Southern Baptists: Together on God’s mission
Friday, April 6, 2018
Late last year, I was asked to write an endorsement for a new book on the history of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) that focuses on how we as a denomination adopted and embraced a cooperative approach to missions that we know as the Cooperative Program.
That book, Together on God’s Mission, was released in January, and I believe the title is an appropriate description of who we are as Southern Baptists. Throughout our history, we have been and continue to be a denomination that believes that we can accomplish more together than we can apart.
The book’s author, Dr. Scott Hildreth, writes from his unique perspective as a former missionary with the International Mission Board who now serves a missions professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, right here in North Carolina.
In my endorsement for the book, I wrote “Together on God’s Mission explains why cooperation and personal involvement in missions is the heartbeat of who Southern Baptists have been and remain. Hildreth’s work also reveals how those who hold to Baptist distinctives along with their personal convictions can work together in fulfilling the Great Commission.”
Those of you who know me or may have heard me speak about missions will know that I never ask individuals or churches to support the Cooperative Program. Instead, I encourage and challenge them to support missions through the Cooperative Program.
Supporting missions through the Cooperative Program means that you and your church are engaging both personally and collectively to make Christ known all around the world. When we unite together for that purpose, we demonstrate that we are united in sharing the love of Christ with everyone, which is greater than any differences we may have.
I am thankful for the generosity of North Carolina Baptists in supporting missions through the Cooperative Program. Our state convention has increased the Cooperative Program percentage allocation to support SBC missions and ministry efforts for 11 years in a row. Your prayers, personal involvement and financial support are helping advance the gospel in our state, nation and around the world.
Together we are helping churches impact lostness through disciple-making. We are engaging and reaching a number of unreached and unengaged people groups from around the world who are now living here in our state. We are planting churches to reach our growing international population. We are partnering together for missions on local, state, national and international levels. We are doing all this and much more thanks to your faithfulness and God’s blessing.
“Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:2 (NKJV)