I learned a valuable lesson on Sunday in 1975 at the Clark Field Baptist Church in Angeles City, Philippines. We collected a special offering got a non-denominational missionary family who had lost the funding support of their key U.S. churches. They didn’t have enough money to stay in the Philippines nor to fly home to raise more support. In the day afterward I asked questions about why we never had taken up an emergency offering for one of our Southern Baptist missionaries.
Every week Southern Baptist churches choose to set aside a percentage of their general offerings to support missions through the Cooperative Program. This channel of missionary funding fuels Acts 1:8 missions through state conventions and SBC missions causes, including six seminaries, the North American Mission Board, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the International Mission Board.
Forty-five thousand churches keep a steady stream of funding that is predictable and efficient. A church of 20 if a church of 20,000 regular attendees can easily and proportionately participate in Great Commission giving that has a world impact. A young boy of girl can give a nickel, and it touches the world. Churches, state conventions, and nationally entities can make strategic missions plans based on regular, predictable giving rather than relying on sporadic or emotionally laden pleas for money.
The apostle Paul, in his great missionary offering for the Jerusalem saints, (see Acts 24:17; Romans 15:25-28; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9) challenged the church to give weekly toward the missionary cause, “On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he prospers, so that no collections will need to made when I come” (1Corinthians 16:2).
Paul’s biblical, weekly, proportional missionary giving method is a foundational strength of the Cooperative Program.
“Why I Still Believe in the Cooperative Program”