State your mission!
August 24 2001 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

State your mission! | Friday, Aug. 24, 2001

Friday, Aug. 24, 2001

State your mission!

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor Good soldiers or other persons responsible for strategic assignments should be able to state their mission clearly and concisely. Can Christian believers state their God-given mission? Can Baptists? More particularly, can we N.C. Baptists state our mission?

Our mission begins and ends with the gospel, which compels us to spread the message of salvation and the love of Christ to all people. Baptists have long practiced cooperative ways of working together to support that mission in our local associations, our state, our nation, and our world.

The "state" part of the equation is supported in two ways: through regular cooperative missions gifts through the Baptist State Convention (BSC) of North Carolina, and through contributions to an annual North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO).

The time for celebrating and supporting the NCMO has arrived: September 9-16 is the focus date for promoting and beginning to receive the funds needed for N.C. Baptists to carry out the mission we have been given for 2001. Funds received for past NCMO projects have made a tremendous difference to countless people. Current and future projects have the potential for even greater impact.

Our mission begins with evangelism and church growth, and about 21 percent of the $2,604,990 goal for 2001 is earmarked for special projects administered through the BSC's Mission Growth Evangelism (MGE) group. The lion's share of those funds ($350,520) is designated for new church starts. An article in the August 11 Biblical Recorder reveals how crucial those funds are, as church growth continues to fall behind population growth in the Tar Heel state.

Other funds routed through the MGE group support training and assessment of church planters, support for new language churches, seminary extension classes, prison ministry, resort ministry, deaf ministry and other chaplaincy ministries.

The NCMO also supports the training of new ministers and other church leaders through a $75,000 allocation for Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute, which fills an important niche by providing ministry education for students who don't have the benefit of a college education.

Special projects in local associations account for 8 percent, or $210,000 of the NCMO goal. These funds support work that local churches can easily see and support, knowing the needs. Another $138,000 will fund research, strategy planning and technological assistance for churches and associations across the state.

The North Carolina Missions Offering is about missions, and there are no greater advocates for missions than the Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) and North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM).

The $833,005 that North Carolina WMU hopes to receive from the offering supports the organization's entire budget, with the exception of employee benefits. That includes the salaries and travel expenses of the staff who supports the crucial ministry of age-graded missions education in our churches. If our mission is to remain viable in future years, we must do an effective job of teaching children the importance of believing in missions, supporting missions, and doing missions. Nobody does that better than WMU.

The NCMO also includes support for WMU ministries through Camp Mundo Vista, training conferences for adults and a variety of targeted outreach efforts.

North Carolina Baptist Men is also fully supported by the NCMO, except for employee benefits. NCBM needs the $662,605 it is slated to receive to provide staff salaries and expenses, promotional publications, and support for missions education/experiences for boys through church programs and Camp Caraway. NCBM also funds and promotes a slew of important ministry projects ranging from disaster relief and the medical/dental bus to aviation and agriculture ministries.

Stating our mission is simple in some ways, incredibly complex in others. Our mission begins with personal obedience to Christ's call that we should be witnesses wherever we go. It continues with financial support of mission efforts in places we can't go.

I hope and pray that your church will observe the week of prayer for the North Carolina Missions Offering, and that you will be moved to contribute a generous amount.

Being able to state our mission means little if we are not also prepared to carry it out.

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8/24/2001 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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