CP Task Force

The task force’s report included more than a dozen recommendations:

— People “elected to Southern Baptist Convention positions of leadership” should come from “strong Cooperative Program churches” and should be “well-known advocates themselves of Cooperative Program commitment.”

— Every elected SBC and state convention leader “should promote the Cooperative Program” with “vigor and intentionality on a consistent basis.”

— The Cooperative Program should “be placed at the top of every agenda” during SBC annual meetings and state convention meetings. CP also should be a top priority for “various state and national entities that receive Cooperative Program funds.”

— The International Mission Board and North American Mission Board should promote the Cooperative Program “as vigorously” as they promote, respectively, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.

— “Every effort” must be made to “incorporate a renewed call to biblical stewardship and the Cooperative Program” as a “vital link in support of the invitation of Jesus to live out His Kingdom principles.”

— The state conventions and the SBC Executive Committee must join together to provide leadership for “Cooperative Program promotions and expansion.” “We simply must come together for these uncertain times and for the years ahead.”

— Southern Baptists should be taught “to practice the biblical standard” of tithing.

— Southern Baptist churches should send “at least a tithe of undesignated receipts” to mission causes through the Cooperative Program.

— “Every avenue” must “be explored” to educate Southern Baptists — particularly those 40 and younger — about the Cooperative Program.

— SBC and state convention leaders must agree upon “a single-focused, simple to understand” strategy for Cooperative Program advancement. “[T]hat strategy must be built on identifying the strengths of the Cooperative Program and adding to those strengths while not giving so much time and attention to what is wrong with the Cooperative Program.”

— SBC entities must not pursue “financial mission support in a societal approach” — that is, by seeking donations directly from churches outside of the Cooperative Program framework. “This practice is the polar opposite to the Cooperative Program and will mean the death of Southern Baptists as we have existed, especially since 1925.”

— As CP giving increases in churches, state conventions “must be challenged” to move toward a 50/50 distribution of Cooperative Program funds — that is, keeping 50 percent of CP funds while forwarding 50 percent to the national body.

— SBC leaders must help the state conventions “encourage the churches, especially high profile churches, to give greater support” to the Cooperative Program.

In addition to Driggers, White and Chapman, other members of the task force were: Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board; William Crews, past president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; Robert E. Reccord, president of the North American Mission Board; O. Wyndell Jones, retired executive director of the Baptist Convention of Iowa; and Anthony Jordan, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
–30–

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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