Unity Accomplishes the Mission
March 16th, 2017 / By: Jim Richards | Executive Director / comments
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity,” (Psalm 133:1). The Psalmist spoke of joy in fellowship. Sharing common beliefs is a basis for unity, but it takes more. Unity is possible when everyone is willing to put aside personal goals or preferences to achieve a desired goal.
Reaching Texas and Touching the World with the gospel of Jesus Christ is the loftiest of goals. Let’s admit it, just reaching Texas is actually out of reach. We cannot do it. Once we are honest with ourselves then maybe God will move through us to accomplish his will. Reaching Texas is a God-sized task that only God can effectuate. The unimaginable truth is that God wants us in on his plan. One church alone cannot get its arms around this state. A small group of churches cannot do it. It will take all of us to make it possible. The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is a large number of churches combining their efforts to do what God wants done. We must stay together to see God move in our state. We need a spiritual awakening. Prayer, humility and a supernatural act of a sovereign God can make it happen. This will only happen when we are in unity around the heart of God.
Churches in Texas share a common giving channel to accomplish much of the work. Local churches experience financial challenges. Buildings, staff and other demands take funds, but reaching a community or area for Jesus has to be a priority. One pastor told me several years ago, “We have to take care of the Mother Ship. If this Ship doesn’t sail, nothing else will either.” The church reduced their Cooperative Program giving to a bare minimum. They got their spiritual house in order. Within three or four years, the church was giving more than it had previously. A strong local church will be able to contribute to state, national and international ministries. The best way a church can carry out an Acts 1:8 strategy is in unity with other churches. Working together and giving together we impact beyond our local ministries.
Unity of purpose and participation brings about unity of product. More church plants receive funding now than ever before in Texas because churches are in unity. More churches are being revitalized now than ever before because we are in this together. Students are coming to Christ and answering God’s call to ministry because we are able to provide the venues for them to hear the Spirit’s voice. Hindu background believers are being baptized in Houston because churches in West Texas, the urban centers and out in the country are unified. Countless examples beg to be told of how unity through giving produces results. There is more to unity than giving, but giving is a part of unity. When you give you are saying that we can make a difference in the lives of people we may never meet this side of heaven.
Cooperative Program Day is April 9. I will be preaching for Morris Horner in El Paso. Journey Church is a 3-year-old church plant that has reached scores of people with the gospel. Those who gave through the Cooperative Program had a part in every one of those saved and baptized.
Join in the unity of the gospel by giving through the Cooperative Program. Let a SBTC staff member come share life changing stories with your congregation. Show a video that gives the testimony of those who have been made new by Jesus. Do something that will let your congregation know that you are in the unity of gospel through giving.
Joy and harmonious fellowship is not an end in itself. The result of unity brings others into the kingdom.
For more information and resources related to Cooperative Program Day, visit whatiscp.com.