Because 59 percent of the world’s population has little to no access to the Gospel, the International Mission Board is committed to rallying and equipping missions leaders and influencers for the task of reaching the nations, together. The number of those lost without Christ is growing and that’s not OK with Southern Baptists, as evidenced by the recent record Lottie Moon offering.
A new IMB initiative to include even more partners in the task of bringing the Gospel to the nations is a series of microevents sponsored by churches, associations and state conventions. These limited-capacity events allow for close interaction between participants and IMB missionaries and staff.
The inaugural Together for the Nations event was hosted by Oklahoma Baptists in Edmond, Okla., Oct. 11. While this event, which included around 200 attendees, was the first of its kind, the goal is to host several regional microevents per year for the next three years.
Chris Derry, the IMB’s director of church and network mobilization, said, “Our hope is to spend time in the backyards of missions leaders and influencers to find ways to partner in the Great Commission. That includes sharing about IMB strategies globally – the unique ways we are implementing the missionary task in different contexts to combat the world’s greatest problem.”
Last year, 592,408 people heard the gospel through IMB missionaries. Still, there’s work to be done. That’s why, “the IMB has a desire to spend time with missions leaders and influencers on their turfs,” Derry said.
In the subsequent microevents, more missions pastors and missions influencers around the nation are invited to gather to hear the heartbeat of the International Mission Board.
- The greatest problem in the world is lostness.
- The Gospel is the solution to this problem,
- We, as Southern Baptists, must reach the nations, together.
- Gospel access that leads to Gospel belief and Gospel multiplication is only possible through steadfast missionary presence.
Throughout the event, attendees learned specific ways to be a part of the IMB’s Revelation 7:9 vision by attending Global Missions Focus breakouts where they had the opportunity to hear directly from IMB missionaries and other personnel.
Those who felt called to take a next step toward serving with the IMB were amply resourced and connected to do so by the end of the day.
Amy Cordova walked into the one-day event with high expectations to learn how churches can come together and better learn how to engage with missionaries who are already serving overseas, she said.
The Oklahoma Baptist missions and women’s ministry partner wasn’t disappointed. Not only did she walk away with that information, but she left better equipped with tangible ways to partner with the IMB in praying, giving, going and sending.
She was encouraged by the overarching theme, “We’re better when we’re going.”
“When we’re focused on the task that God has given us to reach the nations, together, there’s an eagerness and an excitement amongst our churches that is so inspiring and motivating to continue the work,” she said.
Cordova, who is also a pastor’s wife of a small church plant, encourages churches of any size to attend future events. She believes participants will leave better equipped to not only partner with the IMB, but to encourage the missionaries who are on the field.
Mike Wall, Oklahoma Baptists’ missions consultant, was thankful for the opportunity to bring missions pastors and leaders across the state together to network. In addition, “my biggest takeaway was how God is at work and how there are pathways for us to join that work,” he said.
“We’ve had a lot of buzz since then,” Wall said, noting that the churches he works with are ready to join in the IMB’s work among the nations.
Pastors and state convention leaders interested in hosting a Together for the Nations microevent should reach out to [email protected].
While the next event date has not been finalized, check IMB.org/events early next year for more information.