DALLAS- GuideStone®, Lifeway Research and Baptist state conventions have again teamed up for the SBC Church Compensation Survey. Normally a biennial survey, the 2020 survey was canceled due to the pandemic; it was last conducted in 2018. To see the results from the 2018 study, you may click here
Pastors and church employees are invited to participate in the brief survey, a resource used by churches of all sizes to determine applicable wages and benefits. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete at GuideStone.org/CompensationSurvey. The survey starts on April 1 and goes until the end of June.
The survey’s results will be available in August, in time for many churches considering their 2023 budgets. The survey is the largest free church compensation study available in the United States.
“We honor the Lord and strengthen the church when we give proper financial support to those who serve,” GuideStone President Hance Dilbeck said. “GuideStone is committed to advocate for pastors and local church employees. We pray this compensation survey will challenge each of our churches to provide appropriate compensation and to do so by following best practices.”
Individual survey results can be contributed anonymously: Survey results are not reported individually. Lifeway Research will compile the results once the survey closes on June 30. Survey respondents will receive advance notice of the survey’s availability.
Respondents should have the church’s average weekly attendance, church membership and 2022 annual budget. Additional information needed to complete the survey is respondents’ annual salary, annual contributions to a retirement plan and annual church-paid insurance premiums, annual housing allowance, Social Security offset and the rental value and utilities for church-provided housing.
Southern Baptist church ministers and staff have until June 30 to complete the online survey.
Roy Hayhurst is director of denominational and public relations services for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“As Christians we understand that prayer is essential in our walk with Christ, and as a committee we felt it was essential to start our process with a season of prayer,” said search team Chairman Adron Robinson. “In John 15:5 Jesus says without Him we can do nothing, so to begin this assignment without seeking God’s direction would be a huge mistake.”
In addition to Robinson, the seven-member search team, appointed by the EC at its Feb. 22 meeting, includes Mollie Duddleston (Springdale, Ark.), Mike Keahbone (pastor of Lawton, First), Jeremy Morton (Woodstock, Ga.), Philip Robertson (Pineville, La.) and David Sons (Lexington, S.C.). Current EC Chairman Rolland Slade will serve in an ex officio capacity until June, when he will be replaced by a newly elected EC chair.
The prayer guide is broken into three sections—personnel, priorities and president. Keahbone stressed the importance of prayer to the team’s mission.
“I was looking through the timelines of the previous hiring processes and did not see a specific and strategic plan to call our convention to pray,” he said. “I brought it up in our first meeting and the entire team was excited to let prayer be the cornerstone of our search process. God knows the shepherd He is calling to lead us. Prayer tunes our hearts to His.”
Morton agreed that the team was united in the idea.
“We all agreed an intentional season of prayer was essential,” he said “We do not assume we can get this search ‘correct’ without God’s gracious touch. In fact, we enter this process humbly and with a sober sense of desperation. Without God’s grace, we know we won’t get it right.
“Prayer isn’t something extra we are doing. It’s the driving force of the entire process. I actually believe the more we pray, the simpler and things will be.”
The group is asking for people to people to pray for the EC trustees, staff, interim President/CEO Willie McLaurin, Vice President for Communication Jonathan Howe, the Sexual Abuse Task Force and SBC President Ed Litton.
“Every believer in our convention is impacted by this hire; therefore, all of us must join together in prayer,” Keahbone said. “My prayer is that God would unify us as a convention. There is no better unifying agent than God’s people seeking their Father’s heart.”
The group is asking Southern Baptists for help in seeking God’s provision of unity, wisdom, patience, discernment, integrity, faithfulness and accountability for the team.
“We hope that God would sanctify our hearts as a committee and as a convention,” Robinson said. “There are many things trying to divide us as a convention, but seeking God will sanctify and unify us. We want to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and work together to fulfill God’s will.
“The entire Southern Baptist Convention should join in this prayer initiative, and we hope our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world will also join this effort.”
While the team has not begun to receive applications for the position, they are asking Southern Baptists to pray the candidate is:
Prepared to the lead the EC
A strong, relational and unifying leader
Someone with Christ-like character
A leader with compassion for the hurting and lost
Deeply rooted in biblical conviction
A leader committed to the Cooperative Program, the Baptist Faith and Message, SBC entities, the Great Commission and the Great Commandment
“We hope that prayer will help us walk together in unity and clarity,” Morton said. “We hope our season of prayer will encourage all Southern Baptists to join us and participate.
“We are excited and believe by faith that God has a bright future for our search process, that He has the right leader on the horizon for Southern Baptists, and that our convention will move forward and make more disciples for Jesus until He comes again. I’m praying Luke 11:13 that the Holy Spirit will fill us and help us.”
The team has encouraged people to pray from March 11-31, but anytime is a great time to start. If you plan to start on Sunday, March 20, your prayer season will conclude on April 10, Palm Sunday.
