NASHVILLE (BP) — Contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee in May were 3.47% above the projected budget through eight months of the current fiscal year and 0.93% above the amount received during the same period last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd.
As of May 31, gifts received by the Executive Committee for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget totaled $133,825,600.61, or $1,231,336.57 above the $132,594,264.04 received through the first eight months of the 2017–2018 fiscal year. The fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. The May YTD total is $4,492,267.28 above the $129,333,333.33 YTD allocation budget projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America.
“I am grateful for every gift from our churches that helps us as Southern Baptists to advance the Great Commission across every state, throughout our land and around the world,” Floyd said.
“In my message to the messengers at the SBC annual meeting in Birmingham next week, I will challenge us all to live and breathe Gospel urgency,” Floyd said. “It is my prayer that we will continue to prioritize, elevate, and accelerate our giving through the Cooperative Program. I remain convinced it is the most effective means of mobilizing our churches and extending our reach until all people everywhere have access to the Gospel.”
Year-to-date designated giving of $147,104,783.46 was 4.09%, or $6,274,910.20, below gifts of $153,379,693.66 received in the first eight months of last year’s 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, 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.
Meanwhile, CP allocation receipts for SBC work for the month of May totaled $17,639,483.33. Designated gifts received in May amounted to $17,986,566.18.
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 2018-2019 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 Southern Baptist Convention national and international causes. The percentage of distribution is at the discretion of each state or regional convention.
The Convention-adopted budget for 2018-2019 is $194 million and is disbursed as follows: 50.41% to international missions through the International Mission Board, 22.79% to North American missions through the North American Mission Board, 22.16% to theological education through the six SBC seminaries and the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, 2.99%to the SBC operating budget, and 1.65% to the Ethics and 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.
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.