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gathering the

of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina

July/August 2017 • Vol. 22 Issue 4 Bringing Baptists of North Carolina Together for Christ-Centered Ministry

The Generosity Issue


fishing rods and

winter coats by Larry Hovis, CBFNC Executive Coordinator

2 • The Gathering – July/August 2017

Like many North Carolinians of my generation, one of my favorite television series of all time is The Andy Griffith Show. During one particularly memorable episode (out of many memorable episodes), Opie was about eight years old. He was doing chores and odd jobs, trying to save enough money to buy a new fishing rod. Andy was proud of the way his son was working hard and learning how to manage and save his money. While this was going on, Opie met a girl at school and they became good friends. Opie told his father he needed a little more money, and asked if he would give it to him. Fishing season was about to begin and Andy assumed it was for the new rod. He told Opie that since he had worked so hard, he would help him with the remainder of the money. When the first day of fishing season arrived, Opie got out his old rod. Andy asked him where the new rod was. Opie said that he didn’t use the money to buy a fishing rod, but to give his girlfriend a present instead. Andy became incensed. He scolded Opie for wasting his hard-earned money on a trifling present for some girl. He refused to let him go fishing and made him stay at home to think about what he’d done. That night, Andy talked to Opie about what had transpired earlier. Opie said that he didn’t mean to defy his father or waste his money. He said he was just trying to do what was right. Andy still didn’t understand. With tears in his eyes, Opie explained that his girlfriend came from a poor family. She had very little clothing. Her coat was tattered and torn and failed to keep her warm on cold days. Opie had used his fishing rod money to buy her a winter coat. How did Opie learn to be so generous? Who taught him the way of generosity? Even though Andy looked clueless in this episode, the larger Andy Griffith story reveals Opie’s father to be the primary molder and shaper of his character. If Opie was generous, then Andy and the Mayberry community surely showed him the way. Although not explicitly stated in the show, I believe the ultimate teacher of generosity is the one Jesus refers to as “Our father who art in heaven…” God is the original Generous One. Though we often refer to God’s characteristics or attributes with concepts like omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, transcendence, immanence, and holiness, I believe generosity should be high on the list. God’s generosity began with creation, continued with the formation of a special people called Israel, culminated with the gift of the Son, led to the birth of the Church, and was carried out by the gift of the Spirit. To summarize the generosity of God, “God so loved the world he gave…” (John 3:16). If generosity is a central characteristic of God, then surely God’s people are called to follow God’s example. Ephesians makes this extremely clear: “Be imitators of God” (5:1). As God is generous, so are God’s people called to be generous. This year, CBFNC is emphasizing the theme, “FitChurch: Nurturing Healthy Congregations.” We believe healthy churches are generous churches. They are generous toward God, toward one another, and toward their communities and world. This issue of The Gathering explores generous churches from several angles. The partner church list is a way of celebrating churches whose generosity extends to CBFNC and, ultimately, to God’s mission in North Carolina and beyond. Without the generosity of partner churches, CBFNC would not exist. In addition, Ruben Swint shares practices by which churches can grow generosity. James Smith explains how we can be generous after our walk on earth is concluded. Jim Hylton describes ways churches can cultivate financial generosity beyond the offering plate. Several articles illustrate how partner churches express and cultivate generosity in a variety of ways, including but not limited to financial generosity. Generosity is a hallmark of God, God’s Son, and God’s people. Generosity is expressed in a variety of ways. Generosity is a lifestyle. It all comes down to the question, “Are we about buying fishing rods for ourselves or giving winter coats to others?”


partner churches Churches making contributions October 2015 - March 2017

Giving Trends:

Designated

2013 through 2017

Undesignated

$4,500,000 4,000,000 3,500,000

In the 2016-2017 budget year, undesignated gifts totaled $1.26 million, a 5.6% decrease over the previous year. Designated gifts exceeded $2.4 million, resulting in total gifts of $3.71 million. CBFNC is grateful for the trust congregations and individuals place in us. As you form your church budget for next year, we prayerfully and humbly ask that you consider increasing your gifts to CBFNC.

3,000,000 2,500,000 2,000,000

We are taking great care to be good stewards of these resources through the ministries we coordinate and the cultivation of positive relationships with our cherished ministry partners.

1,500,000 1,000,000 500,000 0 2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

To view CBFNC’s 2017-2018 budget, visit www.cbfnc.org/budget.

Churches contributing to CBFNC are listed in bold type. Churches that contribute to CBF Global only are listed in regular type. Designated in blue are churches that participate in the CBFNC Mission Resource Plan, providing financial support for other Baptist ministries through CBFNC. For additional information about the Mission Resource Plan or for more information on partnering with CBFNC, visit www.cbfnc.org. This list does not include churches who partner with CBFNC or CBF Global in other, non-financial ways. Earlys............................................. Ahoskie First................................................ Ahoskie First............................................Albemarle Mount Zion....................................... Alexis Angier............................................... Angier Baptist Fellowship........................... Angier Neill’s Creek.................................... Angier Iglesia Bautista Torre Fuerte.......... Apex Olive Chapel .................................... Apex Woodhaven......................................... Apex First............................................. Asheboro Oakwood Park............................ Asheboro West Asheboro.............................. Asheboro Calvary......................................... Asheville First.............................................. Asheville Morningside................................. Asheville Connaritsa...................................Aulander First............................................Belhaven Benson........................................... Benson First................................................... Biscoe First.................................. Black Mountain

First..........................................Bladenboro Lennons Cross Roads.............Bladenboro First...................................... Blowing Rock Boiling Springs................ Boiling Springs First................................................... Boone Boonville......................................Boonville First......................................... Bryson City First......................................... Buies Creek Memorial................................. Buies Creek Bullock............................................Bullock First..............................................Burlington First.......................................... Burnsville First............................................... Butner Calypso........................................... Calypso Sawyer’s Creek............................. Camden Hominy...........................................Candler First................................................. Canton First................................... Carolina Beach Greenwood Forest.............................. Cary Westwood............................................ Cary Chadbourn............................... Chadbourn

