By HOLLY MERIWEATHER
BMA Global Missions Center
We live in a broken world full of broken people.
We know that.
We see that.
We say that.
Jesus did, too.
Matthew 9:36 says, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”
Jesus was moved with compassion for the broken. Missions happens when we are burdened for broken people. It was in our brokenness that Jesus found us, loved us, and saved us.
The story of missions is the story of people—missionaries—who are burdened for people, burdened enough to go, burdened enough to sacrifice their lives for the lives of others.
The harvest is plentiful, and we need laborers. But laborers are birthed out of a burdened and broken heart for the lost and weary and scattered.
Our vision and impact in reaching the world will never be bigger than our burden for broken people. That’s the catalyst to missions. That’s the heart of missionaries.
We indeed live in a broken world full of broken people, but does that “move us with compassion”?
May we be burdened for broken people during this World Missions Day season and every day.
By NICK JACOBSEN
BMA Conference Manager
What’s your ministry story?
My story begins in Tacoma, Washington, where I was born and raised to non-church-going parents. Don’t get me wrong, they were great parents, but we didn’t go to church as a family. When my friend, Garrett, and I would ride our bikes all over our neighborhood, we always passed a little light blue church set off the road, Grace Missionary Baptist Church. Since neither of us grew up in church, we decided we wanted to see what it was all about, so we went to church one Sunday.
A few years later at the age of 16, it was in that little church that I was saved. The following year I felt a stirring, a calling on my life, and after talking to my student pastor and pastor, I surrendered my life to ministry. Unsure of what exactly that meant, I said yes to God.
In August of 2000, I boarded a plane for Little Rock, Arkansas, to attend a small Christian college and study ministry that fall semester. I enjoyed Central Baptist College (CBC) so much that I spent five years getting a bachelor’s degree in Bible with an emphasis in student ministry. Once I finally graduated, I was hired by a church—Park Place Baptist Church—to work with students. Park Place Baptist Church allowed me to minister to students as a vocation, and I loved it.
God would eventually lead me down another path just a few years later that I never anticipated. He opened a door for me to work in media production, and after a few years at a television station, God led me to work at Lifeword. For the past 14 years, I have worked at Lifeword/BMA.
In the past few years, I have thought a lot about God’s call to the ministry: I was just 17 years old and had no clue. Some say I still don’t!
Is God still calling young people to ministry?
Are we giving those young people an opportunity to serve?
Are we encouraging students to give their lives to ministry?
At SOAR 2022, we will spend the week looking at God’s calling on our lives and how He wants us to serve His church. I believe God calls us ALL to serve. Some serve in leadership roles as pastor or student pastor, but all are called to serve.
Are you cALLed?
SOAR Student Conference: June 29 – July 1, 2022, Hilton Anatole - Dallas, Texas
Lowest price since 2015: $100 per person.
To the churches of the BMA of Texas:
The associational year, 2020-2021, continues to be a struggle for us. Many of us hoped that the battle with COVID would be over and that we could regain some sense of normalcy. Yet each Sunday, someone new is infected, another family has chosen not to expose themselves in Sunday school or worship services or they have chosen to attend online services. In the midst of these struggles, more than ever, I continue to believe that we are stronger together, every church working together to advance the ministry of Jesus’ church through our associational work.
Our society today is constantly evaluating institutions, their relevance, and their role in our modern world. The church that Jesus built during His ministry has throughout the centuries faced many challenges: the Black Plague, the Spanish Inquisition, social and political pressure; yet that church has persevered though the ages. There have always been those who would try to move the church from Main Street, to the back street—from being the headline, to be being just a footnote.
When Jesus asked his disciples, “…but whom say ye that I am?” Peter answered him saying, “…thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus responded by saying, “…that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This question and response found in Matthew chapter 16 provides the basis for our theme this year: His Church, His Victory, Our Opportunity. Jesus laid and is the foundation for the church.
Jesus built His church to spread the Gospel to future generations of believers, and as a way of training and educating us. He preserves and protects His church: “…for the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus’ church is not barricaded in some fortress. It is marching under the banner of the cross, assaulting Satan’s territory and rescuing those enslaved to sin and in bondage. Peter says this in his epistle, “…ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” He goes on to say a few verses later, “…but ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:5, 9). What an opportunity we have to labor together with the saints for the work and ministry of the Kingdom within His Church.
I encourage you to come worship with your brothers and sisters in the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas and see what great things that the Lord is doing through His churches at the 2021 Baptist Missionary Association of Texas Meeting Nov. 4, 2021, at New Harmony Baptist Church in Tyler.
Bro. Leon Ross
Baptist Missionary Association of Texas