89,437 reasons why
PLYMOUTH, MI – I will give you 89,437 good reasons why the church and you should give to International Missions during the month of December!
52,586 people were baptized, this past year, after they abandoned their old way of life and started living for Christ.
13,898 churches were planted overseas by our personnel, last year, in places where their lives are in peril and daily living is tough.
18,428 pastors were trained in ministry, evangelism and discipleship.
3,678 total field personnel are overseas, away from family and America, sharing the good news of Christ while we snuggle with one another at home and eat too much food.
847 people groups are engaged by our personnel who learn to speak languages they never knew until they arrived in their adopted country
Are those numbers enough to make you pray, give and go? They should be. The results speak for themselves. You cannot receive a better return on investment during Christmas than by giving to international missions.
Since before Thanksgiving and up until Christmas Eve, gifts will be purchased, wrapped, opened, used then tossed aside within months, weeks, days and even hours. What was once so important to us that we searched the town looking for it will collect dust, be tossed in a pile or break before New Year’s Day arrives.
Yet, the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention offers us a pathway of generosity that spans the globe. The IMB’s method far outweighs that alleged guy in a red suit, riding in an animal-pulled flying craft. The IMB’s method is real and eternal. Why not ask your church to give the equivalent of one month’s undesignated offerings to this year’s international missions offering? During December share the free videos and free resources found at this link: International Missions Offering Resources.
Pathways of Service Are Open Now
I heard it firsthand sitting twenty-feet away from IMB President Dr. Paul Chitwood who said, “We need 500 more missionaries by 2025.” I thought, “Lord, how many will you call from our churches?” I then said in a silent prayer as Chitwood continued speaking, “Lord, call 50 of our people to serve you in other countries, speaking new languages among people ready to hear the good news of Christ.”
University and high school students can find pathways of service lasting 1-8 weeks or longer.
Baby-boomers who are bored with golf and TV can find meaningful ways to serve missionaries and people in other countries through support roles lasting 1-3 years.
Some adults who feel a divine call from God to surrender all of their lives in complete service overseas will be awed at how God can call you to a people you never met, to a country you never visited, to learn a language you never heard in order to express the good news of Christ in ways they can understand and respond to God’s love.
Contact a helpful guide at the International Mission Board as soon as you sense God is calling you to overseas service. Click on this link for a convenient connection to someone who can guide you on your pathway to overseas service. Reach out to an IMB Contact.
Overseas in a Heartbeat Again
I would serve again overseas if God called us to do so. We have no regrets. Some of the best years of our children’s lives were overseas sharing life with an elite group of children whose parents were missionaries. Our children were missionaries! All of us, displaced from America, but certain of who we were as we shared the good news of Christ in Africa and in Europe.
Will you pray, give and go?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony Lynn is the State Director of Missions for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming on staff at the BSCM, Tony served as lead pastor for more than six years at Crosspoint Church in Monroe, Michigan. He and his wife, Jamie, also served with the International Mission Board in Africa and in Europe.