I like Fred Luter our current SBC president (BP photo above). In the customary seminary tour that all SBC presidents take, he spoke of a number of goals.
Baptist Press story:Luter outlines goals during seminary visit
Luter is asking all churches to increase their CP giving by 1 percentage point of their budget.The red is mine.
"You'd be amazed at the number of missionaries we can put on the field, the number of churches we can plant, and the number of students we can train if all of our churches give just 1 more percent to the C.P."
Luter said he also will consider Cooperative Program giving when making appointments.
"You've got to be able to give," he said. "Don't just have your hands out saying, 'What can I get from the association?' We're asking you to give a percentage of your tithes and offerings to the convention, your local associations and your state convention."
It has been six years or so since the latest in a series of high profile, blue ribbon Cooperative Program study committees shrank back from actually suggesting that SBC leaders come from churches with good Cooperative Program giving records. They originally suggested ten percent, a figure long in the SBC's past, but were (dare I say) bullied out of it.
The average percentage of undesignated church giving that is given to the Cooperative Program used to be over ten percent. It is now under six percent and headed southward.
Someone with some influence has to make an attempt to persuade SBCers of a floor for this, a threshold percentage, below which an individual would not be considered for major SBC office or appointment.
What is the threshold figure? Five percent sounds good to me. That is more than almost all of the megachurches give to the CP. Ten percent would disqualify almost all trustees and leaders. Five is fine and that is five percent to the CP, not five percent combined CP plus the mission offerings and direct gifts.
Seems to me that if state conventions receive three percent (they keep something above 60% of all CP receipts and forward less than half to the mission boards and other SBC entities) of all church undesignated dollars, that is a pretty good sum to have to spend - probably too much.
So, Fred, in addition to asking for the one percent increase that Frank Page has been promoting, think about a floor percentage for all appointees.
Let the megas complain when told, "Sorry, brother, I cannot appoint any of your members. You just don't give enough to the Cooperative Program."
That would be a red letter day indeed.
Sure, this is all persuasion and would take a lot of guts. I doubt Fred will take my suggestion but at some point we have to fall out of love with leaders who give paltry sums to our grand denominational giving program. [Yeah, I voted for Bryant Wright who was under the five percent...]
I'm with you, Fred, one thousand percent with you - check it, check it closely.