LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky Baptist messengers have approved a $21.5 million Cooperative Program goal for next fiscal year, which begins Sept. 1, 2018.
That funding, provided by the 2,400 churches that make up the Kentucky Baptist Convention, covers the costs of missionaries working in Kentucky, throughout North America and around the world.
“Kentucky Baptists are a generous people when it comes to making sure the world hears the gospel,” said Paul Chitwood, executive director of the 750,000-member Kentucky Baptist Convention. “Our people understand that the world desperately needs Jesus.”
Messengers approved the Cooperative Program goal at the KBC annual meeting in Louisville on Tuesday. Of the $21.5 million, 45% will stay in Kentucky for mission work and 45% will be sent to the Southern Baptist Convention. The remaining 10% will be spent on behalf of the SBC and the KBC for Cooperative Program resourcing.
The Cooperative Program is the primary means for Southern Baptist churches to support the work of about 3,600 international missionaries and another 10,000 in North America as well as to strengthen the work of Kentucky churches.
With special offerings included, Kentucky Baptists gave nearly $30 million last fiscal year to get the gospel to the nations. That included nearly $21.7 million through the Cooperative Program.
The Cooperative Program goal for the current fiscal year is $22 million. Chitwood said the decision was made to lower that for next fiscal year to be realistic in trends that reflect a decline in giving across the country.
“These funds are crucial for keeping international missionaries in places that the average congregation would never have an opportunity to reach working alone,” Chitwood said. “By partnering through the Cooperative Program, Kentucky Baptists are, at this moment, helping hurricane victims in Florida and Texas, planting new churches in Kentucky and elsewhere, helping orphaned children, sharing the gospel with students on colleges and universities across the state, helping to train the next generation of ministers and missionaries, revitalizing churches that have fallen into decline, encouraging pastors, training church leaders, and so much more.”