Courageously Baptist

Posted on October 8, 2010

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I am starting a new ongoing series that will look to recent events and give the title of Courageously Baptist.

Beginning this week, the title for Courageously Baptist  goes to the Louisiana Baptist Convention (LBS) for their support of the cooperative program. The State Board of the convention recently issued this resolution concerning the Cooperative Program:

On Cooperative Giving, Our Common Method For Reaching the Peoples of the World with the Gospel

WHEREAS, these are unprecedented times of globalization, communication, declining Western Civilization, and a great opportunity for sharing the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and shining the light of the Gospel; and

WHEREAS, these times call for an unprecedented level of cooperation to accomplish the goal of bringing the Great Commission message to every people group in Louisiana, North America and the world; and

WHEREAS, the recently adopted Great Commission Resurgence Report adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention was an attempt to refocus the energy, creativity, leadership, institutions and financial resources of Southern Baptist churches and entities on the task of reaching people who have never heard the Gospel; and

WHEREAS, the Southern Baptist Convention’s history includes several decades of churches attempting to resource its national and global mission endeavors independently before discovering a cooperative missional model that has become the envy of the evangelical world, a model that has 1) developed an unprecedented international strategy for reaching generations with the Gospel, 2) leveraged the personnel and financial resources of churches working through their respective state conventions and associations to permeate unreached demographics in North America, 3) created the means by which each state convention determined the most appropriate strategy for coordinated Gospel outreach and collaborative church planting, 4) provided superb theological education for leaders who would lead for generations the convention’s churches and its entities, 5) established a moral and religious liberty lifeboat in the midst of a culture drowning from its wicked choices; and

WHEREAS, the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, June 15, 2010 voted to adopt the Great Commission Resurgence Report that refined the strategies of the convention but only after the report was amended by a nearly unanimous vote to state unequivocally that Cooperative Program giving is the preferred method for funding the Southern Baptist Convention’s ministries and that designated giving is not a substitute for Cooperative Program giving;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Board meeting in Woodworth, Louisiana, September 28, 2010 acknowledges the value of concerted, cooperative ministries of our churches to reach the peoples of our state, the nation and the world; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we are concerned about the strength and vitality of our coordinated strategies, ministries and institutions being diminished by the independent model that proved to be a failure decades ago; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage Baptist conventions and boards to select leaders for their entities who have demonstrated strong support for our cooperative missions model; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we want to express our gratitude to Dr. David E. Hankins, executive director-treasurer of the Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Board, for his courageous expression in his Open Letter to the North American Mission Board Trustees that raised concerns about that entity’s new president whose church leadership reflected a lack of support for cooperative mission giving; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we are grateful for Dr. Hankins and his staff for their public and private advocacy for the Acts 1:8 model of simultaneously reaching the lost in our local areas, the state, the nation and the world through the Cooperative Program; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we embrace the Cooperative Program model as the most accountable, effective, efficient and compelling method for fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Cooperative Program can still be (and is) effective today as it has been in the past.  We need Southern Baptist Leaders to take a stand on this effective means of sharing the gospel.  I am glad that the LBC did so.

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