About HBC Misson's Ministry
One of the unique things about Southern Baptists is our concept of fulfilling the Great Commission by pooling our resources and cooperating to accomplish together what we could never do as individuals or individual churches. This concept is called the Cooperative Program. It has served Southern Baptists well for over 80 years and today is still our way of uniting a mighty army to stay focused on God’s mission for us as His people.
The Southern Baptist Convention was organized in Augusta, Georgia, in 1845. At that time we had very few institutions. But in the last 161 years we have become the largest non-Catholic denomination in the world, with approximately 16.3 million members in 43,000 cooperating churches. Southern Baptist churches support our many institutions and agencies through the Cooperative Program. Before the Cooperative Program was adopted our Southern Baptist entities competed with one another and made direct appeals to the churches for support. This was impractical. The causes with strong emotional appeal got the most money. Others received less than their share. There was a need for a more fair and equitable plan.
The Southern Baptist Convention met in Memphis, Tennessee, May 13, 1925, and adopted the Cooperative Program as a plan for our world-wide missionary program. The needs of all the agencies and institutions are studied by committees and recommendations are made to the Convention to assure equitable and just support.
The Cooperative Program is an effective and economical plan. Through it our churches cooperate together in a world mission program. How does it work? Each church voluntarily determines the percentage or amount of its income to be shared through the Cooperative Program. The church then sends its gifts to the state convention. The state convention keeps a percentage to be used within the state and sends the remainder to the Southern Baptist Convention for world causes.
We have three special missions offerings given by Southern Baptists each year. They are given in support of international, national and state missions. One hundred percent of these offerings go directly to the mission field. They are used to accomplish the ministries and meet the needs that are not covered by the regular budget provided through the Cooperative Program.