October is “Cooperative Program Emphasis Month” on the SBC calendar. Each local church is challenged to study the Cooperative Program. Learn about it. See what it does. Pray about your part. Show the “1% Challenge” video to your church.
The 1% CP Challenge “is a succinct way to do something more—an understandable way to say, ‘Yeah, we can do that,’” Frank S. Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, said. “It is understandable, is easily acted upon, and can be done without shifting major sections of a church’s finances.”
According to the Executive Committee’s 2012 Cooperative Program Omnibus Survey, 7 percent of cooperating Southern Baptist churches reported they had accepted the 1% CP Challenge.
According to figures in the 2012 Annual Church Profile released last summer, 3,192 churches—6.93 percent of Southern Baptist churches—showed an increase in the percentage of their missions giving through the Cooperative Program by at least 1 percent, confirming the accuracy of the previous year’s survey.
One tangible result of this is that the average percentage of undesignated gifts given through the Cooperative Program by our supporting churches moved up by one-tenth of one percent from the previous year (5.41 to 5.50 percent). This is encouraging and exciting news.
The Executive Committee commissioned another survey this spring, asking church leaders the same set of questions they were asked in 2012. An additional 8 percent of pastors indicated they plan to lead their churches to accept the 1% CP Challenge in the coming year. If this trend continues, millions of additional dollars will become available for our SBC missions and ministry entities to fulfill the tasks Southern Baptists have assigned to them.
“The Cooperative Program is not a reservoir that we hold; it’s money that we send through the CP to missions and ministries,” Page said. “It’s exciting to see new pastors, younger pastors, older pastors, ethnic pastors, Anglo pastors, say, ‘You know, it’s time to put more emphasis on the Cooperative Program.’”
The Cooperative Program fuels Southern Baptists’ aggressive global vision for reaching the nations with the Gospel while sustaining a strong home base of ministry. This has been the driving passion of Southern Baptists since the SBC was formed.
If every cooperating Southern Baptist church raised its contributions through the Cooperative Program by 1 percent, the resultant CP gifts would increase by almost $100 million dollars.
This would unleash the state conventions to make a greater impact on lostness in their respective states. It would give the North American Mission Board greater flexibility in its Send North America church planting and evangelism initiatives. It would allow the International Mission Board to send and maintain a larger number of missionaries on the field. It would allow our seminaries to explore new delivery systems for ministerial training and graduate theological education to make an even greater impact on training pastors and church leaders for effective service. It would assist the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in its continuing mission to engage the broader culture with the claims of Christ and a biblical worldview.
Since 1925, more than $5.75 billion dollars have been contributed through the national portion of the Cooperative Program to help fuel Southern Baptist missions and ministry causes of international missions, North American missions, theological education, and moral advocacy. This is more than the combined cumulative totals of the Lottie Moon Offering since 1888 and the Annie Armstrong Offering since 1933.
Simply put, the 1% CP Challenge has the potential to be the rising tide that raises all the SBC ministry boats our cooperating churches support.
The Cooperative Program truly is the fuel that drives the missions and ministries of the Convention. It is Southern Baptists’ unified plan of giving.
From the 2012 SBC Omnibus Cooperative Program Study
Commissioned by the SBC Executive Committee
From the 2014 SBC Omnibus Cooperative Program Study
Commissioned by the SBC Executive Committee
Fast Facts and Interesting Snippets about the Southern Baptist Convention
- Over the past five years, total receipts reported by Southern Baptist churches have dropped 7.5 percent (from $12.1 Billion in 2008 to $11.2 Billion in 2013).
- During the same five-year period, contributions to the SBC national CP have declined by the same amount of 7.5 percent ($198 Million to $183 Million).
- After many years of steady decline of about 0.20 percentage points per year in average CP gifts from churches, this decline leveled off in 2011 and 2012 (5.407 percent  and 5.414 percent ) and rose slightly to 5.50 percent in 2013.
- According to Giving USA, giving to religious institutions continues to slow in 2014 despite an overall increase in charitable giving of 4.4 percent.
- According to the 2013 Charitable Giving Report, online charitable giving grew by 13.5 percent over 2012 and accounted for 6.4 percent of all charitable giving.
- After reaching its highest dollar amount in history in 2008, total CP contributions fell a total of 11.16 percent through 2012, with a slight increase in CP contributions in 2013.
- In terms of actual dollars, the amount of Cooperative Program dollars received by the SBC from the states was almost the same in 2013 ($183 million) as it was in 2004 ($182 million).
- The three lowest SBC annual meeting attendance numbers in recent history were in Phoenix, Houston, and Baltimore.
- The three highest SBC annual meeting attendance numbers in recent history were in Nashville, Greensboro, and Orlando, with New Orleans a close fourth.
- The percentage of messengers in the 18–39 age-range who attended the SBC annual meeting in 2007 was 13.12 percent; in 2014, the percentage almost doubled to 24.68 percent. The percentage of messengers 60 years old and up declined from 35.36 percent in 2007 to 27.52 percent in 2014.
- Since 1984, the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting was held in old-line Southern states nineteen times (four times each in New Orleans and Atlanta, three times in Orlando, and twice each in San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas) and in non-south states 12 times (twice each in Phoenix and St. Louis and three times in Indianapolis).
- The average number of messengers per church attending the SBC annual meeting has held steady at just over two per church for the past twenty years.
- Over the past decade North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia churches have sent the greatest number of messengers to the SBC annual meeting. Texas, Alabama, Florida, and Kentucky follow next in line.