The Cooperative Program. The beauty of our denomination lies with the concept of voluntary cooperation. We do this as individuals in Faith Baptist by the contribution of our time, our talent, our finances and most importantly our love for each other. This cooperation is what makes our ministry possible. But there is a broader sense where this becomes even more important and that is where the Southern Baptist Cooperative Program comes into play.
Just as our members cooperating together can meet many needs in our community, Churches can voluntarily bind themselves together to accomplish more than any one church is able to do. In our “No Strings Attached” section we tell about a great example of this idea where several churches and associations in our area chose to work together to offer a chance for people in our community to see some wonderful Christian Movies at a theater with no charge.
Another example our church has felt itself was the donation of both materials and money to our church by larger churches to help us when we were starting out and had very few resources. Snow Hill Baptist Church of Tuttle donated money to us to purchase chairs for and Northwest Baptist Church of Oklahoma City donated hymnals and a podium to us as well. This even carried to individuals when a friend of our church, Charlie Atkins, purchased a Baptismal for us and a patron of Central Baptist Association (see below) donated $200.00 per month to us for several years as we were getting started.
For Southern Baptist Churches we try to do even more than this via the Cooperative Program. Southern Baptist churches are autonomous entities, which means that we all operate independently of each other and are not controlled by other churches, associations, state conventions or the national convention. However, we also recognize the amazing power God unleashes when we join together under His leadership and cooperate in doing His work. Therefore, we voluntarily choose to cooperate with other churches and organizations to further His Kingdom.
Our own Central Baptist Association has 33 member churches and sponsors many works while assisting all the churches in coordinating those efforts. We have Disaster Relief teams who travel all over the country to help people. Central helps churches with construction projects, and coordinates mission trips and as was noted earlier they help churches financially when needed as well. Our church voluntarily contributes money from our funds to Central each month so we can partner with them in the things they do and so our church carries the message of Christ further than we could on our own.
This concept of Cooperation caries on to the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma where over 1,700 churches are cooperating to make big things happen. This cooperation allows new churches to be started, for Falls Creek Conference Center to continue ministering to over 40,000 young people each year and provides for training and assistance for church staff around the state along with many more worthy projects. Faith is proud to be partnering with the BGCO in these ministries as well.
Finally we are also partnering with the Southern Baptist Convention in the training and support of thousands of Missionaries working throughout North America and around the world. This is partnership happens every time one of our preschoolers prays for a missionary and every time a family contributes money to our offerings because a portion of our combined gifts is sent on to these three agencies every month to support their work all around us. Work accomplished not because we as individuals or as a church are required to support them, but rather because we have chosen to.