NASHVILLE (BP) – Six months into the 2022 fiscal year, giving through the Cooperative Program totaled more than $105.9 million, almost $11 million above the mid-year budget of $95 million.
“The sustained faithfulness of giving through the Cooperative Program is a testimony to the generosity of our Southern Baptist churches,” said Willie McLaurin, SBC Executive Committee interim president, in a statement. “The Cooperative Program reaches the nations and the neighborhoods with the Good News. I am incredibly thankful for local pastors who lead their congregations to forward financial resources to reach their local, national and international mission field. In the first six months of the fiscal year, we have witnessed the faithfulness of God time and time again.”
The amount given through the Cooperative Program in March 2022 totaled $16,035,496.31, which was $262,110.13 (1.66 percent) more than the $15,773,386.18 received in March 2021 and $202,162.97 (1.28 percent) more than the monthly budgeted amount of $15,833,333.34.
As of March 31, gifts received by the EC for distribution through the CP Allocation Budget total $105,914,683.19. This is $9,861,943.87 or 10.27 percent more than last year’s budget contribution of $96,052,739.32. The amount given is ahead of the $95,000,000.04 year-to-date budgeted projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America by $10,914,683.15 or 11.49 percent.
Designated gifts received in March amounted to $29,398,583.09. This total was $1,041,127.04, or 3.67 percent, more than gifts of $28,357,456.05 received last March. Also, this year’s designated gifts through the first six months of the fiscal year amount to $123,990,059.74, which is $10,532,194.66 or 9.28 percent more than the $113,457,865.08 given through same period in the 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 2021-2022 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 2021-2022 is $190 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 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 originally appeared on Baptist Press.