His Dec 1 article in the Biblical Recorder, Illusion of 50-50 drawing power expresses his view that moving to a 50/50 Cooperative Program split will not do anything to attract new or greater church offering plate dollars to the CP.
He might be right. Jameson:
Those who support the GCR mantra of de-emphasizing state convention work in favor of the national and international ministries of the SBC feel that if state conventions would forward at least 50 percent of the CP gifts from churches, then churches would be inspired to send more money.
This perspective gives great weight to the idea that Baptists want more of their gifts to reach “the nations,” and they are not being as generous as in the past because they feel too much of their money stays in the state for local ministries, when there already are enough churches to take care of local needs.
Is that perspective accurate?
He offers the example of the Oklahoma convention doing just that 25 years ago. They moved to 50/50 and, as he put it:
…in a time of unity within the state convention; when Southern Baptists nationally were unified behind Bold Mission Thrust goals; when state conventions were committed to increasing CP gifts nationally; when 10 percent CP giving from churches was more the norm than the exception, state conventions that adopted a 50-50 CP division could not maintain it.While I do not argue the example, I would argue that churches should not be blamed for state conventions not being able to exist on half of the CP funds that they receive. Jameson's statement that the Oklahoma convention "could not maintain" the 50/50 should be read that they didn't have the pressure, incentive, or will to maintain it. We can always do what we have to do or what we think is right to do.
Churches simply did not respond.
They were neither impressed nor moved by their conventions’ commitments enough to increase their own.
I understand the motivation that makes state convention executives condition a move to a 50/50 split on churches giving more. "Give us more and we can do with less," they say.
The execs would like to keep as much money as they can to fund as many of the state staff jobs and ministries that exist now. They would like to avoid more program, staff, and budget cuts. But the whole point of moving to 50/50 in my opinion is that more of each CP dollar should go to higher priority destinations and that the present two-thirds of CP gifts shouldn’t be kept in heavily churched states like Georgia, Alabama, Florida and other Bible Belt states.
If churches don’t give an additional nickel to the CP, it is a better use of CP dollars to send more to Nashville and on to the seminaries, IMB, and NAMB.
But, all the 50/50 talk is somewhat of an empty exercise, IMO. I doubt states, even those who have made some declaration of intent about moving to 50/50 (and one notes the usual caveats: “will take a protracted period of time”, “if churches give more”, etc.) will ever get there.
The Great Commission Resurgence didn’t cause the problems that the CP now faces. It may prove significant in putting more money in authentic Great Commission activities.
We will see.