The theme for this year’s Mission Georgia emphasis is Beyond: Proving the Power of God. The accompanying scripture is Ephesians 3:20-21: ‘Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us – to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
The Mission Georgia Offering, like the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, is all about missions. While the Annie Armstrong Offering supports missions in North America and the Lottie Moon Offering supports missions internationally, the Mission Georgia Offering supports the ministries, missions, and evangelism work of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.
When you give to the Mission Georgia Offering, you are going beyond to share Jesus. Every dollar you give will help take the Gospel into every city, town, and hamlet of the state, to the largest metropolis and most remote rural area and … beyond!
Your Georgia Baptist state missionaries are a team of committed believers who partner with our 3,600 churches across the state to reduce lostness.
Fighting against a decline
There are over 10 million people living in Georgia today, with an expected 30 percent growth rate by 2020. Over 7 million people in Georgia do not know our Savior. They are lost, unchurched, and need us to come to them with the Truth of Jesus Christ. It is likely that most of the new people coming into Georgia will also be unbelievers.
Russell Moore, in his book Onward, talks about “the collapse of the Bible Belt.” Perhaps in years gone by Georgia would have been considered the buckle on the Bible Belt, but statistics and the culture give ample evidence that Christianity is on the decline in Georgia and across the nation.
Therefore, we must do all we can to reverse that trend toward secularization and pray for and work toward and give to the revitalization of Christianity in our state and beyond.
C.T. Studd, the great England cricketer and famous missionary, said, “The light that shines farthest shines brightest nearest home.” If that is true and I am confident it is, we must do everything we can to ensure that our light here at home is not diminished, but grows brighter every day.
Our goal is to reach the whole world with the glorious Gospel, but if our light grows faint our outreach beyond Georgia will be less effective.
We must stay strong in our churches and in our state if we are to send more people to the unreached people groups of the world. We must stay strong at home if we are to have the resources to fund our missions enterprise across the state, nation, and around the world. We must stay strong at home if future generations in Georgia are to know Christ and make Him known.
Where resources start
Let me illiterate it this way: While in California last month I learned that over one-half of the state’s 39 million residents get their water from the Colorado River. Lake Mead, located near Las Vegas, NV, is fed by the Colorado River and is the reservoir storing southern California’s share of the river. The Colorado River supplies water for Los Angeles and 25 other cities and municipalities. In San Diego County, water from the river comprises 64 percent of total supplies.
On Monday, Aug. 29, the water level was 153 feet below full pool. The water in the largest man-made reservoir in the U.S. has shrunk to the lowest levels on record, following years of drought in California and surrounding states. The lake is currently at 37 percent of capacity.
If the Colorado River were not able to keep the water level of Lake Mead at a significant level, water delivery to Nevada, Arizona, California, and even Mexico would potentially be severely limited.
Similarly, when people aren’t sufficiently giving to the local church the entire missions enterprise is in jeopardy. And, if Mission Georgia is not funded multiple missions endeavors in the state will be limited and Baptists’ goals to reach the world will likely be endangered.
For example, Missions Georgia funds Baptist Collegiate Ministries on more than 50 college and university campuses in the state. It is through these ministries that many of our missionaries, pastors, and church leaders are called.
Additionally, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board helps fund and facilitate a church planting effort that starts scores of new churches in strategic areas every year. Numerous ethnic and people groups are being served through the state mission board. The evangelism department trains and inspires churches to win souls to Christ. Through the efforts of Georgia Baptist Mission Board-trained disaster relief teams tremendous help is being offered now in the devastation wrought by the flooding in Louisiana.
Promote Mission Georgia today
Missionaries of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board are effectively equipped and prepared to provide training to deacons, pastor search teams, music ministries, men’s ministries, women’s ministries, literacy missions, prayer and spiritual awakening, Sunday School/small groups, discipleship, student ministries, stewardship development, to those interested in church revitalization, and a myriad of other ways.
In fact, if you want to know the demographics of the community where you serve you can call our information technology department and get a wealth of information that will assist your church in knowing how to develop a strategy to meet the needs of the people in your community.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great London preacher, was speaking on Luke 24:47: “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem,” and emphasized the importance of starting at home. He added, “Now, if you are going to serve Christ to the every ends of the earth, take care that you begin at home.”
Missions begins in every Georgia Baptist church and in Georgia. If we fail here we will ultimately fail everywhere.
Promote the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, but declare September as Mission Georgia month and promote Mission Georgia today. For additional information go to http://missiongeorgia.org/give/.