NASHVILLE (BP) — Giving through the Cooperative Program remains ahead of last year’s pace by 2.58 percent as contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries totaled nearly $15 million in December 2019.
As of December 31, gifts received by the EC for distribution through the CP Allocation Budget total $47,511,312.90. This exceeds last year’s first quarter budget contribution of $46,315,254.71 by $1,196,058.19 or 2.58 percent. The amount given is slightly less than the $49,125,000.00 year to date budgeted projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America by $1,613,687.10 or 3.28 percent.
The final amount received in December totaled $14,940,016.37, which was $160,675.10 more than the $14,779,341.27 received in December 2018 but $1,434,983.63 less than the monthly budgeted amount of $16,375,000.00.
“Our world is in great need of Jesus Christ. The continued increase in giving through our Cooperative Program over last year in the first quarter of our fiscal year is a very good indicator that people know that Jesus is the ultimate answer for the world,” said SBC Executive Committee president and CEO Ronnie Floyd in a statement to Baptist Press.
“I want to remind all Southern Baptists that the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention is the financial fuel to take the Gospel to every person regionally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. Our giving helps move us forward to realize, in a greater way, our vision of reaching every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation. I want to thank all pastors and church leaders who are leading their churches to give through the Cooperative Program.”
Designated gifts received in December amounted to $3,413,353.24. This total was $339,770.40 or 9.05 percent below gifts of $3,753,123.64 received last December. However, this year’s designated gifts through the first quarter amount to $11,270,804.48, which is $1,038,696.03 or 10.15 percent more than the $10,232,108.45 given through the first quarter in the previous 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 2019-2020 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 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 Executive Committee’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 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.