What Is a Southern Baptist?*
Perhaps you've asked that question. Or maybe you've wondered what makes Southern Baptists different than other denominations. We are excited to share with you who Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches are and how we are unique from most other denominations.
Most denominations are "top-down," meaning, there's a large religious organization, often managing smaller organizations, that eventually manages the church, a congregation of people meeting together. These larger organizations might direct who the church accepts as staff, how they spend their budget, or what they teach and preach. Unlike "top-down" religious groups, Southern Baptists manage religious affairs from the "bottom-up" as a group of autonomous churches who partner together for common goals. As such, every Southern Baptist church selects its own staff, decides how to spend ministry dollars, and supports causes within its neighborhoods and the world as it decides best. In short, Southern Baptists are individual churches who affirm a similar understanding of the Bible and who agree to partner together to carry out a larger mission.
Southern Baptists believe we are stronger together.
How Do SBC Churches Partner Together?
We may meet together and partner locally, but our primary method of partnership comes through our "Cooperative Program" (CP). Every time you give to our church, a portion of every dollar goes to causes supported by many other Southern Baptist churches. Currently our church gives 6.5% of every undesignated contribution to state and national efforts and another 3% to local partnerships around Oklahoma City. Almost ten cents of every dollar is used for ministry outside our church, reaching people across the street and around the world with the gospel. That adds up to thousands of dollars every year!
Watch these videos to learn how Southern Baptists are stronger together!
How Is CP Money Spent?
The graph below shows how many churches working together can impact the world in one year.
* Some refer to Southern Baptists as "Cooperative Baptists." You will see the terms "Southern Baptist" and "Cooperative Baptist" used synonymously in Southern Baptist literature.
Want to Learn More?
You can take a free 1-hour online course to see how, working together, Southern Baptists are impacting the world with the gospel.