April 26 is Cooperative Program Day. The Cooperative Program is an awesome tool for God’s churches to accomplish Acts 1:8 missions and ministry in an efficient way. With the economic uncertainty we all face difficult times. Some say the place to cut the budget is with “charitable” or “discretionary” giving. However, to those of us in Jesus Kingdom work, Christian stewardship is not altered during hard times. God is still in control of our world and especially our finances. There is no better time than now to be an example of stewardship by staying faithful in giving.
There are over 10,000 missionaries in North America and around the world. While individual mission trips are important for Southern Baptists, without the foundation of the Cooperative Program there would be no continuous Southern Baptist presence among these gospel-needy people. My friend David Shepherd and his wife, Peggy, just recently went to southern Asia. He is my age. He has been a successful pastor and respected seminary professor. Now he is living in a challenging environment 247 to spread the gospel. He does not visit a week or two and go home. As he told me, “I want to invest the rest of my life there.” Your gifts to the CP make his work possible. Only eternity will show who partnered with David and Peggy through the Cooperative Program to win many to Jesus.
Over 15,000 seminary students in six SBC seminaries get a portion of their education paid through the Cooperative Program. A 20-something friend of mine, Nate, told me last Sunday he is concerned that his children may not have the opportunity to get the kind of seminary education he is receiving at a reduced expense. He wants another generation to enjoy the benefits of our Cooperative Program giving. Through the Cooperative Program you invest in the lives of our future pastors, missionaries, church planters and staff ministers like Nate.
A small amount of CP goes to fund the strong stance Southern Baptists take on social and moral issues through the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. It is not for us to win every contest or engage every issue. We are called upon to be prophets to the culture about God’s truth. One of my closest friends, Harold, serves the Lord through a role at the ERLC speaking to Southern Baptists and speaking for Southern Baptists. He works to please the Lord, pouring his life into others. Your CP giving enables Harold to fulfill his calling.
Christian and Jake are high school seniors. They told me that God has called them to the ministry. They applied for enrollment at Criswell College. Through the Cooperative Program they will receive some tuition assistance. These fine young men are committing their lives to serve our Lord Jesus in leadership roles. Your CP gifts support them in their journey.
Joel planted a church in a Texas metro area last year. He is reaching people who need the Lord Jesus. Because of Cooperative Program support, Joel has been able to have a strong start with phenomenal attendance and numbers of people coming to Christ. Through the CP you are a part of every soul.
Space does not allow for all the testimonies I could give. God is moving in the lives of literally millions because of the Cooperative Program. You can help tell the story.
Within a couple of weeks materials will arrive at your church highlighting this powerful channel of blessing. Please consider showing the DVD, using bulletin inserts, bringing a lesson or message. If April 26 does not work for you, please consider another day. CP giving begins with the believer and his stewardship through the local church. Everyone can give something. Every family can tithe. Every church can participate through the Cooperative Program.
Bless your church by telling about this exciting partnership through the Cooperative Program. It is important that everyone in our SBTC family knows that the Cooperative Program works. Thank you for the privilege of serving you because of the Cooperative Program.