Thursday, December 29, 2011

An Over Simple Explanation of the Job Losses Among Baptist Collegiate Ministers

Since I posted the comment that, I find it ironic in this time of Baptist leaders lamenting the loss of the 20 something generation to the church that the most significant cuts in college ministry positions seems to be happening now, some have asked for an explanation.

At the Southern Baptist Convention summer before last there was a vote to re-direct $50 million dollars that went thru the North American Mission Board back to the different State Conventions and this money would be used primarily to plant new churches. The money that comes to the Arkansas Baptist Convention is a very small percentage of the over-all operating budget. But, for the non-deep south states the money that come from NAMB represents often the majority of that state convention's budget. In some of these states as they have received these cuts they have had to let people go and many of them have been college ministers.

There are also college ministers direct salaried by NAMB and many of their salaries are being terminated at the end of this month. These people serve in non-deep south states. There is the feeling among some Baptist leadership that it would be more effective to start a church on these campuses rather than have a traditional college ministry model (that means like BSU/BCM).

Some would prefer that we do church plants on southern campuses where there is an active BCM and local churches reaching out to students. Many in campus ministry positions (and me) feel that in many situations campus administrations will not be nearly as willing to work with a campus church as they are a traditional BCM like campus ministry.

The bottom line in all of this is some of our best and most effective campus ministers serving on large nationally strategic campuses no longer have a salary and with no stated plans to replace them with anything else.

One deep south BCM campus minister with a very large ministry has been told there will soon be a NAMB funded church start on his campus. Even if you favor the campus church plant approach over BCM type ministry, you would assume these campus church plants would first be placed on campuses where there is no active ministry at this time.

Any additional thoughts, clarification and disagreement is welcome.

1 comment:

  1. My initial thought is that not only will this harm the local colleges it will also harm the local churches. I can think of a least a half dozen students that stayed around after graduation and worked for local churches. Just my thought.