By Ronnie Floyd
The Southern Baptist Convention is a convention of churches that partner together to reach the world for Christ. As we aspire to this biblical vision of presenting the gospel to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations, we must find a way to increase financial resources to this serious and grand vision.
I am often asked, “Where is the money to accomplish this vision?” In this month of emphasis on the Cooperative Program, I think we must answer this question openly and honestly. As one Southern Baptist, I want to attempt to answer the question, “Where is the money?”
The money is in the pockets of God’s people. The most recent research by empty tomb, inc., reveals the following:
- Less than 3 percent of all Christians tithe, meaning give at least 10 percent of their income to their church.
- The median annual gift to a church is $200.
- In 1968, Americans gave 3.1 percent of their disposable income; now Americans give 2.2 percent, which is less than they gave during the Great Depression.
- At the current rate of decline, by the year 2050, Americans will give only 1 percent of their disposable income to the church; if this occurs, a vast number of churches and missions will be forced to close. I find this data somewhat disgusting. It shows the selfishness and narcissistic reality of millions of professing Christians today.
The money to reach our towns, cities, regions, states, nation, and the world is in the pockets of God’s people. We need to repent now and call people back to God with boldness and compassion.
Pastors, Christian leaders, and church leaders must lead the way in giving at least 10 percent of their income through their local churches. The professing Christians and members of our churches must also do the same.
Money is in the pockets of our churches. Each of our churches must evaluate continually what we are doing to partner with our Southern Baptist Convention in reaching the world for Christ. We do this through our gifts through the Cooperative Program. How much a church gives through the Cooperative Program is a church’s decision. Each church is autonomous and we honor their decision. [Read more…]