JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. (BP)–Shortly after Robbie Jones became Kingsburg Baptist Church’s pastor last January, he discovered that the small congregation had not given to the Cooperative Program for the past two years.
Jones decided to bring the matter for discussion at a deacon’s meeting at the Johnsonville, S.C., church, and he invited Bob Ethridge, director of the information resources team for the South Carolina Baptist Convention, to speak at a men’s meeting. He also began a series of messages on stewardship.
And in August, the congregation voted to give 10 percent of the church’s budget from undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program.
In his research, Jones also discovered that there were 11 non-consecutive years since 1925 — the year Southern Baptists launched the Cooperative Program for missions support — that the Johnsonville church had not contributed.
“A deacon suggested there ought to be a way to go back and ‘fill in the blanks,'” Jones explained.
The deacon’s idea initiated a church-wide effort to make up for the years of lapsed giving. The congregation set a goal of $1,700 above the 10 percent it plans to contribute.
While technically not possible to go back and change the state convention’s accounting records — since the money was not actually given during those calendar years — a special giving record will be created for Kingsburg Baptist Church to acknowledge its “make-up” effort, Ethridge noted.
Pointing to the congregation’s recent blessings of growth and a new discipleship program on Sunday nights, which is drawing between 35 and 50 youth, Jones cited Malachi 3:8-10, saying, “Since we’ve been willing to ‘bring the tithes and offerings into the storehouse,’ I feel God is pouring out a blessing.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at www.sbcbaptistpress.org. Photo title: PASTOR ROBBIE JONES.