RIVERSIDE, Calif. (IMB) – Representing Southern Baptist churches throughout the United States, 21 International Mission Board missionaries were publicly celebrated during a service at Magnolia Church in Riverside, Calif., Jan. 29.
One Missourian was among the missionaries commissioned. Her identity was withheld for security purposes, since she will serve in North Africa and the Middle East.
The missionaries were voted on and approved by IMB trustees earlier in the week in California. Dr. Jeff Iorg, Gateway Seminary president, delivered the message at the service, spurring the congregants and missionary appointees toward their missional responsibility.
IMB President Dr. Paul Chitwood opened the missionaries’ testimonial time by reminding those gathered of the vital role their churches play in the sending of missionaries.
“These 21 have heard the gospel preached in our churches; they have surrendered their lives to the Lord, were baptized and joined our churches; they have been discipled in our churches; called to the nations in our churches; they go out from our churches with the promise of support from our churches,” he said.
“How grateful we are for their willingness to go, and the privilege that God gives us to send them from our churches.”
Called and sent
Missionary couple Jesse and Danielle have a heart for lost people in the Americas – a concern rooted in Romans 10:14: “How can they believe in Him unless they have heard about Him: And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?”
“Then and now God has used Romans 10:14 to burden our hearts for the unreached,” said Danielle.
The couple sent from First Baptist Church of Columbus, Texas, will share the gospel with those who have not heard in the Americas.
A missional responsibility
Jeff Iorg read from Ephesians 3 and challenged those in attendance to recognize the all-inclusive missional responsibility the apostle Paul details in this specific passage.
Throughout the closing of his message, Iorg reiterated the inclusivity of the missional responsibility.
“It doesn’t matter when, it doesn’t matter where, if you’re in this room tonight and you have been saved, in that moment you received the responsibility to serve the gospel, to be on mission with the gospel, to be a missional Christian; every one of us,” he said.
“The gospel has power. The only thing the gospel can’t do for itself is carry itself from person to person; we’ve been given that responsibility.”