JEFFERSON CITY – What happens when you give to your local Missouri Baptist church? What do your tithes and offerings actually do?
Your church voluntarily invests a portion of those gifts in the Cooperative Program, which in turn supports collegiate ministries on 26 campuses, helps senior citizens, starts new churches, advances Christian education, provides disaster relief, rescues young people from human trafficking, keeps nearly 9,000 full-time missionaries in the field and much more.
April 25 is Cooperative Program Day for the roughly 50,000 churches and church-type missions of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is a day to celebrate the unique funding process 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.
“When Southern Baptists give through CP, our faithful stewardship has a global impact,” he said. “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 portion of its annual budget to the Missouri Baptist Convention.
The MBC invests 62 cents of each dollar in Missouri missions and sends the rest to the SBC, 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 Day and raise awareness of its value. Here are 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 in length, ideal for a worship or Bible study setting.
2. Distribute bulletin inserts to your congregation, either “7 Ways the Cooperative Program Helps Your Church” or “We Belong Together: Missouri Baptists and the Cooperative Program.”
3. Hand out CP bookmarks. These may be ordered online or by calling the MBC.
4. Display copies of the poster, “How the Cooperative Program Works.”
5. Distribute the children’s activity book, “Let’s Share Together!”
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 available at mobaptist.org/cp.