“How can I be a witness for Christ to the ends of the earth?

Apparently, going into all the world was so important to Jesus, His words about it are also recorded in Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15 and Luke 24:47! Jesus didn’t just encourage, ask us to consider, or even strongly suggest that we take the gospel to the end of the earth; He commanded us to do it! 

“How can I be a witness for Christ to the ends of the earth? With my schedule, I’m lucky to make it to Virginia, once in awhile!” Given the enormity of this challenge, many are probably thinking, “How can one church do that? Why that’s just impossible!”

That is where denominations come into play. Far from being a burden or a problem for churches, denominations are the only way small, medium sized or even mega-churches can make a concerted, serious effort to take the gospel to all nations: not just some nations and not just a few!

Fortunately for us, we can and must take that command seriously! We can do it, because Immanuel Baptist is a Southern Baptist Church (SBC)! As a member church of the SBC, Immanuel is a fully autonomous body. That means we are not owned, operated, or overseen by any other organization.

So we are not forced, coerced or directed to do anything by any other organization! Nevertheless, we voluntarily choose to affiliate ourselves: with the Mountain State Baptist Association (locally); the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists (regionally); and the Southern Baptist Convention (globally).

That is why we voluntarily contribute to mission opportunities  each year. Because we give a percentage of our regular offerings, it allows us to support the SBC Cooperative Program (CP). Since the Cooperative Program provides normal operating expenses at SBC agencies, that means every cent of every dollar given to special offerings during the year goes directly to support those special emphases and the missionaries that perform them. There are five of those offerings received throughout the year. Here is the list.

The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is received in the Spring of each year. This offering supports mission projects in the U.S. and Canada. It funds church planters and new church starts. That includes over 5,000 missionaries at present!

The World Hunger Offering money is received during our annual f30 Weekend. Every penny will go to purchase food and supplies or get people to food and/or water (including drilling wells to provide clean water). 80% of that money goes around the world. The other 20% is used right here in the U.S.

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering provides funding directly to missionaries serving outside the U.S. Once again, our CP giving allows 100% of those funds to go directly to the support of another group of nearly 5,000 missionaries serving around the world!

The Clifford Compton Associational Missions Offering is coming, May 27th. This money is used in our own Mountain State Baptist Association. It assists churches in ministerial support and church planting; the  Harold Dove Scholarship Fund that assists college students; and the MSBA Endowment Foundation that allows our churches to obtain interest free loans.

The Ola Cox State Mission Offering will be received in the weeks leading up to September 16th. Those funds help church planting missionary salaries, various conferences and training events and supports our state mission offices and missionaries. So, being part of the SBC allows us to be world-wide witnesses!

While some churches may boast of helping support dozens or even hundreds of missionaries, as an affiliated, participating SBC Church, Immanuel Baptist members help to support thousands of them!

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8, NKJV

Blessings & Peace,
Brother Dan