September is Mission Georgia month among Georgia Baptists. This is our month of focus on Georgia Baptist ministries throughout Georgia, our mission field. The Mission Georgia offering is being received this month, but may be given at any time during the course of the year. Our theme is “Generosity” and our theme text is 2 Corinthians 9:11: “Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” (KJV)
What this verse says to me is that the amazingly bountiful gifts of God in my life and the life of my family deserves a response from me. I do not want to be a taker, taking and taking from God’s benevolence. I want to be a giver and thereby demonstrate in a real way how grateful I am for all that God has done for Janice and me and for our daughters and their families.
I am committed to the worldwide mission field of Southern Baptists and joyfully support our missionaries throughout the world. So, what is Georgia to me?
Georgia is my primary mission field. This is where God called me to be, and where He has placed my life. He expects me to be a blessing in Georgia and to make a difference in my own state. The focus of my generosity and my witnessing is in Georgia. Georgia is a major mission field. Over 70 percent of our population is without Christ and will die without Him if we fail to reach them.
Because of the lostness of our own state, much of the focus of your Georgia Baptist Mission Board is in supporting the ministry of our 3,600 Georgia Baptist churches. For instance, our churches are being equipped through Groups and Faith Development/Discipleship. In 2016, state missionaries conducted 454 state, regional, associational, and local church training events with a combined attendance of 33,272. Through the Growing Groups Online on-demand training and social media video training, over 90,000 various resources have been viewed for group training, instruction, personal development, equipping leaders, and encouragement. Pastors, ministers, leaders, directors, teachers, and/or members were equipped in various topics to improve their skills to reduce lostness and make disciples.
We all want to reach the lost of Georgia. Most understand that the best way to do that is to equip our people to be effective witnesses for Christ. That is the reason we are dedicated to providing the best in discipleship training for Georgia Baptist leaders.
Healthy churches fulfill God’s call upon the church to evangelize and disciple new believers. Approximately 75 percent of Southern Baptist churches are plateaued or declining. As a result, we are placing a strong emphasis upon evangelism and revitalization. In ministering to this need, we have formed 52 pastor roundtables throughout the state with an average of nine churches participating in each roundtable. Seasoned pastor-leaders provide needed encouragement and counsel to the spiritual leaders of our churches, who are blessed through the mentoring relationship and equipped to provide outstanding leadership for their congregations.
Over 500 pastors were encouraged through partnerships with associations and like-minded organizations such as Timothy+Barnabas, RENOVATE, and Southside Baptist network.
We have just completed two outstanding “Go Georgia” events. One was at Roswell Street Baptist Church, Marietta, and the other was at First Baptist Church, Tifton. Approximately 1,400 church leaders attended these training events with approximately 100 training sessions provided to both inspire and equip church leaders. The strong interest in these equipping events suggests a great interest and need for the development of strong leaders for our churches. Such events would not be possible without the resources of the Mission Georgia offering.
Training in finance and child protection are two vital areas provided by your Georgia Baptist Mission Board. Over 500 church finance leaders were trained in compliance issues in ten different locations across the state. Approximately 350 ministry leaders were trained to protect children and those who serve them in churches and child-serving organizations.
The ministries of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board are numerous and deserving of strong support from Georgia Baptists. None of these ministries can be done without your support. Thank you for being generous as you give in support of Mission Georgia.