The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) ended its fiscal year $9.23 million over its 2015-2016 budgeted goal and $6.57 million over the previous year’s Cooperative Program (CP) Allocation Budget gifts, according to Frank S. Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee.
The SBC received $195,730,508.04 in Cooperative Program Allocation gifts for the year. This amount is $6,570,276.63, or 3.47 percent, more than it received during the last fiscal year, and is $9,230,508.04, or 4.95 percent, more than its budgeted goal of $186.5 million.
“Our Southern Baptist churches have responded powerfully to the call for missions support and ministry support through the Cooperative Program,” Page said.
“I would say two factors are present here – sacrifice and strategic decisions,” he noted. “We thank God for the sacrifice of thousands of churches who truly believe we can collaborate together and do more for the gospel than we can do alone. This sacrificial giving will minister on the mission field, in theological education and other areas stronger than ever before.
“We are also thankful for the strategic decisions of many of our state conventions who are forwarding more and more to the national level,” Page said in written comments to Baptist Press. “We have just finished five years of increase [from the states], only the third period of time in our history when national CP forwarded from the states has reached or exceeded 38.75 percent. We are thankful for our state partners and thankful for the strategic decisions that many have made.”
In designated giving, the fiscal year’s total of $204,671,725.92 is 4.95 percent above the previous year’s $195,013,412.58. Of this designated amount, $204,135,367.21 was disbursed to the International Mission Board (IMB) and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) through the seasonal missions offerings and Global Hunger Relief. The balance was designated for other SBC entities or the SBC Operating Budget. Combined designated gifts to SBC causes and CP Allocation Budget gifts showed a 4.22 percent increase over the same time last year.
The convention-adopted budgeted amount was distributed 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, 2.99 percent to the SBC operating budget and 1.65 percent to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Of the amount received that was over the budgeted goal, IMB received a full 51 percent of the $9.23 million overage, while the SBC operating budget received only 2.4 percent of the overage. Other SBC entities received the same percentage of the overage as the allocation formula in the 2015–2016 adopted CP Allocation Budget.
“We believe the Acts 1:8 strategy includes local, state, as well as national and international ministries, and we are thankful for our state partners,” Page added.
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow. While we give thanks for the strategic decisions and the sacrifice of God’s people, the heart of the issue is always stewardship,” he said. “We need to continue to call upon our people to be diligent in fulfilling the biblical tithe and going beyond so that we can truly see our world touched for the gospel."
September gifts through CP totaled $16,569,490.69, while designated gifts were $4,681,908.00. Monies include receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 2015-2016 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget and to SBC causes as stipulated in designated gifts.
The CP is Southern Baptists channel of giving, begun in 1925, through which a local church can contribute to the ministries of its state/regional convention and the missions and ministries of the SBC with a single monthly or weekly contribution.
Month-to-month swings in the amount received through the Executive Committee reflect a number of factors, including the timing of when the state 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 receipts 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 cpmissions.net/CPReports.