I believe the Cooperative Program is still relevant for the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. Each church must determine how they will fund gospel work across America and throughout the world. Personally, I have determined the Cooperative Program is the best way to accomplish this grand task. Why do I believe the Cooperative Program is still relevant?
It is still relevant because it is: BIBLICAL
Each local church must wrestle with how they will fulfill Acts 1:8 through their church. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
I believe the Cooperative Program is built upon a biblical conviction. This conviction each church should have is that God desires us to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations.
When my church gives through the Cooperative Program, we are doing so because of our deep biblical conviction that we must fulfill Acts 1:8 in as many ways as possible.
It is still relevant because it is: MISSIONAL
This biblical conviction drives our passion to be missional as a church. I believe the Cooperative Program is relevant because it is missional. It is missional in that it permits our church to fulfill a compelling vision.
The compelling missional vision of Jesus Christ is for us to be His witnesses regionally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. The Cooperative Program has been built upon, is built upon, and must be built upon in the future with this compelling missional vision driving all we do as a convention of churches.
It is relevant because it is: COOPERATION
The Cooperative Program exists to serve the churches in helping them accomplish their God-given responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission; it does not exist for the churches to serve it. Due to this, the spirit of cooperation is so important in funding our work together.
It is cooperation that elevates your church and its work around the world. Competition may be cool in the world, but not among churches. It is cooperation that repudiates competition. For example, a societal method of financial support for our gospel work together would fuel competition between our state, national, and international work.
The Cooperative Program eliminates competition between our entities as it provides a balanced approach for support.
It is relevant because it is a: PARTNERSHIP
Cross Church partners with at least 51,000+ churches and congregations of the Southern Baptist Convention. Our gospel partnership permits us to do things each of us could never do by ourselves.
Partnership is the key to the Cooperative Program. Churches partner with other churches through their state conventions and our national Southern Baptist Convention. Each state convention partners with other state conventions in funding the work of the Southern Baptist Convention, and our national entities partner with each other and state conventions to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and make disciples of all the nations.
Gospel partnership is far more impactful than any human personality.
The Cooperative Program is still relevant today because it is both biblical and missional, but dependent on cooperation and partnerships to be effective.
It is relevant because it is: GENEROSITY
Finally, the Cooperative Program is dependent on the generosity of Christ-followers and the generosity of churches. Churches cannot give what they do not have. This is why churches are dependent on the generosity of its members. The spirit of generosity of church members in their weekly giving lifts the church to do things they could not do otherwise. Our biblical convictions and missional focus should ignite the spirit of generosity in our lives and churches.
Your church can make a difference when you give through the Cooperative Program generously.
The Cooperative Program Depends Upon a Relevant Southern Baptist Convention
I believe the Southern Baptist Convention must be relevant today. The Cooperative Program and its success is dependent upon the Southern Baptist Convention’s relevance in serving our churches.
In regards to funding our work together, we do not need to return to what we walked away from ninety-two years ago, a societal method of financial support. The Cooperative Program is not perfect. But I believe this unified method of support that began in 1925 is still relevant today, and have seen others marvel at how we are able to work together to accomplish our mission.
Therefore, Southern Baptists, let’s continue forward in our work cooperating for the cause of Christ.