The Mission Georgia Offering is highlighted and received throughout September each year. You need to know, that there are churches that choose to give their Mission Georgia Offering at other times during the year and that is completely fine. When the offering is given is a local church decision.
I am very grateful for each and every Georgia Baptist Church that gives in support of mission ministry right here in Georgia. Your gifts to Mission Georgia are spent 100% in Georgia to penetrate the lostness, strengthen churches, and directly impact young people, many of whom will surrender to career missions and ministry.
So what do these Mission Georgia dollars do? I’m glad you asked. Last year, those dollars helped in the planting of 58 new churches. Nineteen of those congregations were Anglo, 17 were African-American, and 22 were international church plants. These included Burmese (Zomi), Brazilian, Korean, Ghanaian, Hispanic, Iranian, multiethnic, and Vietnamese. Overall, you might be interested to know that we have 365 international churches that are Georgia Baptist churches. You are literally touching the world at your doorstep when you give to the Mission Georgia Offering!
Just as churches need to be planted, others need to be revitalized. With so many churches plateaued or declining, revitalization has become critical to the future of our spiritual influence. Your Mission Georgia Offering supports an aggressive effort to influence leaders. Church health is a congregational issue, but it is also a leadership issue. This is why Larry Wynn and his team have initiated over 40 pastor roundtables with around 400 pastors participating. In addition, many mentoring relationships have been established, adding quality assistance and guidance to our church leaders.
It has been said that no one stands taller than when they are on their knees. This is also true of churches. That is why we have gathered Georgia Baptists to pray through Pray Georgia gatherings. Perhaps you have been blessed to participate in one of these events. All are welcome to attend.
These gatherings will continue across the state as Georgia Baptists come together with no agenda other than to pray for a glorious, God-sent revival to sweep across Georgia. The Renew Georgia events are also focused on prayer and spiritual renewal. Over 1,000 Georgia Baptists attended this past year.
A significant part of our work is the training of leaders for our local congregations. Last year state missionaries trained over 5,300 church financial leaders in compliance matters through 150 workshops, seminars, and private appointments.
Baptist Collegiate Ministries is working closely with 426 college students who have surrendered to church and mission vocational ministry. Georgia Baptist Collegiate Ministries is ground zero for the training and development of Southern Baptist missionaries and church leaders. In all, 5,599 students were regularly involved in Baptist Collegiate Ministry on 53 campuses in Georgia, yielding 181 student salvations and 1,277 total conversions.
A total of 42,728 students were impacted spiritually through Baptist Collegiate Ministry last year! That translates into 153 BCM student summer missionaries going out across the world and ministering to 47,562 people, resulting in 760 salvations and 93 persons being called into full-time missions and ministry.
In Worship and Music Ministries there were 600 children and youth who participated in festivals for choirs, handbells, and keyboard training. Many of these will, no doubt, provide music leadership for our churches and on the mission field for years to come. Also, 594 children, youth, and high school students participated in Bible Drill events this past year while 282 high-scoring students, representing 55 churches in 33 associations, advanced to regional Bible Drill competition.
Many young people and adults are impacted annually through events held at our Georgia Baptist Conference Center at Toccoa. In fact, last year, 25,107 guests were served and over 325 people received Christ at the conference center.
More than 1,000 decisions for Christ were made among the 10,500 who attended the evangelism-focused youth events of SuperWow and Move. Youth Merge missions camp had over 300 students participating. These students spent some 7,000 hours in community projects given to the city of Toccoa. Students came to Christ through these events and many young people shared their faith in Christ for the first time.
State missionaries in Groups and Faith Development/Discipleship conducted 481 state, regional, associational, and local church training events with a combined attendance of 50,395.
VBS Training was provided to 2,640 leaders. These leaders impacted 1,813 churches, resulting in 7,435 reported salvations.
Our tent ministry reported 703 salvations and 486 rededications to Christ among the 30,965 attendees. Our Baptist Mobile Health Ministry completed 20 years of ministry by providing 109 clinic days at 43 sites to more than 3,000 people, resulting in 64 professions of faith.
I can continue, but I think you get the idea. Your gifts to Mission Georgia support many, many ministries resulting in thousands coming to faith in Christ every year. God is so amazing!
Thank you for being faithful to give of yourselves and your resources to this ministry. It is a joy to serve with you.