Earlier today, I blogged about the Cooperative Program and our institutions. I want to add an additional word from another perspective.
While I am strongly committed to the importance of continued use of the Cooperative Program strategy in order to provide base funding to a vast array of ministry efforts, it is good for all of us to understand that some of our institutions, especially Buckner International, have a broader scope and constituency than the churches of the BGCT. This is really such a great blessing. While Texas Baptists (not the BGCT) gave birth to Buckner years ago and have nurtured it through the years, it’s exciting to see this ministry grow and grow and grow, not for the sake of size but for the cause of ministry in the name of Christ.
I used a family metaphor in the earlier post, and I would like to return there but give a different perspective. As a dad, I love helping my children grow and then sending them out into the world to make a difference. While I loved them as children, I raised them to be adults. My oldest daughter is now the mother of five wonderful children, and she sees that as her primary ministry. My oldest son works for San Marcos Baptist Academy and sees that as a means of ministry to older children and teens. My second oldest daughter works at El Centro College in the office that helps students to meet various financial and educational needs (of which Buckner is involved). My two other children are works in progress (ages 13 and 10). Of course, I never stop being their dad no matter how old they are; I share in their joys and their struggles, I encourage, I support, I do whatever I can to help them be all that God has created them to be.
I look upon BGCT institutions like Baylor University, Buckner International and the others in this same way. We nurtured them into adulthood and we continue to share in their ministry life. Of course, it’s not just the Baylors and Buckners that reach beyond Texas. Wayland University has an amazing geographical reach. Baptist University of the Americas is touching the Spanish-speaking Americas in ways that are hard to comprehend. I continue to be surprised at the number of graduates of our smaller universities who now lead in ministry around the world. Our hospitals not only serve Texans, they participate in worldwide ministry.
While we strengthen our Texas CP giving channel, we all should understand that our institutional effort is much bigger than Texas. We should celebrate the worldwide visions of our institutions and empower them to move forward on Christian mission. I love being a Texas Baptist; I love touching the world for Christ.