PHILADELPHIA (BRN) – The heart of the Cooperative Program (CP), the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) unified plan of giving, is missions. A cause near and dear to many SBC churches, but even more so for those reaching the nations within the nation.
In the Greater Philadelphia Region of Pennsylvania, 30 ethnic churches sit under the care of Noelson Chery, BRN Ethnic Church Health Consultant and pastor of First Haitian Metanoia Baptist Church in Lansdowne, Pa.
Those churches have roots that derive from Caribbean, South American, European, Asian and African nations as well as other cultures found around the world.
“The beauty of it is all those different ethnicities and the different languages that we speak. It’s opened my eyes [to] so many cultures, so many other ways we can incorporate preaching the gospel. I’m so glad to be able to serve in this capacity,” said Chery.
For these ethnic churches, missions is more than just a cause to give to, it is a part of their DNA.
“One of the things we have ingrained in our churches, ethnic churches, is we love missions,” said Chery. “We are the result of mission work.”
This rings true for Chery and his wife, who are originally from Haiti. In their homeland, Chery and his wife grew up attending a Baptist church established by North American missionaries.
Though it could not be confirmed nor denied if his home church was supported specifically by the CP, Chery affirmed that the concept of churches working together for the sake of the gospel going out is one well understood by the churches under his care.
“These are our waters on the other side of the world,” said Chery. “It’s a joy to know that even when we are far away from home, we still can bless home.”
Through the Cooperative Program, all SBC churches have the opportunity to give to mission efforts around the world and in their backyard.
“Simply put, it (the CP) is the ability to say, ‘What can we do together?’ This is coming together as a multitude of churches and how we can have a greater impact towards the Great Commission,” said Chery.
One way to increase the radius of this impact is for pastors to share with their congregations the missional work their tithes are going towards.
“If we know the accomplishments that have taken place, that could be the motivation to do more, [but] I think we need to do a much better job of disseminating the knowledge by pulling it down from the pulpit to the pews,” said Chery.
Stories of global and national mission work are free and available for pastors and churches at SBC.net. Resources about evangelism grants and other local CP funded efforts can be found at brnunited.org.
Hear more about how your cooperative giving is impacting Rev. Noelson Chery and his ministry to our ethnic churches in this month’s episode of Celebrating Cooperative Missions (this podcast is also available on Spotify, Apple, Google, and Amazon Music):