Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Do SBC megachurches/pastors drive Cooperative Program trends?

Does the level of Cooperative Program giving (or lack thereof) among the few dozen of SBC megachurches (and I’d limit that to high profile megachurches…we know ‘em when we see ‘em) drive CP trends among our 42,000 or so congregations?

Can’t say that I know but some seem to think it does.

Consider the attitudes of some to (a) the SBC electing Bryant Wright who has pointedly reduced his church’s CP giving from 10% to somewhere around 4%, and (b) the plaudits being given to Ronnie Floyd for increasing his church’s CP giving from 0.29% a few years ago (sufficient to cost him the SBC presidency in 2006, IMO) to somewhere around 5% projected for 2011.

Look for the former to be criticized by many and while the latter is praised, sort of a denominational Doppler effect. It sounds different when it’s rising than when it’s falling?

When the dust clears, both of these high-profile SBC megachurch pastors will be giving roughly equivalent amounts to the Cooperative Program; however, the one on the ascent is, among some SBCers, to be praised, while the one on the descent is to be criticized. Both have stellar records of mission support, church planting, and the like.

Note the piece by Norman Jameson, here, where he ends with this paragraph.

Please forward this news [Floyd’s push to increase CP support] to new SBC president Bryant Wright, who said in a press conference following his election that it is poor stewardship to give through the Cooperative Program if reaching the nations is your goal.

Question for Norman: Bryant Wright church’s CP giving reflects the stewardship that he and his church leadership believe is good for reaching the nations. His percentages are (or will be, soon as Floyd catches up with Wright) about the same as Floyd’s. How is it that he gets a slap while Floyd gets a big kiss? Both end up at the same place.

Prediction from Plodder: Floyd’s church will not go beyond 5% in CP support. I commend him for the increase and would happily support him for SBC president should he try it again down the road. His 0.28% was too low. Four or five percent is sufficient for me.

On the original question about high profile megas driving convention-wide CP giving. I just don’t think that it will and if it does the messages from the megas have been mostly negative. All three megachurch pastors in the recent election had cut their CP giving and the one who cut the most got elected.

I'm thinking that CP giving depends more on what funding decisions are made in the next few years, now that the GCRTF made some modest recommendations that the convention adopted, than on what the megas do.


foxofbama said...

Since Montoya sometimes checks in here invite him to review his History with Ronnie Floyd in Arkansas or try to turn up a used copy of Leaving the Fold.
Couple asides and digressions for later blog fodder.
1)hope to see you do something on the College World Series as you had a sojourn in South Carolina.
2)As a CaneBrake fellow the exchange between John Kyl and Kagan today on Thurgood Marshall's View of Judicial Activism was fascinating.
Hope to see you do something, maybe framed in the active discussion now at SBC voices on SBC and Racism

Lee said...

Megachurches are not the core supporters of the convention, and they never will be. Floyd fancies himself as a denominational leader, got burned during a year he was more or less expected to be the crowned king, and is now laying the groundwork for another run. Most megachurches are going to do what Bryant Wright's church did, reduce their CP giving in favor of other things they want to do, which they label "missions". I'd be willing to wager that if you did an across the board survey of SBC megachurches, you'd find the average CP support to be well below the 5% mark, perhaps even below 1%.

But the question is whether or not it will eventually matter. I don't think there will be much recognizeable left of the SBC by the time the current leadership generation passes of the scene.

David Montoya said...

Yes Steve,

I still have a copy of Leaving the Fold. Ronnie Floyd is about Ronnie Floyd. I wish we had digital cameras (Polaroids were the only instant cameras then) right after Floyd lost to Huckabee in for the Presidency in Arkansas. It was so funny to see that small little man throw a fit and say he would never be back. Promises,Promises.

Ronnie Floyd went after Don Moore's job in Arkansas because Moore had him booked into a Holiday Inn rather than a Suite. This is the kind of person Ronnie Floyd is. When his wife had cancer, it was pray for poor Ronnie rather than his wife. I am serious, he gathered a group around himself to pray for HIM (there were witnesses besides me to this event).

If Ronnie Floyd is raising his cooperative program giving, it is because it is a means to an end for Ronnie Floyd (When he lost the SBC presidency his little fit was thrown flying back to Arkansas immediately after the results were announced- he didn't stay for the rest of the convention because his ego was hurt).

I do not blog much on SBC matters. However to not blog on Floyd (whom Patterson views as the son he wished he had) is to sit back and let a little Napoleon go unchallenged. You will have a bigger problem later.

I wonder if he still has his fire truck baptismal with fireworks in this children's department. He has tried to get what he though were bigger churches (even Pressler could not help him when FBC Houston was open)so I guess now he is hoping to get an SBC position.

I wish he would try his 40 day fast (without juice and protein drinks) and see a vision that told him he could fly off temple. Southern Baptist would be safer and the Kingdom would not have to put up with so much drama. Again, Ronnie Floyd has only one purpose and that is Ronnie Floyd.

These opinions are my own and do not represent the opinions of William, Steve, or anyone person or entity I am affiliated with.

William Thornton said...

Well, David, let's be nice...you don't really have that wish, do you?

David Montoya said...

No William, not really, but what I do wish is that he would get what he wants and then have to explain to our Lord why he wanted it. That would be enough.