There are some today who do not want the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to have a future. The internet and social media are replete with posts, articles, and comments from some who want to see the SBC crumble and burn predicting, even hoping for, the demise of our convention and the Cooperative Program. According to them, no amount of reform or effort will make the convention something worth continuing to exist. I disagree. Yes, the SBC has its problems and flaws.

However, I strongly believe our convention is something very much worth contending for and participating in to make it an even stronger force for advancing the Gospel across the globe. A major reason I believe this is the Gospel impact of the Cooperative Program (CP) and its genius of allowing a church of any size in any location the opportunity to be part of something greater for the Kingdom of God than it could be by itself. Most of our churches could not afford on their own to fully support even one family on the international mission field. But through the CP and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, there are more than 3,600 men and women serving as fully funded missionaries with the International Mission Board along with their 2,700 children. This can only happen because tens of thousands of SBC churches have made a commitment to cooperate in their mission giving.

The CP enables the planting of many new churches every year and chaplaincy work through the North American Mission Board. It helps support our six seminaries, making it possible to give SBC students training for ministry significant discounts in tuition. Closer to home, Oklahoma Baptist churches give through the CP to also support ministries like: Falls Creek where last summer more than 2,600 students committed their lives to follow Christ; CrossTimbers where children hear the Gospel and are taught about the importance of missions; Baptist Collegiate Ministries on 40 Oklahoma college campuses where students are coming to faith in Christ and being discipled; Disaster Relief where people experiencing some of their most difficult hours after a natural disaster are helped, encouraged and told about the love of Jesus by our volunteers meeting their physical needs. In addition, our state convention is able to provide resources, services, conferences, retreats and other ministry to Oklahoma Baptist churches and pastors because of the CP.

The gospel ministries of our affiliates OBU, OBHC, BVC, and WatersEdge are also helped through CP giving. In short, the SBC is worth participating in and contending for because so much is at stake. Think of what would happen to all the missions and Kingdom work both locally and globally if the SBC and CP ceased to exist. Yes, we have problems, differences and disagreements in the SBC, and these are not unimportant. Yet, our convention is worth our best efforts and participation to find the way forward that is biblical, cooperative, and anchored in the reason we chose to come as a convention in the first place—the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its advance in every community and nation across the globe.