Alabama Baptist leaders ‘grateful for all who support missions through the CP’

Alabama Baptist leaders ‘grateful for all who support missions through the CP’

Sharing the love and light of Christ. That’s how Jay Wolf, pastor of First Baptist Church, Montgomery, in Montgomery Baptist Association, describes his church’s commitment to giving through the Cooperative Program (CP).

“We are convinced that using the time-tested and immensely effective channels of our Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) teammates generates the maximum ‘Kingdom bang for our Kingdom buck,’” Wolf said. “It’s this simple: We can do so much more together.”

Since 1925 the CP has been “the greatest ministry and missions funding mechanism available to Southern Baptists,” said Bobby DuBois, associate executive director for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM). “It enables churches of all sizes to cooperate together in doing the work of ministry outside the local church.”

And Alabama Baptist churches of all sizes give generously — to the Myers Mallory State Missions Offering, to North American missions through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, to global missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and to state, national and international causes through special offerings all year long.

Rick Lance, SBOM executive director, said giving through the local church is an expression of Alabama Baptists’ commitment to the gospel. “All local churches have as a mandate the Great Commission which should ever nurture and ignite every Alabama Baptist’s desire to make disciples by sharing the gospel and seeing new believers baptized.” 

DuBois called Alabama Baptists “pace setters in missions support,” noting that Alabama Baptist churches consistently rank at or near the top of multiple giving categories among state conventions.  

Alabama is at the top of the list for SBC support as well. Alabama’s 50/50 commitment to SBC causes means that half of CP dollars given in Alabama flow through the SBOM to cooperative missions efforts supported by the SBC.

Knowing where a church’s money goes is important, Wolf said. 

‘Producing Kingdom fruit’

“There are many different ministries seeking financial support and some of them are excellent, but others are ineffective and some are actually complete counterfeits,” Wolf said. “From the effective use of our giving to the assurance of integrity of our financial expenditures, it makes a lot of common sense to support our Baptist teammates who are producing a tremendous amount of Kingdom fruit with the funds received.”

In 2018, Alabama CP receipts totaled nearly $38 million.

Those funds support global and national ministries and SBC seminaries and missions efforts, DuBois said. The funds also allow missionaries to stay on the field doing what they are called to do instead of spending their time raising financial support, he added. 

The portion of CP dollars that remain in Alabama allow the SBOM and other Baptist entities to help local churches develop and implement strategies to assist in their ministries.

That’s why completing the Annual Church Profile (ACP) is so important, DuBois said. 

“By providing annual information related to the broad categories of membership, baptisms, Sunday School enrollment/attendance, discipleship, music, missions participation and giving, churches help Alabama and Southern Baptist entity leaders evaluate and identify the trends developing in local churches so that ministry methods can be developed to assist churches,” he said. 

In the following weeks TAB will publish data on giving and baptisms for each church in Alabama categorized by association. Churches who did not complete a report or who filed an incomplete report will see zeroes in their listing. 

DuBois hopes churches will check their report and make certain their numbers are recorded accurately. But more importantly he hopes churches will become more aware of how their giving is making an impact across the life of Southern Baptists, a sentiment shared by Lance.

“We are grateful for all Alabama Baptist churches who support missions through the CP,” Lance said. “Our state convention has continued as a faithful, perennial CP pacesetter in the SBC family. May it always be so.”