The Great Commission is simple, but not easy, it’s not the mileage that makes you a missionary; it’s the obedience. - Tom Elliff, IMB President
Springfield, Mo. (PRWEB) November 29, 2012
Second Baptist Church in Springfield, Mo., was packed like high attendance Sunday on a Thursday night, Nov. 15, as the International Mission Board(IMB) prayerfully commissioned 84 new missionaries.
Area churches hosted the missionaries-to-be the week prior, and Missourians featured prominently in the commissioning service. One missionary couple is from Missouri, but due to security concerns, no hometowns, full names or destination countries were given; only initials and geographic regions.
John Yeats, Executive Director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, opened the event with a scripture reading from Matthew 9:38: The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest therefore to send out workers into the harvest field.
“We have asked God to raise up these who will answer the call of the Lord of the harvest,” Yeats said. “I pray that we would all be called to cooperate to be [God’s] heart, hands and voice to the nations. Father, give us all ears to listen to your call on our lives and grant us a renewed cooperative vision to undergird the ministries of those we’re commissioning tonight.”
Former pastor of Second Baptist and second vice chairman of the IMB board of trustees, John Edie, prayed a prayer of dedication as the crowd and families gathered around each missionary.
“Some will go into some very dangerous areas,” he prayed. “God, we ask you to be our great protector. We claim that your grace is enough to meet their every need. There are millions in the world who are still in the chains of sin’s bondage. In Jesus’s name we present these before you as faithful servants to go to the ends of the earth.”
He also asked God’s provision for the families, especially grandparents who are watching their grandchildren go to the other side of the globe.
David Wells, pastor of Sandy Baptist Church in Hillsboro and his wife, Laura, who is the executive director of Missouri Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), had the opportunity to pray with a young woman headed to East Asia.
“We prayed that the Lord would continue to bless her,” he said. “To see a young life make a commitment like this by herself was very powerful.”
“It made it so personal,” she said. “Even though I didn’t know her, I will never forget her.”
Laura is responsible for WMU’s missions education including Girls in Action (GAs) and Acteens, programs that proved fruitful during the service.
“During their testimonies, several of the women mentioned GAs and Acteens,” she said. “Our missions education makes an impact. Some will be called through their WMU experience.”
After testimonies from each new missionary, IMB President Tom Elliff offered a challenge from the Great Commission in Matt. 28.
"The Great Commission is simple, but not easy,” he said. “It’s not the mileage that makes you a missionary; it’s“ the obedience.”
Surrounded by flags from around the world, Elliff had three simple points for the new missionaries: God is sovereign, God is sending you, God is going to be with you.
“There will never be a moment when He is not with you,” he said. “He’s not only with you, He’s in you.”
Mike Haynes, director of missions for Greene County Baptist Association, offered a final prayer for the new personnel.
“Father of the nations, we stand in awe of Your work in our lives and in the world,” he prayed. “Thank you for stirring the hearts of these we’ve appointed as Your missionaries. Thank you for the eternal purposes you will fulfill through them in the years ahead. Give them faith, wisdom and strength for the assignment ahead. Prepare the hearts of those who have never heard Your wonderful gospel. May the beautiful feet and words of these missionaries be received with joy and thanksgiving.”
The Missouri Baptist Convention is an affiliation of 1,900 Southern Baptist Churches that cooperate for the sake of the gospel in Missouri and around the world. More information about the MBC may be found at http://www.mobaptist.org