Every year in September, churches all across the state celebrate and emphasize the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO).
NCMO is an annual offering that supports the ministries of N.C. Baptist Men (NCBM), also known as Baptists on Mission, church planting, mission camps, associational projects and mobilization ministry projects.
This year, the offering’s theme is “Prepare the Way,” based on Luke 10:1, which says, “The Lord … sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.”
Supporting NCMO allows individuals and churches to impact lostness around the world by preparing the way for Jesus through the various ministries that NCMO supports. The 2016 goal for the offering is $2.1 million.
“Your investment in NCMO enables us to do as Jesus instructed,” said Richard Brunson, NCBM executive director. “By caring for the physical needs of people, we prepare the way for Jesus to meet their spiritual needs as well.”
NCMO supports ministry efforts both at home and abroad. Abroad, the offering supports mission partnerships in places such as Armenia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Romania and Cuba.
In Cuba alone, NCBM has been in partnership with the Eastern Baptist Convention on the island nation for more than 12 years. Baptist churches from North Carolina have sent volunteer groups to Cuba to lead projects and disciple-making efforts among the Cuban people.
Within the next year, work will begin on a new seminary in Santa Clara, one of the least-reached areas of Cuba.
At home, NCMO supports the many ministries of NCBM, church planting, mission camps, mobilization ministry projects and work through the Baptist associations.
One of NCBM’s newest endeavors is the health-screening ministry, which serves uninsured and underserved populations throughout North Carolina by conducting screenings for cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and heart disease. This ministry is housed on a mobile wellness unit, which was added to NCBM’s fleet of medical and dental mobile units in 2015.
Crystal Horton, who coordinates the health-screening ministry, said the goal of this ministry is to identify potential health issues and offer referral appointments from local health clinicians, all while sharing the love of Christ.
NCMO also makes strides in pushing back lostness through church planting efforts. Twenty-eight percent of NCMO funds are allocated to planting churches throughout North Carolina. In 2015 alone, church planting consultants worked with 105 new churches – 83 new church plants and 22 new affiliate churches – thanks to these funds.
Church planting efforts also focus on North Carolina’s growing international population.
In North Carolina, there are 5.8 million lost people and more than 300 languages spoken within the state. This means that many lost people do not have the opportunity to hear the gospel preached in their native language.
With the state’s growing Hispanic population in particular, there is a great need to plant more Hispanic churches. Currently, it’s estimated that more than 1 million Hispanics reside in North Carolina.
“New Hispanic churches need to be planted in every town and city across the state,” said William Ortega, Hispanic church planting consultant with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. “We can meet the need of starting more Hispanic churches in North Carolina with your gifts to the NCMO.”
Although the NCMO emphasis occurs in September, offerings are received year-round. There are a number of free NCMO resources that pastors may use to promote NCMO in their churches available online at ncmissionsoffering.org/resources.
Contributions to NCMO work throughout the year to impact lostness and prepare the way for Jesus.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – For more information about the NCMO and the ministries it supports, or to make a contribution, visit ncmissionsoffering.org.)