NASHVILLE (BP) – The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) met its Cooperative Program (CP) budgeted goal of $188 million, but ended its fiscal year 1.92 percent below last year’s contributions, SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page has announced.
“The federal government may be facing a shutdown this week,” Page said, “but Southern Baptist missions and ministries are open for business.”
The SBC received $188,001,275.70 in CP gifts during the fiscal year Oct. 1, 2012-Sept. 30, 2013, or $3,677,718.58 less than the $191,678,994.28 received the previous fiscal year. This year’s giving was 0.00068 percent above the budgeted goal of $188,000,000.
“When we projected this year’s CP allocation budget, we anticipated that churches would recover from the global economic crisis more slowly than the general economy, something researchers have observed from past recessions,” Page said. “Knowing that, we felt it prudent to budget accordingly.”
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 with a single monthly or weekly contribution. Monies include receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 2012-13 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
The SBC-adopted budget was distributed as follows: 50.2 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, 3.2 percent to the SBC operating budget and 1.65 percent to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
In the 2013-2014 budget year which began Oct. 1, IMB’s percentage increased to 50.41 percent, while the SBC operating budget decreased to 2.99 percent. Other allocation percentages remained the same.
“The new budget that begins this week is a realistic goal – a 1.86 percent increase over last year’s budget. It will take confidence in our ministries and personal sacrifice to reach and surpass our 2013-2014 budget goal for impacting our world and our nation with the gospel,” Page said. “I am confident on both counts.”
The budget outlook comes at a time when the SBC continues to encourage CP giving from local churches through the “1% CP Challenge.” Page has challenged Southern Baptist churches to increase their CP contributions by 1 percentage point of their budgets. If every cooperating Southern Baptist church would accept the 1% CP Challenge, Page said, it “would generate millions of dollars for the Convention’s aggressive international missions outreach, its intentional church planting and evangelism strategies and its programs for ministerial preparation.”
In designated giving, the fiscal year’s total of $193,106,285.82 is 1.24 percent above the previous year’s $190,744,940.28.