NASHVILLE (BP) — Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 4.81 percent above the year-to-date budgeted projection, and are 2.97 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Frank S. Page.
The total includes receipts from state conventions and fellowships, churches and individuals for distribution according to the 2014-15 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
As of Feb. 28, receipts totaled $82,098,104.34, or 104.81 percent of the $78,333,333.33 year-to-date budgeted amount to support SBC ministries globally and nationally. The total is $2,371,418.56 more than the $79,726,685.78 received through February 2014.
The SBC-adopted budget is distributed 50.41 percent to international missions through IMB, 22.79 percent to North American missions through the North American Mission Board, 22.16 percent to theological education through the six SBC seminaries, 2.99 percent to the SBC operating budget, and 1.65 percent to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. GuideStone Financial Resources and LifeWay Christian Resources are self-sustaining and do not receive Cooperative Program funding.
According to the budget adopted by the SBC at its June 2014 annual meeting in Baltimore, if the SBC exceeds its annual budget goal of $188 million, the International Mission Board’s share will go to 51 percent of any overage in Cooperative Program allocation budget receipts. Other ministry entities of the SBC will receive their adopted percentage amounts and the SBC operating budget’s portion will be reduced to 2.4 percent of any overage.
Each SBC entity and the Executive Committee have been given specific ministry responsibilities by SBC messengers. These ministry statements are listed in the SBC Organization Manual. Each statement begins with the phrase “assist churches” and includes such duties as “assist churches in their moral witness in local communities” (ERLC); “assisting churches in the ministries of evangelism and making disciples” (NAMB); “assist churches and partners to mobilize Southern Baptists to be involved in international missions through praying, giving, and going” (IMB); and “assist churches and denominational entities through relief to Southern Baptist ministers and Southern Baptist denominational employees” (GuideStone).
Designated giving of $92,856,017.28 for the same year-to-date period is 0.72 percent, or $665,058.02, above gifts of $92,190,959.28 received at this point last year. This total includes only those gifts received and distributed by the Executive Committee and does not reflect designated gifts contributed directly to SBC entities.
The Cooperative Program is a channel of giving through which a local church is able to contribute to the various ministries of its state convention and to the various SBC missions and ministries with a single contribution.
February’s Cooperative Program allocation receipts for SBC work totaled $17,396,068.57. Designated gifts received in February, meanwhile, amounted to $53,407,127.56.
State and regional Baptist conventions serve as collecting entities for Cooperative Program contributions. They retain a portion of church contributions to the Cooperative Program to support work in their respective areas and forward a percentage to SBC national and international causes. The percentage of distribution from the states is at the discretion of the messengers of each state convention through the adoption of the state convention’s annual budget.
Cooperative Program allocation budget receipts received by the Executive Committee are reported monthly to the executives of the entities of the convention, to the state offices, and to the denominational papers, and are posted online at www.cpmissions.net/CPReports.
The end-of-month total represents money received by the Executive Committee by the close of the last business day of each month. Month-to-month swings reflect a number of factors, including the number of Sundays in a given month, the day of the month churches forward their Cooperative Program contributions to their state conventions and the timing of when state conventions forward the national portion of their Cooperative Program contributions to the Executive Committee.