NASHVILLE (BP) — For the fifth consecutive fiscal year, contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries through the Cooperative Program met and exceeded budgetary expectations.
As of September 30, gifts received by the Executive Committee for distribution through the CP Allocation Budget totaled $196,731,703.44. This exceeded the $194,000,000.00 annual projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America by $2,731,703.44 or 1.41 percent.
“Southern Baptist churches continue to do more together than we could ever do on our own,” said SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Ronnie Floyd in a statement to Baptist Press. “Cooperating together to reach every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state, and every nation is exactly what the Cooperative Program is all about. This is why I want to say thank you to every church giving through the Cooperative Program, as well as thank each pastor and church leader for leading your church to join us in this grand worldwide task. Together we have exceeded our budget goal this year by $2,731,703. Reaching the world with the Gospel is the only reason this network of churches called Southern Baptists exists. With joy, I celebrate all that God has done!”
While the budget total was exceeded, year-over-year gifts remained relatively flat with a slight decrease of $313,124.70, or 0.16 percent below last year’s total of $197,044,828.14.
“Multiple transitions of leadership along with other major challenges have occurred this past 12 to 18 months in Southern Baptist life,” Floyd said. “Now is the time we must go forward, and this is why I want to ask every pastor and church leader to call upon their church to evaluate what it is doing right now through the Cooperative Program. People need Jesus and people need Jesus now. This is why I am praying that we will see the need now to prioritize, elevate, and accelerate our giving through the Cooperative Program. Together we can do this to God’s glory.”
CP allocation receipts for SBC work for the month of September totaled $15,259,623.92. Designated gifts received in September amounted to $4,373,196.41.
Year-to-date designated giving of $191,695,553.75 was 1.59 percent, or $3,089,981.39, below gifts of $194,785,535.14 received last fiscal year. Designated contributions include the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions, Southern Baptist Global Hunger Relief, Disaster Relief and other special gifts. 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 CP is Southern Baptists’ channel of giving, begun in 1925, through which a local church can contribute to the ministries of its state convention and the missions and ministries of the SBC through a unified giving plan to support both sets of ministries. Monies include receipts from individuals, churches and state conventions for distribution according to the 2018-2019 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
State and regional conventions retain a portion of church contributions to Southern Baptists’ Cooperative Program to support work in their respective areas and forward a percentage to SBC national and international causes. The percentage of distribution is at the discretion of each state or regional convention.
The convention-adopted budget for 2018-2019 was $194 million and was disbursed as follows: 50.41 percent to international missions through the International Mission Board, 22.79 percent to North American missions through the North American Mission Board, 22.16 percent to theological education through the six SBC seminaries and the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, 2.99 percent to the SBC operating budget and 1.65 percent to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Since national CP gifts exceeded the $194 million budget projection at the end of the fiscal year, the Executive Committee’s portion of any overage fell to 0.0 percent while IMB’s portion increased to 53.4 percent of the overage. The other entities’ percentage distributions of the overage remained the same. The SBC Executive Committee distributes all CP and designated gifts it receives on a weekly basis to the SBC ministry entities.
Month-to-month swings reflect a number of factors, including the timing of when the cooperating state Baptist conventions forward the national portion of Cooperative Program contributions to the Executive Committee, the day of the month churches forward their CP contributions to their state conventions, the number of Sundays in a given month, and the percentage of CP contributions forwarded to the SBC by the state conventions after shared ministry expenses are deducted.
CP allocation budget gifts received by the Executive Committee are reported monthly to the executives of the entities of the convention, to the state convention offices, to the state Baptist papers and are posted online at www.cpmissions.net/CPReports.
Oct. 1, 2019, marked the beginning of a new fiscal year for the Southern Baptist Convention. The convention-adopted budget for 2019-2020 is set at $196.5 million.