When my son played T-ball, the Tigers had a pitcher that was the fastest player in the league. This kid had amazing speed, but the rest of his team wasn’t quite so fast or very good at baseball.
When we played the Tigers, one of our boys got a hit with two runners on base. The ball went past the second baseman and then rolled between the two boys playing center and left field. There were five-year-olds chasing the ball all the way to the fence. The pitcher passed four boys on his way to the fence and got to the ball first.
Meanwhile, our batter was rounding the bases with the stands cheering wildly. We could all see what was beginning to unfold as the pitcher had begun running toward home plate with the ball in his hands. The race was on.
As our boy rounded third base, the opposing pitcher had made it to the infield, and we knew it would be a close play at the plate. Just before the boy reached home plate, the pitcher slapped his glove on the runner’s leg, and the umpire held up his right fist signaling he was out. Everyone in the stands cheered for the pitcher – even the parents of the opposing team. Not only was it a great effort, but he was maybe the fastest kid any of us had ever seen.
Here’s the thing about that story. As incredibly talented as that pitcher was, the play was not actually a great baseball play. Here’s what should have happened: The center fielder should have caught the ground ball over, threw it back to the second baseman who would have kept another run from scoring and kept the hitter on first. You see, teamwork is far superior to a single superhuman effort by one talented individual.
The Cooperative Program has many strengths that have made it effective throughout its nearly 100-year history. One of its greatest strengths is teamwork. The idea that we can do more together than we can do separately is foundational to the CP.
The Cooperative Program supports and sends missionaries by a strategy that is intentional, thoughtful and systematic. It is also constant and comprehensive, which allows Southern Baptists to carry out the Great Commission together for the glory of God.
I believe the CP is still the best program ever designed for reaching a dying world with the Good News that Jesus loves them and there is salvation in His name.
For decades, Southern Baptists have linked arms with one another to ensure that the Great Commission is carried out to the fullest extent. Not only have we partnered with international missionaries in faraway countries, but we have supported local missions, seminary training, campus ministry, orphan care as well as help for the hungry and hurting in our own backyards by partnering with like-minded believers.
We have done it together for the glory of God. Let’s not only continue to partner with one another for the cause of Christ, but let’s strive to do even more in the days ahead. We still can do more together.
State Missionary Jay Stewart is director of the Office of Cooperative Program and Church Financial Resources. He may be contacted at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 2283, or (334) 613-2283, firstname.lastname@example.org.