2021-2022 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Budget
(for fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021)
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a Christian network comprised of individuals and churches that join together to spread the hope of Christ. Our community includes partners around the world and our Fellowship supports a wide range of missions and ministries that invite collaboration and help us equip one another other as we seek God’s transformation.
We are a community of nearly 1,400 congregations, 19 state and regional organizations, personnel serving in 20 countries and regions, Together for Hope staff serving our nation’s poorest counties, more than 800 endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors, impactful partner ministries and supportive ministry networks that exist to offer a shared witness to Jesus Christ and seek to more faithfully participate in God’s mission in our communities and around the world.
CBF Global exists both to provide direct ministries, and also to support the thriving of the entire CBF community. Our budget for the fiscal year that will begin October 1 provides funding for collaborative ministries that we share across the larger Fellowship community.
The Governing Board of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship adopted on August 11 a balanced budget for the 2022 fiscal year. Through the first nine months of the 2021 fiscal year, revenue was holding to what was expected and formed the basis of the new budget, which is essentially a flat budget.
In adopting this budget, the Governing Board continued paving the way for the Fellowship to live into the transition brought about by the 2021 reorganization as we continue to implement the findings of Toward Bold Faithfulness. That restructure, though difficult, led to both a renewed sense of clarity and urgency of our calling.
After the previous budget was adopted by the Governing Board in October 2021, budget line items that did not affect the bottom line were reclassified and shifted to better represent expenses.
In this report, we will share more details regarding the new CBF Global proposed budget.
The proposed budget for CBF Global anticipates total revenue between October 1, 2021, and September 30, 2022, of $14,595,606. That revenue will come in several undesignated and designated forms:
- Unrestricted contributions to CBF Ministries and Mission from congregations and individuals
- Gifts to the Offering for Global Missions from congregations and individuals
- Designated gifts to field personnel for programming use from Encourager Churches, partners and individuals
- Designated income from grants and other pledged donor gifts
- Designated Disaster Response contributions
- Funds held from grants and gifts received in previous fiscal years for ministry plans spanning several years
We also receive income from investments (for which we budget) because of scheduled earnings. We do not make any budget projections related to other gains/losses in investments held at HighGround Advisors in partnership with the CBF Foundation.
Our revenue projections for unrestricted contributions, gifts to the Offering for Global Missions and designated gifts to field personnel programming are based on actual revenue received during the fiscal year just completed.
On Budgeted Expenditures
Like the 2021 fiscal year budget that preceded it, the expenditures proposed in this budget are closely aligned with the findings of the discovery phase of Toward Bold Faithfulness. In the discovery phase, we heard from more than 5,000 Cooperative Baptists from every CBF state and region, representing 762 congregations, about what they considered the greatest gifts and most urgent needs of their churches, communities and our Fellowship.
While budgeted travel and in-person events were curtailed for much of 2020 and through the early part of 2021, this budget restores funding for staff travel and in-person events. Those expenditures are spread across the full budget and do not appear in a single travel or events line-item.
Budgeted expenditures for 2022 also include a one percent across the board pay increase for CBF staff and field personnel. The proposed budget also includes funding for a likely increase in the cost of health insurance for staff and field personnel.
Strengthening Commitments to Global Missions and Together for Hope
The discovery phase revealed that Global Missions and Together for Hope, with their inter-related commitments to long-term presence, cultivating beloved community, bearing witness to Jesus Christ and seeking transformational development, are among the most powerful gifts in the Fellowship, and that our congregations are missional and have a desire to address the urgent needs of our communities.
The budget includes…
- Support for gifted field personnel who serve in the United States and 19 other countries and regions around the world.
- Funding for searches already underway for field appointments for Global Service Corps and career field personnel positions.
- Expansion of Together for Hope, CBF’s rural development coalition, in contexts of persistent rural poverty in the United States funded partly through restricted gifts.
Continued Growth for the Young Baptist Ecosystem
Resourcing and networking young Baptists for the Christian journey is at the heart of CBF’s Young Baptist ecosystem.
