March is the month when Southern Baptists focus on North American Missions by observing a week of prayer for missions on our continent and receiving the Annie Armstrong Offering for North American Missions. Those living in North America need Jesus, and the sad reality is that there are more lost people on our continent today than there was when this century began. Through the North American Mission Board we have missionaries serving in communities where there is little, if any, Christian influence. God has called them to share the Gospel and love of Jesus among those who have little or no understanding of God, the Bible, sin, salvation or the truth about Jesus. I want to encourage your church to receive the Annie Armstrong Offering for North American Missions, and I want to encourage you to give to it.
March is also the month when churches need to be working on, if not finalizing, their summer ministry plans. If you haven’t started planning for VBS, youth and children’s camps, and mission trips you need to start as soon as you can. Camps fill up quickly, mission opportunities begin to diminish as others commit to serve, and a well planned VBS doesn’t happen overnight. During the summer months much significant ministry is done for the Lord impacting numerous lives.
Do you remember the “Miracle on Ice” during the 1980 Olympics? The US Hockey Team did the seemingly impossible and defeated the Soviet Union for the gold medal. The Soviet team was made up of many professionals who had played together for a long time. The US Team was made up of collegiate athletes from across the nation; most of them had never played together before. The US Coach, Herb Brooks, realized he did not have a team with singleness of purpose. To mold them into a winning team he had them skate sprints until they were nearly worn out. During these sprints Coach Brooks would ask players who they were playing for. They would reply with the name of their college or university. Finally, one of the players answered the question by saying, “I play for the United States of America.” At last the team got it, they were not a collection of hockey players from different schools, they were the US Hockey Team! They were unified in representing the USA.
Last October our association adopted the following vision statement: Our vision is to reflect Jesus’ love and truth to others through stronger, unified churches. As the people of God, through faith in Jesus, we are most effective when we understand we serve Him and His kingdom. We are not here to do things just for our individual church; we are here as the people of God to work together under His Lordship to effectively grow His kingdom. God wants us to be a team of churches not just a collection of churches in a specific geographic area. As a team we will see God work His miracles as a greater number of people come to faith in Christ, follow as His Disciples and serve Him in our churches. Our completion, the devil and his kingdom, will be diminished. Pray with me that God will build a strong bond of unity among us so that we may see His kingdom expanded in our area.
Serving alongside you,