NASHVILLE (BP) — Contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee in October were 1.34 percent below last year’s opening month of the convention’s fiscal year and 5.53 percent below the projected budget for the first month, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Frank S. Page.
As of Oct. 31, gifts received by the Executive Committee for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget totaled $15,114,641.08, or $205,368.92, below the $15,320,010.00 received in October 2016. The October total is $885,358.92 below the $16,000,000 monthly allocation budget projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America.
The Cooperative Program 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 2017-2018 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
Meanwhile, designated giving of $3,625,755.93 during October was 3.04 percent, or $107,119.01, above gifts of $3,518,636.92 received last October. This total includes only those gifts received and distributed by the Executive Committee and does not reflect designated gifts contributed directly to SBC entities.
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.
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 2017-2018 is $192 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 and Religious Liberty Commission. 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.
Cooperative Program 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.