Yesterday I received an email with an excellent article by Alan Witham on the Cooperative Program. Entitled The Power of And, Alan wrote in response to the question “How does the Cooperative Program impact lostness in my part of Kentucky?” Alan’s list of things that CP is doing in Kentucky is a great reminder of what CP does in our state AND around the world.
In posting a link to Alan’s article on Facebook, I said, “This is an awesome article about the Cooperative Program and how it impacts lostness. In Acts 1:8, Jesus said that we were to be witnesses in Jerusalem AND Judea AND Samaria AND to the ends of the earth. I don’t see an OR in the list! CP and prayer are vital tools for fulfilling the AND of Acts 1:8.”
Then last night I spent time reading articles for the upcoming Winter/Spring issue of Missions Leader, a resource for all church and association WMU leaders that comes out three times a year. One article in the Winter issue will be about the Cooperative Program. While national WMU does not receive any CP funds and is self-supporting through the sale of missions education literature and resources, WMU has always been a supporter and promoter of the Cooperative Program.
The article I read is begins with a section on “Accomplishing More Together” and then explores the impact of CP in the world today. But what I like best – and why every WMU leader needs a subscription to Missions Leader – is the section called “Dress It Up!” The new format for Missions Leader includes lots of creative suggestions for every missions emphasis. This Cooperative Program article has great visual ideas, an interactive activity with children, a churchwide object lesson with pieces of rope, and suggestions for connecting with the state convention. Why is this so important? Because without missions education, our churches do not understand or value our cooperative ways of supporting and doing missions!
So, in answer to the question “How does the Cooperative Program impact lostness in my part of Kentucky?”, I would add that CP support for state WMU helps us “challenge believers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God.” In Kentucky, CP support assists in providing WMU missions consultants and resources to help Kentucky Baptists reach Kentucky and the world for Christ. Each time a WMU organization teaches missions to our children and they begin to share Christ with others, we are impacting lostness. Each time a missions group such as Women on Mission engage in a community ministry project and share Christ through the ministry, we impact lostness. Each time believers respond to a WMU sponsored missions emphasis through praying and giving, we impact lostness. And each time we teach our churches to value the Cooperative Program, we strengthen the foundation of missions support which will help us keep impacting lostness until Jesus comes again.
The new Fall issue of Missions Leader has just been released and I urge all WMU leaders to get a subscription. Missions Leader is a unique blend of magazine content, leadership tools, and color posters that come just when you need them. New sections include planning calendars for implementing programs, theme suggestions, and program ideas. Pages are loose-leaf and hole-punched, so you can easily make copies, distribute sections, and organize in a notebook for future use. The new design is easy-to-use and is set up like a personal planning tool to help make your job as a leader more organized and streamlined.
WMU and the Cooperative Program. Both are great resources to help your church impact lostness in Kentucky AND around the world.