“What’s this item in the budget marked, ‘Cooperative Program?’”
As the new interim at a church, I was working through budget details with the finance team. James, a long standing member of the church, but new member of the committee, had questions:
“Do we ever pay off this bill?”
“What does it go toward?”
“We could really use that money to help hire a better pastor!”
James considered himself a long-time Southern Baptist. He was proud of the stands the SBC took for the inerrancy of Scripture, for addressing social issues like abortion, and the effective work of Disaster Relief ministries. But James didn’t know how all of that came together. How churches of all shapes and sizes cooperate together for the sake of the work of the Gospel.
Perhaps it wasn’t James’s fault. Like many pastors, James’ former pastor talked a lot about missions in general, but he never connected the congregation to their participation in the greatest missions-sending structure on the globe. Where was James supposed to learn about the IMB, NAMB, six seminaries, the work of our state conventions, or the work of the ERLC? In the absence of pastoral leadership and communication, our shared work for the advancement of the Gospel falls into a black hole of “missions” dollars with no clarity on the specifics of how those resources combine to allow us to do even more!
In a recent book I authored with my colleague Robert Matz, we wanted to give churches a tool to help their people understand why we are Better Together – that our churches cooperating together for the sake of the Gospel accomplishes so much more!...
See the rest of the article over at Small Church Shepherds...
or get a copy of the book here.
John Mark Yeats