As I read Oklahoma Baptist history, I find a certain word used repeatedly. This is a word that has fallen out of favor. My hope is that we do not use this word because we no longer understand it, but I fear we might also no longer value it.
The Random House dictionary that I received as a high school graduation gift reads as follows: Propagation, n. 1. The act of propagating. 2. The state of being propagated. 3. Multiplication by natural reproduction. (Bingo!) 4. Transmission or dissemination.
Oklahoma Baptists work together for the propagation of the Gospel. We share this work; this calling—to transmit the Good News, to spread the Gospel seed, to reproduce disciples of Jesus Christ.
This language is connected to the teaching ministry of Jesus. Remember Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil” (Mark 4:26).
The Gospel seed grows, multiplies and reproduces. Luke tells the story of the Gospel advance from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth. He echoes this Gospel language in the book of Acts:
“The Word of God kept on spreading” (Acts 6:7).
“But the Word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied” (Acts 12:24).
“So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing” (Acts 19:20).
The Book of Acts tells the story of the propagation of the Gospel. The Good News keeps spreading, even when Paul is confined in prison. Propagate: to reproduce, to multiply, to spread. This is a biblical truth that communicates some essential aspects of our Gospel mission:
1. The spread of the Gospel is as natural as the spread of a plant.
2. The spread of the Gospel is as supernatural as the spread of a plant.
3. We can participate in the spread of the Gospel to our neighbors and the nations.
“The Kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know… But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come!” (Mark 4:26-29).
Thank you for joining our work to spread the Gospel in Oklahoma through your service, prayers and giving to the Edna McMillan State Missions Offering. Thank you also for sharing in this Gospel spread to North America and the nations by giving through the Cooperative Program.
I like the old word “propagation,” but I know that you would make fun of me if I use it. So let’s just say this about our mission—we encourage one another to advance the Gospel.