By Tim Lubinus, BCI Executive Director/Treasurer
We learn from the early church that churches regularly banded together, pooled their funds, and worked together to help the vulnerable among them. The Executive Board is thrilled to announce a new Baptist Convention of Iowa ministry: The Iowa Ministry Fund to channel ministry funds into a broad range of ministries that help those who are most hurting in our state and offer help, hope, and the Good News of Jesus Christ.
This fund will seek to support organizations that help population groups among us that require more attention and skills that our church members or even churches can normally provide. Examples of ministry categories include adoption and foster care support, ministry to homeless, ministry to poverty-impacted neighborhoods, ministry to communities after natural disasters, crisis pregnancy ministry, addiction recovery, prison ministry and aftercare, and advocacy for justice and religious freedom.
The BCI’s Foundation Committee will be tasked with finding the best ministries in each of ten ministry categories using criteria like doctrinal alignment, years of proven effectiveness, state-wide impact, broad ministry scope, connection with local churches, evangelism and discipleship emphasis, and desire to partner with the Baptist Convention of Iowa churches.
This year, the Executive Board has approved $100,000 for the Iowa Ministry Fund with the plan to allocate $10,000 to the best ministry in each of ten ministry categories. Ongoing funding sources include the Hyde Iowa Missions Offering and the proposal is to allocate ten percent of all Cooperative Program funds given to the Baptist Convention of Iowa to this fund beginning January 1, 2017. Our website is already equipped to receive individual and church donations.
Each year applications will be received from ministry organizations by the end April and the foundation committee will make funding selections in May. A video highlighting the selected organizations will be produced in the summer for use by churches when the State Missions Offering is collected in September as well as throughout the year. The distributions will be sent to the agencies in October.
We encourage you to recommend organizations to apply. Application is here.
Funding designated for the approved ministries can be donated by churches or individuals here.
Let me know if you have suggestions, comments, or questions.