Major is an 11-year-old boy who listens to the needs of a lost world and begins to despair. “What could I possibly do that would impact a lost world, feed masses of hungry people, help orphans and abandoned children, and make serious efforts to reach lost people here in Alabama?” Major’s head spins as he sees the needs beyond any hope that he could make an impact. Major had memorized the Great Commission in Sunday School and wondered what he could ever do to fulfill that program.
But that week, this young pre-teen went to Royal Ambassadors in his local church. That night, Major learned of the Cooperative Program, a means whereby this young man could give a tithe off his grass-cutting job and know that the entire world would be impacted as his local church gives through the Cooperative Program.
Major learned of international missionaries on the field because of giving through the Cooperative Program. The lesson explained that ministers in training at Southern Baptist seminaries pay less than half in comparable fees than at other evangelical schools. Major learned that one gift could touch the entire world.
God moved in the heart of our Baptist forebears to establish a system where the smallest church could reach the world. The Cooperative Program is not an entity but a conduit by which local churches can support every aspect of ministry. My prayer is that we see a revival of giving through the time-tested and proven Cooperative Program.
John Killian serves as director of missions for the Fayette County Baptist Association.