Eddie Leopard sets Example in CP Giving.3% to 10% in Just 7 years


Eddie,Your noble example is too late for me.I encouraged our church to increase our CP giving from 5% to 10% last year.If churches follow your example we should reach the 50/50 goal in about a 100 years or so.

Someone has said that everything rises or falls on leadership…but the truth is everything rises or falls on

Followship.Three per-cent to ten per-cent in 7 years is not a good example to follow.

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14 Comments on “Eddie Leopard sets Example in CP Giving.3% to 10% in Just 7 years”

  1. pastorinthewoods Says:

    This sounds familiar because it sounds alot like open letters of the past. I have 30 years until retirement. I do not expect to see 50\50 in that time span. We will stick with our 8% and keep taking the blame for the convention never getting there even though it is mathematically impossible to ever get there under the current plan.

  2. Pastor in the woods,
    Thanks for your candid comments.Many agree with you but because of a paralyzing dread of disapproval or criticism they remain silent.
    Leopard’s suggestions in his open letter may seem like a Wonderful idea,but as the French say”une fausse idee claire:a terrific idea that doesn’t work.”
    It is unfortunate that the Baptist building leaders see insults and malicious meanings in almost every interaction from dissenters such as you and me.
    I don’t want Eddie Leopard to think that my piquancy is in anyway athwart toward him personally.He is a great pastor and doing a good work.

  3. I’m proud of Eddie Leopard for increasing what they give to the convention. Though I don’t know him personally, I’m glad to see our convention’s president lead by example.

  4. Quinn Hooks Says:

    I had said my peace on this issue. 🙂 I still think we need some more cowboys to round the cattle that’s on the Lord’s hills. Let’s ride!

  5. Rhett Says:

    How about 16% to CP and 3% to local Association??

  6. pastorinthewoods Says:

    How about 50% to the CP? My previous church when I became pastor was giving 45% with a goal of reaching 50%. This really promotes stewardship but you better be ready to sacrifice local ministry. My first goal as pastor was to talk them into cutting this to at least 30% which they did in 2000 so I am not saying this to brag. This same church gave over $10,000 to LM last year averaging 85 in Sunday School. I served there for 6 years and appreciate their stewardship and missions emphasis more and more each day, but I still think budgeting 50% is too much for a 250,000 budget.

  7. Little Ol Me Says:

    More, more, more – gotta give more to the CP! Gotta elect a SCBC president and a SBC president who gives more to the CP.

    Well, I have pastored churches in this state for over 25 years and have led churches to give as much as 20% to the CP in days gone by; but today’s call for more just doesn’t make much sense to me these days.

    SBC says start new churches because statistics tell us that new churches grow faster than old churches and are reaching more people than older churches. But SBC also show that new churches only give an average of 2 % to CP while older churches give an average of 6.5 %. Could it be that the growth of newer churches not related to the new but to the fact that they are investing more in reaching their community. Maybe older churches would be growing more if they only gave 2% to the CP and invested the rest into ministries aimed at their community.

    And does the SBC, the SCBC, the IMB, and NAMB really need more? When Hurricane Katrina hit, the SCBC, without any hesitation or concern over finances, pulled hundreds of thousands of dollars out of reserve funds and sent to Louisiana; the SBC did likewise and NAMB took over a million out of reserves.

    A couple of years ago ther was talk at the state convention of beginning a “Kingdom Fund” which is little more than a slush fund for someone to use for their pet projects. Support was not there for the fund so the plan was never voted on. But at the end of that year our state baptist universities sent their “excess” monies as seed money to begin this fund. And at this year’s convention we voted to put part of our excess CP monies into this slush fund.

    For the past two years our state baptist universities have had enough excess money that they could afford to help with the cost of the pastor’s conference.

    Excess funds at our schools, millions in reserves – it seems to me that denominationally everyone has plenty. Yet the continual call from headquarters is more, more, more – you have to give more!

    Why? So we can build bigger and better barns? So we keep the marble polished and the fountains flowing in the foyers of our convention offices? So we can create a few more state convention jobs for aging pastors to help them transition into retirement? Or maybe we can add another EPIC conference.

    As I see it the Biblical madate for the church is not 10% to the CP, it is to reach the lost and make disciples. Over the years I have seen less and less CP money used for those purposes and more and more of it used to keep the beauracracy going.

    Churches that give only 2% but are baptizing over 100 every year are not troublesome to me. While they may not be living in obedience to our SBC prez, they are living in obedience to a much higher authority.

    Our churches are being told to tighten their financial belts, spend less in their community so that they can, at all cost, maintain that 10%. Meanwhile, churches across this state are struggling to maintain their facilities, keep their ministries funded, and hire adequate staff. I see churches where the paint is peeling, the roof is leaking, technology is antiquated, the pastor is starving; church can’t afford to do much ministry, not reaching anybody for Christ but, at the end of the year the WMU ladies stand and proudly display a CP certificate of appreciation for their 15%.

    It seems to me that our state convention could set the example in belt tightening by cutting the excess staff in Columbia (25 % would be a great start) and by selling the building in Columbia and moving our headquarters to White Oak — lots of empty space out there.

    Every year we are asked to give more but every year it seems that we have less say in what is done and see fewer results from the monies that have already been given.

    Bill, your cry has been for a leader with a passion for the CP. My hope is for a leader with a passion for reaching the lost – and those two things are not necessarily the same. Annie Armstrong may be about missions, Lottie Moon may be about missions – but the sad truth is that the CP has become mostly about feeding the beauracracy.

  8. Dr. Bob Says:

    5 % to 10 % in one year!!! WOW!!!!!

    I bet you got a nice plaque!