Piney Forest................................ Chadbourn HillSong.................................... Chapel Hill Iglesia Bautista Amor de Dias.................... .................................................. Chapel Hill Lystra....................................... Chapel Hill Mount Carmel......................... Chapel Hill University...............................Chapel Hill Grace Crossing........................... Charlotte Iglesia Bautista Hispana ................ Charlotte Iglesia Communidad Evangelica Internacional La Red ................ Charlotte Park Road....................................... Charlotte Pritchard Memorial................... Charlotte Providence.................................. Charlotte St. John’s..................................... Charlotte Sardis........................................... Charlotte Together in Christ Intl. Ministries.......... ................................................... Charlotte First............................................ Clarkton First.............................................. Clayton White Oak...................................... Clayton

The Gathering – July/August 2017 • 3


partner churches

Churches making contributions October 2015 - March 2017

Mosaic............................................ Clayton Clemmons First............................Clemmons First...............................................Clinton Grove Park..................................... Clinton McGill............................................ Concord First...........................................Cramerton Open Arms............................... Creedmoor Cullowhee..................................Cullowhee The Summit...............................Cullowhee First .................................................. Denton First................................................. Dobson First...................................................Drexel First.................................................... Dunn Westfield............................................. Dunn Calvary.......................................... Durham Durham Memorial....................... Durham Iglesia Bautista Valle De Esperanza ....................................................... Durham Hope Valley................................... Durham Lowes Grove................................. Durham Mount Hermon............................. Durham Temple........................................... Durham Watts Street.................................. Durham Yates.............................................. Durham First.................................................. Eden Edenton......................................... Edenton Blackwell Memorial........... Elizabeth City First..................................... Elizabeth City First.....................................................Elkin First......................................................Elon Emerald Isle........................... Emerald Isle Enfield..............................................Enfield Enka......................................................Enka Fair Bluff.....................................Fair Bluff First..............................................Fairmont First............................................. Farmville Cedar Falls................................. Fayetteville First.......................................... Fayetteville Lafayette.................................. Fayetteville Mount Pisgah........................... Fayetteville Snyder Memorial.................... Fayetteville Unity Christian Center........... Fayetteville First...........................................Forest City Florence.................................. Forest City Mount Vernon..........................Forest City First............................................Four Oaks Pauline..................................... Four Oaks Burningtown.................................Franklin 4 • The Gathering – July/August 2017

Franklinton............................. Franklinton Fremont Missionary ..................Fremont Aversboro Road.............................. Garner Covenant.......................................Gastonia First...............................................Gastonia Loray.............................................Gastonia New Hope......................................Gastonia Reynoldson........................................ Gates First............................................Goldsboro Rosewood First..........................Goldsboro First .............................................. Graham College Park............................... Greensboro First..........................................Greensboro Guilford....................................Greensboro Lindley Park............................Greensboro Southeast..................................Greensboro Immanuel.................................Greenville The Memorial............................ Greenville Oakmont.................................... Greenville Pleasant Hill.......................................Grover Hallsboro..................................... Hallsboro First................................................... Hamlet Flat Rock...............................Hamptonville First........................................... Henderson Providence......................... Hendersonville First................................................Hickory Mountain Grove ...........................Hickory Viewmont.......................................Hickory Hiddenite..................................... Hiddenite Emerywood............................... High Point First........................................... High Point Iglesia Bautista Esperanza Viva ................................................... High Point Parkwood.................................. High Point Cane Creek...............................Hillsborough First....................................... Hillsborough Hobbsville..................................Hobbsville First.........................................Huntersville First............................................. Jonesville First.......................................... Kannapolis New Life Chinese..................... Kannapolis First.........................................Kernersville Main Street.............................Kernersville Union Cross............................Kernersville Quaker Gap........................................ King Spilman Memorial........................ Kinston Oak Ridge....................................... Kittrell Knightdale.................................Knightdale

First....................................... Laurinburg Goshen..............................................Leland North Brunswick Fellowship.........Leland College Avenue.................................. Lenoir First.................................................. Lenoir Churchland.................................Lexington First.............................................Lexington Jersey...........................................Lexington First ..............................................Liberty Mount Pleasant.............................Liberty First ........................................Lincolnton Littleton......................................... Littleton Mission............................................. Locust Hickory Rock...........................Louisburg Louisburg................................... Louisburg First.......................................... Lumberton First............................................... Madison Antioch...........................................Mamers First................................................. Marion Calvary........................................ Mars Hill Mars Hill..................................... Mars Hill First........................................... Marshville First .............................................Mayodan New Bessemer....................... McLeansville First................................................ Mebane Mount Adar................................... Mebane Eatons........................................ Mocksville First........................................... Mocksville First................................................ Monroe First............................................Mooresville First..................................Morehead City First...........................................Morganton Calvary.....................................Mount Airy First..........................................Mount Airy Mission Uno.............................Mount Airy Piney Grove.............................Mount Airy First...................................... Mount Gilead First......................................Mount Holly First...................................... Mount Olive Murfreesboro....................... Murfreesboro Nashville..................................... Nashville First.............................................New Bern First Chin ...................................New Bern Kendalls................................. New London Trinity........................................... Newton First..................................... N. Wilkesboro Union Grove ................................Oak Ridge First..................................................Oriental


partner churches

Churches making contributions October 2015 - March 2017

Enon................................................ Oxford Hester.............................................. Oxford Mountain Creek ............................ Oxford Oxford............................................. Oxford Roberts Chapel...........................Pendleton Iglesia Cristiana Nuevo Amanecer ..................................................... Pfafftown Pfafftown..................................... Pfafftown Iglesia Bautista Misionera Roca Fuerte ...................................................... Pittsboro Mount Gilead............................... Pittsboro Athens Drive...................................Raleigh Crabtree Valley............................ Raleigh First.................................................Raleigh Forest Hills......................................Raleigh Greystone........................................Raleigh Hayes Barton..................................Raleigh Heritage ........................................... Raleigh Iglesia Bautista La Roca................Raleigh Longview.........................................Raleigh Macedonia.......................................Raleigh Millbrook........................................Raleigh New Hope........................................Raleigh Ridge Road.....................................Raleigh Samaria ..........................................Raleigh Shiloh Restoration .........................Raleigh St. John’s ........................................Raleigh Swift Creek................................... Raleigh Tabernacle.......................................Raleigh Temple.............................................Raleigh Triangle...........................................Raleigh Trinity........................................... Raleigh First.........................................Red Springs Calvary........................................ Reidsville First...........................................Reidsville Richfield........................................Richfield First.............................................Richlands Rosemary.........................Roanoke Rapids Bethel.......................................Robbinsville First.......................................... Rockingham Dortches............................... Rocky Mount Lakeside............................... Rocky Mount Rolesville..................................... Rolesville Evergreen..................................... Rose Hill Rose Hill....................................... Rose Hill First..............................................Roseboro First...............................................Rowland Lamberth Memorial.................... Roxboro

