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CP Summit helps leaders pursue partnership, joy

“We lead with joy,” said Seth Brown, director of convention relations with North Carolina Baptists. “We are determined to be the happiest people in the room.”

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP) – Leaders from across Baptist state conventions and Southern Baptist entities gathered April 15-16 for a training event focused on furthering partnership across the convention. The Cooperative Program is the nearly 100-year-old mechanism for funding cooperative missions work across the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and the 41 state or regional Baptist conventions.

“The Cooperative Program summit encourages leaders through in-person fellowship and prayer. Leaders with similar responsibilities get to bear one another’s cares and concerns,” Charles Grant told Baptist Press. Grant serves as associate vice president of convention relations and advancement at the SBC Executive Committee.

Southern Baptists gave nearly $192 million through the Cooperative Program during the 2022-23 fiscal year.

“The Cooperative Program retreat focuses on the latest challenges of promoting giving through the CP while hearing updates and stories about best practices from their peers,” Grant said.

SBC Executive Committee interim president and CEO Jonathan Howe addressed the group to thank them for their leadership among Southern Baptists. Drawing from Romans 19:14, Howe urged the group to pursue peace and unity across the SBC.

SBC EC president-elect Jeff Iorg sent video greetings and spoke of the deep and personal impact the Cooperative Program has made on his life and ministry.

Leaders listened to plenary speakers and participated in panels focusing on topics such as using video, social media and storytelling to promote the work of CP. They also heard details for the upcoming celebration of the 100th anniversary of CP in 2025.

Michael Cabell has been helping a number of Kentucky churches reengage in the cooperative partnership.

“We want to help churches first focus on the cooperative part of CP, then think about the program part,” Cabell told the group.

Grant said the purpose of CP is to “reach and transform our nation and our world for Jesus Christ.”

“It was incredible to hear how these men and women from our various state conventions are using their giftedness and talents to elevate the Cooperative Program,” Grant said.

North Carolina leaders Seth Brown was one of the plenary speakers. He shared focal points for the Baptist Convention of North Carolina in strengthening cooperative ministry.

“We lead with joy,” he said. “We are determined to be the happiest people in the room.” Brown said they constantly remind one another of the blessing that it is to be able to partner in the work of the Kingdom of God.

“We assume the best in one another and give the benefit of the doubt,” he said.

Brown said the state convention is constantly looking to build momentum among churches for partnership ministry. “We look to build consensus and build ambassadors.”

Grant said his aim in leading the meeting was the participants would be reminded they are better together.

“As we rely on our network of colleagues and friends to sharpen one another, together we lift the value of giving to the Cooperative Program for the Kingdom of God and His work,” he said.

    About the Author

  • Brandon Porter

    Brandon Porter serves as Associate Vice President for Convention News at the SBC Executive Committee

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