This budget includes…
- Ongoing support for the CBF Fellows program, which invites ministers in their first call into a two-year cohort for shared learning, support and growth.
- Support for experiences, ministries, programs, connections and local church support, such as in-person Selah Vie and our Seminarian retreats, as well as church internships through Student.Church and collegiate missions through Student.Go.
- Scholarships for theological education, as we continue to seek new and transformative relationships between CBF, theological schools and congregations.
Aspiration for Growth | Intentional Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
CBF desires to grow and to be more diverse to offer a truly compelling witness to Christ.
This budget includes…
- A deepened investment in CBF’s Outreach and Growth ministry, including support for our commitment to racial and ethnic diversity as one foundation for a larger strategy for growth.
- Support for resources to help equip people and churches to begin the racial justice journey and research across the Fellowship and in Black churches to help inform the work.
Providing Leadership in Advocacy & Public Witness
CBF Advocacy is rooted in the same spirit and call that motivates our mission endeavors: to demonstrate the love of Christ by loving our most neglected and marginalized neighbors. CBF Global not only offers leadership in advocacy and public witness but we also collaborate with CBF state and regional organizations, field personnel, partners and other faith groups. From our beginnings, CBF’s advocacy efforts have grown from the ministries of our congregations and the ministries of our field personnel and Together for Hope practitioners.
Convening & Collaborative Ministries for Congregations & Communities
CBF Global exists not only to provide direct ministries but also to encourage the thriving of the entire CBF community. Therefore, a series of our ministries are intentionally collaborative. We take seriously our responsibility to foster collaboration with and among CBF state and regional organizations and partners in a shared strategy of serving Cooperative Baptists and their congregations.
This budget includes ...
- Expansion of resources for a process of church renewal called CBF Dawnings that helps transform how churches view their ministry and mission efforts. Budgeted funds this year focus on the process by which that expansion will be completed and new resources will be launched.
- Support for chaplaincy and pastoral counseling ministries that provide comfort for individuals and families facing illness and grief.
- Grant support from Lilly Endowment for Thriving in Ministry, Thriving Congregations and Ministerial Excellence initiatives to support churches, communities and their leaders.
- Ongoing support for the encouragement, accountability, continuing education and friendship that helps keep pastors healthy through more than 100 peer learning groups.
This budget supports the innovative work of cultivating CBF identity through advancement and communications. Included are funds for Fellowship Gatherings, including General Assembly and other CBF Global events, such as ChurchWorks, planning for a Leading Women Conference in the fall of 2022, Reimaging Evangelism, Advocacy in Action and Selah Vie. These events are central to our shared life and identity. In addition to funded strategies of marketing and communications, the budget supports a reorganized approach to fund development and includes a close partnership with the CBF Foundation.
While the 2022 CBF budget was essentially flat compared to the 2021 fiscal year budget, its contents showcase areas of shifting emphases.
Areas where we are substantially changing or reducing previous work include most notably:
The work once called Reference and Referral has been renamed Ministerial Transitions. This proposed budget includes funding for the development of new resources for congregations and candidates, and also a CBF Global staff position to convene and coordinate this collaborative ministry. Recognizing the vital role CBF state and regional organizations play in helping to support congregations and their leaders, CBF Global is collaborating with CBF states and regions and other ministry partners to implement a new approach to the ministry of serving congregations and ministers in times of transition. That plan places states and regions with some primary responsibilities and with CBF Global in a convening role.
While CBF Global will honor commitments made to all commissioned church starters currently in covenant with our Fellowship, we have paused commissioning new church starters until we can engage in a strategic conversation about the most compelling and collaborative way for CBF to carry out starting congregations as part of a larger commitment to evangelism, discipleship and growth in our Fellowship. The church starting work among field personnel units around the world will continue uninterrupted.
This budget shows reduced expenses related to Fellowship Southwest, a collaborative network of churches partnering with CBF Oklahoma, CBF Texas and CBF West and many other organizations. In a new partnership arrangement, Fellowship Southwest has become financially independent, while CBF Global provides certain back-office services.