Friday, February 02, 2007

Is the Cooperative Program on Life Support?

I am sitting here in my office drinking coffee and eating Skittles. This will turn out to be a fun morning. I was flipping through and reading my current Winter 07 edition of Leadership Journal from Chrisitianity Today. There was an article in there titled: New Ownership on page 19 by Eric Reed. In that article he makes the comment that the church has lost in many ways the face that went along with their support of missionaries. No longer does the congregational member hear personally on a Sunday morning/evening from the missionary/ies their dollars support. This is the subtle negative of the Cooperative Program amongst the thousands of positives. As culture continues to evolve more to a "postmodern" (however you choose to define that) mindset, what will be the effect on the Cooperative Program? Gen x'ers and Millenials are much more interested in the face to face, side by side experiential reality of the world and society. Does the CP stand at the edge of cultural denominational irrelavance? How can we prevent such a collapse (and I am not intending to say there is one on the near horizon) from happenning (that is not a resolution passed at a meeting)? I am curious about this. I believe strongly in the CP and what it has allowed the SBC to do and accomplish, but what if I am in the minority in my age class (I am 30) and younger? How do we bring back the missionary face to the CP?

3 Comments:

Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

I think we have to involve our churches in missions more than just having missionaries speak.

2/02/2007  
Anonymous Geoff Baggett said...

I think that the CP, as we now know it, is on a bit of a "Life Support" standing. I think you will see a dramatic shift in giving patterns as the "Builders" and "Boomers" begin to pass on to be with the Lord.

I pastor a church with an average age of about 33. We only have 5 senior adults in the entire congregation. And, frankly, my church just does not "but in" wholesale to the CP. They want "point of contact" giving. They are not satisfied to pay someone else to do their Great Commission work for them. I guess I feel the same way, especially in light of the mismanagement and questionable spending of CP dollars that have recently come to light.

I have posted on this extensively on my blog at http://geoffbaggett.wordpress.com . Also, a regular reader gave some interesting insights into the generations (with regard to giving). I posted them here:
http://geoffbaggett.wordpress.com/2007/02/01/stewardship-cooperation-and-missions-part-ii/

Geoff

2/02/2007  
Blogger Professor X said...

Kevin,

That is true. The CP has, in many ways, allowed a small church to feel a part of the missinary efforts of the larger denom. But it has also allowed the mid to large church to justify itself in its missionary efforts. The experiential nature of theupcoming generations of leadership will dictate a more focused and involved IMB and NAMB. We want to know what our money is doing at these denominational entities. An indifference to this reality on the part of our convention CP dollar insitutions will greatly hurt the program overall, if not kill it.

2/05/2007  

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