I hate to admit it, but whenever I look at the UBA budget I am uninspired, not because what we do at UBA isn't important and valuable work, but because the line items in our budget don't tell the story of what we do.
For example, a major part of our work is consulting with churches, but there's no line item for consulting. Instead, we say we need $x,xxx for printing, postage and insurance. Who gets inspired by that? Certainly not me, and I'm guessing you don't either. So this year I've worked to develop a budget that more accurately reflects the way UBA lives out the mission of mobilizing churches to take on lostness.
What's in the UBA budget for 2014? Here's a summary:
Research, Consulting, Coaching ($340,710)
We work with churches to help them become more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission. We help start new churches and strengthen existing churches. We help churches understand their context and develop effective strategies for reaching the lost and making disciples. We help church leaders clarify vision, implement ministries, solve problems and resolve conflicts that impede their ministry. We do this by consulting with church leaders, sometimes one-on-one or with small teams of leaders and other times by working with the congregation as a whole.
Teaching and Training ($389,920)
We provide training churches need in a wide variety of areas: evangelism, multiplying disciples, congregational leadership, pastoral ministry, understanding culture, being missional, starting new churches, financial and legal issues and many others. Over the course of the year we train thousands of leaders in person and countless more through our web resources. Sometimes folks come to our offices for training. Often we will come directly to the churches. We are particularly interested in training the next generation of leaders for our churches. Most of what we offer is available in both English and Spanish.
Engagement, Mobilization, Direct Ministry ($543,035)
In 2013 UBA initiated one of the largest and most comprehensive ministries in the history of our association--Loving Houston. By the end of this year 2,500+ volunteers will have been mobilized to share the love of Christ in word and deed. In addition, the Mission Centers of Houston minister to thousands of needy folks in our inner city annually. Our university student ministers daily impact the major campuses in our city. We provide resources to feed the hungry. We are engaged in ministries to prisoners, human trafficking and other social justice issues. We help churches identify and engage unreached people groups here and abroad. We mobilize people to pray for community transformation.
Resources for Churches ($340,710)
The UBA office houses our staff, provides meeting places for conferences and training, has a video studio, a library and other resources for churches. In addition to our physical location, we have a virtual online presence (www.ubahouston.org) where we provide news, research tools, inspiring stories, statistics, videos and links to other sources for our churches.
The budget for 2014 for UBA is $1,614,372. Where will the money come from to support our ministries? Most of it (92%) will come from our churches. About 8% comes from the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
If you'd like more information on all the ministries of UBA including student ministries, Mission Centers of Houston and Trinity Pines Conference Center, attend the Quarterly Associational Meeting (Thursday, November 7, 10 am, at Houston's First Baptist Church) where all the ministries of UBA will tell their stories and make their budget proposals for 2014. (If you miss that meeting, you will be able to view the information online at our website at a later date.)
Thank you for the trust you put in us by supporting the ministry of UBA. We will be faithful stewards of your trust and use the money wisely for the purposes we have determined to be the most strategic for the advancement of the kingdom of God in our city.