Here are a couple of things that offer a counterpoint to that negative narrative:
First, there has been a sub-narrative that megachurches are not helpful to the Cooperative Program and do not support it with the same dedication that smaller churches do. True enough if one looks at percentages. I do not know of many megachurches that make CP gifts above the 5.4% average percentage of undesignated gifts. I know many, many smaller churches that do so.
So, check the news on the SBC's most prominent megachurch pastor, and current SBC president, Ronnie Floyd. His Cross church is giving one million to the Cooperative Program this year. Very few churches have ever reached seven figures in CP gifts for a single year. Floyd has asked hard questions about the CP, yet continues to lead his church to give very generously to it.
We can stop, or at least slow down, the criticism of megachurches and their pastors for not being CP supporters. When churches make autonomous decisions to give generously to the CP, they should all be commended. Fact is, 4% of SBC churches give 50% of all CP gifts. Any state convention CEO, seminary president, or either of our mission board leaders will rejoice when a small church gives 20% or when a large church gives $1 million, even if there is some spread between their giving percentages.
Second, the latest Executive Committee report on CP giving shows receipts slightly above budgeted allocations. If this month and next are good months perhaps there will be a small surplus at the end of the fiscal year.
Many of the state conventions, the hardest hit SBC entities of the past decade, deserve credit for taking steps to slightly reduce the portion of the CP that is kept in-state. Leaders like Ronnie Floyd deserve credit for making significant increases in their CP support.
While no one sees churches as a group returning to anywhere near the 10% of undesignated offerings that was the standard of 35 years ago, we might see the CP level off at 5 to 6 percent.