July 25, 2014
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Cooperative Program
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CP taking church 'outside of its box' to reach world for Christ
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (BP) -- The Cooperative Program extends worldwide the reach of the 150 or so Sunday worshippers at Monument Baptist Church in Grand Junction, Colo., who lead an assortment of diverse ministries within and outside the church.
While Monument Baptist Grand Junction has been missions-minded and outward-focused since its start in 1971, pastor Ray Shirley has led it to expand its reach while also ministering within the church family. The church sends 10 percent of its undesignated offerings to missions through the Cooperative Program, the way Southern Baptists work together to fund missions and ministries in state conventions, North America and worldwide. "The Cooperative Program helps link us [all Southern Baptist churches] together so we can be on mission together," Shirley said. "We believe part of the commitment we make as Southern Baptists is to support the Cooperative Program. We believe it is our privilege to be part of that and to support missions locally, nationally and internationally. It really is a togetherness, and I like that." "We're the body of Christ, the family of God, and the Cooperative Program is a good representation of that,” he said. “We're all going in the same direction, using our gifts differently.” The church donates a total of 22 percent of its operating budget to a variety of missions causes, supporting two Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ International) missionaries, an aviation ministry, Creation Puppeteers, the Alpha and Omega Institute, the International Mission Board and local pregnancy and homeless ministries. "The hardest part of ministry is to be a healthy internal church and healthy outgoing church," Shirley said. "It's a hard battle because in mainline Christianity and even among mainline Southern Baptists, we're really good at addressing the felt needs we're comfortable with. "At our church, we face those same struggles and bridging that gap to actually being a missional person who is evangelizing and striving to take the church outside of itself, outside of its box, that has been a struggle.” In addition to starting two other churches, Monument Baptist Grand Junction has developed onsite softball and soccer fields available without cost to any team that wants to use them. The fields are in use at least five nights a week. Its youth have gone on World Changers construction mission trips seven times in the last 12 years. Adults have gone on a dozen or more mission trips since 2000, when Shirley was called as pastor.
Mesquite Friendship Church goes beyond 1% CP Challenge
MESQUITE, Texas (BP) -- Accepting the 1% CP Challenge to increase giving by 1 percent to the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program wasn't enough for Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas. They decided to give 2 percent instead. The congregation of more than 1,400 Sunday morning worshippers gives a standing ovation each time founding pastor Terry Turner announces that the good work Southern Baptists are doing is partly funded by Mesquite Friendship's Cooperative Program and seasonal missions offerings.
'Wise stewardship' leads Va. church to CP
DRAKES BRANCH, Va. (BP) -- Drakes Branch Baptist Church members' attention to the Word of God leads them to "wise stewardship" of their offerings, says Pastor Adam Blosser.
'I have everything,' God says to pastor
PITTSBURGH, Pa. (BP) -- The Cooperative Program is personal to Pittsburgh Baptist Church Pastor Kim Grueser and his congregation.
'More for Christ' commitment lifts rural church to new heights
MEXICO, Ky. (BP) -- Members of Mexico Baptist Church in rural Kentucky decided in the early 1940s to begin increasing their Cooperative Program giving toward 25 percent of their undesignated offerings. By 1978 they had reached that goal, which they maintain to this day.
CP gives small church global impact
CLEARWATER, Idaho (BP) –- First Baptist Church of Clearwater only draws about 40 worshippers Sunday mornings, but makes a global missions impact through the Cooperative Program.       Bill Horn, First Baptist's bivocational pastor, extols the Cooperative Program as unique.
CP undergirds ministry to local community
HARRISBURG, Pa. (BP) -- The 190 people who worship
on Sunday mornings at East Shore Baptist Church are spread pretty thin.       They minister at a halfway house, truck stop, school, race track ...
'Jersey' impacts Ohio & the world
Jersey Baptist Church has baptized 1,482 people -- more than 100 a year -- during the last 10 years, according to its Annual Church Profile (ACP).
