Appointment service to bring Rankin much joy
JEFFERSON CITY – With all that is taking place in our world today, it comes as no surprise that the Lord is calling more and more people to the mission field. In Missouri, more people are ready and willing to partner with the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in order to fulfill the Great Commission.
According to IMB President Jerry Rankin, the IMB just held the largest orientation session in four years.
On Oct. 31 in Cape Girardeau, Rankin will give the charge to 67 newly called missionaries in an appointment service that is taking place during the 172nd annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
The last time Missouri hosted an IMB appointment service was in March of 2002 at First Baptist Church, Raytown. A total of 58 missionaries were appointed at that service.
“It’s exciting,” Rankin said. “There are new fields and people groups needing to be reached with the Good News. Many missionaries are going to restricted access countries, and I just want to praise the Lord for the increase in giving both to CP (the Cooperative Program) and to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering which enable us to send more to the field.”
The IMB theme is, “That all people may know Him.” The mission is, “Making Jesus Christ known among all peoples.” Here are the seven basic IMB principles:
1. Our basic commitment is obedience to the lordship of Jesus Christ and to God’s infallible Word.
2. Our basic belief is that Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for salvation and that all people without personal faith in Him are lost and will spend eternity in Hell.
3. Our basic means of understanding and fulfilling God’s mission is prayer.
4. Our basic purpose is to provide all people an opportunity to hear, understand and respond to the Gospel in their own cultural context.
5. Our basic task is evangelism through proclamation, discipling, equipping and ministry that results in indigenous Baptist churches.
6. Our basic strategy is to send and support gifted, God-called missionaries who, with mutual respect, accountability and cooperation, carry out the Great Commission in an incarnational witness.
7. Our basic role is to lead and facilitate the international missionary involvement of Southern Baptists in partnership with overseas Baptists and other Christians who are fulfilling the Great Commission.
At the most recent SBC annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C., Rankin said, “God is moving as never before with opportunities to carry out our mission task.” Just as he did in Greensboro, Rankin will focus on church plants, the once unreached people groups who have been recently impacted with the Gospel, and the role Southern Baptists have played in this move.
“I am grateful for the heart of Southern Baptists and their partnership in witnessing to a lost world,” Rankin said.
Though grateful, Rankin wants churches to give something that he considers even more valuable than giving through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, which reached a record amount this year at about $140 million. He wants churches to give the gift of prayer.
“Prayer is not simply a way to bless the strategies and methods of our missionaries,” Rankin said. “It is the foundation of the strategy.”
“I am blessed to have the opportunity because it’s the most exciting thing we do,” he said. “It brings cooperation and partnership to the state convention.”