The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee (EC) reported the strongest first two months of a fiscal year since 2009 as contributions to SBC national and international missions and ministries through the Cooperative Program (CP) exceeded $17.3 million in November 2019.
As of Nov. 30, gifts received by the EC for distribution through the CP Allocation Budget total $32,571,296.53. This exceeds last year’s budget contribution through two months of $31,535,913.44 by $1,035,383.09 or 3.28 percent. The amount given is slightly less than the $32,750,000.00 year-to-date budgeted projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America by $178,703.47 or 0.55 percent.
The final amount received in November totaled $17,363,645.09, which was $282,369.01 more than the $17,081,276.08 received in November 2018 and $988,645.09 more than the monthly budgeted amount of $16,375,000.00.
“While we rejoice and give God all of the praise that our new fiscal year is off to its strongest beginning since 2009, we also thank the churches of our Southern Baptist family for their generosity,” said SBC EC president and CEO Ronnie Floyd in a statement to Baptist Press. “Our pastors, church leaders and churches are demonstrating a growing commitment to reaching every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation. The more we prioritize the Great Commission, the more we will prioritize, elevate and accelerate our giving through the Cooperative Program. We are very optimistic about the path we are on and are looking forward to a great year of financial support towards reaching the world for Christ.”
Designated gifts received in November amounted to $4,004,198.16. This total was $867,671.96 or 27.66 percent above gifts of $3,136,526.20 received last November. This year’s designated gifts through two months amount to $7,857,451.24, which is $1,378,466.43 or 21.28 percent more than the $6,478,984.81 given through two months 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, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and other special gifts. This total includes only those gifts received and distributed by the EC 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’ CP 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 (IMB), 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 EC’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 EC 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 CP contributions to the EC, 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 EC 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.