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Messianics aid in cultural understanding

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–The Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship, now recognized as an official ethnic and language ministry of the North American Mission Board, is eager to help SBC churches understand the Jewish culture for purposes of evangelism.

The fellowship’s annual meeting will begin with a Shabbat service on Friday, June 6, at 7 p.m. in Room 208 on level two of the Indiana Convention Center. The group also will have a booth in the exhibit hall during the June 10-11 SBC annual meeting in Indianapolis.

Ric Worshill, president of the fellowship, said the SBMF’s main objective is to lead people to eternal life in Jesus the Messiah. They work to strengthen Messianic believers and to assist with training and resources for non-Jewish believers who wish to reach Jews with the Gospel.

“We work together to help start new works in Jewish evangelism such as Messianic congregations,” Worshill said. “We work with NAMB, local Baptist associations and state conventions to plant congregations who will reach the lost remnant of Israel.

“Many SBC brothers and sisters have no idea that the SBMF exists to assist them in Jewish evangelism,” Worshill said. “They don’t know that we have highly qualified people to come and train them in Jewish evangelism. They don’t know that our members can come and lead Passover Seders and other teachings.”

H. Bruce Stokes, a psychological anthropologist and dean of the school of behavioral sciences at California Baptist University, will be the guest speaker at the SBMF meeting. Stokes’ Ph.D. dissertation was an anthropological perspective on the Messianic movement in the United States and Israel. A member of the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship, Stokes also teaches at the Brea campus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

The fellowship also will meet Saturday, June 7, for a worship service at 9 a.m. in Rooms 208 and 209 of the convention center. After a lunch break from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., an afternoon session will go until 4:45. After dinner, the Messianics will hold their annual business meeting at 7 p.m. On Sunday, the fellowship will host a Davidic worship dance training session from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 208.

The Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship was created in 1990 by a group of Southern Baptist leaders seeking to reach out to Jewish people with the Good News of the Messiah from a biblically Judeo-Christian perspective.

“Jewish people at first think we’re traitors. They don’t understand we have just found who the Messiah is but we still worship in a biblical Jewish way,” Worshill said. “In that, we’re able to speak to them and teach them the Messiah in the biblical feasts, in the Old Testament.”
Compiled by Erin Roach, staff writer for Baptist Press. For more information, visit www.sbmessianic.net.

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