The Cooperative Program: An Answer to The Prayer and The Mission
The Prayer: “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” John 17:20-21 (NIV).
The Cooperative Program in a limited way is a concrete expression of our Lord praying for us. By our cooperating together, it surely demonstrates a spirit of desiring to be in agreement. We recognize that what we have been called to is much greater than ourselves or any individual body of believers. By our Lord praying that we would be one even as He and the Father are one, He is asking at the very least for our full cooperation in order that the world would see Himself as the Christ. Though the world may not know anything of the Cooperative Program, they experience our unity by the multiplied resources used by God to get the message to their ears.
The Mission: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the
very end of the age” Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV).
As followers of Christ, we have a great call on our lives that demands our allegiance to Christ and each other. The Cooperative Program in a limited way is a concrete expression of meeting that demand. Instead of churches and ministries being in competition for resources to expand Christ’s kingdom, we give in cooperation to maximize our stewarding God’s gifts. The results have been nothing short of miraculous.
By taking the Great Commission seriously and cooperating in its fulfillment — specifically through the Cooperative Program, as Southern Baptists we have realized and financed both international and North American missions, six seminaries, many ministries, along with our state conventions and Southern Baptist Convention — disciples are being made in the name of Christ!
I believe in the Cooperative Program, because I believe in the Christ of The Prayer and The Mission.
Dee McGuire, pastor, Greensboro Baptist Church, Hale Association