Released: Wednesday, September 10, 2014
VAIB | visionUPDATE
Year in Review: 2013-2014
The Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists (VAIB) has a vision “to advance the rights, values and liberties of the Independent Baptists in Virginia.” To accomplish this vision, we work in the following three areas:
- Strengthen. We strengthen your liberty by staying informed on the issues and pursuing strategic relationships.
- Educate. We educate God’s people on the issues that are facing the Independent Baptists at both the state and federal levels.
- Involve. We involve everyone as one voice in the process by being informed about the issues and by providing opportunities for action.
As we review the goals we articulated last September, we are excited to be able to articulate to you how God has worked through our areas of focus this past year. Below you will see the goals we put forward as an organization and how we were able to make progress toward achieving those goals.
The first goal was to work on effectively communicating and informing the constituency of the VAIB in a cost conscious way, developing a strategic messaging and positioning strategy.
As we reworked our mailings, we better targeted our message to the churches and people of our state. The response by churches was overwhelmingly positive, while the cost savings was substantial. One important addition was the CapitolALERTS which provided rapid communication on legislative issues. This system is only used when there is the need to impact a vote. While over 2600 pieces of legislation usually come through the General Assembly session, about 200 have an impact on churches and religious liberty issues. Of those, only about fifty require our input and action, with some of these being communicated via our CapitolALERTS. For the 2014 session, we determined to support twenty-two bills, with 45% (ten bills) passing; we opposed twenty-eight, with only two passing (93% success rate). Our overall success rate was 69%. While we have had better success rates under more conservative administrations, we are pleased to still retain a high rate of success in seeing “bad” bills defeated. Understand that we can try again next year to “move the ball forward.”
The second goal was to create a stronger identity with current supporting churches in tangible ways by communicating more frequently the value of VAIB to those churches.
In 2010, VAIB and other mission organizations experienced some difficult challenges. The faltering economy affected those who supported VAIB, and more churches reduced or dropped support of VAIB than increased or took VAIB on for support. So this past year our strategy was to visit more non-supporting churches. While we continue to schedule each supporting church about every three or four years, we determined to schedule 30% of our total visits in non-supporting churches. For this past year, that translated to fifteen churches out of fifty-five total churches scheduled. I also made appointments during the week with nearly as many non-supporting church pastors to introduce myself and the ministry of VAIB, and I continue to visit pastors’ fellowships to speak on behalf of VAIB. We will continue to follow this pattern in our current three-year plan for visiting churches. Let me add that the website www.vaib.org has been redesigned and enhanced to provide more information more quickly, and we’ve utilized opportunities to better connect people with VAIB through CapitolALERTS, Facebook and other social media, as deemed appropriate.
The third goal was to begin developing stronger support for VAIB by increasing the supporting church base with less frequent communications but more strategic initiatives.
Several initiatives were launched this year to further enhance VAIB presence in churches:
- “14,000 Voices”—This campaign was designed to sign up 14,000 Independent Baptists for CapitolALERTS and encourage each person to give a one-time donation of $5 to rebuild our reserve funds for continued future growth. As of today, nearly one-thousand people have signed up for CapitolALERTS, and about $2000 has been donated.
- “VAIB Sunday”—The intent of this program was to keep VAIB before the churches on a yearly basis and give an update on the progress of VAIB in the General Assembly. For supporting churches this will give them the opportunity to keep VAIB before their people. For non-supporting churches, it is an opportunity to introduce VAIB to their people and become a supporting church by at least giving a special offering every year.
- Legislative updates on video will be produced every year and used with “VAIB Sunday” or in a any church service intended to update supporting churches on the progress of VAIB in the General Assembly.
We need every Independent Baptist church to see the value of supporting us financially and actively engaging in the work of VAIB. At this time, we are excited to see an increase from 171 to 180 regularly supporting churches, with hopes that more churches will come on board. And nearly $2000 has been donated through the “14,000 Voices” campaign.
It is our prayer that every pastor and church member will see the importance, the quality, and the value of the ministry of VAIB, and that this will lead to more churches becoming actively involved with VAIB.
“Your voice for liberty”
Rev. Eddy Aliff