Thursday, September 27

How missions minded are we really?

IMB reporter, Mark Kelly, has written an interesting news report quoting Gordon Fort, IMB vice president of overseas operation who asks, how missions minded are we really?
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

5 comments:

Burkhalter Ministry said...

I would have to say not very including myself.
Travis

S.A.M. said...

It was incredible to hear Gordon speak this at FPO a few weeks back, and really hit home how few "sent out ones" there really are and how many there should be. I wish Gordon could speak at every church and lay down this challenge, or if we could just bottle up a little of him and release it where it needs to be spoken, and it would still go a long way. Great points, and now as a "sent out one", I know am to encourage those churches and followers of Jesus to become real "sent out ones", or for them to become much more involved in the salvation of the lost around the world. I can only say thesse things because I took so long in my walk to realize Jesus was calling me as well. I guess I am sort of thick-headed! Thanks for posting this challenge.

GuyMuse said...

Travis,

As s.a.m. points out (right below you) most of us are sort of "thick-headed". It is not so much that God isn't calling, as it is we aren't listening--or maybe we are ignoring--to what He has said.

s.a.m.

I agree with you it would be great to have Gordon Fort speak at every church. Most churches consider themselves "missions-minded" until someone is bold enough to ask, "is that so?" And then to lovingly point out how they can indeed become more missions minded. On another note, I have enjoyed reading your fpo pilgrimage on your blog. Now that it is over, the real fun starts! :)

jpu said...

i really like the utility bill comparison. this should really resonate with the newer, greener churches (green in the environmental sense). it's really a great challenge.
God is good
jpu

GuyMuse said...

jpu,

Thanks for stopping by. Yes, when one realizes more money is spent for building upkeep than for God's work around the world, it does cause us to wonder where our real priorities are.