My good friend Doug Baker, executive editor of the Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma, just wrote a piece on the Cooperative Program: Its Genius and Risks.
The Cooperative Program is basically our big Southern Baptist missions structure that helps fund our six seminaries, two missions agencies and other evangelistic programs.
I’ve personally benefited from the CP (was a student and employee at Midwestern Baptist Seminary), am a member of one of the biggest SBC churches in Oklahoma who contributes to it, and love and support the unified missions giving structure it provides. But like any system it can become ineffective through man.
Here’s some quotes I liked from the article:
Today, the CP stands in danger of destruction through the sheer abandonment of many who see it not like a trellis to a vine, but like a welfare system in a non-productive economy. To be sure, the Cooperative Program has many visible cracks, resulting in a withering vine. Yet, is the answer to repair or replace the trellis? The answer depends on your perspective.
The Cooperative Program was not designed and must not remain (as it is for some) a way of avoiding the danger, risk and inconvenience of active, personal ministry in and through a local church. Too often, the offering in the envelope becomes the means to assuage a guilty conscience.
It [CP] has descended into the depths of political partisanship and childlike bickering to such a degree that ministry partnerships across the SBC are obviously viewed more like political structures with special interests vying for their share of control.
I think reform is in order.
In my humble opinion, the Cooperative Program structure itself is a beautiful system — unified missions giving to assist Christians called to use their life taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
But we – man – have made it a bureacratic and ineffective mess in many places.
I still hold high hope it can be made effective and useful again. But I fear that sacrifices – like some in leadership reforming their methods and actions (or even, stepping down or aside) – will need to be made. I’m not as optimistic about that count though.
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As you might know, I’m a Southern Baptist … the big news out of SBC life is the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force. They recently presented their preliminary report in Nashville a couple of weeks ago and we were there with the Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma to cover the event.
My good friend and Messenger Executive Editor Douglas Baker just released a podcast with Dr. David Dockery, president of Union University.
The podcast is rich and worth the time. Check it out here.
We just launched another venture called PluginBuddy, a premium WordPress plugin marketplace today.
This is really exciting for me … and as I write this post on CCP, I think back to this blog and how it started it all!
Anyway, we just launched BackupBuddy, our easy, all-in-one backup, restore, and migration solution for WordPress.
My good friend Douglas Baker, executive editor of the Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma, my home paper and one I love dearly, asked me to write an article for their Project 2010 (which is a great year-long series dealing with serious issues the Church is facing) about Social Media in the Church.
My post is titled Leveraging Social Media for the Gospel.
Take a look and let me know what you think.