State Missions - What do I do?

September 6, 2017

One of the things that drew my wife and I to First Baptist Church 12 years ago was the emphasis on missions. I still remember like it was only yesterday. On our very first Sunday at First Baptist Church Waynesboro in July of 2005 we heard a report during morning worship from a team who had recently returned from a short-term mission trip in Africa. Having just moved back to the States after living in Europe for 20 years our jaws dropped to hear reports from a church in rural South Georgia that was engaged in gospel witness in a cross-cultural setting. I still get excited every time I hear a report from one of the missionaries we partner with who currently serve overseas. I’m equally excited to see some of our families stepping out in faith to serve in a cross-cultural environment as missionaries.
However, we must never forget that we don’t have to go overseas to share the gospel. In fact, if you are not actively sharing the gospel here at home with a neighbor, colleague or friend don’t think about going overseas to serve in missions because you won’t do it there either. Our gospel witness is not determined by the place we live but by seeing the lost-ness of people without Jesus regardless of the physical location we find ourselves in, recognizing the urgency of being Christ's ambassadors…imploring people on Christ's behalf to be reconciled to God’ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
During the month of September, we will be focusing on Georgia Baptist State Missions.  As we enter into a season of prayer and offering for state missions we can do 3 things; pray for our state missionaries as they labor for the cause of the gospel throughout our state. Secondly, pray about giving. Some people suffer from ‘compassion fatigue’ because they feel overwhelmed by the number of causes they are asked to support financially so they become numb to the surrounding needs in our society. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 ‘Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver’. And lastly, share the gospel with a friend, colleague, neighbor or family member. We don’t have to be commissioned by Georgia State Missions to do that and it does not cost us anything financially. We must simply be obedient and plant seeds while others will water and recognize it is God who will give the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).