Why is Cooperative Program Sunday, on April 22, worth celebrating? Because through the CP, Kentucky Baptists are helping make possible the work of nearly 5,000 International Mission Board missionaries sharing Christ with more than 900 people groups around the globe. Through the CP, we also support more than 5,000 North American Mission Board missionaries.
When the churches I served as pastor forged partnerships in other parts of the state, nation, and world, we almost always found ourselves working alongside of and receiving guidance from missionaries who were supported by the CP. Without the CP, we could not have benefited from those partners. As much as I believe in “hands-on” missions in the local church, to walk away from CP missions and only support hands-on missions is akin to cutting the roots from the tree before you plant it.
Kentucky Baptist Campus Ministries on more than 20 campuses across the Commonwealth are touching the lives of more than 20,000 students each year because of your CP support! Furthermore, Kentucky missions programs such as church planting, disaster relief, and Kentucky Changers are only possible because of the CP.
Our Mission Board staff members minister to churches and their pastors and leaders through CP funded events like Shepherding the Shepherd, Super Saturday, and the Growing Ministries Tour. Other CP funded ministries include Campbellsville University, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, Crossings Ministries, Kentucky Baptist Foundation, Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union, Oneida Baptist Institute, Sunrise Children’s Services, University of the Cumberlands, and the Western Recorder.
Because of the CP, students in our Southern Baptist seminaries and colleges pay only a fraction of the actual cost of their degrees. As a recipient of three degrees from CP funded institutions, I was never willing to pastor a church that did not give a significant percentage of its undesignated receipts through the CP. When Michelle and I made the transition from pastoring to serving our state convention, we immediately began looking for a new church home for our family. Once again, we joyfully made the decision to join a church generously supporting the CP. I could not, with a clear conscience, benefit from those who had made sacrificial gifts through the CP and choose not to pass the same blessing along to others seeking to prepare for ministry.
My life and ministry have been shaped by the CP. Before becoming your executive director, I served as state convention president, an IMB trustee, a trustee of the University of the Cumberlands, and earned paychecks from two of our CP funded colleges and one of our seminaries, all of which are CP ministries.
I believe in the Kingdom value of the CP, vow my support, and challenge you to do the same.