Two Very Important Words
All the money you give to your church could be called your “mission money” because the mission of your church begins right where you are. In fact, the largest portion of the gifts you give your church is used for local ministries. The part of your church’s budget called the Cooperative Program is for ministry of your church beyond its community. Cooperative and Program, when linked together become two very important words in your church vocabulary.
Each church decides, usually at budget adoption time, what percent or dollar amount of its undesignated receipts will be given through the Cooperative Program. Cooperative Program dollars from your church are sent to your state convention office for distribution. By agreement, for sake of efficiency and effectiveness, the state convention is usually the collector of gifts from churches.
Each state convention meets annually and adopts its Cooperative Program budget. Messengers from the churches attending the state annual meeting determine what percent of the Cooperative Program money received from the churches will be used for state mission ministries and what percent will be forwarded to the SBC for distribution to nationwide mission ministries.
When the Southern Baptist Convention meets each June, messengers from the churches adopt a SBC Cooperative Program budget. This Budget explains how the Cooperative Program funds sent to the Southern Baptist Convention will be distributed to SBC entities such the International and North American Mission Boards.
The Cooperative Program is an incredible mission support plan! The missionaries and ministries supported through it deserve our daily prayers and generous giving.