I made a left hand turn and proceeded down a windy one lane road that continued to narrow the further I drove. The canopy of trees overhead enveloped the road in complete shadows as I contemplated whether I had wandered on to private property.
“There is no way I will find a church down this lane,” I thought to myself. As I was about to turn around, I saw peeking through the trees a white wood frame Kentucky Baptist church.
Pulling into the parking lot gave me a greater view of this church building that is occupied by about fifteen people on Sunday mornings. Sitting behind the church is a small structure that serves as the outhouse. Yes, you read that correctly. The church has no running water.
In 2022 the church reported receiving a total of $4,550 in offerings for the entire year. Despite their obvious challenges, this is a Cooperative Program giving church.
Obviously, the money they give to support our cooperative mission efforts could be used to improve the building, increase pay to the pastor, or install running water to the property. Instead of those expenditures, the church feels it is important to partner with other Kentucky Baptist churches by giving to support missions through the Cooperative Program.
Their pastor is a good shepherd who leads them well and clearly preaches the gospel. I asked him, “Why does the church give to support the Cooperative Program?” His reply was one I wish every member of every church could hear: “Why do we even exist if we are not supporting the spread of the gospel through the Cooperative Program.”
In addition to giving to CP, this small church is engaged in a variety of local mission opportunities. They realize their size is not a deterrent in having a kingdom impact.
This church is not likely to be listed as one of the top CP giving churches in our state but their sacrifice rivals that of the largest contributors.
In Mark 12, Jesus commends a widow for her gift of two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. He reminds His disciples that it is not the size of the gift but rather the size of the sacrifice by saying, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. For they all gave out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.”(Mark 12:43-44)
If a church who has less than $5,000 in annual offerings and worships in a building without running water can impact the world by giving to the Cooperative Program, then your church can too. If you would like to learn more about how your church can truly share in the worldwide spread of the gospel through the Cooperative program, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be elated to help.