A few years ago, the Lord did something wonderful. He transitioned the church from being a recipient of so much mission investment to be a sending church. Several members from within in the congregation heeded the Lord's stirring to join the great work of exporting the gospel to the nations. Some went off to seminary to prepare for a life of ministry on the mission field. The Bufords went off to Honduras. The Ryans journeyed to southeast Asia. Jennifer planted her life first in Costa Rica then in Colombia. And there were short-term trips to Jamaica, Cuba, Honduras, Zambia and a number of other places. The church began to invest in a number of missionaries around the world.
These have been wonderful evidences of God's grace among us, making us hungry for more. I'd love to see the entire congregation over the course of a couple years make a short-term trip to a gospel-needing part of the world. And I'd absolutely rejoice to see the Lord stir a number of others to give their lives to the cause of making Jesus known among all the peoples of the earth. But how to encourage it?
I'm sure there are a number of useful things that could be done, and I'm absolutely certain others are doing a better job than this local pastor. But one thing I've quite enjoyed this year at FBC is a kind of steady I.V. drip of missions emphasis throughout the year. About once ever six weeks, we've had a guest pastor address us on some aspect of the missions enterprise. It seemed a better way of keeping missions before the congregation than doing a missions emphasis week or a series of 4-5 sermons. We may do those things, too. But it's been nice to have the subject of missions interrupt our routine and remind us of what's most important. In the end, we don't want missions to be one of the many things we do; we want missions to be the one consuming goal toward which everything else builds. May the Lord give us grace.
At any rate, I thought some of you might like to hear some of the sermons we've been blessed to hear this year.
Bryant Wright, Pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and then-President of the Southern Baptist Convention
A Terrorist Transformed: The Journey of Missions Begins (Acts 13:1-12)
Peter Rochelle, Senior Pastor of Church on the Rock (Raleigh, NC)
Redeemed for a Reason/Saved to Serve (Acts 26:12-32)
Missions Empowered by the Spirit of God (Acts 1:1-7)
Bob Kauflin, Director of Worship Development, Sovereign Grace Ministries
Worship and God's Global Plan (Psalm 96)
Mike McKinley, Senior Pastor of Guilford Baptist Church (Reston, VA)
United, Encouraged, and Multiplying (Acts 11:19-30)
John Folmar, Senior Pastor of the United Christian Church of Dubai
Among All the Nations (Rom. 1:1-7)