Here are some basic principles we Southern Baptists would do well to affirm:
1. We need each other.
2. We can do more together than we can do alone.
3. No person or church has enough resources to do, individually, what God has called us, collectively, to do.
CP (Cooperative Program), PC (Partnership and Cooperation) and Me!
April 10 is Cooperative Program Day in Southern Baptist life. It should be a day of celebration as we affirm how God has used this tool to provide the resources needed to fund a host of state, national and global ministries. In our celebration we should also consider how we will work together in funding future ministry needs. Two words come to mind when I think about the Cooperative Program – partnership and cooperation.
Jesus put it this way: “…the fields are white unto harvest but the laborers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into the harvest” (John 9:36-38).
A Significant Opportunity – Jesus reminds us that it is harvest time. He is good at opening doors that would otherwise remain closed. We have doors of ministry and mission opportunity that are currently open. These are doors that Christ Himself has set before us. We cannot afford to miss the harvest that is now ready to be gathered. Souls hang in the balance! Through cooperation and partnership, we can reach these people while there is still time!
A Sobering Reality – We have the potential of a great harvest, but we don’t have enough workers. Moments of opportunity may be missed, and the consequences are frightening. At the end of 2010, Alabama Baptist churches reported 1,131,160 members. That is roughly one Alabama Baptist for every four Alabamians, yet over 60 percent of our state remains unchurched. We have enough workers to reach Alabama; we don’t have enough committed workers who see their role in reaching lost family members, neighbors and fellow residents with the Gospel. Alabama is not the end of our assignment. There is a world beyond us that desperately needs the Gospel. Through cooperation and partnership we can mobilize the work force needed to answer God’s call to service.
A Strategic Component – Jesus listed prayer as our greatest resource. God has resources we cannot even begin to comprehend. Prayer changes things – even the hearts of believers who have lost their passion for reaching a lost world. Don’t lose sight of the fact that He provides the workers and He guides the work. Through cooperation and partnership we can band together through prayer in an effort to rally the resources needed to reach the world for Christ.
A Specific Request – Pray for laborers. Ask for more resources. Pray that good stewards of God’s resources will step forward. Intercede on behalf of those without Christ, and ask for more workers who are willing to give their testimony, time, talent and treasure in this exciting work to which God has called us. Through cooperation and partnership, we can ask God to provide the resources we need in order to be on Mission with His Great Commission.
April 10, 2011 is Cooperative Program Day in Southern Baptist life. The Cooperative Program is an 86-year-old tool for encouraging cooperation and partnership in Southern Baptist and Alabama Baptist life. We need each other. We can do more together than separately. No one church can accomplish the task without help. A lost world is waiting.
Written by State Missionary Bobby DuBois
Guest Blogger – Associate Executive Director