Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cooperative Program giving: flat as a pancake

The SBC Executive Committee has released Cooperative Program data for their recently completed 2011-2012 fiscal year and CP receipts are flat as a pancake. The actual numbers show about 0.1 percent decline but because SBC entities reduced their budgets for the year there is a small budget surplus.

The graph above is from the Baptist Press article on the latest figures.

Frank Page, Executive Committee CEO, takes a positive outlook,
"We finished 3 percent ahead of our budgeted goal and only slightly under last year's CP total. This is hallelujah territory! To God be the glory," Page said. "Based on our approved CP allocation budget goal, IMB will receive 51 percent of the $5.6 million overage, providing additional resources for reaching the nations with the Gospel. Our other ministry entities will receive their allocated portions of the overage as well, with the overage portion coming to the EC falling to only 2.4 percent."
I like the way he looks at these things.

From the two years of very steep CP declines, 2009 and 2010, where CP receipts dropped about $13 million or about seven percent, we have three years of essentially no change at all for SBC allocations.

The last few years have easily been the most financially stressful for the SBC in my lifetime. All the talk about the decline of the Cooperative Program has some basis in fact in the sense that the average percentages of churches have been almost cut in half over the past few decades; however, any denominational giving program that generates over $190 million year-after-year is the envy of other religious organizations.

Absent catastrophic economic changes in our country, the Cooperative Program is at its floor I suspect.

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