Delivered to the board on September 16, 2019
What is the Baptist Convention of New Mexico?
In 1912, the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, or the BCNM, was formed with the goal of ensuring that every New Mexican had the opportunity to hear the Gospel and cooperatively take the Gospel to the nations. The evangelization of New Mexico was, and is, at our core. This bedrock purpose of the Baptist Convention has never changed.
The term Baptist Convention refers to two things. First, it refers to the partnership of Baptist churches all across New Mexico that willingly partner for the glory of God to do mission work together. Second, the term refers to a two-day meeting where churches from all across New Mexico gather to celebrate and report on the progress of Kingdom advance. So, the Baptist Convention of New Mexico is both an active, living mission partnership of churches seeking to obey the Great Commission and an annual meeting of those churches.
What were the founding core values?
I believe the best way to consider if an organization is consistent with its purpose is to compare its founding principles with its current principles. Are the practices and principles congruent as the organization ages?
1912 “Article III – Principles - Section 1.
This convention recognizes and shall steadfastly regard the autonomy and independence of each church. Section 2. This convention, while seeking the largest fellowship with all Baptist bodies which hold to and defend the principles set forth in this constitution and while inviting the assistance and cooperation of the Southern Baptist Convention through its several boards, shall never so align or affiliate itself with any convention or board as to interfere with or abridge its own independence or that of the churches co-operating with it.”
Article One: Autonomy and Cooperation. The Baptist Convention of New Mexico (the or this convention) recognizes and shall steadfastly honor and respect the autonomy and independence of each church. This convention, while seeking fellowship with all Baptist bodies which share the convention’s purposes, shall be independent and sovereign in its own sphere and shall never attempt to exercise any authority over any other Baptist body, church, association, convention, or auxiliary body.
What monetary amount does the New Mexico Baptist Convention of churches share outside our state?
October 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019
This year, for the above dates, the SBC shows that New Mexico Baptists have given, $762,349.29 to the Executive Committee Cooperative Program. We have also given $1,131,005.55 to SBC designated causes so far this year. By the close of this year’s books, BCNM churches will have given over $2 million to our SBC partners outside our state. I believe that New Mexico Baptists have sought to be wonderfully supportive partners in SBC missions.
Each church, as an autonomous local church, determines what percentage they would like to forward to mission causes. The BCNM forwards 29 percent of every undesignated dollar received from the local church to SBC causes outside of New Mexico. Tonight, you, as a board, will be approving a recommended budget that will go to the October State Convention to be voted on by the messengers of the BCNM.
You will also receive the independent annual audit report from the auditor who works for you. Please remember that he is here to not only share his findings but to answer your questions. So don’t hesitate to ask anything you wish to know. You, as a board, have a fiduciary responsibility, so please don’t be shy.
What are the Advancing the Kingdom Objectives?
Everything we do through the Baptist Convention of New Mexico focuses around our Advancing the Kingdom Objectives (below). These objectives have been adopted by the churches of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico family.
The BCNM has adopted five Advancing the Kingdom objectives. They are:
One focus as a convention: “A disciple-making church for every person.”
Ten percent of New Mexicans in a BCNM congregation.
One hundred indigenous leaders being raised up and mentored annually.
One thousand points of light—churches and church starts—spread across New Mexico.
Sharing the Gospel with one million unreached Hispanics through disciple-based evangelism strategies.
What does the BCNM missions staff do?
The BCNM missions staff exists to resource the local church by assisting the local church in reaching New Mexico and touching the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Advancing the Kingdom Objectives are the agreed-upon mission strategy for the BCNM convention of churches. Literally, we assist local churches and associations every single day from all across New Mexico.
The vast majority of our 338 congregations with an SBC ID number (Southern Baptist Identity) are what I refer to as normative size churches. This means the average attendance on a Sunday morning is 100 or less. Like the SBC, we are a convention of smaller membership churches, not large churches. We also provide assistance to our larger churches as requested. Your BCNM staff provides assistance in every imaginable way to help every church accomplish what God has placed on their heart.
About one-third of our churches are Non-Anglo congregations. The vast majority of BCNM churches are single-staffed. The BCNM staff becomes the encouraging, supporting arm of local churches every day. I am always delighted to hear how one of your BCNM staff has assisted you. You see, the truth is, the Baptist Convention is more than a network of churches; it is a family.
What a blessing our board members, who are rotating off, have been to our Mission Board.
I would like to express a special thank you to our board members who have served so faithfully and will be rotating off of the State Mission Board after our October meeting. Those rotating off are Jamie Duke, Dennis Harris, Eyvonne Gunn and Virginia Yazzie. These folks have done a wonderful service to New Mexico Baptists, and I am personally grateful to each one.
Tonight, as a Mission Board, you will be electing officers for the coming year. We want to thank Chairman Steve Ballew and President Jared Bridge. Both of these men are eligible to serve a second term, and I can assure you New Mexico Baptists are better because of their outstanding leadership.
Thank you for your generosity and your commitment to share Christ in New Mexico and around the world.
Dr. Joseph Bunce, Lead Missionary
“Leading by Conviction” by Shalom Saar with Michel Hargrove.