The Cooperative Program’s biblical basis
Since our founding in 1845, Southern Baptists have been driven by the Great Commission. The timing and setting of Christ’s command to take the gospel to the nations has become embedded in the very fiber of our being. This strong Great Commission DNA has impacted our actions, goals, giving and priorities for nearly 175 years.
In 1925, Southern Baptists began a more coordinated and formalized missions endeavor, named the Cooperative Program, to maximize the synergy of thousands of churches praying, planning and giving together. This new missions endeavor proved to be better organized, more focused, and allowed us to get the gospel in hostile and difficult places much more effectively than could any single church.
The pattern for targeting Cooperative Program missions giving is based on Christ’s departing words in Acts 1:8 to be His witnesses in Jerusalem (their city), Judea (their region), Samaria (the adjoining region which possessed significant cultural and racial barriers) and the remote ends of the earth.
Southern Baptists should greatly rejoice in knowing that every single dollar we give to this coordinated and strategic missions endeavor impacts missions from our front door to the ends of the earth.
I am deeply thankful for Arkansas Baptists’ great heart and commitment to missions. Arkansas Baptists are the greatest folks in the world!
J.D. “Sonny” Tucker is executive director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
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