RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP)--Many Southern Baptist churches that pride themselves in being "missions minded" might have a hard time convincing an impartial observer, an International Mission Board leader told trustees Sept. 12 at LifeWay Ridgecrest (N.C.) Conference Center...
"As I travel, I hear a lot about how 'missions-minded' Southern Baptists are," said Gordon Fort, IMB vice president of overseas operations. "I often ask, 'How much does your church pay for utilities each year?' Then I ask, 'If you are paying more for your utility bill than you are giving to reach a lost world for Christ, how does that make you a missions-minded church?'"
Southern Baptist churches ought to re-examine just how high a priority missions really is when they claim a total of 16 million members yet have only 5,234 international personnel currently under appointment, Fort said.
"Southern Baptists are great to talk about tithing," he told the trustees. "I want to ask whether a church shouldn't tithe its membership to reach a lost world?" Even if just 1 percent of 10 million active Southern Baptists were to enter the mission force, "we would have 100,000 missionaries. Instead, we have 5,000."
Fort noted that IMB leaders have a vision "for 3,000 more active missionaries on the field.... Adding 3,000 new missionaries might be a difficult task if we were starting out with no resources, but the truth is that those 3,000 new missionaries are already sitting in our churches, and the finances to support them are already in our pockets. It's not a hard task."
Some tough words that cut to the chase about our being a so called 'missions minded' people. Here are some more quotes to ponder along the same lines...
Some people God calls upon to LIVE radically and sacrificially, while others He calls upon to GIVE radically and sacrificially. Which are you? --Maurice Smith
It is amazing how strongly what we do affects how we feel. --Elisabeth Elliot
Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God. --Bob Pierce