There are two main reasons why I am Southern Baptist: biblical doctrine and the Cooperative Program. There are other denominations and church groups that are doctrinally sound. Yet there is no other church or group of churches that offers a more comprehensive means for every church to participate in work focused on the King’s mandate to reach the whole world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Many churches today give to special projects and offerings. I encourage missions engagement and support in every way, and I realize there are needs for missionaries and projects beyond what we can fund through the Cooperative Program, but I am concerned that we are losing out on seeing how much more we can do together than by ourselves.
Where else are we offered the privilege to support over 4,800 missionaries in almost 140 countries reaching over 900 people groups across the world?
What independent church can claim to have planted 25 churches (as well as fund 44 church planters) in New England last year and hundreds more across the country?
What non-denominational church can claim they funded New England collegiate ministry that involved more than 900 students, trained 22 New England missionaries and educated thousands of missionaries, pastors, chaplains, teachers and Christian counselors through six seminaries across the United States?
Even the smallest Southern Baptist church has a larger worldwide impact than the largest mega church imaginable because of the Cooperative Program! Why would anyone want to settle for less? Why would any church not do all they could to support, promote and publicize such an effort?
As a pastor, I encourage my church family to financially support the work of our church through their individual tithes and offerings. I do this through biblical teaching and setting a faithful example personally. We follow the same principles corporately. Our church gives more than 10% of our income to the Cooperative Program. We are blessed to honor God in this way and to fulfill the mandate of the Great Commission . . . “make disciples of all nations.”
Because of the Cooperative Program, we get to do much more than we could ever do on our own! I am blessed to be a Cooperative Program Southern Baptist and to serve a Great Commission church as their pastor.
Dr. Ed Stutz serves as senior pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Warwick, RI.
Editor’s Note: Your gifts to the Cooperative Program enable ministry in New England and around the world. Learn more at bcne.net/give.