Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Message of Missions

Last night I had the opportunity to speak to a WMU International Crafts Banquet at a church in Elizabethtown, KY (about an hour from here give or take traffic). It went great.
The ladies there were so receptive, authentic, welcoming, hospitable, refreshing it was to see that. The pastor was from FL and a Gator fan - so that definitely helped. The ladies also didn't have any tomatoes to throw since the Gators beat UK on Saturday.
I got to talk a little bit about the women's program here at Southern. The WMI (for anyone) is great if you want to learn about seminary topics (OT, NT, Baptist history, theology, etc), but you don't want to get a degree or maybe you never graduated high school or college. This is for you. And I got to talk about what women are doing here at Southern in the way of missions - they just went to China last spring. I'm grateful for women like Lorie and Jaye who are bringing in fantastic women like Mary Kassian and Bayne Pounds to speak and teach our ladies. They are learning stuff that will impact their homes, churches, and worlds.
My main passage was Acts 1.8 - what better for a missions banquet. The three main things were:
1. We can't do missions on our own. Our power comes from the Holy Spirit - we can do nothing on our own.
2. We have to be witnesses of Jesus. The disciples definitely knew who they were talking about - they had lived with Jesus for three years. We can't be missionaries until we have a first hand experience with the risen Jesus.
3. Missions is an everywhere command. We are told to be missionaries everywhere. Not just overseas and not just in our backyard. It is a both/and thing.
I also gave a short bio of Lilias Trotter who was a single woman missionary to Algeria and worked with Muslim women. She had passionate abandonment, despite many physical obstacles, to no one but God - giving up pleasures of this world because of the infinite worth of the next world.
I pray that those ladies were encouraged to be obedient to do missions wherever they are. And that they wouldn't settle - that they would ask God to do amazing things and notice how HE does them.

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