Advance is the theme of the 2019 Annual Meeting of Oklahoma Baptists. We will gather on Nov. 11-12 at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs. Please make every effort to participate in this important year for our cooperative work. What is our work? We encourage one another to advance the Gospel.

The Gospel is the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Paul employs the idea of the advance of the Gospel. “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the Gospel.” (Phil. 1:12 NASB) The Greek word translated “greater progress” has a rich history. It carries the idea of making headway in spite of adverse blows.

Thus, our English translations use words like “furtherance,” “progress” and “advance.” Even while Paul is in prison, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is advancing!

We are called to advance the Gospel. This is our mission. We live convinced that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.

We work together to advance the Gospel to our neighbors and to the nations. We challenge one another to actively share the Good News with those around us. We support those from our number who go to make disciples in the nations. We encourage one another to advance the Gospel.

At the close of our Annual Meeting, we will join our International Mission Board (IMB) in sending out 28 new Southern Baptist missionaries, and six are from Oklahoma! The IMB Sending Celebration will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the main worship center at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs.

I thank our Lord for this opportunity. This IMB Sending Celebration serves to remind us that the advance of the Gospel is our shared work.

The same Gospel that we carry to the nations is good news for our neighbors. Our communities are full of men and women, boys and girls, who are ready for some good news. They are feeling the brokenness of sin—hurting and hungry, lonely and looking for meaning, for direction, for power and for redemption.

Many of these people are poor; some are addicts; others have family members in prison. People in our communities need to learn to read; they need transportation; they need after-school care; they need foster families; they need to learn English; most of all, they need Jesus. These people are distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd, and we know the Shepherd!

Let’s gather on Nov. 11-12 and encourage one another to advance the Gospel