DENVER -- Their destinations range from California to Connecticut. Their ages range from recent college graduates to senior adults. Some are married, some are single. Some are women, and some are men. Despite their differences, this diverse group shares one goal -- to reach people in North America with the gospel of Christ.
Sixty-eight North American Mission Board missionaries were commissioned Nov. 24 during a special service at Riverside Baptist Church in Denver.
Jackie Flake, who serves as a collegiate evangelism coordinator for western Connecticut, and Ed Pincusoff, a church planter who works with the Sausalito Christian Fellowship in Marin, Calif., both gave testimonies of God's call on their lives and the work he is currently doing through them.
Other missionaries' areas of service include urban ministry, churches in growing suburban areas, ethnic church plants, resort ministries, collegiate ministries and several positions with state and regional Southern Baptist associations or conventions.
Following the testimonies, North American Mission Board President Robert E. Reccord preached on "Life's Defining Moments." Drawing from the gospel of Luke, Reccord pointed out that Jesus often stopped what he was doing to minister to people.
He quoted Scottish Bible teacher James Stewart, who said, "It is often in the most unexpected moments of life that life's most life-changing moments leap upon life and radically change the future for a lifetime to come."
Reccord gave testimony of how God changed his own life while in medical school, and that meeting his wife and coming to know Jesus were two of his life's defining moments. Likewise, those missionaries present would forever have their commissioning burned into their memories as one of life's defining moments.
Several times in the gospel, as Reccord explained, Jesus stops to minister to people, heal them and change their lives. Reccord emphasized that God gets hold of people in many different ways, and causes life-defining moments to take place.
The missionaries were challenged to listen to God's voice and be willing to let him define their ministries. He encouraged them to allow God to stop them and to be on fire to tell the world about God's love. He left the audience with the question, "What about you?" and challenged them to stop where they were and obey God's call on their lives.
By Jen Zebel