The faithfulness and generosity of Southern Baptists have resulted in an astounding increase in giving to the Cooperative Program during the months of June through August, according to Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee.
For the year to date, total CP and designated gifts are up an impressive 6.34 percent above the same period last year. At the end of August, a total of $323,022,987.57 had been received, compared to last year's mark of $303,767,494.38.
June receipts of the Cooperative Program, however, were up 32.41 percent and July receipts were up 11.2 percent compared to the same months a year ago, Chapman said, attributing the increase in part to the Partners in the Harvest campaign.
As a result of Southern Baptist cooperation, more than 94 percent of all national CP mission gifts go directly to sending and supporting missionaries and training ministry leaders.
The remaining 6 percent goes to programs that support retired ministers and their widows, defending religious liberty, and providing efficient management of Convention ministries.
The extra CP dollars will enable the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, and the SBC's six seminaries to expand their efforts to share Jesus Christ with the world.
NAMB, for example, could use the funds to establish the infrastructure to mobilize 100,000 young people in mission experiences throughout North America by the end of 2002. NAMB also has a vision for adding another strategic city in the year 2002, along with planting new churches in significant cities in Canada.
The IMB has linked record CP giving to the potential to send more missionaries to new people groups. The IMB has focused on ministry to the Quichuas and Kurds in an effort to establish an indigenous church planting movement among them. The average cost of entering a new people group is between $50,000 and $75,000.
The excitement surrounding giving to the Cooperative Program is also having a tremendous impact on state Baptist conventions, Chapman said. Michael McCullough, associate executive director for the California Southern Baptist Convention, said that Partners in the Harvest has already had an impact in their state.
"The vision and generosity of California Baptists is leading us to propose increasing our support of CP world missions from 29 percent to 30 percent for the 2001 budget year," McCullough said. "This means we will be putting off some things we want to do in California in order to further the cause of world missions and evangelism."
As Partners in the Harvest, McCullough said they are asking churches in California to increase their gifts to CP missions by at least one percent of their church budget for the 2001 budget year, something churches across the SBC are being asked to consider.
For the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget, the year-to-date receipts of $162,851,541.96 were $16,566,444.21 above the budgeted $146,285,097.75.
For the fiscal year to date, designated giving remained 7.24 percent ahead of last year's pace, $160,171,445.61 as compared to $149,357,163.33.
The SBC CP total includes receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions, and fellowships for distribution according to the 1999-2000 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
CP is Southern Baptists' method of supporting missions and ministry efforts of state and regional conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention. Designated contributions include the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American missions, world hunger, and other special gifts.
State and regional conventions retain a percentage of CP contributions they receive from the churches to support work in their areas and send the remaining funds to the Executive Committee for national and international ministries. The percentage of distribution is at the discretion of each state or regional convention.
Your Church Reaching the World for Christ
When you give through the Southern Baptist Convention portion of the Cooperative Program, you fund the following:
50 percent supports over 4,800 missionaries in over 150 countries around the world leading to 400,000 baptisms and 4,700 new churches started last year overseas.
22.79 percent supports church planting and evangelism in North America through 5,000 missionaries and nearly 200,000 volunteers with over 1,700 new churches planted last year; also, supports nationwide radio and television ministries.
3.32 percent provides accounting, legal services, communications, promotion, convention meetings, and administration.
1.49 percent promotes religious liberty and Christian values in multiple venues including daily live nation-wide radio broadcasts.
.76 percent supports 855 low income retired Baptist ministers and widows.
21.64 percent trains over 12,000 ministers and missionaries in six seminaries.