Have you been to Walmart lately? Did you stop to observe your fellow shoppers? If you did, one thing was very clear—the ethnic make-up of Oklahoma’s population has dramatically changed. The mix of people groups who live in Oklahoma is more diverse than ever.
Fifty years ago, our state population was predominately Anglo with a mix of Native American and African American people. While still predominately Anglo, this state is a beautiful mix of people who bring with them new languages, cultural uniqueness, and different religious backgrounds. Whether in rural Oklahoma or in our cities, the people who reside in Oklahoma are more diverse than ever.
With this kaleidoscope of color, language, and worldview comes new and remarkable opportunities for the spread of the Gospel. This may shock you, but Oklahoma Baptists worship in more than 40 languages every Sunday. Southern Baptists are the most diverse denomination in Oklahoma, and we should be. The marching order from our Master is clear—we are to make disciples of all people groups, baptizing them, and teaching them the truths of our King.
The work of reaching, baptizing, and teaching is fundamentally the task of a local New Testament church. The best way to reach the diverse peoples of Oklahoma is by planting churches that provide the opportunities for people to hear the Gospel in their heart languages and worship in ways that reflect their cultural backgrounds.
It is for this reason that we ask you to give through your church to the Oklahoma State Missions Offering. Approximately 43 percent of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma church planting funds are provided through this offering. Your gifts are an investment in fulfilling the Great Commission right here in Oklahoma. Because you give, WE can reach our diverse population through planting churches that are as diverse as the people WE are seeking to reach.
Because you give, the money provided through the Oklahoma State Missions Offering allows us to partner with associations and local churches to plant new works. Seeds planted in years past through this offering are bearing significant harvest today. Thirty years ago, we had only a handful of Hispanic churches, and now we have 74 churches and new church plants. Our Hispanic population has seen exponential growth all across our state. WE must keep pace in planting new, vibrant Hispanic churches.
Ethnic churches must have trained leaders to thrive. Once again, the Oklahoma State Missions Offering is vital. Because of the dollars provided from the offering, WE are able to train pastoral leaders through the Robert Haskins School of Leadership.
Your gifts to the Oklahoma State Missions Offering are central to reaching the ethnic population of Oklahoma with the Gospel. Our goal is that someday when we stand around the throne of God, there will be people from every tribe and nation who sing Hallelujah to the King of Kings with an Okie twang to their Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese. Why? Because you gave to the Oklahoma State Missions Offering so churches could be planted to reach these people in their heart languages.