PLYMOUTH, MI – As the New Testament unfolds, we see the missionary expansion, ministry, and the disciple-making of the early church. They earnestly lived out the command of Jesus to be His witnesses in all the world. We read how the Greek speaking widows were neglected in the daily distribution of bread. When the Apostles were told, they led the church to set apart what are commonly believed to be the first Deacons to make sure the widows’ needs were met. Paul dramatically steps into the story, and before long he is mentoring, instructing, and developing disciples like Timothy and Silas to lead the church as she reached a new generation.
Missionary expansion, ministry, and making disciples are still at the heart of the church’s mandate. The question is: “How is my church engaged in accomplishing these tasks today?” Lost people still need the Gospel, hurting people still need ministry, and new leaders are still needed for today’s generation and the next.
One of my strategies as a pastor to fulfill these responsibilities was to get involved in Convention and Associational life. I actively took leaders and potential leaders to training events to equip them for mission, ministry and leadership. Giving through the Cooperative Program was one of my strategies to help my local church ministry and beyond. I came to the conviction early that I needed help in ministry, and that I needed to be a help.
A healthy church needs to be involved in mission and ministry that is both local and global. The struggle is not to pick between the two, but to develop strategies for the church to engage in both. Jesus sees us, and He sees those beyond us. He wants His church to do the same. Our cooperative efforts are one way to help us minister locally and globally with sister churches to impact the world.
This month Michigan Baptists will gather for the 62nd Annual Meeting of our State Convention at Mile City Church in Plymouth on November 8th. It will be a time to hear about our cooperative work, approve the ministry budget, make new friends and connect with old ones. There will be times of celebration, inspiration, and vision casting.
The part that thrills my heart about our Annual Meeting is that it helps us see the missions, ministries, and leadership development that we do together.
Michigan Baptists have 40 new church plants
Bambi attendance is growing dramatically
Women’s ministry is impacting lives
Disaster Relief is serving people
Baptisms are up 20%
And much more
And that’s just part of what we are doing in Michigan together! Our partnership goes beyond our church, beyond our state, beyond our nation, to the ends of the earth. We are Partners in Advancing God’s Kingdom!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.