The Cooperative Program is a financial channel of cooperation between the state conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention. When you make an undesignated gift to the Lord through your church, you directly support the missionary, education, and benevolent work in your state convention. You also support the work of the Southern Baptist Convention here in the United States and all over the world.

CP is…

Purity

The essence of the Cooperative Program is to fulfill the Great Commission. Jesus’ command to witness in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth was not optional, but mandatory. The Cooperative Program compels us to be a witness at home and around the world at the same time.

Maturity

The Cooperative Program encourages Baptists to participate in the full range of God’s kingdom work in our world. Sometimes people only want to support a particular ministry or a special endeavor, but CP is all-encompassing. Our vision is enlarged to include everything from evangelistic penetration in the Third World to strengthening Christian colleges at home.

Security

The Cooperative Program is safe. Accountability has been, is, and will continue to be an encouragement to generous giving. Mississippi Baptists know where our money goes and what it does.

Testimonies

“For nearly a century, Southern Baptists have contributed to the Cooperative Program.  As a graduate of a Southern Baptist Seminary, I am grateful for the funds provided by fellow Southern Baptists that gave me the opportunity to further my education.  Now as a pastor, I am striving to lead my church to be mission minded in every way possible.  The mission field begins at home.  It begins with our local budgets.  Through Prayer and a Kingdom vision we should allocate as much as possible for the Cooperative program.  I firmly believe that when you set forth a vision to sacrificially support missions around the world,  the Lord is pleased and His blessings will follow.  The first step to leading your church to be on mission is to sacrificially give to the Cooperative Program.”   


Through the Cooperative Program (CP) we partner together for the purpose of advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ among the nations. Since the inception of the CP in 1925, it has been a source of unity and encouragement for Southern Baptists in sharing the Gospel. Fairview Baptist Church is blessed to be a part of the CP which allows us the ability to partner with some 40,000 other local church bodies to engage the task of the Great Commission and fulfill Acts 1:8. Our participation allows us to help equip the next generation of pastors with a theological education, provide resources for missionaries across the globe, plant new churches, and partner to help revitalize existing churches among many other things.  Through the Cooperative Program, we can have a part of sharing the Gospel everywhere there is a Southern Baptist church, missionary, or team.” 

“First Baptist Church is blessed to be a part of giving toward the Cooperative Program.  We believe that more ministry can be done when we work together as churches than can be done alone.  It is a blessing to know that the tithes and offerings that come in through our church does not just impact our community but literally is sent all over the world through the Cooperative Program.  When an IMB missionary goes into a village in Africa to share Christ with a family, we can rejoice that we were a small part of that.  When a tornado or hurricane strikes a community and Disaster Relief efforts begin, we can rejoice that we were a small part of that.  When a church is planted by a graduate of one of our SBC seminaries, we can rejoice that we were a small part of that.  Giving toward the Cooperative Program allows us to be a part of the ministry that takes place around the world and we rejoice in that.  We are praying and working toward making disciples around the world and we look forward to the continued partnership through the Cooperative Program to help in these Kingdom efforts.” 

“He’s a shy kid.  Every children’s ministry has one like him.  He’s at least one face in every junior high and high school ministry.  He’s that kid that really likes the idea of being involved and genuinely wants to participate until its time to get out of the car and go inside.  That’s when the great idea of being around a bunch of kids collides with the world of shy, his world.  Then he balks.  He struggles. 

But something has radically changed in young Luke.  He made it through high school and in May 2017, he will have completed two years of community college.  There’s more.  He began attending the Baptist Student Union where he became actively involved.  He was asked to serve on their leadership council.  And then volunteered to participate in, of all things, the drama team.  His role on the drama team is not a behind the scenes helper.  No, he is out front boldly living out a changed life. 

Because of your gifts to the Cooperative Program, a life has changed.  When your Church participates in the Cooperative Program, a portion of the dollar you put in the plate supports the significant ministry of Baptist Student Unions on college campuses all across the State.  It is personal.  Because you give lives are changed.” — written by Luke Clark 

Luke Clark is a member of Clarke Venable Baptist Church in Decatur, MS.
Mark Vincent is the Senior Pastor.
Luke attends East Central Community College.
Scott Vaughn is the BSU director.

