By: Jonathan Howe- Baptist Press
NASHVILLE (BP) – Summertime often negatively impacts church attendance and giving as families travel for vacations. But even as the country experiences more than usual travel this summer and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, giving through the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget remains consistent, meeting the expected budget again in July.
“Even as the complexities and challenges remain before the churches of the SBC relating to the ongoing global pandemic, our churches are continuing to be faithful to give towards fulfilling the Great Commission regionally, statewide, nationally, and globally,” SBC Executive Committee president and CEO Ronnie Floyd said in a statement. “This financial rebound is continuing as we move through this pandemic. We are grateful for all of the churches’ faithfulness in giving. When our churches are giving through the Cooperative Program, they are advancing the Gospel regionally, statewide, nationally and internationally.
“As lostness continues to abound across America and the globe, we must always keep before us the 3,105 unengaged, unreached people groups around the world. Billions of people have not yet heard and believed. We must get the Good News of Jesus Christ to the whole world. Together, we can do this and together we can impact the world for Jesus Christ. This is why our Convention of churches is uniting together now through our Great Commission vision called Vision 2025 – reaching every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation.”
The total amount given through the national Cooperative Program Allocation Budget in July 2021 totaled $15,740,795.38, which was $1,044,780.59 (6.22 percent) less than the $16,785,575.97 received in July 2020 but $167,878.71 (1.08 percent) more than the monthly budgeted amount of $15,572,916.67.
As of July 30, gifts received by the EC for distribution through the CP Allocation Budget total $162,046,287.12. This is $47,354.98 or 0.03 percent more than last year’s budget contribution of $161,998,932.14 and ahead of the $155,729,166.70 year-to-date budgeted projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America by $6,317,120.42 or 4.06 percent.
Designated gifts received in July amounted to $9,278,152.38. This total was $211,815.69, or 2.23 percent, below gifts of $9,489,968.07 received last July. Also, this year’s designated gifts through the first 10 months of the fiscal year amount to $181,840,510.93, which is $18,505,563.00, or 11.33 percent, more than the $163,334,947.93 given through same period in the previous fiscal year.
Total Cooperative Program giving includes all monies given by churches through state conventions to be used for Great Commission ministry and missions within the respective states, across North America and around the world. Begun in 1925, 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. Monies are distributed according to the 2020-2021 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 2020-2021 is $186.875 million and includes an initial $200,000 special priority allocation for the SBC Vision 2025 initiative. Cooperative Program funds are then 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 $186.875 million budget projection at the end of the fiscal year, 10 percent of the overage is to be used to support the SBC Vision 2025 initiative with the balance of the overage distributed according to the percentages approved for budgetary distribution. 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 and posted online at sbc.net/cp.