The apostle John was known as the beloved disciple. He often spoke on the importance of loving others. It’s hard not to think about the writings of John without remembering the words, “God so loved the world that He gave His only son” and “Let us love one another, for love comes from God.”
But John also realized words alone do not convey true love. The love he described also carried the message of love in action. This fall, Oklahoma Baptists are encouraged to answer the call to action by giving to the Edna McMillan Oklahoma State Missions Offering. The theme verse is 1 John 3:18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.”
The offering, which includes church planting, leadership development, chaplaincy and disaster relief, supports more than 20 vital ministries that impact lostness in Oklahoma. The state goal is $1 million—a goal that has been reached in the past.
Church planting is one of the largest recipients of this year’s offering, and continues to be one of the most crucial ways our state can impact those who need to hear the Gospel. This year, Tri-Church, a church plant near downtown Oklahoma City, is featured in the state missions videos. This community of believers is reaching a neighborhood surrounded by poverty, and making a difference in the lives of many families—many of whom are associated with Mark Twain Elementary, the school where the congregation meets each week.
Another way Oklahoma Baptists answer the call to action is through Disaster Relief. Oklahoma volunteers have responded to disasters throughout the year, including many affected by tornadoes. Because of your gifts to the state missions offering, supplies and equipment are provided to offer help to those who find themselves in times of crisis. The offering also offers direct and immediate relief to churches and members of Southern Baptist churches who have encountered natural disasters. These funds are not provided by the Cooperative Program, but directly from your gifts to the Disaster Relief funds and the state missions offering.
Whether it’s on the oilfield, a military base, a bike rally, a hospital or a prison, Oklahoma chaplains answer the call to action each day as they minister to the needs of hurting people. The breadth of chaplaincy ministry is large, and their impact is eternal. Our state has one of the highest numbers of trained chaplains in the SBC, and the state missions offering offers support to reach into areas where the love of Christ is displayed.
Oklahoma Baptists also have a long history of equipping future spiritual leaders. Because there are more than 1,000 students who answer God’s call to ministry at Falls Creek each summer, a new event was formed. The Call Conference was held for the first time last spring at Oklahoma Baptist University and more than 300 students and their leaders learned how to take the next steps into full time ministry. Gifts from the state missions offering made the conference possible.
You can be part of loving others to Christ by answering the Call to Action this fall. Support the Edna McMillan Oklahoma State Missions Offering. Promotional materials are now available through the Women’s Missions and Ministries Office at no cost to your church. Promotional packets, including a DVD with videos, have been mailed to each church. You can watch this year’s videos or order offering supplies online at www.bgco.org/smo. You may also call 405/942-3000, ext. 4335, to place your order.
Kelly King is women’s missions and ministries specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.