NASHVILLE (BP) – Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries received by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee are 7.59 percent over the same period last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President Frank Page. The total includes receipts from state conventions and fellowships, churches and individuals for distribution according to the 2012-13 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
As of Nov. 30, gifts received by the Executive Committee for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget totaled $30,586,021.68, or $2,158,294.66 above the $28,427,727.02 received through November 2011.
“I am greatly encouraged at this positive report,” Page said. “It is too early to speculate whether this is a sign that our ‘1% CP Challenge’ is beginning to make an impact, is the result of an improvement in the economic prospects of our people and churches, is the effect of the state conventions that are moving closer to a 50/50 division between the state portion and the SBC portion of the Cooperative Program, or is merely the timing of the monthly gifts from the churches and states. Whatever the cause, I am thankful for this increase in gifts through CP.”
A Cooperative Program survey conducted by LifeWay Research (see the Winter issue of SBC LIFE, mailed this week, with a follow-up BP story slated for next week) showed that 7 percent of pastors accepted the “1% CP Challenge” in their churches’ current budget year, with another 8 percent of pastors planning to lead their churches to accept the challenge in the next budget year.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am not into building a denomination. But I am very much into extending the Kingdom,” Page said. “Each gift through the CP increases the number of missionaries we can appoint, the number of churches we can help launch and revitalize, the number of students we can help train for leadership in our churches, and the impact we can make on Capitol Hill advocating for biblical morality and religious liberty. This is why I am excited about and committed to the Cooperative Program.”
For the month, a total of $16,983,721.04 was received for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
Meanwhile, year-to-date designated giving of $6,765,332.93 is 6.79 percent, or $492,938.20, below gifts of $7,258,271.13 received at this point last year. 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 and designated giving totals represent money received by the Executive Committee by the close of the last business day of each month. Month-to-month swings reflect a number of factors, including the number of Sundays in a given month, the day of the month churches forward their CP contributions to their state conventions and the timing of when state conventions forward the national portion of their CP contributions to the Executive Committee.
For the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget, the year-to-date total of $30,586,021.68 is 97.61 percent of the $31,333,333.33 budgeted to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America.
The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ method of supporting missions and ministry efforts of state and regional conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Cooperative Program total includes receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 2012-13 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
Designated contributions include the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions, Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund and other special gifts.
State and regional conventions retain a portion of church contributions to the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program to support work in their respective areas and forward a percentage to Southern Baptist national and international causes. The percentage of distribution is at the discretion of each state or regional convention.