By Matt Tullos
Stewardship Development Specialist, TBMB
Three farmers in Tennessee went out to farm. All three farmers made the most of their field and their fields produced a great harvest. But the first farmer was a bit shortsighted. He kept all his harvest as well as the seeds for the coming years at home. So, while he kept the farm going, the impact he had was limited. Very limited.
The second farmer looked beyond his own farm to three other farms. One in a village in Africa, the second a neighboring state and another in Canada. He’d go visit them every now and then to see their progress. But that’s about all he had time to give and go by all alone.
Article continues below video.
And then there was the third farmer. He had an amazing vision. He partnered with other farmers, thousands of them. They were so concerned about the hungry that they formed a Co-op. They worked together and together they feed people around the world. Together they even sent farmers around the world to teach others how to farm. As they planted millions of lives were saved. And all because the farmers in the Co-op took a percentage of their resources to share with those who had never even seen a tomato, a soybean or a squash.
If you haven’t figured out the parable yet, it’s simple:
The farmers are churches. The harvest and the seeds are the tithes and offerings we give back to God. We live in a world of spiritually hungry people, lost without hope in Jesus. Some keep their harvest at home. They do their best to make a difference, but their reach extends only to the acres where they live. Others give to a few specific places. They reach further, but not much. But, it gets exciting when we know the power of the Co-Op. We call it the Cooperative Program. We are a network of disciples, farmers if you will, working together to do things we could never do alone.
Now it gets personal. Where are the seeds from your church going? The truth is, many churches spread their resources to only a few places. Others’ influence barely make it beyond the walls of their church building. When your church gives through the Cooperative Program, you are impacting, not thousands, but millions of people in Tennessee, North America and around the world! You are pouring resources into evangelism, hunger and disaster relief, church planting, international missions, educating ministers, ending human trafficking, protecting the unborn, and fulfilling the Great Commission.
Cooperative Program Sunday is April 7. Let’s celebrate it together. We have lots of resources to help you promote and inform your church about all they are doing through their generosity.
The fields are ready for harvest. If your church gives through the Cooperative Program you are part of a Co-Op that works!
— “The Parable of the Three Famers” animated video is now available. Check it out and download here.