Saturday, December 10, 2016

Not good news, Cooperative Program 2016-17 is down significantly

National CP 4.13% under projection

The percentage drop featured in the Baptist Press story above is a bit less negative than the actual CP receipts for the first two months of the fiscal year as compared to the first two months last year: a drop of 5.07%.

There is some variation in how states might send the checks to Nashville, so the two consecutive drops may be quickly reversed. 

The CP has leveled off and even shown slight increases at the national level. The economy is doing better, state conventions are giving slightly increased proportions of their CP revenues to the national CP allocation budget, and the Executive Committee's latest increase program has been adopted by numerous SBC churches. 

So, why the early indications of a CP decline this fiscal year? 

I haven't seen any leader speculate as to the cause. Perhaps they are hoping it is a statistical anomaly that will be corrected in the coming months.

It should remind SBCers and those recipients of SBC allocations that the CP is likely not going to be the engine of ministry growth in the future and, in fact, is rather precarious as a funding stream. 

No one in leadership may be saying it but our venerable Cooperative Progam which will celebrate its centennial in a few years does not capture the enthusiasm of Southern Baptist churches. I am open to persuasion that it is doing so but cannot find good reasons absent cold, hard revenues.

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