NASHVILLE (BP) – Southern Baptist churches are advancing the gospel state by state – and around the world – through their commitment to the Cooperative Program.
From national and international mission boards to church-hosted evangelism training, the Cooperative Program plays a key role in introducing people near and far to Jesus.
Among those with a grassroots vantage point to see the broad scope of Cooperative Program outreach are state convention leaders. Here are some of their reflections:
Anthony Jordan, executive director, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma:
The sun never sets on the work of the Cooperative Program, thus never setting on the ministries of churches that give through the CP. Oklahoma churches are making Kingdom differences. For example, together these churches fund Baptist Collegiate Ministry on 36 campuses across Oklahoma, reaching and developing the next generation for Kingdom impact. Or consider that each summer, 52,000-55,000 students and sponsors attend Falls Creek during eight weeks of camp; each year, 2,200-2,500 of those students come to faith in Christ with more than 1,000 committing to missions and ministry.
Terry Dorsett, executive director, New England Baptist Convention:
In an era when declining baptisms is a matter of great concern among Southern Baptists, New England Baptists rejoice in how God is using the Cooperative Program to help propel evangelistic efforts across our region. Because of the faithful Cooperative Program giving of 350 churches across the six New England states, Bruce James, BCNE evangelism director, and Tim Buehner, BCNE mission mobilization director, have trained more than 1,800 people in the last year in a wide variety of evangelism efforts. … The BCNE helped sponsor, and fund, 24 small conferences that have had as few as 20 and as many as 150 people present. Though this approach may not feature a flashy big-name speaker, in the end, more people were trained and mobilized to do evangelism, which has resulted in the third year in a row of record baptisms in the BCNE.
Lynn Nikkel, executive director, Wyoming Southern Baptist Convention:
The Cooperative Program is the lifeline for Southern Baptist Great Commission advance. … CP supports church planting, church evangelism projects, leadership development and support of churches in transition. As an example, for two years at the National High School Finals Rodeo, CP supported over 100 volunteers sharing the Gospel nearly 4,000 times, with over 275 reported salvation decisions. Twelve church plants and 16 seed congregations are another example of CP support. … Cooperation is key to Kingdom advance.
Fred Hewett, executive director, Montana Southern Baptist Convention:
The amazing part of the Cooperative Program for us in Montana is found in fact that many of the churches in our Montana convention are small, remote and feel rather isolated from the heartbeat of Southern Baptist life. Yet, by giving to missions through CP, even the smallest, most isolated church in Montana touches people living in the most isolated and remote places of the planet.
Bob Mills, executive director, Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists:
Every once in a while, a people of God stumble across something that proves to be an act of genius. In 1925 our Southern Baptist forefathers instituted a mission funding process called the Cooperative Program. Soon after its inception, the United States was plunged into the Great Depression. CP survived and thrived. CP proved itself as a consistent way to finance missions through all kinds of conflicts from World War II to Afghanistan. CP has survived the ups and downs of the economy, denominational strife and denominational restructuring. I am convinced that it is still the best way any group of believes has come upon to fund the Great Commission efforts of God’s people.