JEFFERSON CITY – What do your tithes and offerings do? Through the Cooperative Program, they start new churches, feed the hungry, advance Christian education, provide disaster relief, rescue women from human trafficking, keep more than 8,000 full-time missionaries in the field … and much more.
April 9 is Cooperative Program Day for the 50,000 churches and church-type missions of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is a day to celebrate the unique funding process that Southern Baptists have used since 1925 to support missions and evangelism around the world, according to Rob Phillips, who coordinates CP for the Missouri Baptist Convention.
“The Cooperative Program is the envy of the evangelical world,” he said. “When Southern Baptists give through CP, our faithful stewardship has a global impact. By pooling financial resources, Southern Baptists are able to do so much more together than we ever could alone. CP is uniquely Southern Baptist. It’s smart. It’s effective. And it changes lives.”
How the Cooperative Program works
Here’s how CP works:
It begins with you – your tithes and offerings to the local church.
Your church, in turn, gives a percentage of its annual budget to the Missouri Baptist Convention.
The MBC invests nearly 60 cents of each dollar in Missouri missions and sends the rest to the Southern Baptist Convention, where CP contributions from other SBC churches are pooled to support 8,000 full-time missionaries, six seminaries, ethics and religious liberty, and other causes.
How to celebrate
There are many ways local churches can celebrate Cooperative Program Day and raise awareness of its value. Phillips offers five simple ideas. All of the following resources may be downloaded or ordered free of charge at mobaptist.org/cp.
1. Show a video. Most CP videos are three minutes or less and are ideal for a worship or Bible study setting. Among the more popular: “CP Countdown to Worship” videos, and the edgy “CP: Rant” and “CP: Rant Too.”
2. Print and share the new bulletin inserts, “What is the Cooperative Program?” and “CP Works.”
3. Hand out CP bookmarks. These may be ordered online or by calling the MBC.
4. Hang up copies of the poster, “How the Cooperative Program Works.”
5. Print out and share information on “The 1% Challenge.”
Pastors also may want to share a message on stewardship, missions, or evangelism – all of which are enhanced through the cooperative efforts of Missouri Baptists.
“The Cooperative Program is the fuel for mission efforts in Missouri and around the world,” Phillips said. “Missouri Baptists see the value of faithful giving and the benefits of working cooperatively to accomplish the Great Commission.”
Free CP resources are always available at mobaptist.org/cp.