News Articles

Georgetown College president to head NAIA governing body

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (BP)–William H. Crouch Jr., president of Georgetown College, has been named chair of the Council of Presidents of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, effective Jan. 1. His term is for one year.
Crouch’s new position with the NAIA was confirmed at the organization’s annual convention, held in Kansas City, Mo., in October.
The Council of Presidents, the governing body of the NAIA, is composed of 32 college and university presidents and four ex-officio members. Crouch has been a member of the council since 1995. The NAIA has 347 member institutions in 44 states.
He has served as president of Georgetown College since 1991. The college has won a national football championship and been a national runner-up in basketball during his tenure. He was a prime mover in the creation of the new Mid-South Athletic Conference, serving as its first chair.
Crouch also was instrumental in the construction of a $15 million state-of-the-art athletic complex at Georgetown College and in attracting the National Football League’s Cincinnati Bengals to conduct its summer training camp at the facility. He was named 1997 Citizen of the Year by the Georgetown/Scott County Chamber of Commerce and recently was named to the Lexington Area Sports Authority, which has a mission of building a new downtown stadium to attract a minor-league baseball team.
Crouch has had a lifelong interest in athletics. He was a five-sport letterman at Mt. Tabor High School in North Carolina and played basketball for two years at Wingate College before transferring to Wake Forest University. He now pursues athletics through running, weight lifting and golf.

11/3/97 Pastor says church’s finances grew from its focus on Jesus

By Ken Walker
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (BP)–After seeing his church’s weekly budget rise nearly fivefold since 1989, Brad Johnson believes the answer to increased giving comes from emphasizing Jesus.
Johnson, pastor of Living Hope Baptist Church, Bowling Green, Ky., said churches struggling financially shouldn’t focus on money, in a workshop on developing financial stewards without offending people at a “Church Health Summit” sponsored by the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s church growth division Oct. 10-11 at First Baptist Church, Bowling Green.
“Too often we only talk about money,” Johnson said. “Talking about money only speaks to people’s minds. It won’t touch their hearts.
“Once you have people’s hearts, it’s a short step to their pocketbooks. We never talk about money without talking about our love for Christ.”
While many churches think higher funding would solve all their problems, Johnson said that may not be the case. If a congregation isn’t already missions- minded, more income won’t transform it, he said.
At Living Hope, Johnson said, the spotlight is put on the Lord’s work by inviting members to give testimonies of how God changed their lives or provided for their needs. That reinforces the idea that giving supports ministry, he said.
Meanwhile, Johnson noted, visitors want to know churches care more about them than their money. Despite some initial objections, the pastor began telling newcomers several years ago they weren’t expected to give when the offering plate is passed.
Those who do give need to know how their donations are spent, Johnson also stated.
“Help people understand the end point of their dollars,” he said, even if staff members are uncomfortable with everyone knowing such information as their salaries
“Help people see it’s not about money. Our budget team is called the ministry planning team. It’s not about dollars, it’s about discipleship,” Johnson said.
Nor should pastors be fearful of preaching about stewardship, Johnson said, noting he does a series at the start of each budget year.
Some of his other tips:
— Leaders need to give generously or the people won’t follow. While they must be careful to avoid “bragging,” Johnson said people need to know God meets the needs of tithers.
— Be discerning in the level of support given to various offerings. Leaders can’t put the same emphasis on every appeal or people will stop listening, he said.
— Be willing to bend. If someone wants to start a new ministry in the middle of the year, see if funds can be shifted from other departments.
— When facing difficult spending decisions, fast and pray.