North America needs Jesus! The North American Mission Board (NAMB) says 259 million people in the United States and Canada do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And most of them do not live in close proximity to a church. So, how will they hear?
What is the best way to reach the lost on our continent with the gospel? The scripture presents God’s plan that people will reach people. Disciples will make disciples.
Indulge me for a moment as I remind us of the ratio of churches to people.
• There is one Southern Baptist congregation for every 2,277 people in our state of North Carolina.
• There is one Southern Baptist congregation for every 6,828 people in North America.
• In New England the church-to-people ratio is one in 37,788.
• In Canada the ratio soars to one church for every 123,971 people.
The bottom line: if we are going to reach people, we must plant new churches. The essential role of the local church should be obvious.
If we do not plant churches in communities where there are so few churches, there is little chance people will hear the gospel and respond in faith.
NAMB’s website says “… churches are desperately needed to reach our continent with the gospel.”
If we are looking at our own community we might assume that there are plenty of churches in North America. But our personal world is probably not characteristic of North America. The staggering shortage of churches demands our response.
What can we do? Existing churches in every state must engage a strategy to demonstrate Christ’s love to the unreached of our continent. Every church can do something.
NAMB has geographically divided its assignment into five regions. Encourage your church to pray for missionaries in each region, with special emphasis on those areas where very few churches exist. To learn more, visit the NAMB website at namb.net.
According to sources at NAMB, fewer than 4 percent of SBC churches are engaged in church planting as a primary sponsor – accepting responsibility for direct financial support in partnership with other churches. NAMB’s goal is to see a 10 percent increase.
Churches beyond the South are hungry for a partner in the South. By adopting a church in another part of North America, we can provide them with financial support, develop long-term partnerships with them, and send short-term mission teams that focus on specific projects such as VBS, block parties, construction and renovation needs.
Let’s find ways to do all of that. But don’t overlook a very immediate opportunity. Give to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions.
Every Baptist can participate. It’s simple. It gets so much done. It’s efficient. It confronts real needs. It funds real missions. It supports church planters and more.
Whatever it takes – let’s do it!