The three most important offerings for Southern Baptists are the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions and the Cooperative Program.
How are these faring in the age of COVID? The numbers are in. Here’s how we’re doing.
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering total exceeds goal at $159.9M
The total is the second highest in history. It’s $4.5 million over what IMB budgeted and $2.6 million more than was given last year.
Great news here!
Although some churches give to Lottie year round, most churches still receive the offering around and through Christmas, which was before COVID hit. My last Sunday at in-house church was March 15th. Lottie, one speculates, missed the worst of COVID consequences. Regardless, one hopes, Southern Baptists would have seen that our international missionaries received the financial support they need.
Also, make a note that while most of the SBC is talking about lawsuits and CP cancellation, IMB appointed 80 new missionaries.
This is why we’re here – to reach the world for Christ.
Ezell: ‘Greatest Annie Offering ever’ despite steep decline
The Annie Armstrong offering took a huge hit, down a staggering $12.3 million from last year. For the past three years, Annie has had record offering totals. This year, the COVID crisis hit at the worst possible time for the offering.
NAMB has healthy reserves. One hopes that by next year, giving returns to at or above previous levels.
Cooperative Program giving in 2019-2020 testament to Southern Baptists’ faithfulness
Our flagship cooperative offering totaled $192.9 million, down $3.8 million from last year. This is not too bad by my reckoning. As we know, state conventions keep most of your CP dollars. The numbers above are just the portion received by the Executive Committee for distribution to SBC entities.
In the SBC we can’t seem to have honest and open conversations but in the case of these, our three most important offerings, the numbers tell us what we’re looking like.
Overall, we are in good condition. IMB and NAMB have healthy reserves. The CP faces some challenges.