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Encourage: One sacred effort

Recently I spoke with two young men who remind me of the impact of our cooperative efforts. One is a key leader for the International Mission Board (IMB) and the other was commissioned as an IMB missionary in September. They and their wives are raising their families in hard places. Each of these families have gone with the Gospel to the nations.

I cannot mention the name of either for security reasons.

One grew up in western Oklahoma while the other grew up in Edmond. They and their wives are the products of Oklahoma Baptist work—local churches (one small and one large), Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM), Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) and Falls Creek.

These men were trained in our seminaries. These Oklahoma Baptists are now fulfilling Christ’s command to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

What a privilege we have to partner with them through the Cooperative Program. Of course, they are just samples of all the other Oklahoma Baptists serving around the globe.

Their paths to the field remind me of how our system works. The resources we use in Oklahoma support our global missions cause. Of the cooperative money we spend in Oklahoma, 36.4 percent supports Next Generation ministries—CrossTimbers, Falls Creek, GoStudents, OBU, BCM and other works that call out, prepare, raise up and send out laborers for the future.

Oklahoma Baptists send more than our money to the nations through the IMB. We prepare and send our sons, daughters and our grandchildren.

The preamble of the constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention contains some powerful language. The document declares our purpose as follows: “eliciting, combining and directing the energies of the whole denomination in one sacred effort, for the propagation of the Gospel.”
These two families remind me of our one sacred effort. We are working together to advance the Gospel to the nations.

“God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us—That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy…God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him” (Ps. 67).

Oh, Lord of the Harvest, give Oklahoma Baptists the privilege of leading this sacred effort. Give us grace to raise up a generation burdened for the lostness of the people of the world and passionate for the advance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations.

Hance Dilbeck

Author: Hance Dilbeck

View more articles by Hance Dilbeck.

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