This month’s Insight is designed to help you understand how California Southern Baptist Convention is able to do its work effectively.
We utilize the Cooperative Program (CP), through which our churches give, and 59 percent of what is provided stays in our state to allow us to carry out the ministry the Convention provides to our churches. Forty-one percent is divided up and sent to the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, six Southern Baptist seminaries, the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, California Baptist University, the Baptist Foundation of California and other ministries.
CSBC also utilizes California Mission Offering gifts to do much of what we do. One hundred percent of this offering stays in California, allowing California churches to minister to the needs in California.
This offering is critical to our work but, it seems, is seldom looked upon by Convention churches as something they want to participate in on a consistent basis. The reason CMO is critical and must become an important option for our churches is the ever-growing need for support to reach the vast number of people in our state who do not know Jesus.
Let me illustrate
- Recent statistics indicate that California Cooperative Program dollars that remain in California to be used for ministry provide approximately 11.8 cents per lost person. Other states with fewer lost people, such as in the South, have 11 dollars per lost person.
- California’s number of lost persons is equal to the combined populations of 14 states: Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado and New Mexico.
- It would take 66,000 new churches averaging 500 to reach the population in California that doesn’t know Jesus.
- According to Annual Church Profile statistics, California churches baptized 9,704 people last year. At that rate it would take 3,400 years to baptize those who are lost today!
If California churches match what was given to CMO last year, it would provide only 1.3 cents per lost person.
We can — and we must — do better as California Southern Baptists. It is up to us to step up and let California churches address California needs through the California Mission Offering.
I encourage you to step up as a church and make a difference. Make CMO an ongoing part of your church’s mission strategy, not just a once-a-year effort.
Let’s see California accept the challenge of reaching the world living right here, right now. It’s Time!
See archives of Dr. Agee's previous Insights.