BOULDER, CO – When Disaster Relief teams are activated in an area, it is often during the most difficult days in the lives of the people they are called to serve. This was especially true when teams from Utah and Idaho were activated to serve families who lost all their worldly possessions in the Marshall Fire that ravaged communities in Superior and Boulder, CO.
Magic Valley (Idaho) Disaster Relief volunteers, Brenda Crisp and Cathy Keever connected with other DR Volunteers in Utah, February 18, 2022. The Utah team included Don Dana and Chuck Jones from Sandy, David Porter from Provo, and Dan Schaffner from Elko, NV. The next morning the combined crews left for Boulder, CO where they joined UISBC DR Director Russel and Clara Hohmann, who had been in Colorado since Feb 4. The plan was to work in ash-out crews after the Marshall fire hit Boulder County December 30, 2021. The fire destroyed 1084 homes and two lives were lost.
The Utah Idaho Volunteers served with DR teams from Missouri, Arizona, Ohio, Virginia, Alabama, Florida and Colorado. There was a total of fifteen teams that worked this disaster over a period of eight weeks. The majority of their work was sifting the rubble for valuables. Of the over 1800 homes destroyed, 430 of them were completely sifted by the DR teams. Over $100,000.00 of gold was recovered, 2000 pounds of coins, 100 diamond rings, other precious jewels and jewelry were all returned to the grateful homeowners. This was an affluent neighborhood with many accumulated valuables.
Teams were sifting two houses per day. The temperature was extremely cold and at least twice teams had to work in the snow. Hand and feet warmers were a welcomed luxury the team enjoyed when one of the members located some in a local store. The pipes froze in the shower and laundry trailer. Team members were having to descend ladders to access basements. Other team members assisted in the kitchen preparing meals for the many State DR Teams present in the camp.
The team was informed that Boulder County is one of the most unreached counties in Colorado. Among the rubble, several Buddha statues were found, along with many other statues to false gods. When the team finishes a home site, a Bible is signed by the crew and the teams are given the opportunity to pray with homeowners. Before the Utah Idaho team left for their return trip home, they heard that there were fifteen first time professions of faith in Christ made by locals in Boulder. We were also told that in the town of Superior (where many of these homes were located) there are currently no evangelical churches. When someone saw what Southern Baptist Disaster Relief was doing, that person decided that maybe they should have a church in their community. Plans are being made to locate a church planter in that community this month (March) to seek out the opportunities to plant an SBC church.
All work in the Marshall Fire area of Boulder, CO was to be completed by March 1 by order of State and Local Government officials. As of now, all teams have returned to their respective homes.
If you want to know more about how you can be involved in a local Utah or Idaho Disaster Relief team, visit our website at www.uisbc.org/disaster-relief.
This story was submitted by Cathy Keever, MVBC Disaster Relief Co-Coordinator. Photos submitted by Russel Hohmann, UISBC Disaster Relief Director.
Warsaw, Poland (BP/IMB)- Polish Baptists and International Mission Board missionaries quickly rallied to respond to the needs of Ukrainian refugees crossing the border to seek sanctuary from the attack on their homeland.
Josh and Bailey Krause serve with the IMB in Warsaw, Poland, and are the liaisons between the IMB, Send Relief and the Polish Baptist Union. After meeting with Send Relief partners, Josh met with the president of the Polish Baptist Union to hear their plans and determine how Send Relief funds can assist Ukrainian refugees.
The Polish Baptist Union initially hoped to house 500 refugees. They have since doubled that number to 1,000. Eight centers were designated to receive refugees, but Baptists increased the number to 40 camps located across Poland.
The Krauses said the Polish Baptist Union is outfitting the camps with sheets, pillows, food and hygiene items. Send Relief funds are being used to support these efforts, as well as transportation needs.
IMB missionary Ken Brownd said First Baptist Church of Gdasnk, Poland, committed to hosting one of the centers to receive refugees. Brownd said a church member recently moved into a new house and his old home, which is next to the church, is being prepped to house refugees. The church also converted a youth room and a meeting room into a shelter for refugees.
Members of FBC Gdansk drove to the border of Poland and Ukraine to receive women and children. Church members formed relationships with these women and children through summer camps. For years, the church sent teams to a city in western Ukraine and hosted Vacation Bible Schools.
The church members waited, and slept, in the van for hours at the border, as hotels were booked in the area, with no word from the women and children. Lines at the border were rumored to be around 10 kilometers long and a 15-hour wait. Over the weekend, five women and children arrived at the church, and others traveled to other Baptist camps. Another 18 refugees are in transit to FBC Gdansk.
Bailey said other Polish Baptist churches and individuals have and will provide transportation for refugees.
A Baptist church in the city of Chelm posted on their Facebook page that they have already sheltered 120 refugees. Church members remain on duty 24 hours to receive refugees. Hotels, businesses and individuals have joined the efforts to help the church by providing food, mattresses and bedding.
