By David Johnson, executive director, Arizona Southern Baptist Convention –
What if I told you that giving to the Cooperative Program actually increased the number of people who worshipped the Risen Lord on Easter? You may not realize the connection, but when you give to your local church and your church gives to the Cooperative Program, you are helping plant churches who are leading people to Christ all over Arizona.
Here are just a few examples: CityView Church in Phoenix had 440 people worshipping in the AMC Theatre Easter Sunday. This is a church that did not exist just a few years ago and was planted by Jeremiah Semmler, who is supported by the North American Mission Board. They recently baptized 12 people who have come to know Christ through their church. Pastor Jason Vance at Valley Life Church in Surprise reported 190 in attendance on Easter Sunday. Wellspring Church in Litchfield Park, with Pastor Chris Stull, had 410 in attendance on Easter with 7 professions of faith (see photo above). One of our newest church plants, Cross Church in Phoenix, had over 100 in attendance and one baptism, as reported by Pastor Andrew Bailey. Aspire Church in Tucson held their worship service in a public park (see photo below). They had 130 come through their buffet breakfast and 92 stayed for worship. Church Planter/Pastor Brian Hook said they had 5 professions of faith!
Here is what one person said who attended the Aspire Church’s service: “It was simple. It was clear. It was filled with welcoming, acceptance, warmth and unity: people literally from all over the world meeting together in a park to celebrate the Resurrection and our oneness in the love and family of Christ. So it was no problem for me to invite passers-by to join us. Soon the chairs were taken, and folks sat on the stone wall around the meeting area, singing, listening to the singing, and listening to God’s clear invitation into the transformation of new life in Christ. I was blessed, and I do mean blessed, to be able to talk to some of the people watching and passing by who didn’t know ‘us’ or why we were there.”
You were a part of all that by giving to the Cooperative Program. Think about that for a moment –you helped make it possible for more people to worship Jesus on Easter! That makes me want to give more. Doesn’t it you as well?