Roxboro......................................... Roxboro First.....................................Rutherfordton First................................................Salisbury Ephesus............................................ Sanford First................................................ Sanford Flat Springs................................... Sanford Jonesboro Heights......................... Sanford Primera Iglesia Bautista .............Sanford Double Shoals.................................. Shelby Dover..................................................Shelby First................................................Shelby Poplar Springs...............................Shelby Ross Grove.........................................Shelby Zion.................................................. Shelby Rocky River.................................Siler City Nobles Chapel......................................Sims First.......................................... Smithfield Sharon........................................ Smithfield First.................................... Southern Pines Spencer.......................................... Spindale First........................................ Spring Hope Central........................................Spruce Pine First............................................ Stanfield First.................................... Stantonsburg First.............................................Statesville First............................................. Stoneville Brunswick Islands...........................Supply East Sylva.............................................Sylva First.....................................................Sylva Olyphic.................................... Tabor City First................................................Tarboro Antioch...................................Taylorsville First................................................. Tryon Round Hill................................. Union Mills Cornerstone....................................Valdese First.............................................. Valdese First............................................. Wadesboro Falls...................................... Wake Forest Heritage.................................. Wake Forest Wake Forest........................... Wake Forest Woodland............................... Wake Forest First.............................................. Wallace Warrenton................................. Warrenton First......................................... Washington First....................................... Waynesville First....................................... Weaverville Crossroads Fellowship......................Weldon Baptist Tabernacle........................Wendell

Wendell..........................................Wendell First.................................. West Jefferson Fishing Creek............................Whitakers First.......................................... Whiteville Mount Zion................................ Whiteville New Hope .................................. Whiteville Wilkesboro............................... Wilkesboro First......................................... Wilmington Masonboro.............................. Wilmington Temple..................................... Wilmington Winter Park............................ Wilmington First..................................................Wilson Wingate......................................... Wingate Ardmore.............................Winston-Salem College Park......................Winston-Salem Fellowship..........................Winston-Salem First....................................Winston-Salem Iglesia Cristiana Sin Fronteras ............................................Winston-Salem Knollwood..........................Winston-Salem Mineral Springs.................... Winston-Salem Northwest...........................Winston-Salem Peace Haven.......................Winston-Salem Revo .................................... Winston-Salem United.................................Winston-Salem West Side .........................Winston-Salem Winterville.............................. Winterville Wise..................................................... Wise Maplewood...............................Yadkinville Bethlehem................................ Youngsville Youngsville............................... Youngsville Zebulon..........................................Zebulon

Special Causes: Ball Camp Knoxville, TN: Flood Relief Lumberton First, Danville, VA: Wyatt Ministry Highland UMC, Raleigh: Wyatt Ministry Monument Heights, Richmond, VA: Wyatt Ministry Mount Moriah, Lumberton: Hurricane Matthew Response Walnut Grove, Mechanicsville, VA: Hurricane Matthew Response

The Gathering – July/August 2017 • 5


I have long believed that young adults are the greatest talked about money with his congregations. The conversation untapped group who can move the church forward, both on “giving” focused more on generosity and sharing from the within the church body and beyond our walls. If allowed, they top, rather than giving the leftovers of our assets. can help the church equip itself to be the presence of Christ It helps that Justus has been at the same church for 20+ in a hurting world. However, they are not interested in simply years and throughout that time has stayed engaged with the contributing their money without exploration or just because children and youth as well as the adults, so this theology the church has always done it that way. They are drawn to has permeated the whole congregation. Those first youth and shaped by the “Why” questions of life before they will group members are now deacons, Sunday school teachers, contribute to the “How” responses we often give. and community leaders. Those youth who went on mission The topic of trips are now “giving and the chaperoning and church” was leading mission discussed one events. evening in a class The focus on by Wanda Kidd, CBFNC Collegiate Engagement Coordinator I taught on young giving at Mars adults and the Hill has been on church. Ironically, sharing resources the ten young as a means of doing Some things that have been observed adult students sat facing the older ministry, and part of their ability to about church giving and young adults: students around the classroom do ministry is to open their church A large number of young adults, even those tables. The discussion was rather building for community and college who grew up in church, are not attending heated, particularly from the older needs. Ongoing ministries such as any church on a regular basis, much less students to the younger. After about a meal site for the elderly, meeting contributing to it. twenty minutes, a non-Millennial space for 4-H and scouts, university who was on staff at a large church team meals, sorority and fraternity Churches assume that young adults who do looked across the table and with meetings, and being the launching attend understand the value and purpose of great passion and a pointing finger area for the county’s Christmas giving to the ongoing ministry of the church. said, “I need you to come to my Project are ways in which the church While churches vote on annual budgets, selchurch and help me pay for that uses its building to accomplish this. dom is there an explanation of the theology When people see their building as million dollar building we built for involved in how the budget was created. a place of ministry, then paying for the youth 10 years ago.” The room lights and other mundane supplies fell silent and there it was: the divide Many churches do not have younger voices makes sense. and the disconnect of the church’s involved in shaping and impacting financial Mars Hill is not a rich church. need for people to help them keep decisions of their church. There are no large donors that the doors open and young adult’s dictate the ministry. Most of the desire for their giving to serve Christ contributions are modest amounts and others. Those two things do not For us to show young adults why they given by people who share a vision have to be mutually exclusive, but would grow spiritually by sharing their of being the presence of Christ in there must be a greater effort to talk talents and financial resources, we must: about giving—what it means to our their small community. They do that cast a vision that can be shared by the faith journey and how we can invite through national and international whole church body; people into the process of generosity. missions endeavors, local service, My husband and I recently and providing a place for young help them understand as followers of Christ moved, and we are attending a adults to grow into their faith and why they should give; where the money is new church. One of the things we learn generosity. In so doing, they spent; what are the results of their giving noticed when attending Mars Hill, find that sharing their money is one and what would happen if they did not give; Mars Hill, was that the church does part of their faith journey. not have the financial angst that People give because it was provide a variety of techniques for them to many other churches express. Over modeled for them, and others have give, such as electronically and online; lunch one day we asked the pastor, shown them why it is part of a Tommy Justus, what he thought believer’s spiritual giftedness make space and time for people who value contributed to that reality. He told While this article is primarily and understand the theology of giving to us that about twenty-five years ago focused on young adults, giving is a share their stories. he heard the Christian author and broader issue. It is not just a financial teacher, Leonard Sweet, talk about crisis for the church, it is a spiritual “giving” as a discipline of “giving your first fruits” rather than crisis. It is necessary to dismantle old stewardship ideas of duty a prescribed amount. Tommy said that concept shaped how he and supplant it with a calling to invite, invest and respond.

