Published May 20, 2010
What can compare to a beautiful spring weeknight in the state of Georgia?
Drive through most any community and you will see a family taking a late evening stroll through a neighborhood, a little league team practicing baseball, a man cutting grass as his wife plants new flowers, the smoke from a grill as a father cooks some burgers and hotdogs, or a family heading into the house to watch their favorite television show. Norman Rockwell would never be able to paint enough pictures to capture all of the nostalgic views that can be captured in a single evening in a Georgia community.
Something else is happening on this spring evening that you cannot see. You are participating though you are not there and were it not for your gifts and offerings on Sunday morning it would not be happening. Lives are being touched, leaders are being equipped, and the lost are hearing the Gospel because of the generosity of your congregation. Consider a few examples of what is occurring on a spring night that you do not see.
CP supports call to pray, give, go
A bivocational pastor is planning a revival with the intent of reaching the lost in his community. He is leading his church for the first time to invest in intense prayer and preparation to ensure that the unchurched are invited as well as the members of the congregation. A state missionary with expertise in preparing such events is spending time with the pastor at no expense to the congregation. He is thankful because the church does not currently have the resources to pay for such a service.
A student pastor is leading a devotional for a soccer team following practice. He unapologetically shares the Gospel and invites the students to respond. The
student pastor’s passion for evangelism has grown dramatically over the past few weeks because of a network he has joined that was initiated by a state missionary that has a focus on reaching and ministering to students.
A small church in rural Georgia is in the third day of their revival services. They will baptize more in the next two Sundays than they did in the past year. The evangelist is a Georgia Baptist State Missionary. He is present at no expense to the church as a part of the Across Georgia emphasis. The church has not hosted a revival in years because of reduced resources.
A campus minister is sitting on a bench with a college student. The conversation is the fifth over the past couple of months. The struggles of the student and the counsel of the campus minister will culminate in the student giving his life to Christ tonight. The campus minister is one of 37 on 53 of Georgia’s college campuses and he is present at no expense to the students.
A group of Sunday school teachers is meeting with a state missionary who has expertise in utilizing small groups to reach the community as well as to minister to the congregation. The teachers will leave the training with a renewed commitment to utilize the Sunday School as a way to reach the lost as well as to teach the Bible. This is the only training session the church has had in over a year and it occurred at no expense to the church.
A group of seven men from a church are conducting repairs and clean up for an unchurched family that recently received severe storm damage. The gratitude of the family opens the door for a member of the team to share the Gospel. The team feels well-equipped not only to make the necessary repairs but to share the Gospel because of training they recently received from a Georgia Baptist State Missionary who equips congregations in disaster relief.
Share burden for unreached
Georgia’s population is quickly approaching the milestone of ten million. How many of them are lost? We do know that on a given Sunday that eight million do not attend a church service. We know that six million rarely or never attend a church. While God only knows how many are actually lost it is clear that the number would be several million.
In Georgia, 3,604 Southern Baptist churches are at work reaching out to their communities. Many are blessed to be multi-staffed and have a strong financial base to train and motivate the members in evangelism. What about the single staff churches or the 35 percent that have bivocational pastors? Along with congregations of all sizes, they partner daily with your State Missionaries to equip their leaders, receive encouragement, and plan strategies to reach their communities.
Thanks be to God for your gifts through the Cooperative Program as they fund missionaries and cooperative evangelistic efforts throughout the world and right here in our own state. Georgia Baptists are passionate participants in taking the Gospel to all of the nations while providing resources and personnel to reach our neighbors as well. It is a spring weeknight in Georgia and your state missionaries are on the field.
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