"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Giving to Support Those Who Share the Gospel

--- Pastor Wade was able to send another email from overseas, one that encourages us to remember why we give through the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. We do not anticipate being able to hear from our pastor again until the middle of next week due to the areas where he and Rachelle will be travelling in the next few days. You may wish to leave Pastor Wade a comment, but as stated earlier, we will wait for his return from overseas and allow him to moderate the comments that you leave. May each of you have a blessed weekend and a wonderful Lord's Day Sunday. ----

"Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is --- where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge. " Robert C. Shannon

The above quote was given to me yesterday and is epitomized in the story of a missionary that Rachelle and I shared lunch with on Friday, June 11, overseas. This young man and his family were forced out of the country where they served for several years.The government officials initially gave him forty-eight hours to leave, but after an appeal, he and his family were given a few more days. They left everything behind because they were unable take anything that couldn't fit in a suitcase. To watch their small son's reaction when told that his 'Big Wheel' had to be given away because their wasn't room is something they will not forget. But, more importantly, to be forced from the place to which they were called by God because they faithfully shared Christ was even more difficult. To hear their story, and the enthusiasm of going to a new region, and a new people, to continue fulfilling their call, illustrated to us both the quote by Robert Shannon. No pity for these heroes of the faith; only more opportunities for future excitement of being where the real action is.

Having now travelled to five of the eleven regional headquarters of our convention over the past year, I can say without hesitation that the regional offices that have been established for the support of field personnel are incredibly effecient. The men and women that serve to support the missionaries are are all very gifted and just as called as those who spend their time planting churches in the villages and cities. The pay scale for our missionaries is not high, but each works hard to turn the mission dollars of Southern Baptists into actual ministry by doing quite well at balancing frugality in living expenses, effeciency in ministry expenses, and actually concentrating on how to reach the most people possible with the money available. I have often heard it said that missonaries from other conventions would desire to be appointed by the IMB because of the guaranteed salary and benefits, but for those of us who have seen the missions and ministry side of the Southern Baptist Convention, we know that getting to the place where Southern Baptist missionaries do not have to worry about raising financial support takes many years of laying the foundation for an organization that models effeciency. Southern Baptists began laying that foundation for our mission work over 150 years ago, and the results are being seen today on the mission fields of the world. The Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering are the two financing mechanisms that makes our international missions ministry tick. Trips like the one Rachelle and I are taking make us realize all the more the need for MORE Southern Baptist pastors - not less, MORE Southern Baptist people - not less, MORE Southern Baptist churches - not less to all feel ownership for what is taking place in and through SBC missions.

In His Grace,

Wade

7 comments:

Alan Paul said...

Unfortunately Wade, in order to have MORE Southern Baptist pastors and MORE Southern Baptist people, Southern Baptist leaders and pastors (the public faces of the denom) must stop the political nonsense that they are so "efficient" at and wake up to what their true calling is - to share the Gospel through their lives, love and words.

I don't see this happening any time soon. I wish I could be more optimistic.

Steve said...

Pastor Burleson, I have read your blog for several months, and I want to personally thank you for what you have done for me and my church. We were on the verge of leaving the SBC, but one of our elders found your blog and directed me to it. We have now decided not only to NOT leave the SBC, we have increased our CP and Lottie Moon giving and are partnering with the IMB next year on a church mission trip. Our elder board publicly gives you and your blog the credit. We do not always appreciate the comments, but we admire your patience with people who attack you, while at the same time, you have taught us what it means to not remain silent when others are unfairly treated. By the way, two of our young staff members were taught Hebrew by Dr. Klouda and our youth pastor was converted when listening to Dwight McKissic preach.

Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I posted several times only to realize that comments are being moderated. Please delete the repetitive comments and give to Pastor Wade this message:

My wife and I wish to thank you for your first hand accounts of missions on the field. We faithfully read your blog and had the pleasure of meeting you last year when our cousin was appointed in Tampa. We are very excited about being appointed this month in Gainseville and were ecstactic to know that you will be there. We sent you a private email with our cell phone number and if at all possible, we would like for you to come by during the reception and meet the rest of our family. God bless you Pastor Wade. Have a safe trip and we look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.

David said...

Wade:

While traveling as you are, have you personally been surprised by any instances/evidence of missionary tongues-speaking and errant baptistic views that the recently-adopted IMB policies suggest you would encounter and which should be curbed?

Bryan Riley said...

Wade, I know you are representing the IMB and doing it well, but please don't forget all the men and women who are being obedient to God's call on their lives to serve as missionaries through other denominations and parachurch organizations. We are blessed to be called in many different ways and to serve a God who has more than one way to skin a cat. :)

Mark Richardson said...

Wade,

We will have more pastors and missionaries when IMB leaders and acquiescent trustees stop limiting the parameters for gospel cooperation without convention approval.

Dr. Mark Richardson

Anonymous said...

Pastor Wade will be unable to answer questions until he returns from overseas.

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