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 nearly 9,000 full-time missionaries in the field … and much more.
October is Cooperative Program Month for the 50,000 churches and church-type missions of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is a month 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 promotion 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 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 thousands of 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 Month 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 1-3 minutes long, ideal for a worship or Bible study setting. New videos include: “Why I’m for CP: Stephanie Wood-Bliven’s Story,” “A Calling to Adoption: Ron & Terri Robinson,” and “Where do your CP gifts go?”
2. Use flyers and bulletin inserts to teach your congregation about how the Cooperative Program helps Missouri Baptists carry out the Great Commission. This includes the new pamphlet, “7 Ways the Cooperative Program Helps Your Church.”
3. Give each member of your congregation a bookmark for promoting the Cooperative Program in Missouri.
4. Hang up copies of the poster, “How the Cooperative Program Works.”
5. Distribute the children’s activity book, “Let’s Share Together!” Order copies online or by calling the MBC.
Pastors also may want to share a message on stewardship, missions, or evangelism/discipleship – 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.