Arkansas Baptist News
SPRINGDALE – This is the second of a two-part interview with Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas and a candidate for president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). In this installment, Floyd is asked about his church’s commitment to giving through the Cooperative Program (CP) and how churches today should support CP giving, his small church roots, his involvement in LifeWay Christian Resources curriculum, the role of state conventions and associations and the question of Calvinism in the SBC.
ABN: The first time you ran for SBC president in 2006 your church was criticized for not giving enough through the Cooperative Program. Since 2006, you have led Cross Church to increase its CP giving. Can you explain? Why the change? (Editor’s Note: Cross Church is now the top giving CP church in Arkansas. In 2013, Cross Church had $17,209,876 in total undesignated receipts and gave $716,827 – 4.17 percent – to CP).
Floyd: Well, first of all for clarification, we were at times not represented in what we were truly giving through the Cooperative Program. Our church had made a decision, two or three years earlier maybe, that we give a smaller portion through our convention and then the larger portion toward the other (missions causes). Well, by Southern Baptist definition of the Cooperative Program, at least at that time, they did not count the other (causes). They counted only what came through the SBC state conventions. That word never got really out there, fully, what we were doing. But I want to make it real clear – we were not doing what we needed to be doing. I’m not by any means saying we shouldn’t have done more. Through all that, I came back from that convention and, if I am not mistaken, within 30 to 60 days, we recommitted … because there were also some things going on at the state convention that were encouraging to us and I lead our men and made a strong appeal. And slowly we started making a track through this, and when GCR (Great Commission Resurgence) was brought about, … we were already making a starter commitment. … And when GCR was passed, one of the major things we did was that I chose to get off national television so that we would have quicker money accessible toward allocating toward and through the Cooperative Program. We got off national television. I stood up and told my church we were doing that. I’d been on national television since the early 1990s. So, we made that commitment and will continue to excel in that and we will continue next year’s budget excelling in that. (We) have done that in the worst economy that has ever affected this region in my 27 years. But we’ve done it convictionally, and the Lord has just blessed, unbelievably.