The latest CP giving statistics for the current year are reported by Baptist Press in the story headlined, "CP moves ahead of budgeted goal."
Perhaps this is a good subject for positive reporting, given that not much in the way of good news is available on budgets and giving these days. Although year-to-date CP giving is slightly down, the SBC YTD budgeted goal has been covered.We're in the black. Good.
Not to be missed is the fact that total CP YTD gifts were down from the same period last year by over one-half million dollars, a decrease of about one percent.
Note this paragraph:
Designated giving of $40,729,354.48 for the same year-to-date period is 8.72 percent, or $3,267,717.60, above gifts of $37,461,636.88 received at this point last year. This total includes only those gifts received and distributed by the Executive Committee and does not reflect designated gifts contributed directly to SBC entities.CP giving is down a half million, about a percent. Designated giving is up over three million, almost nine percent. Is there a trend here? Time will tell.
It is not lost on pastors and churches that if they want to support the International Mission Board and North American Mission Boards the strongest and most efficient way to do this is by the mission offerings or other designated channels. A dollar designated is a dollar to NAMB or the IMB. A dollar to the CP is about twenty cents to the IMB and a dime to NAMB.
Many, most, of the state conventions have made declarations of intent to move towards a CP division that keeps less in-state. The pace is glacial for this. The difference in allocations is minimal.
There is an alternative and churches are well aware of it: increase designated giving. NAMB and the IMB instantly and significantly benefit.
The Cooperative Program is our wonderful, aggregate denominational giving system. It works well enough to underwrite our vast panoply of institutions and entities. It doesn't work well in adjusting to changes over the decades.
Some among us decry going back to the societal plan. We're not going back to it. We never left it. Since the creation of the CP, we've always had a combination of the two.
Part of a single fiscal year doesn't make a trend but it's looking like the scales are tipping towards societal a bit.