Church takes 1% CP Challenge
COLORADO SPRINGS (BP) -- With a clear, simple purpose statement of "Make Disciples," what does a church do when it outgrows its landlocked facilities in a part of town facing significant demographic changes? A multi-faceted ministry
Circle Drive Baptist Church in Colorado Springs already assists a neighboring Baptist church that ministers in the heart language of many of the area's newer residents. The congregation hosts another people group who meet in its facilities. Circle Drive has adopted an unreached, unengaged people group in West Africa in partnership with the International Mission Board's Embrace initiative. And it maintains ongoing missions partnerships in the Philippines, Southeast Asia and Romania. Church members have been on mission trips to 17 nations (including the United States) since 2002. Circle Drive additionally is heavily invested in missions and ministries across Pikes Peak Baptist Association and throughout the state of Colorado. Others before self Two years ago, the church where pastor Mike Routt serves voted to purchase 20 acres in a highly visible, fast-growing section of Colorado Springs. The land, already paid for, is within a mile of a new development where 6,000 new homes will be built in the next few years. This is a church where the 20 people who started the congregation in 1954 took food each week from their own meager larders to share with their poorly paid pastor. They were (and are) more interested in doing for others than doing for themselves. So they responded unanimously last fall when Routt, who currently serves as vice chairman of the SBC Executive Committee, suggested they rise to the "1% CP Challenge" voiced by EC President Frank Page to increase the percentage of their budget for Southern Baptist missions and ministries. "Our church is in the midst of a $10.5 million capital fundraising campaign for a total campus relocation," Routt said. "So why increase our CP giving 1 percent at this time in our church's history? "The needs of others remain of greater importance to our people than their own," Routt said. "Through our giving to CP, we support thousands of IMB and NAMB missionaries; we support thousands of students who are preparing for the Gospel ministry in our six SBC seminaries; we support religious liberty through the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; and we support the work of our own state convention in saturating Colorado with the Gospel. Our church also supports strongly the Cooperative Program because of partnership with other churches of our denomination across America." The Cooperative Program is the way Southern Baptist churches combine their missions dollars for maximum impact around the world. "[Circle Drive] did it enthusiastically," Routt said. "People are excited. We're wanting to expand; we want to have a greater impact in the Kingdom of God, and the Cooperative Program helps us have that Kingdom impact.
$1 per month: Church members fight hunger
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP) -- Six-year-old Madeline Gillott is intent on giving to Southern Baptists' World Hunger Fund "so kids don't starve and have lots to eat and can hear about Jesus."
CP allows 'broad strokes of ministry'
VACAVILLE, Calif. (BP) -- The 300 or so people who worship on Sunday morning at Trinity Baptist Church know that 20 percent of their offerings go to missions, the bulk of it given through the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Church returns blessings to Cooperative Program
MARION, Iowa (BP) -- A year after Community Baptist Church was planted in August 2009, its members decided to double their giving to missions through the Cooperative Program.
Wis. church's Hmong, Hispanic, deaf outreach parallel its Cooperative Program commitment
APPLETON, Wis. (BP) -- Valley Baptist Church reaches out to local Hmong, Hispanic and deaf people groups, but the mostly Anglo congregation isn't satisfied to stop there.
'Above & beyond' through CP is church's growing commitment
HAUGHTON, La. (BP) -- Within the past five years, First Baptist Church in Haughton, La., has made a commitment to go the second mile. This can be seen in its partnerships with Southern Baptist missions and ministries in East Asia, northern Mexico, Wisconsin, central Louisiana, a nearby prison and metro Shreveport.
Besides this, the congregation that numbers about 750 in Sunday morning worship allocates 12 percent of undesignated receipts for missions through the Cooperative Program -- the way Southern Baptist churches pool their missions dollars for maximum impact in state conventions and throughout the world -- plus 1 percent more, directly to the SBC's International Mission Board. "In the past our church has given 10 percent to missions through the Cooperative Program, but we want to give above and beyond what we felt was a tithe," said Gevan Spinney, the church's pastor for the last 10 years. "I think as Christians, God has called us to give above and beyond; it's that second-mile mentality. There's joy in that." "Our people love the fact that we're involved with a cooperative effort to reach the nations," Spinney, a doctoral student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, said. "We can do far more together than any of us could alone. There's power in unity and in moving in the same direction. "The Cooperative Program is the best thing out there," he said. "When you realize the strength in all of us giving together to reach the world with the Gospel, it's amazing." Known since its founding in 1885 for being exceedingly generous, First Baptist Haughton channeled that generosity into specific impact beginning five years ago. "We had a shotgun approach to missions: We were supporting a dozen or more ministries financially," Spinney said. "We were hitting a lot of places, but we weren't a part of a real sustained impact partnership. "Our church was very generous, but we weren't physically involved in going to the ends of the earth," the pastor said. That changed after he was given, within a month, two copies of a book: "To the Ends of the Earth," by former IMB President Jerry Rankin. "I was a young pastor; I just stepped in and kept moving with the tradition of the church, trying to get my feet under me," Spinney said. "But in this book Dr. Rankin said it wasn't the IMB's responsibility to do the Great Commission on behalf of the church. I thought, 'That's how we are set up.' Boy was that convicting." Underscoring the local church's primary role in missions, Rankin noted there were about 6,500 unreached people groups and how local churches could work through the IMB to reach them.
Luther Rice's cooperation continues at church
NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. (BP) -- In the birthplace of acclaimed missions pioneer Luther Rice, there was wisdom in naming a church after him.       From their first offering in 1961, Rice Memorial Baptist Church in Northborough, Mass., has given at least 10 percent to missions through the Cooperative Program.

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