The Revolution Of The Southern Baptist World

1323 words - 5 pages

People sometimes ask, “Why should I have to give money to this project? I cannot possibly make that much of a difference.” The founder of the Cooperative Program, or the CP, thought differently. Since Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil,” how much more can one hundred people do? How much more can 16 million people do? Well, through the CP, an immense amount of success comes from its rich history, its concise system, and by its evidence of life-changing stories. Most importantly, the success of the CP cultivated a revolution in today’s world.
Based upon the explanation from tnbaptist.org, the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention, or the SBC, in 1845, caused an exponential growth in the rate of ministry. Each individual organization of the national and state conventions raised funds for missions through “countless special offerings, overlapping pledge campaigns, and frequent emergency appeals” (Rickman). Consequently, multiple agency representatives often found themselves eager to share their desires to raise money before a church congregation, thus donators funded towards a fund-raiser rather than to a ministry. For that reason, the SBC soon found itself in a seemingly insurmountable debt. In order to overcome this debt, the SBC launched the $75 Million Campaign, in 1919, a campaign that challenged Baptists to raise $75 million within five years. Southern Baptists pledged to raise $92.6 million during this campaign; however, they only donated $58.5 million due to “a financial depression that set in across the South soon after Victory Week” (Harris). As reported by Vanderbilt.edu, Victory Week is the week extending from November 30 to December 7 of 1919 in which commissioners of various Southern Baptists missionary and educational institutions decided to collect five years’ worth of cash and pledges. At the end of the campaign, in 1925, a financial problem again rattled the SBC —bankruptcy. The SBC needed an answer to its problems, so in that same year, on May 13, the SBC founded the Cooperative Program (Starnes). Rather than the SBC sending fundraisers down to the church, individuals within the church send their money indirectly to the SBC. To put this another way, individuals hear God coaxing their hearts rather than people coaxing individuals’ wallets and purses. This type of attitude let God lift the SBC out of debt rather than bearing the weight themselves. The SBC finally understood the concept of allowing God to work.
In order for the CP to operate, the love of Jesus Christ must first embrace an individual’s heart. Cpmissions.net states, “Next, out of gratitude and obedience to God for what He has done for you, you commit to give back to Him, through your church, a portion of what He provides.” In other words, since James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,” we can conclude that even the money we...

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