EDITOR'S NOTE: Ryan Pack, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, N.C., has seen firsthand how the church's financial gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Cooperative Program are making a spiritual difference in lives overseas. Southern Baptists' gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and Cooperative Program fund the presence and missions outreach of nearly 5,000 Southern Baptist personnel internationally. Gifts to the Lottie Moon offering are received through local Southern Baptist churches or online at imb.org/offering, where there are resources to promote the offering. This year's goal is $175 million.
HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- Last year I had the opportunity to interact with our congregation's unreached people group overseas. It was such a joy to be able to do that and be with some of our Southern Baptist workers on the field as they showed us different areas where our unreached people group was located.
We walked into this farming area, and a Muslim gentleman was wearing a John 3:16 cap. He did not know what that cap meant, so it was a springboard to share the Gospel with him.
It was a phenomenal opportunity. It was confirmation that God really does want to reach this people group, and He is going to do everything it takes to reach them. Just think about it; I was sitting there sharing the Gospel with a group of men that our church has been praying for, that we could reach them with the Gospel. They had a piece of the Gospel message, but they didn't know what it meant. We have the privilege of being the ones to share that with them.
I've watched with my own eyes as a man accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. He then became a church planter and a discipler in surrounding villages. There isn't anything more exciting than knowing that our workers on the field, those boots on the ground, led this gentleman to Christ. Then this new believer is going out and starting churches among his own people.
One of the reasons I love being part of a Southern Baptist church and being a Southern Baptist pastor is that there is no way that my church by itself could ever do as much international missions, and reaching the world, on our own as we can together. What I love about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering -- and what I love about the Cooperative Program -- is that it's not about just us. It is biblical that we do it together and that we partner together.
I love that we're all autonomous churches. We all have our own personalities as churches. But when it comes to worldwide evangelism, Southern Baptists get on the same page. We say it's that important. It's that important for the kingdom of God. It's that important for eternity that we're going to support our workers on the field; we're going to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, knowing that 100 percent of those funds go straight to global missions. And, that we're going to give through the Cooperative Program because it supports missions at every single level. We can't do it on our own, but we can partner together to do it and that is exciting.
And, that's what we're about.
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Ryan Pack is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, N.C. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress
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