It’s Complicated! Or is it? We are Cooperative people. Or are we?
I admit it! I confess! I converted from Presbyterianism to Baptist faith for a deeply significant reason. My friend from down the street invited me to church with him, and after the first visit I was hooked. There was no turning back. The Baptists had it and the Presbyterians did not. At least in my world. Yes, that is right. I converted because the youth group at my friend’s Baptist Church had more girls than the youth group in our Presbyterian church.
Out of that conversion moment (and for the record I had become a Christian at a summer youth camp put on by the Prebyterians, my journey began. In a Wednesday evening R.A. group God began to speak to my heart about His call on my life. Times of discipleship through the Navigators and Campus Crusade while at college (The Real University of South Carolina, Clemson) propelled me along.
As I became indoctrinated as a good Southern Baptist, one of the things that caught my attention was a spirit of cooperation. I did not have a clue what Church Polity meant, or autonomy of the church, or any of those things. But I understood the concept, we can do more together and than we can on our own. I loved the idea of the Cooperative Program, a means to ultimately fund mission in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
I launched a mission ministry called Church Unleashed Global a year and a half ago. As I have worked with my denomination, with various Associations and many churches, I can honestly say we have an incredible knack for complicating the simple, and for non-cooperation. We don’t have a spirit of no cooperation, we just do not cooperate much. Everyone is doing their own thing.
Why can’t we fulfill the Great Commission in our lifetime? Why are there over 3000 people groups, out of 12,000, that remain unengaged, that is no one is trying to share the Gospel with them? Why does less than 2% of the money in western churches ever make it to the mission work we were called to do? IT’S COMPLICATED.
WHY? JESUS SAID . . . Can you imagine what would happen among just Southern Baptists if 10% of the money we collect were given to international mission efforts? What if 10% of our people would actually go and do the work of missions? What if we really believed that we can do more together than we can individually?
I am just asking,