160720check-donation-writingGod’s love is shared with others when your church contributes to the mission work of the Tennessee Baptist Convention’s almost 3,000 cooperating churches. Through your gifts, great things can be accomplished in our state, our nation and our world.

Have you ever wondered what happens when your church sends a contribution to the TBC office? The Accounting Services staff:

1. Receives and reviews the check

As the Accounting Services staff sorts through each day’s mail, they review each check received to ensure all the required information for processing is present. We confirm these items:

— Does the amount of the check(s) match the amount indicated on the remittance form?

— Do the amounts written in both words and numbers on the check(s) agree?

— Is the check written to the TBC?

— What are the designations for this gift?

If anything is unclear, we will contact the church for clarification before processing the gift.

2. Processes the check

Contributions are processed on a daily basis. Each contribution is recorded separately into the accounting system, recognizing the church and the designations noted as part of the remittance. This process prepares an acknowledgment that is printed and mailed to all contributing churches each week. The acknowledgment indicates the designations recorded, which should agree with the records the church keeps. At the bottom of the acknowledgement is a tear-off remittance form that can be submitted with the church’s next contribution.

As new churches join our network, or as current churches review their giving practices, one frequently asked question is “What are the different designations available to which our church can contribute?”

The Business and Financial Plan of the Tennessee Baptist Convention (BFP) encourages all churches to give primarily through the Cooperative Program.  Churches must give through the Cooperative Program each year to maintain the status of a “cooperating church” based on the TBC bylaws.  These funds are disbursed the first of each month based on the annual budget, which can be found online at http://www.tnbaptist.org/cp. These gifts help support local, national, and international causes and ministries. This is the most common designation made by the majority of our cooperating churches.

In addition the BFP, as approved by messengers to the annual meeting of the TBC, recognizes five special offerings which are listed on the remittance form:

— Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions: Gifts to the Golden Offering are used for ministry opportunities and reaching the lost in Tennessee. Examples of how giving to the Golden Offering impacts lostness in Tennessee can be seen at http://www.goldenoffering.org.

— Mother’s Day Offering for Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes: This offering is emphasized during the month of May for Mother’s Day, and all gifts received are sent to the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes, which provide residential and foster care to children in Tennessee. Find more information at http://tennesseechildren.org.

— Father’s Day Offering for Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes: This offering is emphasized during the month of June for Father’s Day, and all gifts received are sent to the Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes, which provide residential and program services to senior adults and developmentally disabled adults. Find more information at http://www.tnbaptisthomes.org.

— Annie Armstrong Offering for North American Missions: This offering is emphasized during the Easter season. For more information on this offering, visit http://anniearmstrong.com.

— Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions: This offering is emphasized during the Christmas season. For more information on this offering, visit http://www.imb.org/main/lottie-moon.

The BFP also allows for special designations to “TBC and SBC agencies, churches, institutions, programs, ministries and causes.”  Other allowed designations are Woman’s Missionary Union and related ministries, ministries related to Partnership and Volunteer ministries of the TBC, the American Bible Society, Tennessee Drug Awareness Council, and any others receiving the prior approval of the Board or the Convention.  Contributions designated to causes other than those listed will be returned to the sender.

Some of the more commonly noted ones include:

— Global Hunger Relief (formerly World Hunger Fund) – http://www.globalhungerrelief.com

— Disaster Relief – http://tndisasterrelief.org

— TBC Associations: Be sure to indicate which TBC association should receive the gift.

— Mission: Dignity: A ministry of GuideStone Financial Resources, which provides assistance to retired Southern Baptist ministers, workers, and their widows. – http://www.missiondignitysbc.org

Thank you for your contributions and for all your help. Without the generous giving of our cooperating churches, we would not be able to share Jesus with others. If you ever have any questions about your church’s contributions, please contact the Accounting Services Department.

Jill Herren is an accounting supervisor with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. To connect with Jill about these and other similar questions, email her at jherren@tnbaptist.org.


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