Get the Big Picture of Missions
“Why I AM A Baptist” was the title of a great sermon I heard years ago. In addition to a clear presentation on Baptist beliefs, the minister articulated an additional reason I have come to appreciate more with every passing year. The way we cooperate to accomplish missions efforts around our nation and world is distinctive of what it means to be Southern Baptist. From how we appoint and support missionaries to the plan for shared giving through the Cooperative Program, what we do together through our churches extends our reach further than if we tried to do it alone.
When I served as a missionary in St. Vincent, I was mindful of the fact I lived in a house and drove a car provided by Southern Baptists through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The money we received to buy food and educate our children were gifts from individuals in churches who understood the importance of shared missions. The most striking reminder of how blessed we were occurred when our Swedish missionary friends left the island for three months each year to return home and raise financial support for the next nine months of service. I knew then the way we cooperate was unique and a special gift. People I had never met cared enough about me to pray and give so I could serve full time without the added burden of returning home to be a fundraiser once a year.
I was born into a Baptist family and married a Baptist minister, but today I choose to be a Baptist not only because of Baptist beliefs but also because of the way we cooperate for missions.
From Alaska to New York to Houston, from Asia to Africa to South America, and in all the points between, I have the privilege of knowing I am a partner with our missionaries through my praying and giving. I feel blessed, and I hope you do as well.
- WANDA S. LEE is executive director of national WMU.
Women on Mission will meet at the church at 7 pm on Monday, May 11. All our ladies are invited to be with us.