invite, invest, respond

6 • The Gathering – July/August 2017

The Gathering – July/August 2017 • 7


wouldn’t it be great?! by James R. Smith, President, CBF Foundation

How many times have you heard about someone making a gift of hundreds of thousands of dollars and you’ve thought to yourself, “Wouldn’t it be great to be able to do something like that? What a wonderful feeling that must be.” It does not take a gift of enormous size to experience the joy and the fulfilment of generous giving. Often schools, hospitals, and other institutions have a wall or a series of plaques to express thanks to contributors of many levels of giving. The difference between those who contribute charitable gifts and those who just wish to do so and say, “Wouldn’t that be great?” is often in understanding how a charitable gift can be made, especially through planned gifts and estates. In making planned or estate gifts to your church, it is important to consider what assets to give. A gift can be made by simply writing a check or using a bank card. Cash is easy to give, but not always best from a tax-planning standpoint. Many gifts, however, are made through different avenues. Stocks and bonds may make sense as a tax-planning strategy if the current market value exceeds the initial cost. A tax deduction of the value of the stock is possible if a gift of the stock is made. If stock is liquidated before it is given, the tax advantage may be lost. Real estate assets may include a residence, vacation property, undeveloped land, farm, or commercial property. If it costs to own real estate that is no longer needed, it might be the perfect asset to contribute. The combination of being

relieved of expense and responsibility of ownership plus the tax deduction can make this a good decision. Strategies to retain a life estate or to gift an “undivided interest” in property are often helpful. Gifts of property that have environmental concerns, tax issues, or other liabilities may not be able to be accepted by the church. Tangible personal property includes antiques, art, jewelry, cars, boats, coin collections, valuable musical instruments, and other collectibles. To maximize the charitable deduction, make sure the church can use it for a purpose related to its nonprofit function. For example, a gift of a rare Stradivarius violin may be made to a music school for its appraised value. But if donated to a hospital, the gift is valued at cost basis or potentially lower. This is an interesting category. Through the years, I have helped churches sell coin collections, fine jewelry, lumber inventory, and even a race horse. Some gifts can’t be passed in the offering plate! Another category, life insurance policies, may include a policy no longer needed or a new one purchased for the purpose of making a gift. An entire policy may be given or the church can be named as one of several beneficiaries of a policy. Life insurance that comes into an estate will grow the estate. The opportunity to tithe on life insurance is lost unless there is advance planning. Consider making your church at least 10% beneficiary of life insurance.

Other possible assets include but are not limited to a business, closely held stock, or retirement plan assets. Giving in a responsible way means taking care of self, spouse, and family. The selection of the way you make gifts to your church and take care of self and family is often the key. General ways to give include revocable commitments, irrevocable gift plans, and to provide remainder interest or life estate. A revocable gift allows you to plan today with the ability to change that plan if you have a reason for change tomorrow. Making a revocable gift commitment allows you to say, “I plan to make this gift in the future but I reserve the right to change my mind.” Revocable gifts provide no current income tax deduction. Once a revocable gift becomes irrevocable and passes to the church, there may be some tax benefit. The most popular revocable gift is a bequest in a will. Bequests may be made for a percentage, as a specific amount of the estate, or as a residuary bequest, which is from the remainder of the estate after payment of all expenses. Seek final advice from legal and financial professionals in the state where you live. Gifts given as endowment are invested and the principal is used to produce perpetual income for ministry. You may give more from heaven to your church than you can ever give during your lifetime. Now, that’s great! The Gathering – July/August 2017 • 7


small-small generous church by Gerald Thomas, former pastor of Lamberth Memorial, Roxboro, and Rick Jordan, CBFNC Church Resources Coordinator

For generations, Lamberth Memorial, Roxboro, has expressed compassion through concrete efforts. From helping to build a clinic and training center in Guatemala to Habitat homes in the United States to recovery and rebuilding efforts following storms in the Gulf and the East Coast to giving funding to help those burned-out along with those feeling down-and-out, such care is a constant rhythm of life at Lamberth Memorial. On Sunday, November 13, 2016, Lamberth Memorial received a certificate of appreciation from fellow Christian activists in Liberia. The church gathered to remember that for two years they labored in a crowded intersection of hopeful gladness and threatening hunger. Just following the installation of Dr. Richard Wilson as the sixth president of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary (LBTS), the Ebola disease became widespread in Liberia. Beyond the sadness of the disease itself, Ebola created a humanitarian crisis. The disease made it dangerous to go to the common markets for food. How did a small church in eastern North Carolina become involved with a seminary in Liberia, Africa? Dr. Wilson notes, “The pastor, Gerald Thomas, and I have been partners in ministry since we were at Gardner-Webb College in the mid-1980s. I was teaching at GWC (19821988) when Gerald was a student ....When I became the President of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary in 2013, I invited Gerald to participate in the installation celebrations. As President of LBTS, I needed the support of local Baptists to help raise funds for physical improvements, student scholarships, work/study funding, and more. Gerald and I talked about it and he offered to raise the issue with Lamberth Memorial. With no resistance, we had a partner! The Roxboro church agreed to receive funds for LBTS. 8 • The Gathering – July/August 2017