    The angels must still be rejoicing!

    No, wait, that’s when somebody is saved.

  9. Bobby,
    I didn’t get a plaque,just a new car and a tatto on my right arm that says..CP

  10. pastorinthewoods Says:

    Little Ol me your cry is heard! Take your CP money, identify a target area near you and start a church. Pour $100,000 per year into paying a pastor, holding Bible studies, and financing evangelsim. Give that church some of your key members to build a leadership base. Then when you have fulfilled that committment for 5-7 years cut off the funding and start a new church. After the first go around you will probably be calling that beauracracy NAMB for help.

    The CP paid almost 50% of my tuition in Seminary. The CP admin budget is 1% – 2% of the budget(read the book of reports). How much do you think it would cost you to put 6000 missionaries around the globe and finance the largest seminaries in the world? New Orleans Seminary ranked 13th in the world in theological education this year. When I give that makes a difference to me. It makes a difference to me that the SBC was there before FEMA after Katrina with disaster relief. Did that not make a difference to the kingdom?

    I agree that we need to be reaching our communities but there is power in cooperation. My churchs’ paint is peeling but it is not the SBC’s fault. It is our own fault because we all have failed in our giving. We have 1.7 billion people without a Gospel witness in the world. Until our churches care about that you can forget them reaching down the street. Teach people to give and they will reach more lost people. Church members on average are giving 2% of their income to the Lord. Churches are struggling because we don’t teach people how to manage money and follow the biblical grace of giving. I hope your zeal for the lost is as strong as your bitterness against cooperation.

    Yours truly

    Dwight Easler

  11. Little Ol Me Says:

    Dwight, I am not bitter against cooperation; to the contrary my church is doing well and gives generously to the CP, Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong, Janie Chapman, Connie Maxwell, our local association, and many requests for help that come our way. Our staff gives their time in support of associational and state convention projects. And I couild never have afforded seminary without the help of the CP. I strongly believe in the CP.

    But I am troubled by some of the things that I see. For example:

    A couple of years ago some of the powers to be wanted the state convention to vote on establishing what they called a “Kingdom Fund.” This was in essence to be a ‘missions’ fund for the pet projects of the powers to be. The plan was to take money from our universities to establish this fund. It was clear that the majority of messengers at the convention did not want this new fund and so the powers to be never presented it for a vote. Though we never approved beginning this new fund, at the end of the year our universities, to placate the powers to be, designated their ‘excess’ cooperative program dollars to this fund. And at this year’s convention the powers to be decided to included it in our state budget. So now some of our CP dollars go into a pet project fund that most did not want, the convention never approved, and CP dollars spread a little thinner.

    Several years ago a man announced his retirement from ministry. Our state convention leader really liked this man and wanted him on the convention staff so he created a brand new postition just to get this man on staff. He was set up in an office with a secretary, computers, office supplies, expenses, etc. This guy was a great addition to the staff but he only stayed a couple of years then retired again, but, we kept the position and so now the buracracy is a little bigger.

    These kinds of decisions are made behind the scenes all the time.

    My contention is that our churches can’t be expected to continue funding the whims of the powers to be and do what we need to do in our own communities. And I agree that our members should be giving more but I also think that it is time to take a long hard look at how we use CP dollars.

    Dwight I am proud of our universities, our seminaries, NAMB, and the IMB and I am proud to give to them but I am also concerned that we are loosing the battle at home. I think that the time is coming when we are going to have to realize that our churches are going to have to give a little less to other causes and invest a little more in reaching their own communities. Stronger churches will in the long run make for a stronger CP, SCBC, and SBC.

    Finally, I am not bitter against cooperation, it is just that labeling some really good men as unscriptural, unbaptist, and not fit for office because they feel led to give less than the 10% is not my idea of cooperation.

  12. pastorinthewoods Says:

    I am glad you are not bitter and I am in agreement that we are losing the battle at home. I think in large part we are losing because of our failure to be good stewards and be missional in our strategies.

    If a church is unbiblical not giving 10% then my church is unbiblical and I am unscriptural(we only give 8%shh!). I am for giving toward missions and education not poisitions that waste time, money, and will not return your calls for days on end(that is another story).

    I think we have more in common in our frustrations than you think concerning our convention fat but we can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The CP is still the best model in the world. Thanks for the lively debate, I just like to get things going a little.

  13. greg bailey Says:

    Lil’ ole me. I agree, but I haven’t spoken up because I am not in SC, not a pastor and have more non-SBC experience than most. I love the CP, it paid huge to educate me, but the not thinking missional comes from the state and national offices. Those that do get kicked around. Other groups sends international missionaries for much less than we do who are frequently better prepared. If the leadership gets into weak (not very biblical models for church planting) success or lack thereof means little. IE Geoff Hammond in the SBCV (new NAMB guru). He would not share SBCV funds for anyone who was not Purpose Driven or Calvinistic. There are the carcasses of many church plants in NoVA. He even turned down an existing international church that existed but couldn’t support their pastor becuase he was a Calvinist. The church folded and he is now in Charlotte with an SBC church that go it money from non-SBC sources. I have trouble giving to the CP w/o strings. I don’t trust the burearacrcy (no can I spell it). I will gladly give money to the seminaries. I will gladly give to a local church plant … I have problems giving to NAMB (outside of Disaster Relief and similar things, church planting should be local…as for when you need help in 5-7 years…I doubt you will get help that far into it) in particular and have some misgivings giving to IMB when I know organizations that are better…but I do so with prayer.

  14. greg bailey Says:

    He would not share funds with anyone who was not using a WC or Purpose Driven model and would not work with a Calvinist planter.
    Sorry for the confusion.

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