Someone once said, the best ability is availability. Next month, Oklahoma Baptists have an excellent opportunity to bless a group of missionaries through their availability, with their very presence.

Connected to the Annual Meeting of Oklahoma Baptists on Nov. 11-12, the International Mission Board’s (IMB) Sending Celebration is set for Tuesday evening, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs.

Oklahoma was hand-picked by IMB President Paul Chitwood as the site for this Sending Celebration, where more than 20 missionaries will be sent. Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Executive Director-Treasurer Hance Dilbeck has said, while he hopes the annual meeting parking lot will be full of cars during the meeting, he hopes the lot will be full of church buses that evening.

In other words, we are praying that droves of God’s people from across the state and region will take time to be present for this special sending service. Having recently attended an IMB Sending Celebration, I can personally attest this is one of the most spiritually impactful events I have ever witnessed.

Through times of music, responsive reading and prayer, you will be drawn into the Lord’s presence and become a participant in the Gospel work around the world. In the Bible, we see the power of God on display through this type of prayer and sending.

When the early Church was sending Paul and Barnabas out as missionaries, the Scriptures say “After they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off” (Acts 13:3). To place your hands on someone in prayer is a powerful and biblical act.

Because of physical limitations or distance, not everyone is able to attend this event. But to all who are able, this is the time to attend. This fall, many of us will go to great lengths to take in a ball game or event or concert. Let’s show that same type of commitment to this sending event.

In our social media saturated age, it is becoming increasingly easier to skip important events and catch the livestream or video afterward. While taking part prayerfully from a distance has its place and is truly important, nothing can compare to fully investing the time to be present.

When we gather on Nov. 12 to pray and send these missionaries, we will be participating in worship and the advancement of the Gospel. We also will be sending a loud message to these brothers and sisters who are leaving home to go to far-away lands, a message that our hearts are with them all the way to the ends of the earth.