Doing so required that they send receipts to all donors and then send wire transfers to the seminary as needed.” When Ebola broke out in July 2014, the seminary was put in peril. Dr. Wilson continues, “I was in Liberia at the time and chose to stay until we had in place a way to care for the residents of the LBTS compound. Immediately, Lamberth Memorial joined us. Over the next 20 months, the church collected and distributed more than $70,000 for Ebola relief. In the end, LBTS —with the church’s help— was able to provide a daily meal for Liberia Baptists living in school compounds in seven places, including locales in five Liberian counties.” Persons in Liberia could obtain food and transport enough rice and beans for one meal per day, beginning on the LBTS campus. What was needed was a collection and distribution point in the United States for the funding. Twenty-six churches, businesses, private organizations, and 73 individuals partnered with Lamberth Memorial. Thomas received little notes with many contributions. One woman gave her donation out of her mother’s estate funds. Some lamented not being able to do more. But in Liberia, there is a way of getting things done: small-small. Folks in Liberia received those funds and turned them into rice, beans, oil, and seasoning. All remained faithful and the rhythm of receiving and distributing continued until they finally out-gave and out-worked Ebola. Ultimately, onemeal-per-day for one hundred grew to nearly a thousand in various communities outside the seminary. Compared to churches that are often in the news, Lamberth Memorial is “small-small,” but they are large enough and generous enough to care for brothers and sisters half a world away.


beyond the offering plate by Jim Hylton, CBFNC Business Administration Coordinator

Throughout history, American churches have tried all sorts of ways to raise money, including renting pews and public subscription which highlighted wealth inequality, and lotteries and raffles which were later criticized as gambling. Then, in the early twentieth century, came the practice of passing the plate. This was a great improvement over the previous methods used to raise money, and, in time, became the most powerful fundraising tool used by the church. In recent days, though, collection plates have become less popular. We have been in a technological revolution for some time now, which has resulted in many alternative ways to give. Yet, most churches still use the collection plate as their primary fundraising tool. Why? Because the passing of the plate is still seen by many as an act of worship. That is a good thing. Christians say, “We aren’t just supporting an organization, we are giving to God.” Yet, considering the current environment, can we not give to God by other means? We know that the message of the Church is eternal and that will not change. Yet how we do church must continually change. Since we are in the midst of a technological and communications revolution, we must embrace it or be left behind. The 21st century is driven by technology and information. Let’s look at a few facts about technology and change. First, technology is theologically neutral. It is not a bad thing. Rather than fear technology, we will have to learn to embrace it. Second, change is inevitable. Wise organizations, including the Church, realize that they must continually reinvent themselves. The Church must learn not to fear change. Even cultural changes can be met without compromising our

theology and principles. Change must be met by the Church with a positive message of hope and stability. In speaking with several Church Administrators from CBF churches, I have found that a substantial number of members at many churches are now using bank drafts as their primary giving tool, which is a good thing for churches. As attendance becomes more and more erratic, it ensures that the funds necessary for the church to continue to join God in work and worship will continue to be received on a regular basis. Many older members are using IRA contributions. The church must provide information about this type of giving and encourage its members to give in a manner that can help both them and the church. Additionally, every church needs to offer online giving. While most report that this method of giving represents a smaller percentage of their gifts, younger generations expect and need this option. Many people no longer carry much (if any) cash and an increasing number of folks no longer use checks. Yet, as churches embrace these changing ways to give, the question still needs to be asked, “How do we make giving a worshipful experience?” There is more than one right answer, and passing the plate should be one option. What may be worship to one may not be to another. Much of giving and worship is simply what we are accustomed to, which is constantly changing in this fastpaced society. The primary focus of Christians should always be that these gifts are being offered to God, no matter how we give them. The Gathering – July/August 2017 • 9


cultivating generosity When I accepted the request to write this article, I decided that this topic would benefit from crowdsourcing. I sent the title to more than 30 contacts, asking each one what they would include about churches that cultivate generosity. What you will read is much better because it includes the perspectives of those who cultivate generosity in their church. Consider the following experience from one of my article’s “conspirators”: “When I attended my first business meeting as the new pastor, the church was $50,000 in the red and living off restricted funds. They were funding about 75-80% of the budget. Five years later, we received 99.3% of the budget amount and finished 2016 $125,000 in the black. The generosity principles I learned and applied helped us change course. One of the realities that I accepted was that people don’t have a giving problem. They have a giving-to-the-church problem. So, we made changes that produced a new reality. Last fall, we informed the congregation of the practices of payday lending predators. Three months later, we had $5,000 in an account. Our payday lending ministry has paid off the loans of three single mothers and we are providing them with financial counseling. I am so proud of our generous members and their big hearts.” From crisis through faithful stewardship to generous giving and living, that is how I would describe this church’s experience. And, I believe this is the transformation that most churches can experience if they will act using effective principles of generosity. What else did my contacts contribute to this topic? 10 • The Gathering – July/August 2017

