By Kevin Ezel
If you connect with NAMB very often you hear a lot about church plants and the great need we have for adding thousands more in the years ahead. You also hear us talk about the need to revitalize the thousands of SBC churches that are dying or at risk. But there is another kind of church that is absolutely essential if we are to accomplish church planting or church revitalization: established, partnering churches with a heart for pushing back lostness in North America for Christ.
Those who count churches tell us there are 45,000 of them with 16 million members in our SBC tribe. If you give through the Cooperative Program or the Annie Armstrong Offering for North American missions then you are already a part of reaching North America and I am grateful.
But as we celebrate giving, we hope more churches will want to see their members personally involved. Here are some ways you can do it:
- Pray — Pray for our missionaries and send them a note letting them know you are praying. Touch base with them and find out how you can lift up specific needs. Each one of our Send Cities throughout North America has a city missionary. Visit our cities page then click on the city you might want to help serve. The city missionary (coordinator) can let you know some great ways to pray.
- Send — Specifically, I’m talking about sending your own church members to the mission field. That’s where healthy, growing churches can make a huge contribution. There are many ways someone in your church might serve. Some might go as full time missionaries planting a church or serving on a church plant team. Some might be professionals who can work in a spiritually needy city and help a church plant while they are there. Students might serve for a summer or semester. Or a mission team might help a planter in Canada for a week.
- Train — Think about the next generation of missionaries who are in your church today. The children’s group, middle school, high school or college ministries should all be viewed as training grounds for our next generation of missionaries, pastors and church leaders. Are you being intentional about growing them? Our Farm Systemcan help.
We want to partner with you as you take the gospel to North America. Visit our Mobilize Me page to get started. Don’t miss this opportunity to help your church members discover a greater purpose for their lives and to bless our missionaries. Your church will be stretched, challenged, strengthened and blessed in the process.
Dr. Kevin Ezell serves as the President of the North American Mission Board, providing strategic vision, direction, and leadership as NAMB works to reach North America through evangelism and church planting.