DENVER (BP) — The Colorado Baptist General Convention focused on unreached people groups, church planting and a desire to move toward a 50/50 split of Cooperative Program receipts during its 56th annual meeting in Denver.
With the theme “Engage: North America, the Ends of the Earth, Colorado,” 176 messengers from 81 Colorado Baptist churches gathered at Riverside Baptist Church Oct. 18-19.
Messengers approved a 2012 budget of $3,620,832, which includes $1,957,538 in anticipated Cooperative Program giving from Colorado churches, $1,574,424 from the North American Mission Board and $60,000 from LifeWay Christian Resources. This reflects a 3.3 percent budget cut from the previous year.
In other business, messengers:
— approved an increase in the percentage of contributions forwarded for national and international missions and ministries from 29.75 percent to 30 percent.
— approved a task force report and recommendations regarding the convention’s vision statement, core values and 2020 vision. The task force recommended that the convention staff focus their work in five ways: prayer, disciple making, support, leader development and strategic networking.
“This mid-course directional change moves us to a convention with a more contemporary networking type of convention,” task force chairman Bob Bender said. “It moves the ministry emphasis from the convention office to the local churches and associations. It streamlines staff and expenses to release more funds for church planting and ministry, resulting in greater stewardship of monies. It focuses statewide efforts on doing fewer things better. It re-emphasizes the priority of prayer in achieving our vision.”
— approved the affiliation of Genesis Church in Castle Rock and Baptist Chapel in Cortez.
— approved a new partnership with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
Anthony Jordan, executive director of the Oklahoma convention, spoke about the partnerships already forming between Oklahoma and Colorado churches and the desire of Oklahoma Baptists to assist Colorado Baptists in planting churches and spreading the Gospel.
“It is our desire to walk beside you, bring extra strength along the way, form some partnerships church to church and association to association, and then we as a convention, to help you,” Jordan said.
“In the end, our desire is that when Oklahoma walks away at some point in time, that we will do so having encouraged you as the leaders here in Colorado. We will come alongside you and help you to plant more churches so that when we leave there will be more churches here than there were when we started and the work of Baptists in this great state will have been strengthened and that Baptists will continue to be a dominant force in reaching this wonderful state with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Jordan encouraged Colorado Baptists to reciprocate the partnership by going to Oklahoma to work with churches and associations there.
— passed resolutions expressing appreciation to pastor Jim Shaddix and Riverside Baptist Church in Denver for hosting the annual meeting; appreciation to Sean Cole for his two years of service as Colorado Baptists’ president; appreciation to Mark Edlund for 10 years of service as Colorado Baptists executive director; affirmation of the Ponderosa Retreat & Conference Center as a frontline for evangelism and ministry to children, youth, adults, pastors and churches; affirmation of the role of local associations; a commitment to work together in assisting local churches in saturating Colorado with the Gospel.
Tree Cooper, pastor of Alpine Chapel in Telluride, was elected president of the convention; William Isaacson, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Gunnison, was elected first vice president; and Rolland Kenneson, pastor of Summit Baptist Church in Wiggins, was elected second vice president.
Sean Cole, the convention’s outgoing president and pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Sterling, delivered the annual sermon. Guest speakers included Vance Pitman, pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas, and Tony Merida, pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C., and associate professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 16-17 at Vista Grande Baptist Church in Colorado Springs.
Compiled by the staff of the Rocky Mountain Baptist, newsjournal of the Colorado Baptist General Convention.