It has been said that the Cooperative Program represents the logic of Southern Baptists and missions offerings the heart. A great analogy and one worth pondering a bit.
In recent months you have heard much about the importance of the Cooperative Program and our desire as Kentucky Baptists to do More for Christ. This emphasis is an encouragement to individuals and churches to do more for Christ, to raise CP giving. Our goal is that every Kentucky Baptist would give 10% of income, and that every Kentucky Baptist Church would give at least 10% of congregational income through the Cooperative Program.
CP changes lives. It allows the International Mission Board to appoint missionaries and develop strategies to share the gospel. It supports the North American Mission Board and the church planting efforts that are taking place across our nation. CP also provides for the ministries of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and all of the training and services that KBC provides to our churches.
Just as we teach tithing to the members of our churches, corporate tithing as churches models at another level what we believe. As churches, it is easy to become preoccupied with the ministry needs where we are, forgetting our responsibility to others and failing to rely on God to provide for local needs. Just as we teach individuals to live on 90%, giving 10% of our church offerings through the Cooperative Program is a way for congregations to practice tithing and model living on 90%.
Missions offerings then come along side of our CP funds, stretching them further. Because basic administrative expenses are provided through CP, missions offerings are used to send more missionaries, provide supplies and other ministry expenses. Special projects to share the gospel are funded through our missions offerings. From tin roofs on mud brick churches, missionary transportation, Bibles and other resources, missions offerings make every CP dollar go further.
Some congregations have committed to give more than 10% through the Cooperative Program. Thank you! Others are seeking to grow to the 10% level. Thank you!
As we give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions at the Christmas season, may we be mindful of how we are “His Heart, His Hands, His Voice.” Together we can do More for Christ!
(This column is from the December issue of Kentucky Notes, insert to the Western Recorder on November 29, 2011. To read the entire Winter issue of Kentucky Notes, go to: http://www.kywmu.org/clientimages/36717/kynotes%20winter11.pdf)