REVISED 5 p.m. Tuesday May 2.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The Cooperative Program enables churches, associations, state conventions and Southern Baptist entities to make a difference in the lives of people around the world, as together they fulfill the command of Christ in Acts 1:8.
Churches vote on what percentage of their undesignated offerings will be given through the Cooperative Program. The recently adopted report from the Cooperative Program Ad-Hoc Committee encourages all congregations to give at least 10 percent of their undesignated offerings to reach people through CP ministries. Gifts to local associations are not included in the CP total.
State conventions use a portion of CP gifts for missions and ministries in their respective states and forward the balance to the Southern Baptist Convention. The percentage forwarded to the SBC is determined by a vote of messengers during each state convention’s annual meeting.
Messengers to the SBC’s annual meeting determine how the SBC’s portion of the Cooperative Program is distributed among the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, the six SBC seminaries, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and GuideStone Financial Resources.
Some CP gifts are reinvested by NAMB in state conventions and the churches they serve. Most state conventions are working toward a 50/50 allocation of the CP gifts they receive from churches: 50 percent to stay in the state and 50 percent to go on to the SBC. In 2005 the SBC distribution was 50 percent to IMB; 22.79 percent to NAMB; 21.64 percent to the seminaries; 1.49 percent to ERLC; .76 percent to GuideStone for needy retired ministers; and 3.32 percent for facilitating ministries including SBC administration.
The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, with about 1,750 churches, allocated 53 percent of its CP gifts to the SBC in 2005; they plan to move to 54 percent next year, said Gary Ledbetter, editor of The Texan convention newsjournal.
In contrast, the older Baptist General Convention of Texas allocated 21 percent to SBC CP causes in 2005.
The Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia convention allocates 50 percent to SBC CP causes. The older Baptist General Association of Virginia in 2005 allocated an estimated 14 percent.
Georgia is third in percentage giving to SBC CP causes, at 42.84 percent for 2005. Alabama: 42.30. Illinois completes the first five slots at 42.25 percent.
Others giving at least 40 percent to SBC causes in 2005: Arkansas, 41.75; and Florida, Maryland/Delaware, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina all forwarding 40 percent.
West Virginia and Tennessee come in at 37.50; Kentucky, 36; Missouri, 35.75; Louisiana, 35.50; District of Columbia and Mississippi, 35; Alaska, 33; Indiana, 32.50; Wyoming, 32.25; Northwest (Wash./Ore.) and Kansas/Nebraska, 32; Hawaii, 31.50; New Mexico, 30.50; and Michigan, 30 percent given to SBC CP in 2005.
Colorado allocated 29 percent to SBC CP in 2005; Nevada, 28.50; North Carolina and California, 27 percent; New York, 26.50; Arizona, 25; Penn/South Jersey, 24.7; Montana, 22; New England, Utah/Idaho and the previously mentioned BGCT, 21; and Iowa, 20.
The Dakota convention, which has 88 churches and missions, and the previously mentioned BGAV, allocated 14 percent to SBC CP in 2005; and Minnesota/Wisconsin, with 153 churches and missions, 13 percent.