NASHVILLE (BP) — The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee reported the strongest start to a fiscal year in the last three years as giving to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries through the Cooperative Program exceeded $15 million in October 2019.
As of October 31, gifts received by the Executive Committee for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget totaled $15,207,651.44. This exceeded October 2018’s budget contribution of $14,454,637.36 by $753,014.08 or 5.21 percent. However, the amount given is less than the $16,375,000.00 monthly budgeted projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America by $1,167,348.56 or 7.13 percent.
“I’m encouraged by the start to our new fiscal year and want to thank our pastors and churches for their Cooperative Program giving,” said SBC EC President and CEO Ronnie Floyd in a statement to Baptist Press. “As we continue to work together to reach every person with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state, and every nation, we must realize that this goal is only attainable through elevated and accelerated CP giving.
“Through the CP, every church and every member can be part of this mission we have as Southern Baptists,” Floyd said. “It is my prayer that we continue to prioritize and emphasize CP giving in our churches so that the nations may hear and believe.”
Designated gifts received in October amounted to $3,853,253.08. This total was $510,794.47 or 15.28 percent above gifts of $3,342,458.61 received last October. 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 EC 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 2019-2020 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
State and regional conventions retain a portion of church contributions to the CP 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 2019-2020 is $196.5 million and is 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. If national CP gifts exceed the $196.5 million budget projection at the end of the fiscal year, the EC’s portion of any overage falls to 0.0 percent while IMB’s portion increases to 53.4 percent of the overage. The other entities’ percentage distributions of the overage remain the same. The SBCEC distributes all CP and designated gifts it receives on a weekly basis to 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 CP contributions to the EC, 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 EC are reported monthly to the executives of the entities of the convention, to the state convention offices and he state Baptist papers and are posted online at www.cpmissions.net/CPReports.