The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) will meet in Phoenix this month for our annual meeting. I thought this would be a good time to reflect upon one of many Southern Baptist distinctions. The Cooperative Program (CP) is the means which God uses to direct SBC churches to distribute financial resources from the source to the point of need.
According to the official website for the SBC (www.sbc.net), “The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ unified plan of giving through which cooperating Southern Baptist churches give a percentage of their undesignated receipts in support of their respective state convention and the Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries.”
The following comes from www.sbc.net:
So, how does the Cooperative Program work? It begins with you! You give yourself first to God (II Cor. 8:5). Next, out of gratitude and obedience to God for what He has done for you, you commit to give back to Him, through your church, a portion of what He provides. This is commonly called a tithe and represents ten percent of your income (Lev. 27:30, Mal. 3:10).
Your Church… decides the next step. Every year your church prayerfully decides how much of its undesignated gifts will be committed to reaching people in your state and around the world through The Cooperative Program. This amount is then forwarded to your State Baptist Convention. [Northgate gives 10% of her undesignated receipts to the CP].
Messengers at the State Convention Annual Meetings… from your church and other churches across the state decide what percentage of Cooperative Program gifts contributed by local congregations stay in your state to support local missions and ministries. The percentage to be forwarded to the SBC for North American and international missions and ministries is also determined at this time. [According to the website for the South Carolina Baptist Convention (www.scbaptist.org), 59% of CP dollars remain in South Carolina while 41% is sent to the SBC. These funds help support the three SC Baptist universities (Anderson University, Charleston Southern University and North Greenville University) among many other worthy needs].
Messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting… from across the country decide how the gifts received from the states will be distributed among SBC entities. These gifts are used by SBC entities to send and support missionaries, train pastors, and other ministry leaders; provide relief for retired ministers and widows; and address social, moral, and ethical concerns relating to our faith and families.
I thought you might want to know how God uses the CP in the SBC through His church at Northgate! In addition to CP giving, Northgate gives much in a variety of ways to support missions.
Praying that all may know the blessing of salvation in Jesus Christ,