Our state missionary staff has been all over the state this summer with a variety of powerful ministries that you enable by your church’s giving through the Cooperative Program and the Missouri Missions Offering.
Last week the reports of MBC summer ministries started coming in.
The St. Louis Mission Project included our state staff and our collegiate summer missionaries, collaborating with Global Encounter to reach pockets of lostness in a part of our state.
Matt Kearns, catalyst for the MBC’s Making Disciples group, reported that 28 churches participated in the project, involving more than 600 students and adults at 16 different ministry sites in the inner-city areas of St. Louis and East St. Louis. More than 1,100 children enrolled in VBS, backyard Bible clubs, sports camps, and more. So far, we know of 54 professions of faith connected to ministry at these sites, which would be significantly underserved without your support and encouragement of our missionary staff.
Matt had previously shared with me that the number of collegiate summer missionaries had exceeded our expectations. We budgeted for 75 and had 92 respond. My heart cannot bear the call of the Lord on these young, willing-hearted adults to serve the Lord. I told Matt to engage them all and we will find a way by faith to support them.
The same kind of expanding influence occurred with Super Summer. Jason Walters shared in a report during staff prayer time that the two weeks of Super Summer (grades 7-12) was extraordinary. More than 30 students prayed to receive Christ.
This year a special emphasis was placed on learning to engage in gospel conversations. The students caught the vision. One young man, visiting a medical clinic after returning home, shared the gospel with a nurse who drew his blood. Two other students on the way home from Super Summer shared the gospel with their server at a restaurant.
Every student was challenged to write down the name of someone they knew who needed to hear the gospel and to pray specifically for that person. Imagine the impact of our churches doing the same activity.
Gary Mathes testified that MB125, our special event for normative sized churches (125 or less in weekly worship), was exceptional. Our state missionary staff, along with others, spent four days heaping encouragement and training on 78 pastors and their families. Several have already testified that they were “spent” before they came, and now they are ready to go back to the work of discovering and making disciples in their local context.
These are just a few examples of powerful, transformative events the MBC does in collaboration with churches and organizations. You and your church are making a difference for the Lord.
The season is now under way for the statewide promotion of the 2017-18 Rheubin L. South Missouri Missions Offering. MMO is our annual state missions offering. Your gifts through MMO support a plethora of ministries that help make disciples, multiply churches, and develop leaders.
The theme this year is: “For we are labourers together with God” (1 Cor. 3:9a KJV). This theme highlights more than just financial stewardship; it shows how all of us, working together, can accomplish more to transform lives and communities with the gospel.
This year, the MMO dollars support 18 different types of mission projects targeted for Missouri that carry our mission of making disciples, multiplying churches and developing leaders. When you give through your church to MMO, you provide relief to victims of disasters, advance the ministries of the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home, train and send summer missionaries, reach the nations whose people have come to Missouri to study or work, support WMU ministries, and so much more.
We are asking our churches to engage in a week of prayer Sept. 17-24 for the MMO offering and the ministries it supports. All of our churches should have received a promotional packet by now. This very week, our staff and volunteers are following up with phone calls to our 1800+ churches to make certain they received their packets and to offer assistance any way we possibly can.
There are lots of good resources – from posters to bulletin inserts to videos – available at no charge. Visit MoBaptist.org/mmo or call our offices for assistance.
Last year, 757 MBC churches contributed to MMO, and we are so grateful for each of those churches. This year, we are encouraging churches that haven’t participated in MMO recently – or perhaps at all – to consider giving, even if it means showing a video or receiving an extra MMO love offering during a worship service. We hope this year to see the total number of MBC churches participating to substantially increase.
There are so many stories to tell about God at work through the people called Missouri Baptists. The above summer reports are but a small taste of the amazing Kingdom work our Lord is doing through our lives, our churches and our convention of churches.