It seems many churches today would rather give to special projects and offerings than the Cooperative Program. Maybe they consider the CP outdated. Maybe the idea of giving to the CP is not as attractive or exciting.
I am not saying that we should not have special mission offering or projects. I want to encourage missions engagement and support any way we can and I realize there are needs for missionaries and projects beyond what we can fund through the CP, but I am concerned that we have forgotten how much more we can do together than by ourselves.
It would take every SBC church in Arizona supporting 10 international missionaries, three church planters, 100 seminary students and countless other ministries to accomplish what we can do together by each church giving to missions through the Cooperative Program. It is poor stewardship and a bad trade to cut giving to such an effective vehicle for funding missions and ministry around the world to settle for something with less scope and vision!
I realize many people are leaving denominational churches like Southern Baptists. They are opting for mega-churches, independent churches and non-denominational churches.
But what mega-church can claim to support over 4,800 missionaries in almost 140 countries reaching over 900 people groups across the world? What independent church can claim to have planted 30 churches in Arizona last year and hundreds more across the country? What non-denominational church can claim to be a part of training thousands of missionaries, pastors, chaplains, teachers and Christian counselors through six seminaries across the U.S. and one with a campus right here in Arizona?
Even the smallest Southern Baptist church has a larger worldwide impact than the largest mega-church imaginable because of the Cooperative Program! Why would anyone want to settle for less? Why would any church not do all they could to support, promote, and publicize such an effort?
It is sad that people are leaving our churches, not because we are losing them, but because they are losing out on the greatest missionary endeavor the world had ever known — the Cooperative Program!