe this strategic and financial move for our ministry will result in placing the Gospel into our state, nation, and world in a more effective long-term way.
Please pray for God’s blessing and financial provision for our ministry. We must do so much more in years to come to get the Gospel to the nations.
I thank God for this GCR process that has so changed my life and perspective. Thanks for walking with me through this GCR journey. May we truly see a Great Commission Resurgence!
This column originally appeared at www.ronniefloyd.com and is being used by permission.