ST. LOUIS – The North American Missions Board appointed 86 new missionaries during the Missouri Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting, Nov. 4. The 2,000 attendants to the ceremony prayed for and blessed the newly commissioned workers, who vowed to keep evangelism and missions at the core of their ministry, wherever they may be sent.
"A long time ago, Southern Baptists found we could do so much more together than we could ever do separately, and that is what has made us strong as we have kept evangelism and missions the core heartbeat. The moment we let that slip from the center of focus in what we're called to do is the moment this denomination begins to crumble,” said President Robert E. Reccord.
Those gathered for the commissioning service were also urged by Reccord to follow the examples of the missionaries.
"Every one of these has answered His call. Every one of them has committed to tell His story. And every one of them is focused to change their world,” he said, as he reminded the attendants of the reason why they do what they do. "The only way serve is because of you and the faithfulness of your churches.”
Reccord, in assuring the audience that God’s call on the lives of the laity is no less of a call to ministry and missions than His call of a fulltime vocational minister or missionary, challenged the audience to complete a commitment card for the Kingdom.
"God has called you and me to be one-on-one telling people about Jesus Christ and how He can change their life if indeed He's changed ours," Reccord said.
By the end of the conference, hundreds of people turned in their commitment card to either pray for the missionaries or pursue missions opportunities in their own lives.
"May You call them to the great cities," Reccord prayed to close. "May You call them to go across economic and social and racial barriers, and may You call them just to go across the street."
The 86 newly commissioned workers will join the 7,700 NAMB missionaries and chaplains currently serving cities across North America.