Cooperative Program lunch at Empower to recognize top-giving churches amid COVID-19 pandemic
January 25th, 2021 / By: Rob Collingsworth | TEXAN Correspondent / comments
IRVING Pastor Brian Haynes will be the special guest speaker at the annual Cooperative Program lunch during the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s upcoming Empower Conference at the Irving Convention Center on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 11:45 a.m.
Haynes, pastor of Bay Area Church in League City, is the author “Shift: What It Takes to Finally Reach Families Today” and “The Legacy Path: Discover Intentional Spiritual Parenting.”
The lunch traditionally serves to highlight the various ways SBTC churches are making the gospel known locally and globally through their regular Cooperative
“The Cooperative Program lunch every year is just a celebration of the Cooperative Program. We give an annual report from the year before and then it sets the stage for Cooperative Program Sunday,” said Kenneth Priest, SBTC senior strategist for cooperative ministries. “The 2021 video gets played, resources are given out, and we point [attendees] to the website where they can download the video and other resources such as bulletin inserts. We also provide for churches to invite a speaker from the SBTC if they’d like someone to come in and promote the CP.”
The lunch is usually accompanied by a time of corporate worship, but according to Priest the SBTC is still evaluating whether to include that as a part of this year’s lunch due to concerns regarding COVID-19.
The ongoing pandemic is expected to result in a smaller turnout this year as well, though Priest emphasized that the Irving Convention Center has the capability of keeping the event at or below 50 percent capacity, which falls within the Dallas County guidelines for large events. Additionally, the convention will be taking a number of precautions to prevent the spread of COVID for those who choose to attend in-person.
According to Priest, the lunch will be set in the 50 percent capacity model that the convention center has in order to remain in compliance and mitigate the risk of spread as much as possible.
During the lunch, the SBTC will recognize the churches within the convention that have given the most over the last year, both in terms of dollars and per capita giving.
Tickets to the lunch, which will be held in the Irving Convention Center’s Grand Ballroom, will be in even shorter supply this year due to the convention center’s 50 percent occupancy policy. Individuals are encouraged to register as soon as possible at sbtexas.com/empower.