We work together to advance the Gospel.
Last week I wrote about our partnership in the Gospel advance in Oklahoma. We proclaim the Good News of Jesus to people who are lost. Oh Lord, help us to embrace the brokenness in our state as opportunity for the Gospel.
We also work together in a global Gospel advance. Our Cooperative Program giving supports the work of the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). This world-wide missionary force is our primary reason for pooling our resources. When we read the New Testament, we realize that every church has an obligation to pursue the Great Commission.
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” (Matt. 28:18-20).
Sending and supporting international missionaries is complicated work. Almost none of our churches are equipped to do this kind of work alone, so we work together. We give, pray and go together with the Gospel.
It is important that Oklahoma Baptists understand that we send more than our money to the international mission field. As generous and sacrificial as our financial support is, we send something even more precious. We are sending our sons, our daughters and our grandchildren.
Terry Sharp, with the IMB, has gathered some data for me. Over the past 100 years, at least 1,357 Oklahomans have gone to the nations with the Gospel. Right now, 185 people who claim Oklahoma as home are making disciples among the nations. Many Oklahoma Baptists are in key leadership roles.
These missionaries are the fruit of our cooperative work and giving. When we invest in missions education, mission partnerships, Baptist Collegiate Ministry and Oklahoma Baptist University, we are investing in the global advance of the Gospel. Our commitment is to lead our brethren across the SBC in financial support through the Cooperative Program and in our sacrificial investment of human capital. Oh that every Oklahoma Baptist would be willing to pray, “Here am I, send me.”
We are working together to advance the Gospel to our neighbors and to the nations.