By Ronnie Floyd
Facts are our friends. Without the facts, one cannot determine reality. Without facing reality, it is impossible to chart a successful future. This is not only true for us personally, but for our churches as well as our Southern Baptist Convention.
Each of our churches has the privilege to join in our grand vision of reaching the world for Christ. We do this by giving monies through the Cooperative Program, which is our way to fund Great Commission work together statewide, nationally, and internationally.
Today, I share with you 11 Financial Facts of the Southern Baptist Convention. This is our reality. These facts are our friends because from here, we launch to the future.
These facts are not my opinions; they are facts about our financial status following the fiscal year from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013. Following the presentation of these facts, I will extend three brief observations.
1. $482,279,059 was given in Total Cooperative Program by our churches through the State Convention through the SBC Fiscal Year, October 1, 2012, through September 30, 2013.
2. $188,001,276 was received by the SBC Executive Committee directly in order to distribute to our SBC entities:
- $183,419,803 from state conventions
- $4,581,473 from individuals and churches
- 38% on average was sent by the states to the National SBC CP Allocation Budget
3. $298,859,256 of the $482,279,059 was reported as the State Convention Share of Total Cooperative Program in order to conduct their Great Commission ministries.
4. 28,853 churches reported giving through the Cooperative Program on the latest Annual Church Profile report. Of the 46,124 churches, LifeWay reported that at least 8,846 churches did not submit an ACP report.
5. 17,721 churches did not self-report any giving through the Cooperative Program on the latest ACP report.
- $25,352,778 was received for the Cooperative Program from non-ACP reporting churches; therefore, when a church does not report Cooperative Program gifts on the ACP, it does not necessarily mean these churches did not give through the Cooperative Program.
6. 7.5% less monies was received by our churches over the past five years.
- $12.1 billion in 2008 to $11.2 billion in 2013
7. 5.6% is the percentile of decline of the National Cooperative Program over the past five years.
- $194 Million to $183 Million
8. $57,004,211 was reported by the North American Mission Board for the 2013 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North America Missions.
9. $154,057,852 was reported by the International Mission Board for the 2013 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.
10. $777,452,659 was reported by the most recent ACP for 2013 Southern Baptist Convention gifts to “Great Commission Giving”, which is defined by the ACP as “total amount of all money given to Southern Baptist Mission causes by the congregation.”
- When you take this total and subtract Cooperative Program and the two major mission offerings, it means that Southern Baptist Convention congregations gave $84,111,698 to other Southern Baptist Missional endeavors.
11. $1,294,701,479 was reported as Total Mission Expenditures by congregations in the 2013 ACP (defined as “Total amount of all money given to Southern Baptist and non-Southern Baptist mission causes.”)
- When you subtract the $777,452,659 of Great Commission Giving from this figure, it means that Southern Baptist congregations gave an additional $517,248,659 to direct church mission trips or projects or non-Southern Baptist Convention mission causes. There is no way to quantify what was used for specific church mission trips or projects as compared to non-Southern Baptist Convention mission causes.
3 Brief Observations
1. Due to the increasing lostness in the world, each church needs to find a way to give now through our Cooperative Program and additionally, give more now than ever before, so we can continue advancing the gospel together.
2. For the churches giving to mission causes apart from Southern Baptists, consider reallocating some of that money or even all of it to our Southern Baptist mission causes.
3. Pastor and church leader, talk with your church’s financial team about increasing your church’s commitment to the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In closing, this is not about money and finances as much as it is about advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ at an accelerated pace. Together, we can do more than we can ever do by ourselves.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is currently serving as the President of the Southern Baptist Convention.