…just the facts…

From the beginning of our term I have heard a lot of numbers skirted around about IMB and Lottie’s coffer. Today I read an article that gave some clarity to where the money is really (not) going.

When Southern Baptists collected $11.1 billion in offering plates in 2008, according to the denomination’s Annual Church Profile, and [ONLY] 2.77 percent “finally arrives to support the vision of reaching a lost world, and when (Southern Baptists) are structuring ourselves in a way that guarantees we will fail in our mission, it just shouldn’t be.”

The IMB’s 2010 budget anticipates $100 million in Cooperative Program funding—a decrease of $7.6 million from 2009—and calls for $175 million in Lottie Moon Christmas Offering receipts, said David Steverson, IMB’s chief financial officer. The operating portion of the 2010 budget is $23.2 million less than 2009, and the total budget represents a decrease of $2.2 million. The plan includes $29 million for capital needs that will not be spent unless the Lottie Moon offering surpasses its $146 million operating budget goal.

The overseas portion of the new budget accounts for 85.3 percent of the total, while the portion for stateside administration and promotion amounts to 14.7 percent. As part of the belt tightening, benefits have been reduced for both missionaries and staff.

Drawing back from the mission, Fort remarked, imperils not just organizational advance, but the eternal destiny of human souls. “Those who live in great darkness are seeing the light,” he said. “But you know, the best news that we have is good news, but good news is only good when it’s received in time.”  – full article

To revisit the one number that really shows our first love as a denomination, “2.77 percent ‘finally arrives to support the vision of reaching a lost world…” And to commend IMB leadership’s use of that 2.77, over 85% of the annual budget is used in mobilizing Ms to the unreached, unengaged, not-yet-made-alive-in-Christ peoples.