by Ruben Swint, Generosity Guy

Churches that cultivate generosity ... carry on an active conversation about stewardship, generosity, and giving. There is preaching and teaching, articles and story-telling, giving testimonies throughout the year, and communication of ministry that results from faithful and generous giving. People are naturally inclined to help, to console, to care for, to rescue, to befriend, to “be there” for others. So, preaching and teaching generous giving should always include the phrase, “so that in Christ’s name we can ....” create and deepen connections between people, participation in ministry, and engagement with the life of the congregation. Research by the Gallup company shows that engagement of church members leads to higher levels of serving, inviting, and giving. Involved members tend to be informed members and their giving is higher. Relationships are a vital aspect of life, leading to gratitude and to generosity. have pastors who lead the generosity initiative; they make it a priority in the life of the church. The pastors reflect that priority by being personally generous themselves. Their generosity is a compelling witness that brings others with them along the giving path. One of the pastors who responded to me delivers fresh-baked bread to people recovering at home and cookies to families waiting at the hospital. He even keeps spare umbrellas in his car to give to people caught out in the rain. These small acts give weight to his preaching and teaching on generous giving. plan, serve, and give with a clear sense of vision and congregational mission. The members are singing the songs of generosity and ministry in a beautiful harmony from a shared dream. They know who they are, why they do what they do, and that they are better working together than they are apart. trust their ministers, their leaders, and each other. Personal contributions are accurately accounted for and contribution statements are sent out regularly with a note about a significant ministry outcome from the reporting period. Standard accounting statements are prepared and made available to members. Feedback is prompt for what was accomplished by regular giving or with a special offering. People welcome learning that their gifts are making a difference. build a compelling case for generosity: “Generosity is a lifestyle. It should factor into every decision we make, as it did for Jesus. I am convinced we are most like God when we are generous. It brings the best out of us and does more to build bridges of goodwill, understanding, hope, and reconciliation than anything I know. Pastors and other ministers who model this lifestyle will find it natural to talk about the personal and professional benefits of generosity. Their message will be heard by people who know they are sincere and are truly trying to help them, not merely get something from them.” Now it’s your turn. How about crowdsourcing with your congregation? Would it be helpful for you to know the answers to the following questions? How is our congregation generous to our community and the world? What inspires you to be generous in church and/or life? Would you be more generous if you believed you could be? You can contact Ruben Swint at ruben@generosityguy.com, (404) 314-7273.


How does your church cultivate generosity, financially and otherwise, among your congregants? How do your congregants express generosity, financially and otherwise? Don Gordon – Ardmore, Winston-Salem

Our church cultivates generosity by teaching, asking, and leading by example. We teach biblical principles of stewardship, tithing, and sacrificial giving. We have discovered the New Consecration Sunday material is a great resource for annual stewardship campaigns. We also encourage our ministers to give public testimonies about their own tithing/giving. Our people give an unusual amount of their time for missions projects, fundraisers, and trips. Our Finance Committee does not view excess giving to the budget as insurance against future droughts in giving. When giving exceeds the budget, the excess is given to our mission partners after a thorough and prayerful conversation with our leaders. 

David Brooks – Edenton, Edenton

We have had a “Money Matters” emphasis, with sermons focused on stewardship and a commitment card. We’ve also occasionally had a “catch-up” Sunday in the fall. Periodically, I will write an article in the weekly newsletter to update and encourage financial giving, reminding the congregation that our checkbook register says more about our Christian discipleship than just about any other document. Our church is also generous with the special offerings we collect every year for Baptist ministry partners. Folks give most generously to the CBF Offering for Global Missions. We also cultivate generosity of time and service by encouraging congregants to be involved in various ministries and service projects in our church and community.

Andy Jung – First, Albemarle

When faced with an unfavorable trend line related to financial giving to our church, an ad hoc committee was formed to provide recommendations to cultivate generosity and ensure a

strong financial future for the church. The following recommendations were adopted by the church: n Sponsor

a Stanly County Habitat for Humanity house build with a goal to raise $30,000 in dollars and pledges, and to provide at least half of the volunteer days required (257 days). n Implement

a “Plus 1 Stewardship Campaign” to increase giving by 1% with a minimum increase of $10 per week. n Initiate

a capital campaign to start a building endowment fund to assist in maintaining the facilities into perpetuity. n Implement

a congregational education plan that will help develop the spirit of generosity within the membership. n Develop

and implement an action plan to increase membership through evangelism to the unchurched in our community. Increase our church’s marketing in local media, online, and through presentations.

Tom Cabaniss – First, Kannapolis

We cultivate generosity through preaching, telling stories of generosity and/or sacrifice, giving people opportunities to be generous with time, money, etc. We offer Financial Peace University from Dave Ramsey. We tithe our budget to causes/places beyond ourselves so we are showing people that we live what we say. Members share verbal or written testimonies about how God is working in their lives. Many express generosity through time commitments to local ministries and/or mission trips. 

cultivating a deeper devotional life, by serving others, and supporting the work of Christ. These themes are accented in preaching, usually once a quarter, so that all the stewardship work is not left to one or two weeks in the year. Our church is also generous through participation in local, state, and international missions. 

David Hailey – Hayes Barton, Raleigh

We regularly emphasize stewardship, utilizing programs such as New Consecration Sunday. We are still working on how to measure generosity of time and talent. Our people are generous givers to the church through our budget and other special offerings. Many of our people are generous with their time and talents by serving on ministry boards and councils, as well as participating in other helping organizations.

Greg Rogers – Oakmont, Greenville

We cultivate generosity by having an annual stewardship emphasis that ties in ministry outcomes and opportunities with an invitation to give in our worship service, by providing online giving options, and by celebrating in many different settings (classes, worship, Oakmont 101) Oakmont’s heritage of beginning in April 1964 with all 42 charter members committing to tithe as a new community of faith. Our members also share time and talent through community and global opportunities to serve and be the presence of Christ with hands-on work.

Mark Mofield – Temple, Durham

We have used the New Consecration Sunday model to build an understanding of stewardship as a Christian discipline. We use our offertory time during the worship to emphasize the impact of all aspects of our giving (time, talent, treasure) in our church and David Helms – First, Southern Pines our community. Recently, the church We try to teach periodically throughout was recognized by a local homeless the year on some aspect of stewardship.  ministry as the largest supporter of For example, we have used Thrift the organization, not just financially and Generosity by John Templeton but in the amount of food donated and over a 6-8 week time frame. We also volunteer hours. The congregation is ask the church members annually to always asking, “Is there something that commit to support the church by being is needed that I can provide? How can present, by praying for the church, by we help?” The Gathering – July/August 2017 • 11


generous living sacrifically giving

“It’s hard,” states Javier Benitez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Misionera Roca Fuerte and leader coach of the CBFNC Hispanic Network. “At this time in our by Linda Jones, CBFNC Missions Coordinator churches, there is a lot of fear for the future because of immigration issues. In the past, the IRS gave us a number and people have bought houses using that number. If they’re deported, they lose everything. It’s hard to encourage the families to keep faith and have hope. Boys and girls who came to the U.S. when they were children are now teenagers. They have no papers. It affects everything. And yet when I present a need, they give. God has enough mercy for us. You can put your trust and faith in God. God always has enough mercy for each person.” In spite of the hardships, Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel (the CBFNC Hispanic Network), exemplifies sacrificial giving. Together, they have donated $17,000 to buy land in Nicaragua for a new church start, supported a pastor in Costa Rica for two years, and supported three churches in Mexico.

