SBC Life Articles

The “1% Challenge” for the Cooperative Program


The "1% Challenge" is simply a request to every Southern Baptist pastor and every Southern Baptist church to increase their Cooperative Program gifts by 1 percent of their church's undesignated contributions.

In 2010, churches forwarded just over $500 million dollars in CP contributions to the states . . .

  • This represents 5.62 percent of the almost $9 billion dollars churches received in tithes and undesignated offerings from their members.
  • If every church in the Convention increased its contributions to the Cooperative Program by 1 percent of its undesignated receipts, the states would receive (cumulatively) an additional $89 million.
  • At the current level of state/national convention distribution of CP contributions, states would retain $55 million of these new dollars, providing funds for a wide variety of cooperative ministries in the states.
  • States would forward an additional $34 million in CP to the SBC for distribution as follows: IMB, $17.07 million; NAMB, $7.75 million; seminaries, $7.53 million; ERLC, $500 thousand; SBC Operating Budget, $1 million.
  • This would allow the IMB immediately to appoint 375 new missionaries, NAMB to expand church planting support, and the seminaries and ERLC to address numerous maintenance, capital, and moral advocacy needs.

First Baptist Church
Broken Arrosw, Oklahoma
"We truly believe that the new leadership teams at both NAMB and IMB have the right target—the Great Commission. The ever increasing lostness of our world demanded we band together for the sake of the gospel. God's story must be told to all people, all over this world. The plain and simple truth of the matter is this, ministry costs money. We at First Broken Arrow and Community Baptist at Coweta realized the Cooperative Program is a key element in reaching the world for Christ. Therefore we established a three year plan to raise our financial commitment to the Cooperative Program." —Todd Parr, Ministry Pastor

Cross Roads Baptist Church
Little Rock, Arkansas

"We are increasing CP from 9 percent to 10 percent for 2012. But you need the rest of the story. I came to CRBC in November 2006. I challenged the church to move from 7 percent to 10 percent over three years. We did this in 2008-2010. Then the recession hit and we were forced to trim back to 9 percent for 2011. I took a reduction in salary and benefits, and we had to use volunteers for other previously-paid positions. We had already eliminated some other projects/support in the 2010 budget. Our cash reserves were gone. 2011 has not been a banner year, but the hard decisions we made have helped us rebound where we are able to erase some of the cuts. So, we are adding 1 percent to CP; but really we are getting back on track with our previous goal. We believe in CP!" —Bob Loyd, Pastor

Briarwood Baptist Church
Saline, Louisiana

"We sought to take the '1% Challenge' for no other reason than to bring glory to God. There are approximately 3,800 unengaged, unreached people groups. We seek to glorify God by taking His gospel to every tribe, tongue, and nation and the Cooperative Program is the vehicle through which that task can be accomplished." —Trey Etheridge, Pastor

Covenant Baptist Church
Brentwood, Tennessee

"When I heard Dr. Page's challenge, I realized we have been doing this. The church has been increasing its CP giving by 1 percent each year. As a church, we believe that Cooperative Program giving is one way to help take the message of Christ worldwide. We believe that increasing our Cooperative Program giving is one of the best ways for us to give to world missions." —Randall Jackson, Senior Pastor

Southside Baptist Church
McRae, Georgia

"My heart had been very heavy lately about monies coming up short through all our church's contribution to the Cooperative Program. My church has been giving 8.6 percent to the Cooperative Program. The Georgia Baptist Convention President's Generosity Summit inspired me that we need to do even more. I made a commitment to the Lord to serve Him as finance chairman of our church to educate our people more in each individual's role to support the Lord's Kingdom work through giving more. Thankfully our church's new budget has increased our percentage to 11 percent. The Summit impressed me deeply that in order for our church to be effective in bringing about a revival in America is for each church member to submit totally to the Lord, including our billfolds." —Elton McLean, Finance Chairman

Cross Lanes Baptist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

"An investment in the Cooperative Program advances the Kingdom of God and reaches people for Jesus. It is an opportunity for every Southern Baptist to be obedient to the Great Commission from wherever they live. Cross Lanes Baptist is increasing support of CP by 1 percent to 12 percent in 2012." —Seth Polk, Pastor

Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Maryland
Hyattsville, Maryland

Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Maryland, a church of 70 members, not only said "yes" to the "1% Challenge" for the Cooperative Program, they made a 10 percent commitment to CP!

Says, Pastor Rolando Castro, "This church had not given to missions through the Cooperative Program for years, but this year they made this sacrificial commitment to the Cooperative Program and also to give to the Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong missions offerings." —Rolando Castro, Interim Pastor

Lighthouse Fellowship Church
Huntley, Illinois

Following a CP "1% Challenge" commitment service during the Illinois Baptist State Association annual meeting, Nate Adams, executive director, reported that, of the 195 churches represented, 182 commitment cards were received from individuals in 117 different churches agreeing to challenge their churches in the direction of accepting the 1 percent challenge.

One pastor later reported, "Today at our budget discussion after our pot luck dinner, I challenged the church to increase our giving to the Cooperative Program by 1 percent. We unanimously approved my recommendation." –Joe Oliver, Missions Pastor

The CP "1% Challenge" is compelling because…

  • It meets every church right where it is, and gives it a simple step of faith that can move it toward stronger Great Commission participation.
  • It is a challenge about shared sacrifice for the sake of missions, in proportion to the resources God has provided. It does not call for resources that churches do not have, but for a renewal in the percentage they devote to missions. This is the kind of proportionate giving that God commends and blesses. It is the same kind of proportional giving we want our church members to understand and embrace.
  • There is no better way to navigate the current financial crossroads in missions giving during these challenging economic times than with a renewed commitment to the Cooperative Program.
  • When church members give to their church in proportion to what they have, and churches give to missions in proportion to what they have, God provides all we need to do what He's called us to do.


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  • SBC Staff