NASHVILLE (BP) — Every Sunday, I find joy knowing that a portion of our tithe is headed to the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention. As our family gives, we are not only being obedient by helping to meet the needs of our church family, but we are also making a Gospel impact in our state, nation and the world.
Southern Baptist churches may mention the Cooperative Program, but what does the Cooperative Program actually accomplish? We want our funds to be used in ways that honor God, reach the lost and help those in need.
As we give through the Cooperative Program, a portion of our money fuels the work of our state convention. The rest is sent to the entities of the SBC.
State conventions work hard to help churches reach their communities and state for Christ. They do this by training, equipping and encouraging pastors through conferences, one-on-one meetings and even Facebook groups for pastors. State workers help churches develop specific evangelistic and missions strategies that maximize the personality and giftedness of each church.
Church planters receive funding and training through their state conventions. They receive coaching, encouragement and accountability as they try to reach the unchurched.
State conventions help lead the way in disaster relief. They provide the training, tools and supplies needed when disaster strikes. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is recognized by organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross as the best trained and most professional disaster relief workers in the nation. And they meet physical needs while looking for opportunities to meet spiritual needs at the same time.
The CP funds sent out of your state are used in a variety of ways as they raise up the next generation of pastors and missionaries and help reach those who have never heard the Gospel.
The International Mission Board uses CP funds to fully fund more than 3,500 missionaries on every continent. They are at work in the largest cities and smallest villages sharing the Gospel with those who have never heard. They are impacting the nations as churches are planted and new believers are baptized.
Back in North America, the North American Mission Board is helping churches reach cities and states where new Gospel influence is needed most. They are working to help plant churches and revitalize
existing ones. NAMB is creating resources such as 3 Circles and Who’s Your One? to equip believers to share their faith.
Our CP funds are giving us a voice to speak to the pressing social issues of the day. The SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is working to place ultrasound machines in pregnancy support centers as they lead the way in seeing abortion become unthinkable and unnecessary in America. They’re working with legislators in Washington, D.C., and assisting state conventions as they work with their state legislatures.
The six SBC seminaries across America are world class, staffed by educators who are not only highly gifted, but have a heart for Christ and His church. They are preparing the next generation of pastors and missionaries with biblical knowledge and a love for Christ and His commission to make disciples.
As you can see, CP dollars work. When your church gives to CP, it isn’t giving to CP, but through CP. Once those dollars leave the church’s bank account, they are put to work to accomplish this helpful work on the state, national and international level. The Cooperative Program is more a funnel than a savings accounts for the work of state conventions and Southern Baptists.
CP is the financial fuel for reaching every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation.
Brandon Porter serves as Associate Vice President for Convention News at the SBC Executive Committee.