We Southern Baptist have two mammoth special offerings and when we can, we like to brag about them. The largest is the Lottie Moon offering which goes to our flagship entity, The International Mission Board. The other is this one which goes to our second largest entity, the North American Mission Board whose trustees were informed last night that this year’s offering was a record $61.1 million.
Here are a few things to ponder on this bit of good news:
This is the second consecutive year where the offering was a record. This year was about 2.4% higher than last year. It took a solid decade for NAMB to surpass giving levels prior to the recession. Now, we have a streak of record high offerings going. Two isn’t much of a streak but it’s a start.
NAMB gets about half of their revenues from this offering. Since NAMB has made it their goal to spend half of their budget on church planting, they can say that all of the offering goes to support missionaries in the U.S. and Canada.
SBCers shouldn’t be too quick to swallow the anti-NAMB criticism. No SBC entity has had louder critics over the past eight years and it’s easy to presume that the most shrill voices represent the majority. Seems to me that a better look at how Southern Baptists view NAMB and what they are doing is the offering that represents tens of thousands of individual churches giving to Annie Armstrong rather than a few complainers.
Growth in the special offerings is very modest…but one should be thankful that it is growth. There is no area of Southern Baptist life that shows the kind of healthy growth to which we have been accustomed. Over a decade, AA has grown by less than one percent annually. The Cooperative Program is flat.
Maybe they’re having a party in Alpharetta because of the record offering. Guess my invitation got lost. Or, maybe they are working hard for us…
Good work NAMB. Keep it up.