As part of its Great Commission emphasis, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) hosts Global Missions Week (GMW) every spring to further highlight the work of mission activity around the world. This year, from Jan. 25-28, the focus was on the people of Sub-Saharan Africa.
“For one week every year, we raise up the task of missions as a focus point for students, faculty and staff,” said Keelan Cook, associate director of the Center for Great Commission Studies. “Global Missions Week gives Southeastern a chance to celebrate that which we hold at the very center of our purpose, equipping students to fulfill the Great Commission.”
The week included updates and stories from the field from missionaries who visited chapel, classes and other GMW events on campus. All day Wednesday, a guided prayer walk was set up around campus that included stations with specific prayer requests for missions in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the evening, students were invited to join a missionary panel discussion and evening prayer and worship on behalf of the people of Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the week concluded with a North Korea Missions Seminar.
Each chapel service included a missions spotlight focused on Sub-Saharan Africa. Coy and Sherra Steele, International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries in Botswana, spoke about their involvement with theological education and leadership development. At the Baptist convention seminary where Coy teaches, he has seen the radical difference theological education has made for students like David, who came out of a prosperity gospel background. David experienced ministers who abused their power by profiting off their people. Through the influence of one of his friends at the seminary, he was compelled to start taking classes at the school also. This training led to his wholehearted pursuit to preach the true gospel and counter any signs of the pervading prosperity gospel in his country.
Kevin and Susie Rogers shared in chapel that same week. They have seen a radical shift in Christianity since coming to Africa 25 years ago. In 2018, Sub-Saharan Africa became the epicenter for Christianity as it had more believers and more churches than any other continent. The implications are significant, Kevin said, as the focus has now become training and sending out more missionaries from Sub-Saharan Africa. These believers are now the mission force of the world.
Want to learn more about ways SEBTS is equipping its students for missions? Check out the Center for Great Commission Studies website, where you’ll find podcasts, blog posts, upcoming trips, and more.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Lauren Pratt is news and information specialist with SEBTS.)