Do you have open hands to show and share the love of Jesus Christ with others?
“Open Hands” is the theme of this year’s North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO), the annual offering that supports a variety of ministries that seek to meet physical and spiritual needs in North Carolina and beyond.
Generally received in September of each year, the NCMO supports Baptists on Mission (also known as N.C. Baptist Men), church planting, mission camps, local Baptist associations and missions mobilization projects. The goal for this year’s offering is $2.1 million.
The theme of “Open Hands” is based upon Psalm 145:16 which reads, “You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing” (NKJV).
“This verse is a reminder that God has opened His hands to us so that we may open our hands to others,” said Richard Brunson, executive director of Baptists on Mission.
Baptists on Mission is comprised of 18 different ministries, several of which share the love of Christ by meeting the physical needs of individuals.
“Helping meet people’s physical needs is a great way to build bridges to the gospel,” Brunson said.
Disaster relief is one of the most visible ministries of Baptists on Mission. The 2017 hurricane season was the most expensive in U.S. history. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria all ranked among the top-five costliest storms in U.S. history.
Yet in the aftermath of those events, N.C. Baptist disaster relief volunteers came alongside hurting individuals in places like Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico to help them put their lives back together and point them to Christ. That’s in addition to assisting with the ongoing long-term relief efforts related to Hurricane Matthew, which struck North Carolina in the fall of 2016.
Including the hurricanes, N.C. Baptists respond to a total of 18 different disasters in 2017, totaling more than 29,000 total volunteer service days. Volunteers repaired hundreds of homes and provided more than 500,000 meals to those in need. Through those and other efforts, thousands of seeds have been planted and more than 90 individuals made a first-time commitment to Jesus Christ through the Baptists on Mission disaster relief ministry.
“The generous support provided to the North Carolina Missions Offering makes all of this possible,” Brunson said.
In addition to disaster relief, the ministries of Baptists on Mission also help involve individuals and churches in short-term missions projects through a number of missions partnerships. Two mission camps located in the N.C. communities of Red Springs and Shelby offer local churches the opportunity to participate in a variety of local missions projects.
In addition, thousands of volunteers participate in short-term missions trips across the country and around the globe through one of Baptists on Mission’s many missions partnerships. Locations served in the United States include the Appalachian coalfields, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, the Rocky Mountain states and New England. Globally, volunteers serve in Armenia, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Romania and South Africa.
The NCMO also provides support to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s efforts related to church planting.
The convention’s team of church planting consultants provides training, coaching and additional support to church planters, equipping them to reach their communities for Christ. By giving to the NCMO, you help plant churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ.
In 2017, the Baptist state convention worked with 101 new churches – 71 new church plants and 30 new affiliate churches. These new churches reported a total of more than 6,700 professions of faith and more than 5,400 in worship attendance.
The NCMO also supports missions on the local level across North Carolina. Each year, a portion of the offering is designated for local Baptist associations throughout North Carolina for a variety of missions and ministry efforts.
For more information about the North Carolina Missions Offering, visit ncmissionsoffering.org.