Our churches are moving into the season when we are planning for the coming year through our budgeting process. Budgets are documents that reveal our priorities. Budgets are about allocating resources in the direction that God is calling us and reveal what we consider important. They are not just about money; they show us where our “treasure is.” We at the Region give thought to what is important to the 270 churches in our Region as we begin the budgeting process for the coming year.
In the present year local congregations have been at the center of our “treasure.” The Region continues to:
Support and resource church leadership as they seek new pastoral leadership
Provide guidance to congregations as they navigate their way through transitions with buildings and programming
Provide and promote mission opportunities for New York Baptists beyond their local community
Visit in churches to learn about their congregational lives so that Region staff can better serve them
Support pastors who are struggling with their calling or personal issues
Walk with churches as they seek to manage and resolve conflicts
Communicate with our churches making them aware of opportunities for ministry and training and informing them about what their sister churches are doing
These direct ministries to local congregations consume the major part of our budget.
The Region is the trustee for 70 separate church endowment funds and manages those funds on behalf of the churches that those funds benefit.
We also manage other Regional funds that provide funding and opportunities for our congregations. This is another way that we invest in local churches.
Each year the Regional Board of Mission looks at our budget for the coming year. If an item is not enhancing the life of our congregations or in some way insuring their future and health, you likely will not find it in our “treasure list.” As you plan your church budget for next year, please consider making Regional ministries one of the “treasures” that are reflected in your budget. If you wish to contribute to the Region through your regular American Baptist Mission Support (in addition to your gifts to United Mission), you can find a sample below.
I am always interested to hear from churches about ways that we can better partner with them in broadening their ministries and enhancing their congregational life. Please reach out to me if you are aware of ways that we can better invest in our churches, our “Regional treasures.”
Thank you and God bless you,
Jim Kelsey Executive Minister
Below are two resources that will help your church understand American Baptist mission giving: