Okay, do I have your attention? Everyone is talking about the Cooperative Program these days. Suddenly the CP is headline news. It’s in all our state papers and there are lots of opinions about where CP giving will go in the next five years. My intentions are not to debate or prognosticate what might happen or not happen to CP in this particular blog. However I do want to make a personal point concerning the Cooperative Program. Here it is…
The Cooperative Program discipled me! That’s right. In a direct way the CP made a huge impact on my life spiritually. Here is how it happened… I did my undergraduate work at Eastern Kentucky University. When I got on campus I visited the Baptist Student Union (now BCM). My pastor had told me about it but beyond that I did not know many specifics about this organization. So I walked down to the BSU (no wheels allowed then for freshmen but didn’t matter as I did not have a car!) and guess what? There were lots of people there from all over Kentucky and other states who were friendly and excited about Christ. I immediately made the BSU my home away from home. Through the BSU I had numerous opportunities to serve and grow as a Christian leader.
I was elected as a representative from the BSU to the student government at Eastern. One year I served as president, and one year directed our BSU choir as we toured the state sharing the Gospel through music. At the BSU I became involved in some really great Bible studies that helped me on my discipleship journey. I was even challenged to start a Bible study in my dorm room which I did in order to reach other guys for Christ. One summer I had the opportunity to serve as a summer missionary and that was really a life changing summer.
I could go on and on…revival teams, coffee houses, worship, prayer meetings, witnessing on campus, building homecoming floats, loads of great fun and lifetime friends. The ministry of BCM made a huge spiritual impact on me.
During my senior year in college I felt the Lord calling me into vocational ministry. That call came to me as the Holy Spirit grew me while at the BSU.
The impact that campus ministry made on my life is still bearing fruit. So you see the BSU (supported by CP gifts from Kentucky Baptist Churches) really did provide the environment for me to grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ. In essence, the CP was instrumental in my discipleship journey.
What CP or KBC changes are in the future, no one knows, but one of the best things we do in Kentucky Baptist life made possible by CP giving is campus ministry! I pray we never punt, retreat, or back away from engaging students on campus for the glory of Christ through the BCM.
Great comment John. I do hope we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. CP works!
The Cooperative Program was started in Kentucky and remains relevant today as the best way to “cooperatively” share the expenses of ministry. Our churches need to be more outwardly focused – not inwardly focused. Gifts to the Cooperative Program have fallen (in recent years) from 10% of undesignated receipts to under 7%! Where is our Baptist heart for missions?
The Cooperative Program was started in Kentucky and remains relavant today as the best way to “cooperatively” share the exppenses of ministry. Our churches need to be more outwardly focused – not inwardly focused. Gifts to the Cooperative Porgram have fallen (in recent years) from 10% of undesignated receipts to under 7%! Where is our Baptist heart for missions?
Thanks so much Brenda.
CP does more than we know and I was greatly impacted by what it did. Blessings on your day!
Thanks Billy. We must sound the trumpet loud with what CP really does.
Thanks Mike for telling your story. Many young people like yourself get connected in significant ministries through our Cooperative Program partnership. Your ministry is appreciated. Blessings!
I’m continually impressed by our BCM here in Kentucky. Every campus minister I’ve had the pleasure of meeting has been amazing. Some of the best Bible teaching I’ve ever heard has been from the KSU campus minister — I’m so glad men like him are discipling young believers. And I can’t tell you the number of missionaries and ministers I’ve met who have told me they answered the call to ministry because of BCM. (Keith Inman is frequently mentioned by name as one of their big influences.)
When my boys go off to college years from now, I pray there will be BCMs there to help them continue to grow as followers of Christ.