Throughout this month our Georgia Baptist churches are focused on the Mission Georgia theme “Beyond,” with the aim to go beyond anything we have ever done to reach Georgia with the Gospel of Christ. Our state is largely lost spiritually with a great need to experience a personal relationship with the Savior, Jesus Christ.
As Southern Baptists, we agree that we are called to take the Gospel to the nations. We are heavily involved in doing that through Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Offering support for our international missionaries as they seek to reach the unreached. Georgia Baptists are strong leaders among Southern Baptist state conventions in support of our mission efforts at home and overseas.
There is an increasing awareness, though, that we are not living in a world where the world is “over there somewhere.” The world has literally come to North America, and of specific interest to us, Georgia, as well. Taking the Gospel to the nations is no longer something done only through the International Mission Board. It is also done through the North American Mission Board and Georgia Baptist Mission Board.
Our International Mission Board needs and deserves all the support we can provide for our missionaries who are living on the edge across the world. Georgia Baptists understand that. This is, in fact, the reason that our state convention generously supports IMB through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. The North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board are now cooperating in new and exciting ways to reach the unreached peoples of the world who have come to North America. This is a healthy cooperative effort.
What I don’t want you to miss is the vital international missions ministries in which Georgia Baptists are involved right here in Georgia. Here are some revealing facts that should excite you about being engaged in generous support of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board through Mission Georgia.
- There are 54 languages and nationalities represented in 365 Georgia Baptist international congregations.
- 100 nationalities are enrolled in our English As A Second Language (ESL) classes.
- On August 28, Reverend Lian was ordained at Avondale Estates Baptist Church as the first Zo pastor in Georgia.
- The recent Arabic Baptist Retreat at the Toccoa Conference Center had a total of 155 in attendance. Among them were several former Muslims who have come to faith in Christ and numerous other Muslims who are seeking.
- A vibrant ministry among the Sudanese was reflected as 150 recently attended the Sudanese Family Retreat in Tucker and Clarkston.
- Several of our churches have been involved in ministry among the Syrian refugees who have arrived in Georgia.
- Every month, financial support is approved for new international church plants in Georgia. These Mission Georgia and Cooperative Program funds are approved with the review of the Administration Committee. Approval of funds for international ministry under the leadership of Dr. Jerry Baker includes conferences, retreats, and evangelistic events for international youth and adults.
A look into the future reveals more and more blurring of the lines between international missions overseas and international missions in Georgia and across North America. The truth, of course, is that Jesus was fully aware of our world of today when he said,
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:47)
To be faithful as Great Commission Christians, we must begin with the understanding that lost people everywhere need Jesus. Every soul is precious in His sight.
It’s not international missions, or Georgia Missions. It’s not missions in Augusta, Albany, Columbus, Valdosta, Savannah or Africa, or India, or China, or Russia. It is all of that together and more as we go BEYOND to take the Gospel of Christ to the world over there and the world right here in Georgia. I want you to be a part of that by giving generously in support of our Mission Georgia Offering.