IMB appointment service to be memorable
Event is something not to be missed in Cape Girardeau
JEFFERSON CITY – Excitement continues to build for the Oct. 31 missionary appointment service by the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) during the 172nd annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) at Southeast Missouri State University’s Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau.
The appointment service will include 67 missionaries, according to Billy Kruschwitz, IMB director of event coordination. IMB President Jerry Rankin will deliver the charge to the new missionaries as they are set apart for service all over the world. As of Sept. 13, there were a total of 5,113 IMB field personnel under appointment.
Kruschwitz said it is somewhat unique for the IMB to be holding an appointment service during a state convention. This may happen about once a year, if that, he said. Last year Alabama Baptists got to witness one of these services, and this year the honor goes to Missouri Baptists.
“In the state convention setting, we get a good opportunity to plug into the broader picture of how Southern Baptists cooperate together,” said Kruschwitz, who has been helping to coordinate these events since 1980.
IMB personnel are working with the new missionaries to get them to boil down their testimonies to about 75 words. These short testimonies, which tend to come across as sound bytes in the flow of the service, add up to about one sermon lasting about 20-23 minutes, Kruschwitz said. The theme of the sermon that messengers to the annual meeting will hear will be on how God deals with human beings and their gifts, calling them to foreign lands and helping them to discern His will.
“It really is a mosaic,” Kruschwitz said. “That’s the word that communicates best in describing what it is. You identify with different people for different reasons.”
The evening will include such things as a procession of missionaries, a parade of flags that could involve as many as 20 trumpets, and a missions update by Rankin.
“I think the thing that captures most folks’ hearts is just the feeling that comes when you have a chance to hear from the folk who are responding to God’s call on their lives, that are planning to move overseas and plant their lives in order to share the Gospel,” Kruschwitz said. “There’s just something about being in a worship setting where you’re hearing the testimonies of those who are going, and being able to identify with some of them for various reasons.”
The last time Missouri hosted an IMB appointment service was in March of 2002 at First Baptist Church, Raytown.
“I would just encourage people to come,” Kruschwitz said. “I don’t know how to put into words the feeling of celebration and excitement and what it means to hear these who are responding to God’s call on their lives and to celebrate with them. I think it’s a high and holy hour.”