There’s a good conversation going on over at Lee’s blog. I dropped a note there but thought I would also post a version of it here:
In a comment, Ken Hall said the “time is ripe to challenge our churches to do something greater than yesterday.” He’s exactly right.
As you might expect, I’m a fan of the Cooperative Program. It is simply amazing the breadth of missions, evangelism and ministry supported by CP, and the largest chunk of Texas CP goes to our institutions. As our institutions grow larger and more healthy, it is only natural that CP would become a smaller portion of their budget; but it is still a significant amount of money. Even for the big institutions, it takes millions of dollars in endowment to replace the annual CP designations.
I think it’s good for us to remember, however, that all of our institutions are not giants. For some of our our institutions, like Baptist University of the Americas, the BGCT Cooperative Program provides a significant portion of the budget and is therefore more critical to the financial health of those amazing ministries.
Everyone knows that Baylor University, Buckner International and Baylor Health Care System are the big boys on the Texas Baptist block. But BUA, South Texas Children’s Home and other smaller institutions are having a great impact in Kingdom ministry, as well.
I like to think of the BGCT as a family. Our larger institutions are like big brothers or big sisters in a family, they have their lives to live but they also keep an eye over the shoulder at the little brothers and sisters, helping them along and understanding that being a family requires caring about the whole family. As the big brother and big sister “grow up,” they don’t need the family as much, but the family needs them; and there may come a day when the big brother and big sister need a helping hand from their siblings.
As Ken Hall said, the time is ripe to challenge our churches to do something greater today, and I think the Cooperative Program and its system of sharing resources should be at the center of meeting that challenge.