Most Southern Baptist churches give a percentage of their offerings to the Cooperative Program. Established in 1924, Southern Baptist churches decided to collaborate their financial resources in order to bring about more Kingdom impact. This financial program funds missionary salaries, church plants, seminary training, gospel publications, Bible translations, and so much more. As our passion increases to see the Kingdom expand, we desire our giving to increase since the work of Southern Baptists are reaching millions of people for Christ. In the strategy point of the Cooperative Program, we will highlight two main emphases:
Our church members and our church body as a whole must learn to give sacrificially to the Cooperative Program.
As we share through personal evangelism and serve with strategic partnerships, we must constantly remind our church that we are to give sacrificially so that the gospel can spread even further than where our church can go on our own. Scripture teaches that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). A person can not serve God and money at the same time (Matt. 6:24). And if a person is to truly battle greed in their lives (Luke 12:15), then we must constantly teach our people to give money to a cause that will outlive them.
To lead by example, the church leadership must always be striving to work with the Southern Baptist Convention by increasing our financial support of Kingdom expansion. By streamlining our periodical mission offerings with the Cooperative Program giving, the church leadership will also be able to budget appropriate financial support for personal evangelism training and the implementation of strategic partnerships. This concept is not merely noble, it is biblical. Paul often wrote churches concerning of financially supporting one another (Rom. 15:26; 1 Cor. 16:1; 2 Cor. 8-9). The early church was noted for financially responding to needs of people around the world (Acts 11:27-30). In fact, the church at Antioch sought financial assistance for their ministry from the Jerusalem church (Acts 15). From the early church’s example, North Side will continue to advance the Kingdom in the way we increasingly give to the Cooperative Program.
To mobilize our church body to give even more to mission funding, we must relive what God had done through the money our church has already accumulated.
Most members who financially contribute to North Side do not have an adequate understanding of where the money is actually used. Part of the mission team’s responsibility will be centered on educating our church body to what exactly their financial contributions are funding. By providing highlights in the Compass and other publications to video segments in worship services, the mission team will better educate North Side to how their finances are expanding the Kingdom globally.
While educating North Side on where their money is going, we also desire to celebrate regularly what God is doing. If all of heaven rejoices at the repentance of one sinner, then our church must regularly passionately celebrate God’s working all throughout the world and our privileged involvement in His work (Luke 15:7). As we nurture an environment of celebration concerning our global work, people will be more desirous to give sacrificially to mission work.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.