International Mission Board…
Is the largest, and in some ways, most important agency of our Southern Baptist Convention. Further, it is the largest mission sending agency in the history of Christianity and it is one of Ridgecrest’s five mission partnerships. Here are some facts that you may not know about it:
- It sustains 3,612 missionaries on foreign fields.
- It added 299 missionaries in 2016.
- In 2015 our missionaries baptized 93,922 people overseas.
- In 2015, we had established over 42,000 overseas churches.
- Total church membership in overseas mission churches in 2015 was 780,215.
- In 2015 the IMB started 6,138 new overseas churches.
- As of August 2016, the IMB had engaged 872 different people groups overseas.
- As of June 2017, there remains 3,203 unengaged overseas people groups who still need the gospel.
This is why we partner with the IMB. They are our largest partner because of the magnitude of their work. And as always, a significant portion of this month’s mission offering will be distributed to them through your gifts to Lottie Moon and “All In For Missions.”
If you are not making a sacrificial gift, above and beyond your tithe, today, I urge you to pray about it and make your gift during one or more of the Sundays this month. Our entire mission offering goal is $115,000. Together, we’ll do it. You always do, and I love you for it.
Our staff recently completed two days of retreat… we do that twice each year. It is a time of spiritual refreshment, encouragement and strategic planning for our ministries and church. Some of the things that emerged will materialize in the coming year. Keep your eyes and ears open for things like… “God First”, “The Red Sea” and “Connection Tables”.
The Value of Words… did you hear that recently in October, a letter written by an American first-class passenger aboard the Titanic sold for approximately $153,000? According to an article in The New York Times, “Alexander Oskar Holverson, a salesman, wrote the letter to his mother on April 13, 1912, on embossed Titanic stationery and tucked it away in his pocketbook.
In it, Mr. Holverson describes a “giant” ship “fitted up like a palatial hotel.” He also mentions seeing the millionaire John Jacob Astor sitting on a deck of the vessel:
‘He looks like any other human being even tho he has millions of money.’
In the most poignant mention, Mr. Holverson writes, “If all goes well we will arrive in New York Wednesday A.M.” The next day, the British passenger ship hit an iceberg and eventually sank, killing more than 1,500 people. Mr. Holverson and his wife, Mary, had boarded the Titanic in Southampton, England, on their way back home to New York. She survived, but he did not.”
Indeed, words have value, they tell stories, describe events and help us remember… But when you consider words with value, none are more valuable than the Words of God left to us in scripture… their value? Priceless, because-- “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17)
And remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your Pastor!
For God’s Glory Alone,