Rev. Daniel Sostaita, pastor of Iglesia Cristiana Sin Fronteras, explains, “I strive

to show the needs of the world and the community. We talk about the duty to give, in which there is more joy in giving than receiving. With very little, we can change the destiny of many lives. It’s a difficult task to work with the immigrant community. We see their low wages, labor instability, and first-generation problems.” Regardless, they have reached out to their community working with Mi Casa, an organization that provides legal aid and other services; Faith Action’s ID program; and the Hispanic League on community projects. They participate in a foodbank on the last Friday of each month, organize four health fairs each year, and work closely with the South Side Clinic. Last year, Sin Fronteras gave away school supplies to 137 families. Once a year for 8 weeks, educational classes are held for parents of high schoolers. The church also organizes a soccer camp for a week in the summer. The whole community is offered clothes, soup, and fruit in October at Neighbors Day and meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Daniel states, “In the midst of difficulties, we grow and give. I am always looking for resources to support all the programs to the community.” With a heart and a calling for the many Hispanics immigrating to the U.S., Pastor Pablo Hernandez and family relocated from Honduras to North Carolina with a Religious Visa sponsored by CBFNC. Pablo is pastor to Primera Iglesia De Sanford and provides leadership to Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel. Through sermons and Bible study, Primera Iglesia dedicates a month or two each year emphasizing the need to give back to the church and community, both financially and with time. This congregation helps those unable to work, laid off, sick, or those with emergency needs for food or money. Their building is shared for funerals with anyone in the community and financial help is given for the funeral expenses. Annually, the community is invited to hear guest speakers teach about nutrition and financial topics. In the summer, the men’s group works on homes of the elderly in the community, both members and non-members. Help is given with immigration status, reference letters of character, and legal fees. At the end of this summer, the church is planning a conference for young adults, led by paralegal church members, which is designed to address confusion over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a two-year renewable immigration work program. I give thanks for these healthy, generous churches that model sacrificial giving for all of us!

12 • The Gathering – July/August 2017


a holistic approach

by Andy Hale, CBF Global Church Starts Initiative

“Goodbye!” stewardship sermons and emphases. The pastor gathered the children around him for the weekly children’s sermon. There I was in my cute little shirt, clip-on tie, khaki pants, and penny loafers (yes, with the penny in its slot). The pastor then said a line that haunts me 30+ years later, “You know, kids, God loves money that folds, not money that jingles.” Were his intentions decent? Yes. Could the message have used a slight tweak? You can bet both pennies in my loafers on that fact. Yet if we are all honest, talking about money in the church is so awkward. Whether they answered “Yes” or “No” when the pastor search committee asked if they will gladly preach on stewardship, every preacher dislikes preaching about money. Nevertheless, the topic makes it to the pulpit at least once a year, typically during a projected budget dip or in December to remind people they can get charitable contribution credit for taxes. But what if I told you that the best thing for pastors and churches to do is to say goodbye to the stewardship sermons and emphases? In fact, what if I told you that preaching on tithing has done a tremendous disservice to the church for many generations?

God cares about money. The reality is that God cares about money. God, however, tends to care about it in a way that we are less likely to focus on. The Bible talks about money more than 2,172 times. Just to give us a little comparison, the Bible talks about believing only 273 times, praying 371 times, and love 714 times. Jesus mentions money in 16 of his 38 parables. 1 out of 7 verses in Matthew, Mark, and Luke are about money. All told, Jesus speaks about money 25% of the time. Is this more fodder for a stewardship sermon? Actually, these passages give us more fodder for a sermon on debt,

greed, lording over the poor, propping up the idol of money, discriminatory laws against the alien and poor, predatory lending, and so on. It appears that God does care about money, but in a holistically different way than we tend to preach on.

Say “Hello!” to a holistic approach to finances. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how much things change, they really do stay the same. Think about the nearly 2,200 passages of scripture on money! It is time for the church to stop its disservice to members by only teaching on tithing when people are facing financial stress, growing debt, consumerism, and unethical business practices. We need to discuss the disconnect between the way of Jesus and the way we use our wallets. It is time to say hello to a holistic approach to finances. We might begin that conversation by discussing how the way that we earn, spend, and invest our money matters; how debt has ramifications on our lives and souls; how business practices and following Jesus can go hand-in-hand; why it matters who is making our products and how inexpensive goods come at a price to others; and how the only response to God’s abounding generosity is generosity to neighbors. It is also way past time for the church to examine how it uses its resources. Maybe spending more on ourselves (buildings, programs, and events) than hands-on-ministry (loving our neighbor as ourselves) matters more than we care to admit. So, let’s throw away stewardship sermons and start a new conversation around a holistic and gospel-centric approach to finances, both for the individual and the church. Andy Hale is a CBF church starter who serves pastor of Mosaic, Clayton. The Gathering – July/August 2017 • 13


CBFNC Financial Report

CBFNC Honorary and Memorial Gifts

April 2017 Contributions Undesignated: $114,562 Designated: $213,281

Annual Gathering offering for Collegiate Ministry Fund in memory of Cindy Vestal Glenn and Cathy Baldwin; Grace Bullard; Linden and Alice Burch; Mary Byrd; Andrew Corley; Patricia Dunn; Johnnie Evans; Pat and Tommy Hardin; Susan Harrington; Barbara Huggins; Bill and Jane Kibler; Bob and Rhea Lamb; Jeff Mathis; Tim Moore and Magay Shepherd; Dana Sit; Stephen and Sandra Smith; Amanda Gail Smith; Mary Lois and Charles Strickland; Carey Washburn; Joyce Wyatt

May 2017 Contributions Undesignated: $89,964 Designated: $160,634 April 2017 - March 2018 Monthly Undesignated Goal: $110,269

Collegiate Ministry Fund in memory of Kay Huggins Barbara Huggins, Raleigh

Thoughts from across our state ... cbfnc.wordpress.com. To contribute, e-mail smitchell@cbfnc.org.

