The Executive Committee had previously made these reports available to Executive Committee members and state Baptist paper editors in a printed format. Now these reports are being made available to the general public online in a digital format.
"This new platform gives every Southern Baptist an opportunity to see firsthand the good work our SBC entities are doing," Ashley Clayton, vice president for Cooperative Program and stewardship, said. "It brings to life ministry reports that the Executive Committee was already compiling as part of its own ministry assignment."
The Executive Committee, under the leadership of Frank S. Page, has emphasized the importance of the Cooperative Program as the best way to fuel and support what God is doing at home and around the world through Southern Baptists.
"This change in format for annual ministry reports, providing public access with up-to-date reporting, is consistent with Dr. Page's efforts over the past three-and-a-half years to elevate and champion all SBC missions and ministries," Clayton said, "as well as to promote long-held SBC values of missions, church planting, evangelism, church strengthening and revitalization, theological education, collegiate ministry, disaster relief, and moral advocacy, along with many other important ministries provided by our state conventions."
Rather than having to hunt through multiple sources to find information, Southern Baptists can find ministry updates in one convenient spot, Clayton said. Reports are available from the SBC entities which receive Cooperative Program funds: International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, six SBC theological seminaries, and Council of Seminary Presidents. GuideStone Financial Resources does not receive Cooperative Program dollars, but also submits annual reports.
The 2014 Ministry Reports are compilations of SBC entity responses to questions and other related reports, presented in separate categories. Each category can be viewed by clicking its respective tab in the online interface: President's Letter, Ministry Inquiries, Ministry Goals and Accomplishments, and Financial Management. Each seminary report also includes a Seminary Formula and ATS Report. The online format allows for the addition of visual elements like graphics, videos and color.
In addition to the written component of the reports, entity presidents are given the opportunity to share their own heart for ministry through a President's Letter video message. These President's Letter videos "allow the stories of the great things God is doing through our entities to be told in a fresh way, and from a personal perspective," Clayton said. "They allow Southern Baptists to get face-to-face with our leaders, see their passion, and put a face to a name."
The flexibility of the online format also allows for additional up-to-date information to be added through a mid-year update section. This update will be available in July.
The current 2014 Ministry Reports are available at www.sbc.net/cp/ministryreports.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of SBC Life. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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