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1%, Page says, would boost CP by $100M

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1%, Page says, would boost CP by $100M

PHOENIX (BP)--A pastor, a seminary student and Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, delivered a challenge for renewed commitment to unified ministry through the SBC's Cooperative Program.

The pastor and seminary student were part of the Executive Committee report to the SBC annual meeting in which Page urged Southern Baptist churches to magnify their impact nationally and internationally by even a 1 percent-of-budget increase in support for CP.

Kevin White, pastor of First Baptist Church in Longview, Wash., thanked Southern Baptists "for giving so sacrificially so that my family might know Jesus Christ. I am the product of your sacrifice and your giving to the Cooperative Program."

White was 4 years old, living in a mining town of 80 people in northern Nevada, when a CP-funded missionary began visiting and repeatedly witnessing to White's father.

The missionary "never gave up.... And through his devotion, my family came to Jesus Christ," White said. "I watched a radical change in my father," who five years later was pastor of a church the missionary planted in the remote town. White said his father also planted several other churches, primarily among Native Americans, during the next 35 years.

White himself also became a church planter, as will his son, a recent seminary graduate, who will soon engage in church planting among an unreached people group overseas.

"Three generations so far because you gave. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart," White said tearfully, his voice cracking.

Quincy Jones, a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said: "Is our vision of the Cooperative Program the Lord's vision? ... Could the Cooperative Program actually be about more than numbers and dollars [and] actually be about a special stewardship from God given to Southern Baptists?"

The questions -- part of an initiative started at Southwestern by Jones -- should "stimulate a greater awareness and appreciation for the unprecedented resources and impact Southern Baptists have through this incredible mechanism for ministry called the Cooperative Program," he said.

The initiative's goal is "to burn the historic vision of the CP upon the hearts and minds of students in such a way that we graduate with a real commitment to continue this extraordinary stewardship of the Gospel given to Southern Baptists by God," the father of five added.

Jones said he and his wife Rhonda, who was standing next to him, came from an independent church background and so appreciate the value of cooperative missions. "We look around us, and we get it," Jones said. "We have caught the vision, and we want to help promote that vision so the impact of the SBC will continue and be even greater for the sake of the Gospel as we press ahead into the 21st century.

"So we thank you, Southern Baptists, for the investment in our lives and in the lives of countless others through your commitment to this incomparable stewardship of the Gospel that we call the Cooperative Program," Jones said.

Page echoed that sentiment on behalf of all the annual meeting messengers June 14.

"I know all of you could stand here, and in some way or another share the impact of the Cooperative Program upon your life," Page said. "I certainly can as well.

"What we do together, we do to the glory of God," Page said. "And He is using cooperative ministry, unified ministry, in a mighty way across this land. Let's not forget that."

Despite the level of unified ministry underway, Page said the SBC has "been headed in the wrong direction, in several ways. Our convention is fracturing into various groups, some theological, most methodological.

"I believe our unity affects our evangelism," Page said. "And it's time to come together in a principle of unified ministry.

"It is natural to have an individualistic mindset. And in the 21st century, that has reached epic proportions. Everyone thinks they can do best what they do by themselves. Some of our churches have adopted a fortress mentality. That is sad," Page said. "We need to recommit to a principle of unified ministry. To accomplish this, and to do better at what we're doing together, we're asking you ... and we're challenging you, would you please do more than you've done before?

"Our Cooperative Program ministries have decreased every year for many years. We challenge you; we encourage you to raise your Cooperative Program support,'" Page said. "Would you do that? One percent next year. We have churches that have already said, 'We will be a part of this. We will join in raising our Cooperative Program support by 1 percent next year.'"

Page introduced a video showing that a 1 percent-of-budget increase in Cooperative Program giving from all SBC churches would add $100 million to the CP.

This would allow hundreds of churches to be planted across the United States, Page said. Internationally, 380 missionaries could be commissioned to begin reaching the 3,800 unengaged people groups worldwide. A 1 percent increase could boost seminary student enrollment by 16,000 students.

"I'm excited that almost all of our state executive directors have made a promise to move their states to giving more to reach the lost in the world as well as in their own states," Page said.

"Hear it and hear it well," he said. "We need a revival of total mission support, including a renewed commitment to unified ministry through the Cooperative Program."
Norm Miller is a freelance writer based in Richmond, Va. Original copy of this story can be found at Baptist Press.

8 comments (Add your own)

1. Garip wrote:
nice use of technology ie embiddeng podcasts in blogs to share evangelical viewpoints/teachings my way of internalizing word of God is to synthesize gleanings from christian radio broadcasts, sunday sermons (i attend peninsula bible church-cupertino in Silicon Valley) by interweaving real life events with morphed popular music lyrics and my blend of poetry to put it out there for people who visit my blog (mostly people /friends who know of my blog) to reflect upon.God bless your endeavors to share Christ..

Sun, June 17, 2012 @ 3:28 AM

2. Akhtar wrote:
Evangelism! And teaching evgnseliam in our churches. Also, I would like to hear discussion on SBC Life, On Mission Magazine,Baptist Press articles, and Lifeway stores. Expound on the good, point out the bad, and help us avoid the ugly was we lift up the Savior.

Sun, June 17, 2012 @ 3:18 PM

3. vvkgfbromv wrote:
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Sun, June 17, 2012 @ 3:24 PM

4. dmtaez wrote:
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Mon, June 18, 2012 @ 8:07 AM

5. Dele wrote:
I am thankful that the Convention has given so much thhugot and prayer to this issue. I too am proud of the long heritage that the SBC has in going after the main thing, the gospel. However, I believe that it is insightful and sensitive to discuss a name change as we look to the future. I believe that the name Great Commission' will be offensive to many people, but it will be offensive because of the gospel message that it bears. What is better, to be offensive because we are being obedient to God in our pursuit of the Great Commission, or to be offensive because our name Southern' reminds people of the terrible time in our country's history when slavery and prejudice were ingrained so deeply that even our churches followed the cultural influences?

Fri, August 3, 2012 @ 12:26 AM

6. ynfipwzahds wrote:
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Sat, August 4, 2012 @ 3:31 PM

7. Furkan wrote:
“In the South, there is one church for every 1,375 pelope. In New York State, it is one for every 76,000 pelope and in Canada, it is 121,000 pelope.”It is interesting how different countries using essentially the same language read things differently. Taking the two sentences quoted above and reading them in context of the entire paragraph: as both Protestant and Catholic branches of the church are specified; and the Southern Baptist convention, but not any Southern Baptist church is mentioned previously I am assuming the sentences refer to Christian churches in general.The natural declension would make it seem, to me, that it should read as:The ratio of churches to population is- in the South 1 church for every 1,375 pelope, in New York it is 1 for every 76,00 pelope, and, in Canada (there are) 121,000 pelope (for each church). The words in parenthesis can be safely omitted without altering the meaning of the sentence, unless there is some other reason for making a point.

Tue, December 11, 2012 @ 7:46 AM

8. skvmxyfebg wrote:
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Thu, December 13, 2012 @ 10:13 PM

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