Collegiate Ministry Fund in memory of Jim Wayne Anne and John Burdette, Jr., Advance Deana and Clayton Patteson, Julian Nancy Wingenbach, Chagrin Falls, OH Michael and Evelyn Fink, Oviedo, FL Lonnie and Jacqueline Baxley, Greensboro Hillsdale Church, Advance Chipley High School Class of 1961, Chipley, FL Mark Elliott, Englewood, CO

Ministers on the Move Our encouragement and support go to the following ministers who have recently moved: Taylor Smith Crumley to Flat Springs, Sanford, as Associate Pastor: Family Ministry Carin Daniels to Woodland, Wake Forest, as Children’s Minister Rebekah Gordon to Trinity, Raleigh, as Student Ministry Associate Megan Gant to Jersey, Lexington, as Family Minister Leah Harlow to Wake Forest, Wake Forest, as Minister of Youth & Missions Lauren McCollister to First, Clinton, as Minister of Music Robbie Stephens to Churchland, Lexington, as Pastor When you make a move or know of someone who has changed places of ministry, let us know by e-mailing us at cbfnc@cbfnc.org. For assistance to search committees and ministers seeking vocational discernment, visit our reference and referral page on our website at www.cbfnc.org or call (336) 759-3456 or (888) 822-1944. 14 • The Gathering – July/August 2017

Donate to CBFNC today! www.cbfnc.org/give

Coordinators’ Visits April - May 2017 Earlys, Ahoskie First, Asheville First, Elizabeth City First, Hickory First, Spring Hope First, Tryon First, Wilson Yates, Durham CBFNC ministry coordinators are available to visit your church to speak, preach, teach, consult, lead, and minister. Contact the CBFNC office for more information.


parenting

a college freshman by Wanda Kidd, CBFNC Collegiate Engagment Coordinator

Having sent a son and daughter off to college and as a campus minister who has received many other people’s children, there are a few parenting tips I would like to share with you. I am aware that our culture says that our role as parent is to make sure that our children are safe and happy, so many of these ideas will be challenging to hear and harder yet to enact. However, regardless of our hyper-vigilant parenting ideals, it is important to remember that parenting young adults is very different from parenting children or even adolescents. Parenting young adults requires a shift in the relationship between parent and child. As challenging as it is, there must be a belief and trust that you have done enough to allow them to thrive on their own. You need to trust your daughters and sons to utilize the vast resources you have invested in them. In addition, as Christians, we have the power to lean into our faith in Christ because we have graciously been entrusted with the rearing of these children of God. So throughout the summer, while purchasing all of the gadgets for residence hall living and taking that last great family vacation, here are some discussion starters, things to pray about, and actions to take before you actually leave for campus:

Give them permission to: Make new friends and have challenging experiences;

n Agree

n

n Send

n  Seek

n Have

n Go

to talk on the phone only once a day for the first month. They need time and space to find their place on campus and in their new community. care packages, notes, and letters, and sign them up for the church newsletter. a frank conversation about money with a budget for disposable income. Except for emergencies, stick to the amount of money you agreed on.

n Teach

them basic life skills such as how to do laundry and simple food prep.

n Talk

about the necessity and the value of going to class and turning in assignments in a timely fashion. They do not get a second chance for a first semester.

n Give

them permission to explore their new world — with opportunities to fail as well as succeed — and provide a soft place to land if absolutely needed.

n Without

projecting your own fears or failures, have a conversation with your son or daughter about the things you wish you had done differently as a freshman.

n A  sk

your pastor or youth minister to have a class(es) with pending students about what to look for in healthy relationships and how to practice conflict resolution.

n  Go

to the mental health center if they need to talk to someone about issues that are troubling them; help through student support services if they have learning concerns; to a variety of churches and claim their own faith journey;

n  Speak

directly to their professors about questions they have before it becomes a crisis; and

n Tell

you if they need your help, with your promise not intrude into their life unnecessarily.

Taking your college student to campus this August will be an exercise in faith and grace. Just ask the manager of the local steakhouse where we stopped for lunch after dropping off our son at UNC. His innocent question, “Is it just the two of you?” triggered a sobbing, “Yes it is,” from me. As embarrassing as it was, I did not tell my son the story for years. It was important not to burden him with my grief. While university staff will give you advice and help you understand how the collegiate system works, what will sustain you in the days that follow will be prayer, a community of faith, and a new relationship with an amazing young adult. The Gathering – July/August 2017 • 15


Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina Bringing Baptists of North Carolina Together for Christ-Centered Ministry 2640 Reynolda Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106

888-822-1944 www.cbfnc.org

NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID WINSTON-SALEM PERMIT NO. 162

Return Service Requested

Upcoming Events Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel events contact Linda Jones, ljones@cbfnc.org, for more information July 21-23, 2017 Women’s Camp at Ridgecrest August 4-6, 2017 Youth Camp at Camp Dixie September 22-23, 2017 Mens Camp September 30, 2017 Training for Youth October 14, 2017 Pastor’s retreat at Caraway

Preparing for College Meet and Greets July 9, 2017: CBFNC Campus House, Asheville July 10, 2017: First on Fifth, Winston-Salem July 11, 2017: Forest Hills, Raleigh Selah Vie Collegiate Retreat August 2-5, 2017 Nashville, TN Youth Beach Retreat September 15-17, 2017 Caswell Deacon Training Workshop September 23, 2017: The Memorial, Greenville September 30, 2017: Trinity, Raleigh Children’s Mission Days October 28, 2017 - First, Boone November 4, 2017 - Oakmont, Greenville November 11, 2017 - Zebulon, Zebulon 2018 CBFNC Annual Gathering March 15-17, 2018 Knollwood, Winston-Salem

CBFNC has a new home! Be sure to update the contact information for our office: 2640 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106. Our phone number remains the same: (336) 759-3456.

CBFNC July/August 2017  
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