COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) — This year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting will feature a “Sending Celebration” as the Convention’s two mission agencies host a joint commissioning service.

The International Mission Board and North American Mission Board (IMB and NAMB) will celebrate commissioning overseas missionaries and North American church planters, along with their sending churches, as together they answer God’s call to plant churches and make disciples in the United States and around the world.

The two mission boards readily responded to the request from SBC President Ronnie Floyd, in concert with the Convention’s Committee on Order of Business, to highlight the commissioning as part of the annual meeting program.

The Sending Celebration, scheduled for Wednesday, June 17, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, will display how God still chooses to use ordinary Christians to take His light into a dark world.

“God’s mission should cause each of us to ask, ‘How does that affect the way I pray? How does that affect the way I give? How does that affect opportunities I seek out to go and be a part of what God is doing around the world?'” asked IMB President David Platt.

“And even if I don’t move somewhere else, how do I deliberately stay to spread the Gospel among the nations?” he asked. “Global mission is not a compartmentalized program of the church for a select few; it is the very purpose for which people exist.”

Featured worship leaders for the celebration will be Shane & Shane, and keynote speakers will include Platt, Floyd and NAMB President Kevin Ezell.

“The mission fields we serve are unique and need to be approached differently; but the people we want to reach are growing more similar all the time,” Ezell said. “The Sending Celebration is another example of the greater collaboration between IMB and NAMB.

“As IMB connects local churches with unreached people groups across the globe, NAMB can help the same church connect with a city in the United States or Canada that needs new churches to serve that same people group,” he said. “Similarly, NAMB can connect churches to the IMB that have a heart for a specific people group. David Platt and I are committed to reaching people and mobilizing churches in the most efficient ways.”

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  • Anne Harman