Your 2006 gifts forwarded to the Convention for distribution to support the cooperative ministries of the SBC have totaled $200,601,536.29. This is the first time over $200 million has been distributed through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget process and is an increase of $4,653,113.74 over giving in 2005.
The ultimate impact of such generous giving will be measured in the number of lost people led to Christ here in North America and around the world. This new record illustrates the magnitude of love the SBC has for a lost world while demonstrating the power of cooperative giving for cooperating ministries. Our churches, big and small, are able to combine the financial resources that God has provided them with those of other churches to accomplish that which individual churches can never accomplish alone.
Much of the increase can be credited to a renewed commitment by many to increase the percentage that each state forwards to the Convention. All of the state execs attending the February 2006 meeting of the Association of State Convention Executive Directors agreed to adopt a budget model that would increase the amount forwarded to the Convention for distribution through the CP Allocation Budget process. When compared to last year, thirty-five of forty-two states reported an increase in the percentage forwarded and some states achieved remarkable success in promoting CP and forwarding an increased percentage, including:
• Arizona was up 7.23 percent.
• Florida increased by 10.52 percent.
• Iowa forwarded an increase of 37.57 percent.
• Kansas-Nebraska was up 8.86 percent.
• New Mexico was up 14.77 percent.
• New York was up 16.30 percent.
• Ohio was up 7.06 percent.
• Pennsylvania-South Jersey was up an incredible 97.58 percent.
• Utah-Idaho was up 7.4 percent.
• West Virginia was up 9.51 percent.
• Wyoming was up 15.63 percent.
The bottom line is that the cooperative spirit of the states combined with a renewed commitment to the value of the Cooperative Program resulted in the record giving of over $200 million.
John 13:34-35 states, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (NASB).
In 2006, Southern Baptists demonstrated to all men — to the entire world — the nature and character of God's love. Let our love for the lost grow; imagine what God could accomplish through us in 2007!
Bob Rodgers is vice president for Cooperative Program and Stewardship with the SBC Executive Committee.