One of the prominent metaphors in Scripture is that of a body. The metaphor is an apt one, as it’s easy to understand that each and every part of the body has a part to play. For the body to work properly and to reach its maximum potential, there needs to be interdependence. Imagine the ear saying to the eye, “I don’t need you to see; I’ll do it all by myself!” Additionally, each of the parts (that make up the whole) must exude a robust commitment to interdependence; half-hearted or nonchalant fervor will not only undermine interdependence but at times it could even hurt the body.
Why the call to interdependence in our convention?
I’m not referring to the myriad roles comprised in the body such as seeing, hearing, or speaking, but I’m speaking to the purpose which God has given to His people, the church or the body of Christ. Namely, it is our task to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:18-20); it is our task to diligently work at the goal of presenting every man, woman, boy, and girl as complete or mature in Jesus (Colossians 1:28-29). It is our task to please Jesus in all that we do (2 Corinthians 5:9).
Craig Hamilton, in his book Wisdom in Leadership, writes, “We need each other. We can’t do it without each other…God has designed all kinds of people with all kinds of strengths, and he has designed us to work together. We need each other. I need you, and you need what I have. What you don’t need to be is an all-rounder.”
The beauty of the Cooperative Program is that we see the interdependence of the body on full display – from theological education, where we train and equip men and women for ministry; to recruitment, assessment, training, and the setting apart of missionaries, both domestic and international; to navigating through the ethical and cultural issues of our day, it is abundantly clear that as Southern Baptists we are indeed Better Together.