Thursday, October 3, 2013

It's official: Southern Baptists prefer societal giving to cooperative giving.

The SBC Executive Committee closed their fiscal year books the other day and has reported the results:

  • Cooperative Program gifts: Down   $3,677,719
  • Designated gifts:                   Up        $2,361,345
Note that these are the Cooperative Program and designated gifts that are received and channeled through the Executive Committee, not total CP gifts (most of which stay with the various state conventions), nor gifts given directly to our entities. Most of the designated giving would be the Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon offerings. 

The figure are self-explanatory. 
  • Southern Baptist churches are giving less to the Cooperative Program, a decrease of 1.92% from the previous year.
  • Southern Baptist churches are giving more in designated funds, an increase of 1.24% from the previous year.
Here's something to chew on: Southern Baptists gave more through the Executive Committee in designated giving than they did in Cooperative Program giving and thereby demonstrated that in support of our SBC entities, we prefer societal giving. I didn't check if this is a historic first or not. I suspect it is a first in our lifetime.

Cooperative Program         $188,001,275
Designated Giving              $193,106,285



David Pope said...

I believe this is statistical evidence of a paradigm shift that has been occurring for some time now. The entity leadership can now wring their hands or find a way to embrace it.

William said...

The decline of the CP as a percentage of church offerings is a long term trend, decades long.

The increase of designated giving relative to the CP, churches choosing to put more money directly towards international and North American missions through the special offerings and by means of church budgeting processes, I think to be a newer trend.

Anonymous said...

The Competitive Program.

William Thornton said...

The CP has always been in a competitive environment. At the moment they are not faring well as pastors and churches consider budgeting options which value NAMB and IMB over the CP.

dr. james willingham said...

One reason why all giving is down and especially SBC giving or practically every kind is due to three things: automation, computerization, and robotics. O yes, and I forgot to add, jobs moving over seas with the help of the government, all to bust the unions and the influence of the middle class in governmental rules that call for humane treatment of workers. In Jan.'91 I wrote an evaluation of some papers from a jobs in the future conference attended by the Vocational Director of the county schools where I worked as a Counselor handling job finding for the students and the pathology of incest. I also pastored a small church which once had been the largest church in the county. In my evaluation of the papers on jobs, I discovered that employers do not need workers. Even fast foods can as in one case, a Burger King, with a 24/7 operation and 400 or 4000 workers< I forget the numbers now, replaced the workers with a lazar cooker operator from German @$90/hr, his Japanese assistant, a female, @$60/hr, and retained 18 of the former crew as clean up people. There is more much more. Then the jobs moved overseas. I noticed that they were the textiles and furniture jobs that employed thousands of Baptists in NC and else where in the South. And then Tobacco, whatever we think of it, and my view is decidedly negative now, anyway, it employed a lot of Baptists, too. Now Baptists are still number one as to numbers, but their people are hunting jobs that are scarcer than hen's teeth except for the medical, science, and computer and electronics in the Research Triangle. Most of the jobs have been taken by the folks from up North, and so many of them are Catholics that that denomination is now number two in NC, and our Methodist friends are now number three. The Presbyterians are a distant 4th, all suffering from the inroads of so-called liberalism, really, a form of skepticism about the Bible and supernaturalism of the biblical kind. As the old saying is, "We have been had." As a minister, historian, counselor, and inveterate researcher in many fields, I try to look at everything. What we need more than anything is a great, vast prayer meeting that will continue for 40 years, begging God to return us to the faith of our fathers and convert this vast multitude of lost people that have arisen, especially in the school systems which have basically kicked the Christian faith out fo the public arena in education, politics, business, industry, etc.

Anonymous said...

On Methodists and Presbyterians: "... all suffering from the inroads of so-called liberalism ...."

Then, I guess, SBC is suffering from conservatism.

Thus, whether it is liberalism or conservatism, there is suffering, nonetheless. Sorta makes theological perspective a non-issue for decline.

Jonathan said...

"Dollars pay bills, not percentages" - Adrian Rogers

“Typically those are bloggers who live with their mother and wear a housecoat during the day." - Kevin Ezell

The move away from loyalty to CP giving is the logical extension of the background of these two quotes.

1) The larger churches have, at least for the last few decades, modeled societal giving over CP giving.

2) These same larger churches have dominated the policy making and leadership positions within the SBC for this same period.

3) The small to medium size churches have merely been paying attention. And with the rise of the direct connections (the theological education, mission work, church planting networks, public policy influencing organizations and NGOs), the bulk of SBC churches have discovered that the SBC needs them way more than they need the SBC.