With such high gas prices these days, most of us are trying to obtain a vehicle with good fuel economy. Something similar could be said in the world of charities, non-profits and missions organizations, which are struggling more and more to make the most of every dollar.
In the Cooperative Program (CP), the chief funding vehicle for our programs and missions, I believe Oklahoma Baptists can feel a surge of deep satisfaction about the “fuel-efficient vehicle” we have. Just what do I mean?
For starters, CP does not expend a large percentage of the dollars it receives for fundraising. In fact, compared to other charitable organizations, it is shockingly low. Findings show that even in a good scenario, a quarter of every dollar would go to pay fundraisers in a given organization. Compare that with CP, we expend far less for CP promotion and education.
CP also is a great investment for churches of all sizes to be connected to local, state and international missions. Most churches do not have the resources to fund, let’s say, an overseas missionary for one year. With travel costs, housing, food, insurance and more, funding a missionary can be a $100,000 annual endeavor.
United in our giving through CP, however, allows any church to help put missionaries on the field, working to expand the Kingdom of God. Consider the fact that nearly 4,000 international missionaries (many of whom are Oklahoma Baptists) serving around the world through the International Mission Board. Add to this church plants all across North America, reaching some of the hardest to reach communities. With six seminaries, the CP is helping to train a new generation of pastors, ministers and missionaries.
Consider the unique impact in Oklahoma, as well. CP fuels dozens of ministries and programs, including: eight weeks of Falls Creek youth camp each year, CrossTimbers Children’s Mission Adventure Camp, Baptist Collegiate Ministries on 40 campuses, GoStudents missions, effective church plants in the Send Oklahoma network, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, apologetics and evangelism, men’s and women’s ministries, pastor equipping and encouragement and more.
These ministries are seeing the Gospel advanced, thousands of decisions made each year, with lives touched in a great way. Add to this fact that Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Baptist Village Communities and WatersEdge are each blessed by your church’s CP giving.
Within each of these ministries are lives being changed by the Gospel, year after year. While CP has become a forgotten topic for some, when you look closely, it is plain to see that this time-honored program is still an effective channel through which Baptists can further the Gospel.
We, of course, do not credit any program for our spiritual victories but the Savior, Who alone deserves our worship and lives.
So the next time you hear an organization boast (even in a good way) about its ministry impact and wish we Baptists could do the same, fear not. In the Cooperative Program, we have a good thing going, thanks be to God.
Visit oklahomabaptists.org/cp today for more information on the Gospel advance through the Cooperative Program.