NASHVILLE (BP) – The Southern Baptist Convention ended its fiscal year $9.23 million (4.95 percent) over its 2015–2016 budgeted goal and $6.57 million over the previous year’s Cooperative Program (CP) Allocation Budget gifts, according to Frank S. Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee.
In Missouri, year-to-date CP giving is roughly on par with giving at this time last year, and is running 3.61 percent behind the budgeted goal.
Even so, Missouri Baptists are sending more CP funds to the ends of the earth. The MBC has raised its allocations for the SBC from 37 percent in 2011 to 42.5 percent in 2016.
What this means in actual dollars is staggering. CP funds from Missouri to the SBC in fiscal 2010-11 were $5,524,150. In fiscal 2015-2016, that amount totaled $6,083,561, an increase of 10 percent.
“We are grateful to the Lord for the faithfulness of Missouri Baptists to give to missions in Missouri, throughout North America, and around the world through the Cooperative Program,” said John Yeats, MBC executive director. “Together, we are sending more than half a million additional dollars per year to the SBC than we sent five years ago.”
Yeats continued: “Missouri Baptists have sacrificially kept fewer CP dollars in our state, and sent more dollars to the SBC for support of full-time missionaries, six SBC seminaries, and ethics and religious liberty causes. Meanwhile, they have faithfully supported our Children’s Home, Hannibal-LaGrange University and Southwest Baptist University, and many more ministries that make disciples, multiply churches, and develop leaders” in our state.
Sacrifice and strategy
The SBC received $195,730,508 in Cooperative Program Allocation gifts for the year. This amount is $6,570,277, or 3.47 percent, more than it received during the last fiscal year, and is $9,230,508, or 4.95 percent, more than its budgeted goal of $186.5 million.
“Our Southern Baptist churches have responded powerfully to the call for missions support and ministry support through the Cooperative Program,” said the SBC’s Page.
“I would say two factors are present here – sacrifice and strategic decisions,” he noted. “We thank God for the sacrifice of thousands of churches who truly believe we can collaborate together and do more for the Gospel than we can do alone. This sacrificial giving will minister on the mission field, in theological education and other areas stronger than ever before.
“We are also thankful for the strategic decisions of many of our state conventions who are forwarding more and more to the national level,” Page said in written comments to Baptist Press. “We have just finished five years of increase [from the states], only the third period of time in our history when national CP forwarded from the states has reached or exceeded 38.75 percent. We are thankful for our state partners and thankful for the strategic decisions that many have made.”
In designated giving, the fiscal year’s total of $204,671,725.92 is 4.95 percent above the previous year’s $195,013,412.58. Of this designated amount, $204,135,367.21 was disbursed to IMB and NAMB through the seasonal missions offerings and Global Hunger Relief. The balance was designated for other SBC entities or the SBC Operating Budget. Combined designated gifts to SBC causes and CP Allocation Budget gifts showed a 4.22 percent increase over the same time last year.
The convention-adopted budgeted amount was distributed 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, 2.99 percent to the SBC operating budget and 1.65 percent to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Of the amount received that was over the budgeted goal, IMB received a full 51 percent of the $9.23 million overage, while the SBC operating budget received only 2.4 percent of the overage. Other SBC entities received the same percentage of the overage as the allocation formula in the 2015–2016 adopted CP Allocation Budget.
“We believe the Acts 1:8 strategy includes local, state, as well as national and international ministries, and we are thankful for our state partners!” Page added.