Archive for the 'Missions' Category
4 Reasons I Believe Churches Should Give Through the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention
I believe Jesus died for every person in the world. I believe each follower of Christ, the Church, is commanded to make disciples of all the nations of the world.
None of us can do this alone, and no church can do this alone. Jesus’ call to each of us is overwhelming, but not impossible.
Each of us must answer the question: How will we accomplish what Jesus calls us to do?
How to Get This Done
I believe giving through the Cooperative Program is the most effective way to accomplish the unfinished task given to us by Jesus. For the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Cooperative Program is our unified strategy to be part of finishing the task of reaching the world for Jesus Christ.
In 1925, our churches came together and adopted a strategy that would eliminate the need for ministry leaders and missionaries to make endless financial appeals to keep them on the field and their gospel ministry going. Since the Cooperative Program became our unified strategy, each church has the opportunity to make a monthly gift through this avenue to take the gospel to every person in the world.
While the Cooperative Program may not be perfect, it is effective. It is much more effective than any way I know to accomplish the big picture and overwhelming call Jesus gave to us: Making disciples of all the nations.
While leaders or ministries may disappoint you or your church periodically, our calling to take the gospel to the world is more important than all of us. Rise above the fray, keep your eyes on Jesus, and the convictional call of Jesus as your goal: Making disciples of all the nations.
4 Reasons I Believe
There are four reasons I believe churches should give through the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention:
1. It is more about mission than money.
The compelling mission of Jesus Christ to be His witnesses regionally, statewide, nationally, and internationally is what the Cooperative Program has been built upon, is built upon, and must be built upon in the future. Mission, not money, is the end goal. An SBC leader, pastor, layperson, national entity, state convention, association, or church that forgets this will soon reap a result that is not going to forward our common call and mission together.
2. It is more about unifying us than dividing us.
Keeping the convictional call before our churches to take the gospel to every person in our communities, states, nation, and the world will unify each church within their own fellowship. This is the very same way churches must work together in their own association or state convention and ultimately through the 51,000 churches and congregations in our convention.
When mission does not precede men and ministries, unity is impossible. We will never agree with everyone and everything in our church, state convention, and national Southern Baptist Convention.
3. It is more about working together than working alone.
Working together is more difficult than working alone. Working alone may allow you to feel better about yourself personally, but it will never complete our mission. Working within your own church may get you somewhere faster, but it will never take you further.
Your ministry and mission are not about you. It is to be about Jesus and His name and message being taken to the world.
4. It is more about your church than our convention.
Giving through the Cooperative Program is not to sustain our state conventions and convention work nationally and internationally. God has not called a convention to take the gospel to the world. God has called each of us personally and the church we call family to finish this task.
It is about our church cooperating with other churches to reach the world for Christ.
We Can Do It
Yes, Jesus died for the entire world. Because He did, we must now tell the entire world what He has done for them.
We can do this together. The urgency is upon us.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
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Many Pastors in today’s church struggle with balance in some areas of ministry and life. Family time, staff issues, church leadership, and budget issues all cry out for our attention and require balance in order to be healthy. Have you ever considered balance within your Global Missions Ministry?
From 28 years of leading Missions Ministries in local churches, I have learned the value of balance in Global Missions. It seems that church and mission leaders tend to lean toward their own strengths and desires rather than a biblical approach to Global Missions. I prefer to lead God’s people to a biblical model that allows them and the church to maximize their strengths and abilities. This model also allows you, the Pastor or Missions Leader, to lead with confidence and conviction rather than lead by consensus!
So, what is the model I have used for all these years? It comes straight out of Acts 1:8 and 1 Corinthians 3:6…wow that was simple. Let me explain what a balanced Global Missions Ministry will do for your church.
Balance keeps your church focused on lostness…the Acts 1:8 model
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Jesus taught us to bring the gospel message to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. I call this Geographical Balance. There are a few of truths to consider within this model.
1. Geographical balance allows my church to always have opportunities in places for first-time mission goers and those who are “hard core”, or what I call humorously, “repeat offenders”. Places like Mexico, Central America, Brazil may be technically “reached” by missiological definition but are still incredible places for a person to “cut their teeth” on missions. If we only go to the Middle East countries & the 10/40 Window, we will potentially limit our involvement, especially for the first-time participant. Ensure balance for all levels of mission participants.
2. Geographical balance demands that I have a strong effort in my own “Jerusalem” first! You will often hear me say, “At Cross Church we will not sacrifice Northwest Arkansas on the altar of the world.” What I mean is we earn the right to go abroad. If we will not be faithful to bring the gospel to those in our own cities and neighborhoods, why would we have the privilege to go around the world? This is a simple gospel stewardship issue. At Cross Church, we presently reach about 1,500 people outside our campuses each week in community missions. We are partnered across America through church planting in 16 different SEND cities with the NAMB strategy. We also have active, ongoing partnerships in 14 nations around the globe from Mexico to the Middle East…that is Geographical Balance.
3. Geographical balance should always focus your church toward lostness. Whether it is in your own city or a city like Dubai, the focus on all our efforts should be lostness. I don’t believe in using missions as a “spiritual vacation” or only a social ministry platform. Everything we do on our church’s Mission Journeys locally and internationally should include a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a challenge to trust Him alone for forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
Balance allows your church to include everyone…the 1 Corinthians 3:6 model
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:6
Paul taught us that as we are bringing the gospel message to the world geographically, each person has a role. I call this Balanced Evangelism. This is how Balanced Evangelism will help your church.
1. Balanced Evangelism helps us to understand the various pieces of evangelism. Many understand evangelism to be when they share the Four Spiritual Laws and someone trusts Jesus immediately. Well, we must always remember in order for fruit to appear, someone sowed a seed, and someone watered and cultivated that seed. But ultimately God caused that seed to become fruit. There are three elements to Balanced Evangelism. They are sowing, watering, and reaping.
2. Balanced Evangelism gives every member an opportunity to use their gifting in Global Missions. Pastor, always ensure there are opportunities in your mission efforts for people to sow the seed of the Word, water the seed that has been sown, and harvest the fruit from seed that has been sown and watered. Our ministries give people opportunities to simply sow seed in ways like prayer walking, Bible distribution, and simply inviting people to an event. We also water the seed by doing VBS in existing churches, leading Bible discussions under Mango trees in Malawi Africa with Muslims who want to know more about Jesus, and leading Pastors’ Conferences. Also, we go to places that are ripe for the harvest of souls and call for the masses to respond to the Gospel message. This approach allows for the church member to see where their talents and gifts can best be used and opens opportunities for mass participation. Pastor, please don’t get in a rut of simply doing the same thing and only one thing year after year…give balance to your evangelism.
For the Pastor and Missions Leader, balance is the key to most of our lives and ministries. Balance is also the key to your church’s Global Missions Strategy. Both Geographical Balance and Balanced Evangelism will keep your church focused on lostness and involve as many of God’s people as possible. If Cross Church or I can assist you in bringing balance to your church’s Global Missions Strategy, please feel free to ask. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @missionman2818 on Twitter & Instagram.
Minister of Global Missions, Cross Church