BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Via four videos focusing on the Cooperative Program, Executive Committee President/CEO Ronnie Floyd underscored its importance during the SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala.
The four video clips — now posted at talkcp.com — show how the Cooperative Program serves as the key channel of Southern Baptist support for a range of state, national and international mission and ministries.
The value of the Cooperative Program
In the opening video, Floyd listed reasons why churches should get involved with the Cooperative Program.
“I believe Jesus died for every person in the world and I believe each follower of Christ, the church, is commanded to make disciples of all the nations of the world,” Floyd said. “None of us can do this alone, and no church can do this alone. Jesus’ call to each of us is overwhelming, but it is not impossible.”
Mission is more important than money, he said, and “anyone that forgets this will soon reap a result that is not going to forward our common call and mission together.”
“The compelling mission of Jesus Christ, to be His witnesses regionally, statewide, nationally and internationally, that’s really what the Cooperative Program is all about,” Floyd said. “In fact, that’s what it’s built upon; that’s what it must be built upon.”
And the Cooperative Program is unifying, he noted.
“When mission does not precede men and ministries, unity is impossible,” he said. “We will never agree with everyone and everything in our church, our state convention and our national Southern Baptist Convention. Keeping the convictional call before our churches to take the Gospel to every person in our community, states, nation and world will unify each church within our own fellowship.”
Giving through the Cooperative Program, Floyd said, “is about one thing: taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. It is about all of our churches cooperating together to one common purpose, to reach the world for Jesus Christ.”
Refugees & the Cooperative Program
In a second video, Floyd told how CP funding helps meet the needs of many refugees around the world.
He recapped the recent trip of IMB President Paul Chitwood to Uganda, where Southern Baptist missionaries are ministering among more than 1.5 million refugees.
“Our prayers and our sacrificial giving through the Cooperative Program makes us partners with the missionaries on the field,” Floyd said.
Disaster relief & the Cooperative Program
Citing the quick response of Send Relief to recent flooding in such states as Nebraska, Floyd said in the third video that the Cooperative Program is a key factor.
“When I think about the thousands of man-hours and more than a dozen people who have trusted Christ in these communities, it is a testament to the Cooperative Program: We can do more together than we can do alone,” he said.
Foster Care & the Cooperative Program
In the fourth video, Floyd addressed how the need for adoptive and foster families for more than 430,000 children in the foster care system can be addressed by Southern Baptist churches working through the Cooperative Program.
“The truth is the need for foster and adoptive families has never been greater,” Floyd said. “The North American Mission Board Send Relief team will connect you and your church with opportunities to be a part of the higher solution. Through the Cooperative Program, we are an essential part of this ministry.”
Throughout the convention, the Cooperative Program also was a focal topic of numerous panel discussions at the CP Stage in the exhibit hall, involving Baptist children’s homes; theological education offered by the SBC’s six seminaries; chaplaincy ministry in a range of settings; the North American Mission Board’s initiatives in Send Relief compassion ministry, Send Network church planting and church revitalization; and the International Mission Board’s global outreach.
“In recent years the CP Stage and platform has become a popular gathering place where Southern Baptists can hear how God is working through SBC missions and ministries fueled by the Cooperative Program,” said Ashley Clayton, Executive Committee vice president of the Cooperative Program and stewardship.
“It is also known for hosting high-level and high-interest conversations on relevant topics from all across the SBC,” Clayton said. “This year we had large crowds each day listening to wide-ranging discussions such as resourcing the church in the sexual abuse crisis, women in ministry, refugees, racial reconciliation, Christian films and the soon-to-be-released movie ‘Overcomer’ and many, many more. The panel discussions also are popular because of the well-known and widely followed individuals who participate.”