57 NAMB Missionaries Commissioned

May 08, 2003 01:58 PM EDT

MARIETTA, Ga. – 57 North American Mission Board missionaries were commissioned through the spiritual and financial support of Southern Baptist Churches across the nation, May 4. The missionaries, appointed at the Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, will partner with state conventions and local associations to plant churches, coordinate associational missions efforts, minister amid inner-city poverty and work to see individuals come to faith in Christ.

"I speak at our different churches and plan exciting avenues for people to experience the blessings of God through missions," said the missions ministry consultant with the Spartanburg County Baptist Network, Britton Elliot.

"Churches are eager to do that, but not really sure what to do. So my job is to empower them and equip them to go out and serve God," she continued. The SCBN works to mobilize churches and volunteers for joint missions efforts.

"It's very interesting, because there are so many nationalities," said Lloyd Byers Jr., director of missions for Guam Baptist Association; Guam is the farthest outpost of the NAMB work.

Byers serves as a resource for local churches in recruiting pastors, starting churches, and presenting a Christian witness to the community in Guam.

"Our role is to support the pastors and Disaster Relief forces."

During the morning of the commissioning service, the NAMB President, Robert E. Reccord, challenged the congregation to respond to God's call on their own lives.

"Answer His call, tell His story, and change your world," he said.

"Every Christian is called by God to be on mission for Him," Reccord noted. "You're either going to be a missionary right where you are, or you're going to be a mission field in need of a missionary."

The interesting thing, he said, is that if an individual is faithful to answer His call and tell His story, "you inevitably will change your world."

There are currently more than 5,200 North American Mission Board missionaries serving throughout the United States, Canada and U.S. territories. The next commissioning service for newly appointed missionaries is scheduled for Aug. 24 at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita, Kan.

By Pauline J.