Monday, December 8, 2008

Building Partnerships for World Missions

Christmas time has historically been the time of the year when Baptists emphasized World Missions. We traditionally had a Week of Prayer, sometimes a mission study, and we received our World Missions Offering. I remember that sometimes we had a “foreign missionary” as a guest speaker. When I was growing up it seemed like international missions was a long way from where I lived.

In recent years our world has become much smaller. Technology, communications, and international travel have brought the world to our door step. Today, local congregations have incredible opportunities for direct partnerships with missionaries and mission fields that were once thought impossible. Communication that once took weeks or months is now instantaneous. Many churches are involved in multiple international mission efforts every year. Church members not only give and pray for missions—they are missionaries.

The Baptist General Convention of Missouri has been forging relationships and partnerships designed to assist churches as they seek to become involved in the global mission enterprise. Our convention established a relationship with WorldconneX. This organization helps churches discover their strategic uniqueness for the Kingdom, establish effective connections for strategic impact, and send their people long term anywhere in the world.

We are also a part of the North American Baptist Fellowship and the Baptist World Alliance. The Baptist World Alliance is a fellowship of 214 Baptist conventions and unions comprising a membership of more than 37 million baptized believers and a community of 105 million. Its mission is networking the Baptist family to impact the world for Christ.

Our mission partnership with the Guatemalan Baptist Convention continues to expand and new congregations continue to build church to church partnerships. If your church is interested in becoming involved in missions anywhere in the world we want to be a resource to you. We want to help you get connected wherever you believe God is urging you to become involved. We want to provide training for your volunteers and resources to assist your church.

Many of our churches are receiving an offering this month for World Missions. We hope you will consider including the BGCM World Missions Offering in your plans. This offering provides an opportunity for you to partner with your Baptist brothers and sisters around the World in sharing Christ and ministering in his name. The Baptist World Alliance is a global movement of Baptists sharing a common confession of faith in Jesus Christ, bonded together by God’s love to support, encourage and strengthen one another, while proclaiming and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit to a lost world. Downloadable posters and bulletin inserts are available on the BGCM website. Join us in building partnerships for world missions.