FIRST-PERSON: Why we should teach church members about the SBC
1) What is the world's largest evangelical denomination? Clue: It has 45,000 churches with more than 16 million members.
2) Which is the largest missions-sending organization in the entire world? Clue: It sends nearly 5,000 international missionaries to 153 countries and 5,000 missionaries in North America.
3) The Red Cross and the Salvation Army are two of the three largest disaster relief organizations in the world. What is the third?
4) Which denomination consistently plants more churches across North America than any other?
5) Which denomination is currently training approximately 16,000 future pastors, missionaries and church leaders in its six theological seminaries?
The answer to each question is the Southern Baptist Convention.
But do members and attenders at your church or church plant know about your denomination? Can a website visitor easily discover that you’re Southern Baptist? If you need simple ways to help your church stay informed and enthused about how God’s working through our convention, try these fresh ideas:
-- Send representatives to the SBC’s annual meeting. They’ll be wowed and informed about SBC ministries. This year it’s June 11-12 in Houston.
-- In your church’s new member class, tell about your denominational relationships. Use quality video clips in your worship service from SBC, NAMB and IMB websites. Celebrate Cooperative Program Sunday in April with a mission fair or interactive display.
-- Challenge members to subscribe to Baptist Press' free daily e-newsmagazine to read exciting, current SBC news, missions and ministry updates. They can subscribe at baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp. They also can follow BP on Twitter (@BaptistPress) and Facebook Facebook.com/BaptistPress .
-- Partner in planting a church in an unreached area of North America. Connect with an SBC international missionary or unreached people group. Help a student at an SBC seminary with a scholarship.
-- Provide links to SBC and state convention websites on your church website.
And that’s just a snippet of SBC work! Explore SBC websites to discover thousands of exciting facts and resources.
The word “synergy” describes your Southern Baptist Convention well. Your church is totally autonomous (self-governing) -- uniquely worshiping, serving and sharing Jesus. You’re also part of an enormous network of like-minded, Bible-believing, missions-sending, eternity-impacting churches -- the SBC. Each SBC church voluntarily contributes through the Cooperative Program and special mission offerings to mobilize a huge missions and ministry force. Yes, your individual church is awesome. Yet together, we’re even better. That’s synergy.
It’s no secret. God is using Southern Baptists to impact eternity more effectively today than in its history!
Diana Davis is author of "Fresh Ideas" and "Deacon Wives" (B&H Publishing). She is an author, columnist and wife of North American Mission Board's vice president for the south region, Steve Davis. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).