…that not too many of us are talking about:
NASHVILLE (BP) — Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 2.57 percent above the year-to-date SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget projection and 2.09 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Page.
The year-to-date total represents money received by the Executive Committee by the close of the last business day of May and includes receipts from state conventions, churches and individuals for distribution, according to the 2014-15 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
The $128,551,618.17 received by the Executive Committee for the first eight months of the fiscal year, Oct. 1 through May 31, for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget represents 102.57 percent of the $125,333,333.33 year-to-date budgeted projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America. The total is $2,633,111.07 or 2.09 percent more than the $125,918,507.10 received through the end of May 2014.
Two percent above last year same period might not sound like much but it is considerable in comparison to the decades-long slide downward of our venerable Cooperative Program.
- State conventions like it because they get most of the money (and to be fair, part of the increase reported may be as a result of several major state conventions keeping less of that CP dollar).
- The mission boards and seminaries like it because it gives them a glimmer of hope that the CP may eventually yield a stable or even slightly growing sum for their budgets.
- The Executive Committee likes it because it validates, however marginally, the latest CP increase program.
But most Southern Baptists don’t pay attention and good news isn’t all that interesting hereabouts.
You can count on someone squabbling about something in SBC life. You can count on your insurance rates going up this year. You can count on some other aspect of the culture war being lost. You can’t count on the CP going up but maybe this year it will.
The SBC as we know it would not be recognizable without the Cooperative Program. The CP is the cooperative funding plan that joins all the parts together. It is in our common interest that it prove durable.
Perhaps the rest of the fiscal year, four more months, will show a small but solid increase in CP revenues.