Q&A 7: How Do We Promote Faithful Giving to the Great Commission?

Pin It

10.4.2011

Question: In light of your work with the Great Commission Resurgence, what are some things, other than faithfully giving to our local churches and missions agencies, that we can do to promote giving money to reach unreached people groups worldwide?

Reply: Rob, I think there are a number of things that you can do that will help promote the Great Commission Resurgence in your particular church. First, do encourage your people to continue to give to the various missions offerings and to increase their Cooperative Program giving. It really is the lifeblood of all that we do together, and the fact that we have seen it decrease so rapidly in the last several decades has been devastating to the work of getting the gospel to our nation and the nations. Second, I believe you can encourage your local association and state convention to send a greater percentage of their monies to the work of the International Mission Board and North America Mission Board through the Cooperative Program. Many are beginning to do this. Third, and most importantly, get on the mission field yourself and lead your people in taking short-term mission trips. I would particularly challenge you to get your men out of America and into an international context. The number of males and females on the mission field is staggering in its disproportionate nature. Recently I was informed that we have almost 700 singles on the mission field. 533 are women. I thank God for every sister in the Lord who has given her life and has the courage to go to the nations that women and children might here the gospel. Note very carefully what I just said. In many contexts around the world a man will only be won to Christ by another man. In Muslim contexts, in particular, women are simply not able to share the gospel with a man. It is unacceptable and therefore it will never happen. I am convinced that the great need of the day with respect to international missions is getting men to stand up and play the man. It is time for men to be the men God saved them and has created them to be. Therefore, I would do all that I could do in my church to motivate and mobilize my men to get passionate for the gospel and for the nations. Further, I would regularly challenge my people from the pulpit to consider that God might be calling them to the international mission assignment. I fear that far too many pastors do not put this challenge regularly before their people. Therefore, it should not surprise us that it takes nine Southern Baptist churches to produce one international missionary. So, these are a few things I would encourage you to do. Finally, you can do as my wife and I have done, and put some SBC agency in your will. We plan to continue to serve the Lord in this way after we have gone to heaven if Jesus tarries His coming. Therefore, I would encourage all Southern Baptists to respond to one of the Great Commission Resurgence challenges by putting some mission agency or theological institution in your will that you might be a part of God’s work even after you have been translated into glory. You will not be disappointed that you did when you stand before our King!

Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism

Pin It

In October 2009, Union University hosted a conference titled Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism. The conference was held in conjunction with the four hundredth anniversary of the Baptists. It also revisited an oft-asked question: what is the relationship between Southern Baptists and American evangelicals? You can listen to the conference audio at Union’s website.

For those who are interested, the proceedings of that conference are also now in print. Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism (B&H Academic, 2011) is a collection of essays edited by David Dockery, Ray Van Neste, and Jerry Tidwell. Between the Times contributors Danny Akin, Ed Stetzer, and yours truly spoke at the conference and contributed essays. You can see the full list of chapters and contributors below.

  1. So Many Denominations: The Rise, Decline, and Future of Denominationalism – David S. Dockery
  2. Denominationalism: Is There a Future? – Ed Stetzer
  3. Denominationalism and the Changing Religious Landscape – D. Michael Lindsay
  4. The Faith, My Faith, and the Church’s Faith – Timothy George
  5. The Future of Evangelicalism (and Southern Baptists) – Duane Litfin
  6. The Care for Souls: Reconsidering Pastoral Ministry in Southern Baptist and Evangelical Contexts – Ray Van Neste
  7. Awakenings and Their Impact on Baptists and Evangelicals: Sorting Out the Myths in the History of Missions and Evangelism – Jerry Tidwell
  8. Recovering the Gospel for the Twenty-first Century – Harry L. Poe
  9. Emergent or Emerging? Questions for Southern Baptists and American Evangelicals – Mark DeVine
  10. Reflections on 400 Years of the Baptist Movement: Who We Are, What We Believe – James A. Patterson
  11. Southern Baptists and Evangelicals: Passing on the Faith to the Next Generation – Nathan A. Finn
  12. The Future of the Southern Baptist Convention – Daniel Akin
  13. Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism – R. Albert Mohler Jr.

If you are interested in the storied history and future prospects of Southern Baptists, American evangelicalism, and/or denominationalism in general, I’d highly encourage you to pick up a copy of this important new book.

Thank You State Conventions!

Pin It

At the recent Executive Committee meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in February in Nashville, Dr. Frank Page shared that the leaders of our State Conventions recently voted unanimously to move as quickly as possible to a 50/50 split in Cooperative Program allocation between the State and National Convention in order to get more resources to the nations where 1.6 billion have still never heard the name of Jesus. I want to say thank you and add an enthusiastic applause to this historic decision. Thank you my brothers! It is a demonstration of great courage and commitment that both challenges and humbles me. Such a move no doubt will involve sacrifice and hard decisions. It will require our leaders to be radical for the glory of King Jesus and the good of the nations. However one thing is certain: God will honor this BOLD declaration as it is implemented across our SBC family.

Such a bold move on the part of our State Executives should inspire greater commitment and sacrifice among all Southern Baptists. Local churches should be inspired to give more (much more!) to the Cooperative Program. Church members should be inspired to give more to their local churches as her passion for the Great Commission and the 6,800 unreached people groups brings about new priorities.

Couple this with 1) a growing heart for the unreached and underserved areas of North America, 2) the passion of Kevin Ezell to work with others to do something about this, 3) the nomination of Tom Elliff to lead our IMB, and 4) the growing numbers of seminary students who sense God’s call to the nations and the tough regions of North America, and we all have reason to be encouraged and hopeful about the future. I want to live and die a Great Commission Christian. It seems to me many more want to do the same! To God be the glory! May He make it happen!