SAN FRANCISCO (BP)—O.S. Hawkins, president of GuideStone Financial Resources, reported on the continued growth in the number of the entity's expanded ministry participants at a meeting of the trustees in San Francisco.
Trustees also were updated on GuideStone's long-range plan and on health care reform efforts. Expanded ministry participants, Hawkins said, help provide stability and strength to GuideStone's insurance program.
"Each year, we see value from our efforts to reach out and engage like-minded evangelical organizations," Hawkins said at the July 29-30 meeting. "Currently, expanded market ministries comprise over 25 percent of our total group medical plan participants and provide more than 10 percent of total new money into the retirement plan.
"Additionally, many of the participants in our expanded ministries insurance base are younger, which enables us to keep our premiums lower for our participants, as well as providing the ability to attain additional economies of scale across all of our product lines," Hawkins said.
GuideStone's request for a ministry assignment change was approved by messengers to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in June, allowing GuideStone to serve like-minded investors and individuals with a focus on Southern Baptist and evangelical church members.
Even with a potential new market, Hawkins said GuideStone will continue to serve "the SBC pastor at the crossroads" and "will remain committed to its vision of enhancing [the pastor's] financial security."
Citing Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish ...," Hawkins said GuideStone 100, the entity's long-range strategic plan, provides the ministry with its design, definition, dynamic, direction and dependence.
Hawkins highlighted the more than 50 significant organizational achievements accomplished under GuideStone 95, which -- along with GuideStone 90 -- was a stepping stone toward the completion of GuideStone 100.
GuideStone 90 was completed in 2008, and GuideStone 95 was completed this year. Hawkins said the accomplishments of GuideStone 95 have helped position the entity for its goal of becoming the premier provider of employee benefit products to the evangelical community.
Hawkins updated trustees on GuideStone's Mission:Dignity ministry, which raises funds to provide financial support to needy retired Southern Baptist ministers, denominational workers, missionaries and their surviving spouses. Qualifying individuals receive $200 a month in assistance; couples are eligible for $265 a month.
The amounts are doubled for the neediest persons with at least 30 years of ministerial service and lower levels of income. Trustees voted to increase the income guidelines for Tier 2 relief recipients by 12 percent to allow more people to qualify for the higher level of assistance. As of June 30, Mission:Dignity served 1,872 individuals and couples.
A record-breaking 2,400 churches participated in Mission:Dignity Sunday June 23 with more than 450,000 free bulletin inserts shared in worship services. During the first six months of 2013, 3,949 donors made gifts in support of Mission:Dignity and revenues for the program increased 13.7 percent over last year.
Mission:Dignity receives no Cooperative Program allocation and is funded primarily through the direct gifts of individuals, Sunday School classes, groups and churches. One hundred percent of gifts are used to assist aged ministers, workers and their widows in need with nothing taken out for administrative expenses.
Health care reform
Trustees heard a report from Rod Miller, GuideStone's special counsel, on health care reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
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