“Southern Baptists in World Service,” a booklet written by
E.P. Alldredge for the Sunday School Board in 1936, aptly captured the essence
of the Cooperative Program (CP) started by Southern Baptists in 1925. It stated
simply, “(It’s) the beginning of a new day in Southern Baptist life and work.”
The foresight and wisdom of Southern Baptist Convention
(SBC) leaders to establish a coordinated giving plan for all churches has
resulted in literally millions of lost souls around the world professing Jesus
Christ as personal Lord and Savior since 1925, and its impact continues to
resonate greatly. In 2004, Henry Blackaby captured the sentiments of many when
he said, “The Cooperative Program is not something men designed but something
God put together.”
When a church gives a portion of its
receipts through the CP, its gospel reach expands exponentially across its
community, state, nation and world.
M.E. Dodd, considered the father of the Cooperative Program,
wrote about it in a tract entitled “Why I Like the Baptist Cooperative
Program.” He listed seven “special advantages” of the unified giving plan:
It enables me to carry out my part of Christ’s program of
- The Cooperative Program enables me to have a part in all
that is being done.
- The Cooperative Program enables me to have some part in
the whole work of Christ each and every week of the year.
This Cooperative Program enables me to do all that needs
to be done because it includes every sort of service to every sort of somebody
that any sort of anybody may wish to render. (It is the only program in the
world that is all-inclusive to every human need.)
This Cooperative Program enables me to carry out God’s
financial program for His Kingdom.
- This Baptist Cooperative Program fixes the support of
Christ’s causes as a permanent principle in life and does not leave them to
temporary emotional appeal.
- The CP does not leave the causes of Christ to become the
victims of temporary weather conditions, depressions in business or other