Why give through the Cooperative Program?
Steve had been a Christian and a member of an independent church for fifteen years, but after going with his friend Allen to a Southern Baptist church he was interested in joining. Still, he wanted to know more about why Southern Baptist churches supported missions the way they did. Wasn’t it impersonal? Did a lot of money get tied up in administration? He asked Allen who explained, “Two reasons: we believe CP is both biblical and balanced.”
Allen was right on target. The Cooperative Program is a biblical plan. To build the tabernacle the people brought their offerings to a central place, responding to the Lord as to how much they would give, and devoted their gifts as a people: the worship and service of the Lord their God.
“And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one who his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.: Exodus 35:21 (KJV)
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 21:19-20
Southern Baptists, who share their belief in the Bible as God’s Word and Christ as God’s only Savior, are united through their commitment to preach the gospel throughout the world. The Cooperative Program is a biblical plan placing the priority of Baptists on the saving message of Jesus Christ.
Baptist churches also should give through the Cooperative Program because it is balanced. We have created Southern Baptist agencies and institutions is to carry out what we have determined, over many years, to be our purpose as a family of faith. The greatest investment of our gifts is in missions, International, North American and for state convention ministries. Supporting that mission priority are our seminaries, which train God-called persons for missions work, pastoral leadership, and many other ministries. Other vital, mission-related work is performed by various commissions and agencies, all in balance with our sense of priorities. Since Southern Baptist from the churches themselves annually decide how to distribute CP funds, the Cooperative Program always reflects the sense we have about how to use resources for the greatest impact on our world for Christ.
The Cooperative Program unifies churches in obeying the Great Commission.
Written by: Robert Simms