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Colo. Baptists hear new vision, increase CP

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP) — Increasing the convention’s number of credentialed churches by 38 percent and receiving a new vision for accelerating Gospel impact in Colorado were among highlights of the Colorado Baptist General Convention’s Oct. 15-16 annual meeting.

Colorado Baptists also increased for the second year in a row the percentage of Cooperative Program receipts they will forward to Southern Baptist Convention causes.

Some 203 messengers from 92 churches gathered at First Baptist Church of Black Forest in Colorado Springs, Colo., around the theme “A New Thing.”

CBGC executive director Nathan Lorick, who assumed his leadership role with Colorado Baptists last year, presented a new vision of “inviting Colorado churches into a next-step journey to accelerate Gospel impact.” The vision includes a partnership with the church consulting ministry Auxano, including access for every Colorado church to Auxano’s vision-framing services. Auxano was founded by author and ministry coach Will Mancini.

Among “paradigm shifts” to come, Lorick told messengers, the CBGC is transitioning from a “program-driven convention to a process-driven convention.”

“It’s an exciting day to be a Colorado Baptist,” Lorick said, “and we are fully engaging our churches in their pursuit of the Great Commission through our new process-driven strategy of helping churches find their next step of Gospel impact in their cities and communities.”

On the annual meeting’s opening day, the convention voted to receive 89 newly credentialed churches, increasing to 325 the total number of congregations credentialed to send messengers — a 38 percent jump. Previously, those 89 churches had been regarded as “affiliated” with the CBGC but had never completed the required process to be credentialed fully.

The nearly $2.1 million CP budget adopted by messengers was the first state CP budget since 2010 to anticipate more than $2 million in giving from Colorado churches.

An overall budget of $3,444,474 for 2019 marks a 4 percent increase from 2018 and includes $2,069,474 in anticipated CP receipts from churches, $1,315,000 from the North American Mission Board and $60,000 from LifeWay Christian Resources.

The Colorado convention will forward 33.15 percent of CP receipts to SBC missions and ministries, an increase of .22 percentage points from this year. The budget does not include any shared ministry expenses with the SBC.

The slate of officers reelected included: president, Calvin Wittman, pastor of Applewood Baptist Church in Wheat Ridge, Colo.; first vice president, James Moreland, pastor of Denver Christian Bible Church in Denver; second vice president Rolland Kenneson, pastor of Rosemont Baptist Church in Montrose, Colo.; and recording secretary, Jan Loser, a CBGC ministry assistant.

“It is a new day in Colorado,” Wittman said. “God has given us a visionary for our executive director who is leading us to see what God’s doing in new ways and new directions.”

Wittman noted an increase in Colorado church planting and a need for more church planters in 2019.

Internationally, the CBGC created a partnership with the International Mission Board to help Colorado churches share the Gospel in Portugal.

Among the meeting’s speakers were SBC President J.D. Greear, NAMB President Kevin Ezell, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention executive director Jim Richards and Baptist Convention of Maryland-Delaware executive director Kevin Smith.

The 2019 annual meeting is set for Oct. 14-15 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Grand Junction, Colo.