Brownd said Polish Baptists are using social media to organize the collection of supplies, and the response has been enthusiastic and generous.
“It’s just cool to see Polish Baptists stepping up and taking care of their neighbors. They’ve done that for a long time now, but this is a different level,” Brownd said. “Our team is trying to organize the Send Relief help … but really, this is mostly driven by Polish Baptists, so we’re not the main players in this at all. We’re helpers, and so it’s amazing.”
Nightly prayer meetings are being held at First Baptist Gdansk. Polish and Ukrainian Christians have come together, and services are held in both languages. Poland is home to a significant population of Ukrainians, many of whom moved to Poland after unrest and conflicts in Ukraine in 2014. Many, if not all, of the Ukrainians in Poland have family members still living in Ukraine.
Josh said he’s encouraged by the “cooperation and the brotherhood between the Ukrainian Baptists and the Polish Baptists here and the way they’ve worked and gotten together. Everyone is coming together to say that we’re with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.”
“Whenever there is a new crisis, everybody rallies. As we’ve been working with the [Polish Baptist] Union and with different churches, we’ve seen their desire currently just to serve, to support, to love on their brothers and sisters from Ukraine,” Bailey said.
Bailey asked for continued prayer for Polish and Ukrainian Baptists in the weeks and months to come.
“Our prayer is that the churches would be praying for perseverance, because in two weeks, this is still going to be here. This is a new reality, not just for Ukrainian people, but also for the Polish people, and so [pray they will] handle that new reality well and with grace and patience.”
Brownd asked for prayer for refugees who left behind family members. Men, ages 18 to 60, must remain in the country when Ukraine declared martial law.
Josh and Bailey said their prayer is for the Lord to work in mighty ways during this time of crisis.
“The church in Ukraine is thriving and doing great, and so through this, I really hope that not only the believers and the churches in Ukraine come out even more strong and on fire, but the Polish churches, that they too would catch that and grow. The Lord can do great things out of destruction,” Bailey said.
Your gifts to Send Relief are already providing emergency food supplies, shelter and clothing to displaced families. Send Relief partners will continue to provide food relief, continue meeting shelter needs and offer transportation to those impacted by this crisis. Give now.
About the author:
Caroline Anderson writes for the IMB from Southeast Asia.
The following article printed with permission from Baptist Press. It originally was published February 14, 2022 on their website. Click here to read it on their site.
GUAYAMA, Puerto Rico (BP) — Longtime church planter Luis Soto, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Sin Paredes in Guayama, Puerto Rico, is the new executive director of the Convention of Southern Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico (CSBCPR).
“We are experiencing historic days at the Puerto Rico convention and we thank God for what he is doing and will continue to do in the coming years,” Soto told Baptist Press.
CSBCPR executive members elected Soto to the post Jan. 10 to lead the convention of 52 Southern Baptist churches. On the island of 3.4 million people dispersed among 78 municipalities, 40 cities do not have a Southern Baptist church, according to figures from the North American Mission Board (NAMB).
Soto continues as a NAMB Send Network church planting catalyst and as pastor of Iglesia Bautista Sin Paredes in Guayama. He formerly served eight years as a NAMB church planter in Utah, where he planted and pastored Roca de los Siglos in Salt Lake City and Gracia Eterna in West Valley.
“My plan is to continue working with NAMB to see more churches that preach the Gospel to all of Puerto Rico,” Soto said, “and see hundreds of thousands of people … come to the feet of Christ.”
In addition to growing the number of Southern Baptist churches on the island, Soto has goals aimed at increasing and improving discipleship, giving, seminary preparation, international missions and prison ministry.
Specifically, Soto told Baptist Press, he would like to lead Puerto Rican Southern Baptists to increase giving to the Cooperative Program from $80,000 to $100,000; start a chaplaincy ministry in state prisons and train men for prison ministry; better equip pastors in discipleship, leadership development and biblical counseling; and offer alternatives to theological studies spanning from certificates to doctorate degrees through a partnership with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) in Fort Worth, Texas.
Soto would like to lead Puerto Rican Southern Baptists to continue supporting international missionaries from Puerto Rico, to continue to provide various resources for pastors’ wives, and to motivate churches to continue supporting North American and international missions in financial giving and prayer.
“We had our hands full for the past three years, in the midst of political instability, earthquakes, (the COVID-19) pandemic and (are) still recovering from hurricanes,” Cabrera told Puerto Rican Southern Baptists in announcing his resignation as executive director. “After these past 36 months, our convention is in a healthy position and ready to continue fulfilling the Great Commission that our Lord Jesus Christ left us in Matthew 28.”
Soto is earning a Doctor of Ministry degree from SWBTS. He holds a Master of Theology degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in social work from the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico.
He and his wife Beatriz Castillo have two children, daughter Eliana Valentina and son Samuel Adrián.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
DIANA CHANDLER Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ senior writer.