Two good articles on the Cooperative Program

Both written by a SB Pastor


The history of the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention

When the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) formed in 1845, it has always had one mandate—the Great Commission  found in Matt. 28:19-20. Prior to the Cooperative Program (CP), to fulfill this mandate, each SBC entity made special offering appeals to the churches. According to the Cooperative program website, this “method was referred to as the ‘societal’ approach to missions”. This method resulted “in severe financial deficits, competition among entities, overlapping pledge campaigns, and frequent emergency appeals which greatly hampered the expanding ministry opportunities God was giving Southern Baptists.” In addition, some entities had to take out loans to cover operating costs until the pledges or special offerings were received.


In 1919, the leadership of the Convention proposed the “75 Million Campaign”. This campaign was a five-year pledge campaign that attempted to raise support for everything the convention was involved in, including the missions and ministries of all the state conventions in addition to that of the Southern Baptist Convention. While the campaign fell short of its goals, a partnership of missions support was conceived which came to be known as the Cooperative Program.


Frustration with Cooperative Program: a true story

My suggestion to him was to cut his CP giving by half and use that money for local ministries in which his people could have direct involvement. … In truth, what would happen if more people invoked this scenario is that it would create a more streamlined and efficient set organizations. The bloated bureaucracy would no longer exist. It could not exist. In addition, more people would be involved in mission efforts because their resources would be more visible and personally meaningful. More people mobilized for ministry locally would reduce the need for the bureaucracy. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it is truly biblical. The era of missions as giving money is over. The era of churches as missionaries is on the move.

Comment: Both articles are very good! I’m responsible for the bold in the last sentence.

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