In II Corinthians 8, Paul calls on the New Testament churches to come together to help the Jerusalem Church in its time of persecution and need. By investing their financial gifts together and strengthening that local church, the Apostle said, the Church at Jerusalem can then reciprocate when others are in need.
Paul was relentless about taking the gospel to the ends of the earth and he knew that a strong home base was essential to that mission.
Through his words, Paul draws the churches in a cooperative effort, much like a flowing stream that rolls to a larger sea of water, touching, nourishing and healing everything in its path. From tributaries and along rolling brooks and creeks, flowing streams become mighty, rushing rivers.
So does the Cooperative Program. While it may start small in a local church, when combined with gifts from other churches, the Cooperative Program brings health, renewal and strength to other churches—large and small. It’s a cooperative effort to help other churches grow and thrive. And as a mighty river, these streams of cooperation send missionaries across the globe.
Through the Cooperative Program, Florida Baptists are working hand-in-hand with Southern Baptists to bring spiritual water to the lives of men and women, boys and girls, touching them with the saving message of Jesus Christ.
Through the Cooperative Program, lives are being transformed simultaneously in communities near and far through the commitment of Florida Baptists to take the Great Commission to their neighborhoods and around the globe. Like a flowing stream, the Cooperative Program—through the state convention—strengthens the local church, keeping the home base robust to support missions and missionaries throughout the world. It’s the Baptist spirit.
How do busy church leaders promote the Cooperative Program while keeping in balance the many other important items that clamor for their attention? Here are a few helpful suggestions. Pick the suggestions that will work best in your church setting and emphasize the importance of the Cooperative Program.
1. PRAY. Lead in a special time of prayer for the work of missions through the Cooperative Program during the worship service. Pray for our missionaries, our seminary teachers, and the Florida Baptist Convention staff. Missionary Moments is a resource to use for this prayer time. Click here.
2. USE MATERIALS. Use Cooperative Program materials as a bulletin insert. The Florida Baptist Convention’s 2015 Budget Brochure “Doing together what we cannot do alone” tells the story of what your Cooperative Program gifts are accomplishing. (2015 CP Budget Allocations) Additionally, a number of great resources are available to you (see below). For additional copies click here to e-mail.
3. SHARE FACTS. Share with your members something specific that is being accomplished through the Cooperative Program:
· 4,816 international missionaries are funded through the Cooperative Program.
· 7,300 Florida Baptist volunteers are trained in disaster relief, making the Southern Baptist Convention the third largest disaster relief provider in the nation.
· 109 new churches were started last year in Florida.
· 1,300 students are being trained through theological education provided in Florida.
· 60,600-plus new Christians were baptized and taught to share their faith throughevangelistic outreach emphases.