Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 31, 1955
NUMBER 46, PAGE 6,9b


Walter N. Henderson, Paragould, Arkansas

Cooperation is essential to the growth and development of the church. A lack of cooperation has hurt the progress of the Lord's church in many places. Cooperation is taught in the Scriptures, but the word itself is not found therein. "Co" is a Latin prefix meaning "with, together, jointly," "operate" means "to work or produce a certain effect;" hence, cooperation is the act of working together. The New Testament has much to say about working together. By working together the early disciples carried the gospel into all the world in one generation. (Col. 1:23) They not only worked together, but they worked with the Lord.

It is possible for men to work together and fail to work with God. The only way men can work with God is to work according to the divine plan. It matters not how well they cooperate if they do not work with God their cooperation is in vain. "For we are laborers together with God," (Cor. 3:9). When Christians cooperate with God, they cooperate with one another, and this is the only cooperation that counts.

We Believe In Cooperation

A sectarian preacher accused us of not believing in cooperation just because I do not belong to the Ministerial Alliance, and because Second and Walnut congregation does not join with the denominations in all of their joint affairs. How can the church cooperate with those who will not preach the plan of salvation? How can one who is following the New Testament work with those who are following the doctrines of men? The preacher was mistaken in thinking that we do not believe in cooperation just because we do not cooperate with him.

We believe in cooperating with God; therefore, we preach the word as the Lord gave it to us without addition or subtraction. For this reason we worship as it is outlined in the New Testament, and we carry on the work of the church according to the divine plan. We also know that we cannot work with God and change the organization of the church.

We are ready to work with every one who is willing to work according to the pattern given to us by the Lord. We are cooperating with every preacher who is preaching the gospel which the apostles preached, for we are preaching it too. We are working with every congregation that is engaged in carrying out the mission of the church as it is presented in the New Testament, for we are engaged in that great work too.

We Have Cooperated

Since I have been in Paragould, we have cooperated with Seventh and Mueller in a joint meeting. The elders of each congregation had their responsibilities; each congregation worked in the interest of the meeting; each congregation was present during the meeting, each congregation paid its part of the expense of the meeting.

Second and Walnut has cooperated with churches in Texas and Missouri in the work at Chillicothe, Missouri. I do not know what course the other churches followed, but we followed the divine pattern by sending the money directly to the preacher (Phil. :15,16). This cannot be wrong. We have cooperated with other congregations in supporting Don Gardner and Waymon Miller in South Africa; we did this by sending it directly to these brethren. A $100 sent directly to the evangelist is worth just as much as $100 sent to a sponsoring church to forward on to the evangelist, and furthermore, it is cooperation according to the divine pattern.

We cooperated with the church at Mounds by helping them buy a house for worship. We cooperated with other churches in helping the church at Walcott erect a meeting-house. We helped build a church house or two in Africa, and in some other places which I cannot recall their names. Recently, we sent donations to Rivervale, Ark., to a church in Michigan to help build places to worship. All of this was sent directly to the ones in need, is this cooperation?

Along with other congregations we sent money, clothes, furniture, and food to Bald Knob and Judsonia when they were the victims of a tornado. We also sent a donation to the church at Henderson, Tenn. for the same reason. We have cooperated with others in doing benevolent work. I think all of this is cooperation. Question: Why did this sectarian preacher say that we do not believe in cooperation? Can it be because we are not following the plans of men? Above all, we are trying to work with God as we work with one another.

At present we are cooperating with the church at Cache Lake by sending Brother Burton to preach for them once a month. At the same time we are cooperating with the other churches which are sending preachers to preach at Cache Lake. But Second and Walnut is giving the money to Brother Burton instead of sending it to some other church to pay him. This is much simpler, and it is scriptural. We know this is right and it cannot be wrong.

For some time we cooperated with Brother Truman House, and with other congregations by helping him while he preached to them. These cases are not given boastfully, but to show that we do work with others, and that we are trying to do it the way that meets the approval of the Lord.

In The Congregation

The local congregation is the only organization that God has for his people to work through. (By local, I mean every congregation of the Lord's church.) If the congregation is to perform its duty there must be cooperation among its members. Each local congregation is the body of Christ in that locality, and there should be the same cooperation among the members of the body of Christ as there is in the human body. (Cor. 12)

There is one way in which our working together can be assured, this is for all to engage in the work. When we sing, all should sing; all should sit as near the- front as possible; all should give as they have been prospered, and all should try to convert others to Christ. In caring for the sick, ministering to the needy, and exhorting the weak, there should be more cooperation.

"Obey them that have rule over you, and submit yourselves." (Heb. 1317) We need more cooperation in this. There is something wrong when members fail to give as they have been prospered; when they with-hold their contribution, or part of it and send it to the elders of another congregation. When the elders plan and direct the work of the church according to the divine pattern, every member should cooperate with them by supporting that work with all their might. We are to submit ourselves to the rulers of the local congregation, and not to the elders of some other congregation. If you have been guilty of this, you need to repent of the sin of rebellion.


Let us remember, as important as cooperation is it is not enough to cooperate with other members or congregations; we must cooperate with God also. We can only work with God while we are diligently following the instructions found in the word .of God. When we follow the pattern given to us in the New Testament, we are not bothered when some sectarian preacher hollers, "You don't believe in cooperation."