RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — With over 80 percent of people on our continent now living in metropolitan areas, the need for more biblically faithful churches in key urban centers is critical.
Over the last year, I have had the privilege of visiting and preaching in many of the “Send” cities designated by the North American Mission Board. As I have interacted with church planting and revitalization teams, I have been deeply encouraged to see and hear about all the avenues God is blessing for the spread of the Gospel in North America.
The rapidly shifting moral landscape of our culture, combined with the sobering reality that many of the most influential cities in North America are filled with lost people — yet are home to very few churches — beckons us to do more together to reach these cities.
God’s primary instrument for the spread of the Gospel here and around the world is the local church. We know from the New Testament that Christ is building His church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).
Consequently, I praise God for the laser-focused vision of the North American Mission Board to plant and revitalize churches in these cities for the spread of the Gospel in this nation and to all nations. It is from these churches that men and women, filled by the Spirit of God, equipped with the Word of God and compelled by the grace of God, will serve as ambassadors of Christ and agents of reconciliation in these cities. May it be that through the church planting efforts of NAMB and other cooperating partners that God will use us to “turn the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) as we co-labor on mission together.
As we prepare to enter this Easter season and celebrate the resurrection of our conquering King, I want to encourage churches to give to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. This offering helps fuel church planting and church revitalization efforts across North America. The purpose of this offering rightly reflects the personal conviction of Annie Armstrong that more can, and should, be done in our missions efforts right here at home.
God, in His sovereignty, has uniquely positioned Southern Baptists to play a vital part in the Great Commission. By the grace of God, we have been equipped to intentionally and relentlessly engage our cities, our nation and the world with the life-changing message of the Gospel. I am grateful for NAMB and the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention, and I pray that God will do exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering in 2015.