“Jesus prayed in John 17:22-23, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.  Then the world will know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  Jesus prayer is answered when the church comes together in unity with a passion for reaching the lost with the gospel.  The cooperative program is a valuable tool to make that worthy mission a reality.  With over 5 billion people in our world that do not have a relationship with Christ and 80% of our churches in North America plateaued or declining, the necessity of coming together is vital.  The task before us is great but together, we claim Jesus’ promise in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” 

 

God So Loved the World…

Baptists have always believed that salvation grows from the love of God. In the same way that “God sent His only Son” to demonstrate His love for the world, Baptists formed a convention in 1845 to send missionaries around the world with the gospel message of love and forgiveness. It was the right decision, for today more than 10,000 missionaries serve the Lord through the efforts of our churches.

Love is Not Enough…

God’s love for the world was not just a feeling, rather it was an action. He offered us the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus who gave His life at Calvary. It took Baptists almost 80 years to discover that love for missions is not enough. By 1920, the mission boards of the Southern Baptist Convention were in severe financial crisis. They had love for missions but no financial plan for putting it into action. Churches longed for a more effective missions strategy and agreed to combine offerings to see it become a reality.

The Cooperative Program: Love in Action

A simple approach gained approval. Churches agreed to set aside a percentage of their Sunday offerings for mission support worldwide. Each congregation decided what amount to allocate for the Cooperative Program. We named it the Cooperative Program, but the better description could be Baptist love in action. Here’s how it works. State conventions receive the offerings and work together with the Southern Baptist Convention to provide ministries which call out, educate, and deploy missionaries around the world. The Cooperative Program is a sophisticated financial network which combines resources from all the churches and applies them in a strategic effort to impact the world for the sake of Christ’s kingdom. In Mississippi, state mission causes are supported by the 2,000+ churches in our state. Worldwide mission causes are supported by gifts from almost 45,000 churches across the Southern Baptist Convention. The largest portion of the money given nationwide goes to International and North American missions.

Love Ought to Be Personal

One of the complaints about the Cooperative Program is that it is too impersonal. God’s love involved His “only begotten Son.” We encourage everyone to make a “personal profession of faith” in Christ. How can we become more personally involved in mission support through the Cooperative Program? First, make a personal decision about what you will give to your church. The Bible instructs us to tithe (Malachi 3:10). Gifts which amount to ten percent or more of our annual income are very personal, and often require us to make personal adjustments in our household budgets. God deserves no less, however, since He gave His only Son. Second, personally contact your church treasurer or budget committee chairman and encourage your congregation to increase its Cooperative Program giving. When you do, many people will ask to know more about how the Cooperative Program works. Third, you may need to personally invite a real-live missionary to speak in your church. That’s when missions gets personal. Finally, since Baptists have developed such a fine program of mission support, you may want to sign up as a career missionary, or you may simply want to surrender more of your time and energy to be “on mission” with God wherever you go.

I Want to Know More

If you need more information about the Cooperative Program or want to become more personally involved with mission support, please call us at the state convention at (800) 748-1651, or e-mail our staff: Rick Blythe, director, Stewardship & Cooperative Program Promotion Lisa Leavell, ministry assistant, Stewardship & Cooperative Program Promotion and Church-Minister Relations

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In 1845 Southern Baptists decided to put all of the mission efforts under one convention organization. Each agency elects trustee boards to oversee their operations, but everyone also operates under the umbrella of the Southern Baptist Convention. The work of these trustees ties each area to the larger convention.

 

Contact Information

Lisa Leavell
Ministry Assistant, Stewardship
 P.O. Box 530 Jackson, MS 39205
601.292.3347
Fax: 601.714.7408
Rick Blythe
Director, Stewardship
 515 Mississippi St. Jackson, MS 39201
601.292.3348
Fax: 601.714.7408