I was so excited. It was the end of the summer in 2001 and I had just been called to serve as a student minister. I had no clue the road God would allow me to travel to get to the place I serve today.
This church was where I first heard about the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. It was where I began to understand what the Southern Baptist Convention is all about. It was the place my eyes were opened to the effectiveness of the Cooperative Program.
Fast forward four years. I was now a senior pastor just three months after turning 24 years old. As I began to lead, I had to really think through how we wanted to partner and do missions. Soon after I arrived, we uniquely affiliated with the SBTC and set our Cooperative Program giving at 10%. I knew we could reach our community, but my heart was to reach Texas and the world. I felt like the Cooperative Program gave our small rural church the greatest opportunity to partner with other churches, the SBTC, the International Mission Board, and the North American Mission Board to accomplish that task.
I know there is a lot of chatter on social media about the SBC and CP. I understand a lot of the frustrations people have felt and expressed. I get it, I really do. However, by God’s grace, I am in a unique position. I have the opportunity to travel all across Texas and the nation meeting with and ministering to SBC churches. I am constantly reminded that the overwhelming majority of Southern Baptists have the same heart—to reach the world for Christ. I am consistently encouraged at the focus of pastors and the people in the pews as I hear about their vision to reach their communities. It is always a joy to share with them stories of how God is using their CP investment to further His kingdom. It makes me so thankful for Southern Baptists’ cooperation and partnership through CP.
I have four kids, and it is expensive! I am always looking for ways to maximize our dollars, especially in feeding my teenage boys. In the same way, I love this about the Cooperative Program: Where else can a dollar help put more than 3,700 missionaries on the field, plant 700-plus churches per year, and train 20,000 people who will serve as the next generation of pastors, missionaries, Sunday school teachers, staff members, and lay people? It is truly amazing that CP allows you to be in your local church and around the world at the same time. I consider it a blessing to have that kind of impact.
I know social media gets a bit crazy and creates a lot of unnecessary noise. However, beyond the reach of our thumbs and 140 characters, there are 47,000 churches filled with people who simply desire to see every person hear the gospel. Let’s reengage with that reality and win the world together. I am so grateful for all the SBTC churches that cooperate to reach Texas and impact the world together through the Cooperative Program.
God is bringing the world to us. Let’s reach those people together. I love you and am honored to serve you!