Since its inception in 1925, The Cooperative Program (CP) has been the primary way Southern Baptists “do” the work of ministry together both here and abroad. Standing on the firm ground of the Great Commission, the CP is an effective tool that has galvanized the missionary zeal of our denomination for more than a generation.
The Cooperative Program is far more than money or a funding system for missions and ministry. It has been an effective means of bringing the gospel to those who haven’t heard of Jesus. In a time when the younger generation is skeptical of institutional structures, the theological conviction and purpose driving the CP must be elevated above and beyond the tool itself. The tool is wonderful, but the purpose of making much of Jesus across our nation and world is greater.
In addition to fulfilling the Great Commission on a global scale, the CP also helps accomplish God’s mission right here in North Carolina. During the Annual Meeting in November, Baptists from across the state adopt a CP budget. Month by month during the next year, churches send in CP dollars to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC), which sends the money on to missions and ministry causes, according to the budget.
With the way the CP is structured through the BSCNC, each church is playing a vital role in discovering the lost, making disciples, and strengthening and planting churches locally in North Carolina. For example, your church may not know that part of your church’s CP contribution goes to support single mothers and children in need of foster care through the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina. To learn and share with your church about what the Baptist Children’s Home is doing in the lives of so many, check out their YouTube channel. With many other ministries in place, we Baptists not only share the gospel, we show the gospel and Christ’s love.
How can your church or congregation know what your gifts to missions through the CP are accomplishing? The 52 Sundays resource can serve as a reminder that missions are the heartbeat rallying cry of our denomination. Each week, your congregation can be reminded that Southern Baptists are doing the work of ministry around the world, sharing Christ in the darkest of places with little or no support outside of what is received through the Cooperative Program. The sacrifices these families are making for Christ are worth far more than the dollars and cents given in support.
by Will Taylor / Communications / Baptist State Convention of North Carolina