Cooperative Program giving tops $192 million, exceeds budget projections for the year

SBC Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd announced Oct. 6 that giving through the national Cooperative Program allocation budget topped $192.2 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year. In doing so, budget estimates for the year were exceeded by nearly $5.4 million.

“What a tremendous testimony of God’s grace given to us and God’s people extending generosity together to reach the world for Jesus Christ,” Floyd said. “This is the power and influence of what happens when we believe in the vision, work together, and partner together for the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

As our Southern Baptist churches across the nation have been navigating and leading through a global pandemic for the past 18 months, we can testify that God is using them to keep on sending new missionaries on the field: by keeping our present missionary force on the field, by launching new church planters across our nation, by keeping those on the field who are planting new churches, and, at the same time, by preparing the called through our seminaries. This work is being accomplished because of your church’s giving through the Cooperative Program.”

For the 2020-21 fiscal year, gifts received by the EC for distribution through the CP allocation budget total $192,271,436.28. This is $629,414.90, or 0.33 percent, less than last year’s budget contribution of $192,900,851.18 — and ahead of the $186,875,000.04 budgeted projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America by $5,396,436.24, or 2.89 percent.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the sacrificial giving of Southern Baptists,” SBC President Ed Litton said. “Every dollar that is given by these saints is intended to advance the gospel and accomplish the Great Commission. I am especially grateful to God for their generous giving through the Cooperative Program during a season of economic uncertainty due to the many challenges brought on by the pandemic. May God use all of these funds to equip His church to reach the world for Christ.”

Willie McLaurin, SBC EC vice president for Great Commission relations and mobilization, expressed his gratitude for the “steadfast and sacrificial giving of churches through the Cooperative Program.” He added that “the local and global reach of every gift is a testimony to the strong cooperative spirit of every church. The churches of the SBC have demonstrated obedient resolve and have trusted God with their resources.”

Total Cooperative Program giving includes all monies given by churches through state conventions to be used for Great Commission ministry and missions within the respective states, across North America and around the world. Begun in 1925, the Cooperative Program is the financial fuel to fund the SBC mission and vision of reaching every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state, and every nation. Monies are distributed according to the 2020-21 Cooperative Program allocation budget.

Designated gifts received in September amounted to $3,466,582.33. This total was $1,244,699.12, or 26.42 percent, less than gifts of $4,711,281.45 received last September. Also, this year’s designated gifts for the fiscal year amount to $192,351,656.08, which is $18,132,149.23, or 10.41 percent, more than the $174,219,506.85 given through same period in the previous fiscal year.

Designated totals include both Lottie Moon Christmas Offering gifts to the International Mission Board and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering gifts to the North American Mission Board.

— Jonathan Howe is vice president for communications at the SBC Executive Committee.