September 11, 2017
It’s a beautiful Monday morning in Fort Worth! I hope your week is filled with hope and grace! I also hope God is using you on your mission field where He has placed you.
I recently read an article called “Lessons We Could Learn from Mormon Missions” and it really made me stop and think. Where have we as Southern Baptists missed the boat? Look at these number comparisons: “This may come as a surprise to many, but according to recent statistics the total number of Mormons and total number of Southern Baptists are almost identical. In April of 2016, there were a reported 15,372,337 Mormon members around the world. According to a June 2016 report, there were 15,294,764 Southern Baptists in the world. The most interesting finding, however, is that though the total numbers are similar, the number of full-time missionaries sent by the two are vastly different. There are around seventy-five thousand Mormon missionaries serving around the world while the total number of Southern Baptist missionaries is less than five thousand (including full-time missionaries and students who serve for six months or more). Furthermore, most of the Mormon missionaries are under the age of twenty-five.”
It seems that we have gone through a culture change in many churches and we still aren’t where we need to be. I can remember a generation ago it seems that spirituality and godliness were measured primarily by how much time you spent down at the church building. Our goal was to get people in the church building more and more. Then as time went on people grew weary with this model and today we have boomeranged to a younger culture that is spending less and less time at the church building. Now, don’t misunderstand, our goal should not be to see how many hours we can spend in a building. But it seems that we have migrated to a consumer culture where people come only when they can get something for themselves. We need to be migrating to a culture that is focused, not on self, but on God. We need to be encouraging more personal sacrifice but not so people can come to the building more. The challenge needs to be in reaching out more, in doing missions on a daily basis. We have this mindset that church means Sunday morning, that missions means going overseas. But what if we began teaching that church and missions and ministry are really what life is supposed to be all about?
In this article the author asks, “What if Southern Baptists began raising their children and creating the expectation that it was normal for eighteen to twenty-five-year-olds to spend a semester, a year, or two sharing the gospel around the world?” What if we lived our lives in such a way that missions and ministry happened here and now every day and then challenged our children and grandchildren to take that message around the world? What if that became the norm for us instead of the system we have in place? It seems that we are far from where God wants us to be. We have bought into the culture around us. We have taken the easy road, the safe road, instead of the one less traveled.
Thank you again to those of you who donated items and money for our trip to Fulton, Texas. The people there were so thankful and really appreciated everything that was given and done. We need to keep them and those in Florida in our prayers. We may try to plan another trip back to South Texas in the weeks ahead so let me know if you’re interested in the possibility.
Happy belated 6th Anniversary to my son, Micah, and daughter-in-law, Amanda! Their anniversary was yesterday, September 10th.
Also, thanks to those who came and enjoyed lunch with us Sunday. Gayle and Judy and Jennifer and Hector did a great job of preparing and serving. They are all such hard workers and our church is blessed by each of them and I am thankful for them.
I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?
P.S. Today is September 11th. It has been 16 years. May we never forget!!