NASHVILLE (BP) -- The Cooperative Program ended its fiscal year 3 percent over budget and at 99.41 percent of last year's contributions.
Church giving hopefully has dipped as low as it will from the U.S. economic downturn and may be ready to stabilize or climb, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Frank Page said.
"Those who research these things tell us that church giving usually lags one to two years behind the general economy," Page said. "God's people are not immune from the hardships associated with this life. Our Lord reminded us, 'He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust' (Matthew 5:45). It should come as no surprise, then, that church giving has been deeply affected by the nation's four-year recession.
"With that in mind, the Executive Committee sought to achieve a balance between faith and realism when it set this past year's budget," Page said.
The SBC received $191,678,994.28 in CP gifts during the fiscal year Oct. 1, 2011-Sept. 30, 2012, or $199,650.88 less than the $191,878,645.16 received during the last fiscal year. This year's giving is $5,678,994.28 above the budget goal of $186,000,000.
"We finished 3 percent ahead of our budgeted goal and only slightly under last year's CP total. This is hallelujah territory! To God be the glory," Page said. "Based on our approved CP allocation budget goal, IMB will receive 51 percent of the $5.6 million overage, providing additional resources for reaching the nations with the Gospel. Our other ministry entities will receive their allocated portions of the overage as well, with the overage portion coming to the EC falling to only 2.4 percent." Read More