This is the Executive Committee portion of the CP, funding mostly for the mission boards and seminaries, not the whole thing. State conventions still keep around 60% of every CP dollar from the churches and a progress report that combines all of the states isn’t issued monthly like the SBC portion.
- CP at the national level is down 4.11 percent as compared with the same nine month period last year.
- Receipts for June were about $647k behind June of last year.
- Total for June was an improvement from April and May
All this is probably pandemic related. After all, very few churches have met physically since March. I haven’t been to ‘real’ church since March 15th and with virus cases increasing around here, I doubt I will return for some weeks more.
Of greater concern is the report that designated giving passed through from the state conventions to the Executive Committee is down over $9 million compared to last year. I judge that most of this is the complete decimation of the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for NAMB. No report on total AAEO is made until later in the year. Perhaps churches will catch up but I’d be skeptical.
The CP, set to celebrate its centennial anniversary in a few years, is stressed.
CP as a percentage of offering plate dollars has been declining for decades. Revenues have been flat, perhaps slightly declining the past few years. What might have been a year of at least stability in CP revenues and perhaps a slight increase is now almost certain to be a decline.
Everyone loves the Cooperative Program. It is, as we like to brag, the envy of all denominations, a huge funding engine. Will pastors and churches love it enough to prioritize it when adjusting their expenses in the age of COVID-19? Probably not.
Here are some questions:
- Will pastors and churches see their church needs, local missions, and the two mission boards as having higher priority than their state convention?
- Will churches make opportunity cost decisions about their mission dollars and see Lottie and Annie as the better route, since 100% of these go to the respective mission boards?
- The CP makes up one-third or less of revenues for the seminaries and mission boards – it’s hugely important but not dominant – whereas CP is almost the sole revenue source for state conventions. How hard will the states be hit?
- Is there too much other noise in the SBC right now (the new network, Executive Committee squabbles) for any CP advance plan to be heard and contribute to a positive change?
- Ronnie Floyd’s vision 2025 calls for total CP to reach $500 million by 2025. Total now is around $460 million. Does this have a chance of being reached?
- Will the cry of ‘local mission needs’ displace the cry of the billions outside of affluent America who need the Gospel?
I wonder what the thinking will be a year from now, even if we are past COVID-19? We’ve all got an opinion. Seems to me like when the CP takes a strong hit, it never recovers completely.
Time will tell. I don’t think there is anyone at any level in the SBC that knows what things will look like in 2025.