When people give their money to their church or donate money to a charity they want to give their money wisely as well. That's why churches and ministries give such careful attention to their budgets and report regularly how money is spent.
Churches also, when they prepare their budgets, want to want to be discerning in how they give their money away. Gone are they days when people blindly give to a program or organization just because it is expected by the denomination. This is good! We shouldn't just give our money away blindly.
What about UBA? Why should a church support UBA? How is the association's ministry funded? How are those dollars spent?
UBA is funded primarily by the churches that belong to the association. Our proposed budget for 2014 is $1,606,696. Of that total almost 92% comes directly from our churches. Just under 8% (7.7%) comes from the Baptist General Convention of Texas. So you can see, we are dependent upon every church contributing to the ongoing ministry of UBA. Every gift, no matter how large or small, is important to us.
But why should your church support UBA? A typical way of asking the question is, what does UBA do for my church? What do we get out of it? I really think that's the wrong question. A better question, and I think the right one is, what does UBA do that you would want to support?
Peter Drucker, in his book Managing the Nonprofit Organization, said: "A business has discharged its task when the customer buys the product, pays for it and is satisfied with it. Government has discharged its function when its policies are effective. The nonprofit institution neither supplies good, services, or controls. Its product is neither a pair of shoes nor an effective regulation. Its product is a changed human being. The nonprofit institutions are human change agents. Their 'product' is … a changed human life altogether."
UBA is in the business of changing lives. How? We help pastors and congregational leaders become more effective. We provide conferences, one-on-one consultation, mentoring and coaching to help church leaders.
This past weekend, for example, 150 Hispanic pastors and congregational leaders were at Trinity Pines Conference Center. They were part of an extensive leadership development program called Lideres Transformadores. Through the various leadership development initiatives of UBA we train more Hispanic church leaders than any organization in our city (and perhaps the state of Texas).
We mobilize churches to fulfill the Great Commission. Through Loving Houston (www.lovinghouston.org) over 2,000 volunteers served in six under-resourced areas across our city sharing the love of Christ in word and deed. Thousands of lives were touched and many were changed as a result of Loving Houston. Nearly 50 folks made professions of faith in Christ; thousands of volunteers learned better what it means to be a disciple of Christ. We are changing lives.
We help churches make important decisions. Research and consulting are a major part of what we do. Churches consult with us regularly to help them plan for the future, start new ministries, help them find pastors and staff members and a myriad of other questions that come in from our churches daily.
We help churches start churches of all kinds, from satellite congregation to traditional brick and mortar congregations to house churches. Last week I met with the pastor of one of our city’s largest churches. He reflected back on the early days of his ministry and said, “UBA was there when I needed them most. You helped us get started. We owe you a lot.”
We support the work of student ministers on six major campuses in Houston (http://habsm.org). Over 260,000 students attend colleges and universities in our city making Houston the largest university town in Texas. Through the ministry provided by our BSMs we are reaching many of these students for Christ. (FYI, the BSMs are jointly funded by BGCT and UBA.)
We support the work of the Mission Centers of Houston (www.missioncenters.org). Ginger Smith and her team at MCH carry on a long-standing ministry in Houston's inner city that is changing lives every day!
We provide all these ministries/services and much, much more. If you are interested in seeing more about what we do, visit our new and improved website at www.ubahouston.org.
Every dollar given by our churches in support of our ministry is carefully monitored and faithfully spent for the purpose of mobilizing our churches to take on lostness and so fulfill the Great Commission … and change lives to the glory of God.