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If You Want To Go Far...

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If You Want To Go Far...

By Gayla Parker

In Africa there is a proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go with friends.” There is much we can learn from that little saying. In the 21st century it is very easy to get all caught up in the going “fast.” We time everything……the drive to work, a race (running, walking, driving, or on a horse), test taking, meal preparation, and more. The mind set being the faster the better. There are times when fast is certainly appropriate such as in a professional race or more importantly in a medical emergency. But maybe there are times that it might be better to plan on going far rather on going fast.

Jesus, during His days of ministry, set the example of going with friends. He formed a group that we have learned to call the twelve disciples: James the son of Alphaeus, John, Simon, Peter, Matthew, Andrew, Judas, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, James the Zebedee, and Thaddaeus. Jesus had the power to do each and every ministry all on His own, but He chose to spend His three years with this group of twelve men. Why? They did not always get along. They did not always understand Jesus. They sometimes made incredible mistakes. But in spite of all of that Jesus knew that this was the best way to go “far.” One day He would be gone but the twelve would remain. The twelve would become hundreds, and the hundreds, thousands, and the thousands, millions. And the message of Jesus would “go far.”

As Southern Baptists we have found a way to make a dollar go far through the Cooperative Program. Every Southern Baptist church chooses the percentage of the weekly offering that will be sent to the Cooperative Program. Once those dollars arrive to the Cooperative Program budget, they are divided between mission agencies, seminaries, Southern Baptist Convention, and State Conventions; the largest portion, 72 percent, of the dollars going to the mission agencies. So what do the dollars do once they get there?

It is through cooperative dollar monies that IMB and NAMB missionaries receive their salaries. Just imagine, over 20,000 missionaries have a monthly salary because of those dollars! There is not a single church anywhere in the world that could pull that off, not even the Saddlebacks or Willow Creeks of the world have the money to provide a monthly salary for that many missionaries. But Southern Baptists together can make it happen and do make it happen every single month. Together, we go far.

The ministries of the missionaries are supported through our special offerings, such as the Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong, and State Missions offerings. No matter how much money comes in for ministries without the Cooperative Program monies the missionaries would not have salaries and could not remain on the field. That is how the offerings work together to support both missionary and ministry.

Today, together as Southern Baptist, we have missionaries in more countries than we can name and in every state in America. Missionaries who are able to spend 100 percent of their time focused on reaching the lost around the world because of our provisions through CP giving. As a former missionary, I remember missionaries serving with other agencies who spent almost half of their time raising funds to insure a monthly salary. Each time I heard their stories, I was so thankful that someone many years ago decided that Southern Baptists would come up with a way to go far rather than go fast.

Some years ago, a writer for children, Sylvia DeLoach, called our Cooperative Program dollars, the bionic dollar. That is a wonderful description! Because of what we do together our dollars really do become “bionic” and do more.

What about your church? How many of your church dollars are becoming “bionic” dollars? It is my prayer that as Southern Baptist we will be much more concerned with “going far” than with going “fast” and take a chance of missing the generations yet to come.

This article originally appeared in BaptistLIFE.

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Jordan wrote:
Diane Gray - Sorry to have missed such a jeooyus occasion. Everything looked so beautiful and Lauren, you looked soooo happy. God Bless you both as you begin your life's journey together as one, and may the Lord take that love that unites you both, and make it become stronger each day. Thanks for sharing your Blessed Day with us.In Christ's LoveThe Gray Family (Richard, Diane, Kory, Bobby & Dani)

Thu, March 15, 2012 @ 7:30 PM

2. Zhang wrote:
Is there a way to get the word out to Iris Nashville folks about the following?This Sunday mnnriog (10/16) our church (The Nest) in Franklin will go to Winstead Hill on Columbia Pike to worship and pray over the city of Franklin. We'd love to invite our Iris friends to join us! Our church meets at Brightstone on Southeast Parkway off Columbia Pike at 10:30 on Sundays for Family Worship and 7:00 on Fridays for Adult Worship (childcare provided). Sunday we will first meet at Brightstone, then head over to WInstead Hill to pray. Let me know if you need more details. Come, Jesus!

Fri, August 3, 2012 @ 5:35 PM

3. BuBoo wrote:
Mike,I'm so sorry, but I didn't see your comment until today. I'm not sure if you're still aronud or care now that it's three weeks later, but I'd still like to answer you're question.I watched the YouTube video you posted about Paul Washer. I'm not familiar with him. You ask about his method of evangelism. I imagine you're referring to his strategy of supporting national missionaries rather than sending Americans. Supporting nationals is a good idea when it is possible. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to invest wisely in nationals without having some experience with them and insight into the culture. I've blogged about this before, but here in Western Europe, many of the believers are quite out of touch with their own culture, having retreated to the Christian subculture that our forbears taught them to build. I think the best people to support in missions are those whom God has called. The hard part is finding those people and discerning what they're all about. At the end of the video, Paul Washer said something that I thought was pretty silly. He said something to the effect of, Whenever I go somewhere, I say, Give me one man to preach in the town square.' And let him preach until he is stoned to death or until someone is converted. Because God will bless that kind of preaching. Not only is this not true (that God will necessarily bless this kind of preaching ), but there are accounts in scripture where escaping persecution was the best thing to do (Paul in Acts 14, Jesus in John 8). This may be hard for some to understand, but Preaching (if it is defined as giving a speech in a public place) is not always a clear means of communication. There are many people for whom such a medium actually makes the message unintelligible. Thanks for your question. Sorry to take so long and so many words to answer!

Sat, October 6, 2012 @ 6:48 AM

4. seewtv wrote:
AiPnDU fijeoknijvxh

Sun, October 7, 2012 @ 4:39 AM

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