Cooperative Program giving in 2019-20 testament to Southern Baptists’ faithfulness

NASHVILLE (BP) – The 2020 fiscal year for the Southern Baptist Convention ended September 30, 2020, and despite challenges related to the COVID-19 global pandemic, giving by Southern Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program for national and international missions and ministries totaled more than $192.9 million. After gifts of more than $14.8 million were received in September, giving for the year ended less than 2 percent below the national CP allocation budget.

“The consistency and faithfulness of our churches giving through the Cooperative Program during this global pandemic has resulted in us being able to fund the vision of the Great Commission and the needed ministries to support it,” said SBC Executive Committee president and CEO Ronnie Floyd in a statement.  “All of this begins with individuals and families who have been faithful to honor God with at least one-tenth of their income through their local church. In this time when the world needs Jesus desperately, may this move us to evaluate how much more we can give and forward to send more missionaries across the world.”

For the fiscal year ending September 30, gifts received by the EC for distribution through the CP Allocation Budget totaled $192,900,851.18. This is $3,830,852.26 or 1.95 percent less than last year’s giving total of $196,731,703.44. The amount given is slightly below the $196,500,000.00 budget to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America by $3,599,148.82 or 1.83 percent.

The final amount received in September 2020 totaled $14,823,309.99, which was $436,313.93 (2.86 percent) less than the $15,259,623.92 received in September 2019 and $1,551,690.01 (9.48 percent) less than the monthly budgeted amount of $16,375,000.00.

Designated gifts received in September amounted to $4,711,281.45. This total was $338,085.04 or 7.73 percent above gifts of $4,373,196.41 received last September. Also, this year’s total designated gifts for the fiscal year amounted to $174,219,506.85, which is $17,476,046.90 or 9.12 percent less than the $191,695,553.75 given in previous fiscal year.

The Cooperative Program is the financial fuel to fund the SBC mission and vision of reaching every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state, and every nation. Begun in 1925, local churches contribute to the ministries of their 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 was $196.5 million. It was 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. 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.

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.

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 sbc.net/cp.

This article was originally published by Baptist Press at baptistpress.com

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