Reflections from Phoenix
    July 5 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr. , BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

    Although a few weeks have gone by, I find myself still reflecting on the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) meeting. I can’t seem to get this one image off my mind: hundreds of messengers flooding the altar and committing to help their church get involved in taking the gospel to unreached and unengaged people groups.

    International Mission Board (IMB) president Tom Eliff reported that 3,800 people groups in the world are unengaged and unreached. Among these groups, less than two percent are evangelical Christians and no individual or church is intentionally engaging them with the gospel.

    During the convention sermon David Platt, senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., reminded us that the reason we go to these unreached people groups is not out of guilt. We go because we want to see Jesus, our King who is worthy of praise from every people group on this earth, glorified. Do you pray for Jesus to be glorified throughout the ends of the earth?

    It was emotionally moving for me to watch as some new IMB missionaries were commissioned for service. Some of these missionaries are well aware they will serve Jesus at great risk, but that does not discourage or dissuade them because of their intense love for Jesus and the compassion they have for the people where God has called them to serve.

    The entire SBC meeting truly had a missions focus, and not just on international missions. I am thankful for the work of our North American Mission Board (NAMB), and especially grateful for the lives of the 20 new NAMB missionaries who were commissioned in Phoenix, Ariz. 

    During the NAMB report I was greatly encouraged and challenged by the testimony of a husband and wife who left their home in South Africa to plant a church in Norwich, Conn., where only two percent of the residents are evangelical Christians. This one church planter has now led 67 people to faith in Jesus Christ. What a testimony to God’s power to save, and God’s faithfulness to work through those who love Him.

    Last, but certainly not least, I remember and appreciate the challenge Frank Page, SBC Executive Committee president, set before the messengers in Phoenix. He said if all Southern Baptist churches would increase Cooperative Program giving by 1 percent, the Cooperative Program would increase by $100 million. What a challenge! What a wonderful and obtainable opportunity to reach more people with the message of Jesus.

    North Carolina Baptists, is striving to help fulfill the Great Commission your greatest desire? Are you praying, giving and going so that others may hear and believe?

    “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” Revelation 7:9
    7/5/2011 3:42:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr. , BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments

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