Doing More Together through the CP

Offering plate with open Bible

Call me an overgrown toddler. I still like to think, “I can do it myself!” even though I know I can’t. Jesus said so. See John 15:4 about the vine and the branches.

Southern Baptists figured out long ago that we could do more together than we could alone. In 1925, we created the Cooperative Program (CP), a unified method of giving to fund the missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention, along with every state convention and every local church.

It may sound too good to be true, but it’s a tried-and-true process that you most likely participate in every Sunday. You place your tithe in the offering plate or enter your credit card information and the amount of your tithe into a secure online form. Your church keeps a portion of what it receives from you and your fellow tithers to fund its missions and ministries and then forwards the rest to your state convention. Your state convention keeps a portion of what it receives from your church and others to fund evangelism, volunteer missions, missions education, church planting, state Baptist colleges and universities, and state camps, among other things, and forwards the rest to the national convention. The national convention uses those funds to support the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, 6 seminaries, the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, the Executive Committee, and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

And every April, Southern Baptists celebrate the many ways we do more together through the CP to proclaim the gospel to all people.

So this Cooperative Program Sunday (April 8), be sure your church understands the value of giving through the CP. Choose from several videos to help explain how the CP works. Or invite someone from the state convention office to speak to your congregation about the CP. And consider ways to keep the CP in front of church members every Sunday. The free, downloadable resource 52 Sundays makes it easy with a missionary highlight and a devotional for each Sunday of the year.

Download the PDF of the missionary highlight and attach it to your email newsletter or print it to use as a bulletin insert. Download the PowerPoint slide with a photo of the missionary and drop it into the announcements that scroll before the worship service begins. Don’t forget to call attention to the featured missionary during the service and include him or her in one of the prayers from the pulpit.

And check with your state convention to see if there is a version of 52 Sundays that includes missionaries serving in your state, along with the North American and international missionaries.

Kathleen Penton is an assistant editor with WMU.

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