Although a few weeks have gone by, I find myself still
reflecting on the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) meeting. I can’t seem to
get this one image off my mind: hundreds of messengers flooding the altar and
committing to help their church get involved in taking the gospel to unreached
and unengaged people groups.
International Mission Board (IMB) president Tom Eliff
reported that 3,800 people groups in the world are unengaged and unreached.
Among these groups, less than two percent are evangelical Christians and no
individual or church is intentionally engaging them with the gospel.
During the convention sermon David Platt, senior pastor of
The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., reminded us that the reason we
go to these unreached people groups is not out of guilt. We go because we want
to see Jesus, our King who is worthy of praise from every people group on this
earth, glorified. Do you pray for Jesus to be glorified throughout the ends of
It was emotionally moving for me to watch as some new IMB
missionaries were commissioned for service. Some of these missionaries are well
aware they will serve Jesus at great risk, but that does not discourage or
dissuade them because of their intense love for Jesus and the compassion they
have for the people where God has called them to serve.
The entire SBC meeting truly had a missions focus, and not
just on international missions. I am thankful for the work of our North
American Mission Board (NAMB), and especially grateful for the lives of the 20
new NAMB missionaries who were commissioned in Phoenix, Ariz.
During the NAMB report I was greatly encouraged and
challenged by the testimony of a husband and wife who left their home in South
Africa to plant a church in Norwich, Conn., where only two percent of the
residents are evangelical Christians. This one church planter has now led 67
people to faith in Jesus Christ. What a testimony to God’s power to save, and
God’s faithfulness to work through those who love Him.
Last, but certainly not least, I remember and appreciate the
challenge Frank Page, SBC Executive Committee president, set before the
messengers in Phoenix. He said if all Southern Baptist churches would increase
Cooperative Program giving by 1 percent, the Cooperative Program would increase
by $100 million. What a challenge! What a wonderful and obtainable opportunity
to reach more people with the message of Jesus.
North Carolina Baptists, is striving to help fulfill the
Great Commission your greatest desire? Are you praying, giving and going so
that others may hear and believe?
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no
man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood
before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in
their hands.” Revelation 7:9