Your Coordinating Council has been busy these past six months (August-February) working with your departments, agencies and committees. I am thankful for the sweet spirit of cooperation that exists among the members of your council and the fact that every member was faithful to attend the meetings this year.
This associational year, the Coordinating Council has diligently tried to fulfill the mandate given us by the Statement of Principles of Cooperation. We have reviewed the specific mission of each department or agency in an effort to ensure harmony between the departments or agencies, comprehensiveness in their mission and to avoid duplications in ministry. We have also evaluated the annual budgets and fundraising activities of each department or agency. Additionally, we agree that there is no need for any additional departments or agencies at this time. We do believe, however, that there needs to be a structural change that is reflected in Recommendation #1 below to dissolve the Committee on Arrangements and transfer their responsibilities to the Committee on Production of the National Meeting.
As announced during the 2021 annual session of the BMA of America, this associational year the Coordinating Council has undertaken a complete evaluation of the Statement of Principles of Cooperation that guides the proceedings of the national meeting as well as the functioning of the departments and agencies of the BMA of America. The reason for such a massive undertaking at this time is to:
• Remove or correct names that are no longer being used. For example, DiscipleGuide, Baptist Music Fellowship and the Department of Church Resources no longer exist as departments of the BMAA, Lifeword Broadcast Ministries has been known as Lifeword Media Ministries for several years and the name of the Global Ministry Center in Conway was changed several years ago to the Global Missions Center.
• Stipulate additional qualifications for the officers and directors who serve this great association of churches.
• Present a uniform list of responsibilities among all the trustee boards of our departments and agencies.
• Make what we consider to be needed additions to the Statement of Principles of Cooperation that are described in Recommendations 2-5 below.
• To comply with the will of the association to evaluate the national meeting as reflected in Recommendations 2, 6 and 7 below.
A copy of the Statements of Principles of Cooperation with the proposed changes is printed below.
We also gave our best effort to examine the structure of our national meeting in accordance with the commission given us by the churches during the 2021 BMA of America meeting held in Waxahachie, Texas. The motion presented and approved at that meeting was:
“That the Coordinating Council, in consultation with the Arrangements Committee, Enrollment and Finance Committee and the director of Conference Ministries, determine a more efficient and effective way to plan and conduct the annual meetings of the Baptist Missionary Association and present recommendations to that effect at the association’s 2022 annual meeting.”
Taking this commission seriously, the Coordinating Council met in person, by Zoom and corresponded by telephone and email with the Committee on Arrangements, Enrollment and Finance Committee, the director of Conference Ministries, the BMA Production Team, the BMA Service Team and the directors of the departments and agencies. There was a wonderful spirit of cooperation among these brethren as they worked tirelessly on your behalf.
The Coordinating Council also met with the directors of our departments and agencies in Conway on Oct. 26, 2021 and March 2, 2022. These meetings are always an uplifting experience as we hear firsthand how God is moving among the departments and agencies of our associated work. I can earnestly say that it is a privilege to be co-laborers with such a fine group of God’s servants.
The members of the Coordinating Council (listed below) ask that you carefully and prayerfully consider the following recommendations and proposed amendments to the Statement of Principles of Cooperation.
Dr. Clif Johnson, President of the BMA of America; Charles Johnson, First Vice-President of the BMA of America; Dr. Philip Attebery, Coordinating Council Member at Large; Richard Smith, Coordinating Council Member at Large; Mike McEuen, Coordinating Council Member at Large; and Jeff Swart, Immediate Past President of the BMA of America & Chairman of the BMAA Coordinating Council.