A series of seven blogs on the Southern Baptist Convention? I’m not sure many will read one and I’m doing seven? Well, hope springs eternal in the blogger’s heart. These are seven areas or people that I think need some special attention and encouragement in the years ahead- seven areas that I want to encourage especially.
#1. I want to encourage Cooperative Mission and support for the Cooperative Program.
I love missions of all sort. I’m not against societal missions in any way. But I do think our denomination’s method of cooperative missions with the International Mission Board has a special brilliance. Missionary effectiveness is not connected to their ability to raise funds. Cooperative missions has removed the fund-raising aspect from a missionaries work. Perhaps our missionaries can do better at connecting with churches in the US, but returning frequently to raise support is a burden they don’t have. Yet.
May I also suggest we consider again the great value and benefit of the cooperative program? Until a better way to support missions is shown through the test of time, might we do well not to kill this proven method? Okay, I get that we have tended to decrease our support of the CP. I know our giving is often done in other ways. But do consider the possibility that CP giving is an effective way to support missions. Do consider that it can continue to be effective and beneficial. Improve it. Change it where necessary. But at least consider that this method which has been the great blessing of our denomination might still be better than the replacements offered so far.
What? There are still six more? Yes, but don’t jump too quickly over this one. Cooperative missions is pretty awesome. Neato and groovy as they used to say. Epic and hipsterish for the younger crowd. I encourage our beloved Baptist Zion (to use a much older term) to consider the benefits and potential of the Cooperative Program and cooperative missions for our day as well. Something to ponder.