Episode 564

IMB Senders Summit, God Is For Life & Ways to Turn Your Small Group in an Outward Direction

Mar 13, 2024

The International Mission Board (IMB) Senders Summit, held near Richmond, Virginia, gathered 124 participants to discuss and share strategies for missionary training and sending within their churches. As debate surrounding the issue of life takes center stage in America’s political debate, pregnancy resource centers stand as beacons of hope, providing essential support and guidance to expectant mothers, affirming the sanctity of life. And, maybe you’re involved a small group or Bible study connected to your church. How can your group be outwardly focused? That is…helping people come to know Jesus Christ. Chuck Lawless provides some tips in the Baptist Press Toolbox.

Transcript

The International Mission Board (IMB) Senders Summit, held near Richmond, Virginia, gathered 124 participants to discuss and share strategies for missionary training and sending within their churches. The event focused on equipping church members to become missionaries, highlighting successful models from various ministries, and emphasizing the importance of churchwide involvement in missions discipleship. Attendees discussed how to start or enhance missionary training, with a future summit planned to continue these efforts.

Leaders emphasized that churchwide involvement in missions discipleship contributes to a healthy church environment that can raise up the next generation of missionaries.

Katie Bennet affirmed this in the students she serves. “The majority of students that come to us and have a clear calling to missions have been discipled well by their local church and have been given leadership opportunity,” Bennet said.
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As debate surrounding the issue of life takes center stage in America’s political debate, pregnancy resource centers stand as beacons of hope, providing essential support and guidance to expectant mothers, affirming the sanctity of life.

We had the privilege of speaking with Todd Unzicker, the Executive Director-Treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina says, “This issue of life is theological. I became a Christian at 28 and was immediately drawn to the biblical teaching that all people are made in God’s image. The imago Dei, the image of God, is the cornerstone of our advocacy for life.”

He emphasized the Scripture’s clear message: “God is for life.”

He says in North Carolina, he’s leading believers to defend life, love th issue of life, adopt children, and volunteer to serve in areas related to this issue.

These are the ways we embody our commitment to life at all stages.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.

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Maybe you’re involved a small group or Bible study connected to your church. How can your group be outwardly focused? That is…helping people come to know Jesus Christ. Chuck Lawless provides some tips in the Baptist Press Toolbox.

Tell your gospel stories to each other. I’m continually amazed by how many people we worship with and attend small group with but do not know how God saved them. We hang out with them, study the Word with them, sit with them in church, but we’ve never heard their testimony. I’m convinced we will tell our testimony to more non-believers if we first share our stories with one another—so build a brief testimony time into your gatherings.

Pray for at least one unreached person by name each time your group gathers. Think not only about the people who are present, but give prayerful attention to someone who isn’t there, likely because they don’t know Jesus. If you pray for a different person each time you gather, your group will begin to think beyond themselves.

Plan at least two annual activities designed particularly to invite non-believers to hang out with your group. Plan the event with that goal in mind. Challenge your group members to identify people they intend to invite. When non-believers hang out with believers in a time of fellowship and fun, outwardly-focused relationships begin to develop–and opportunities to share the gospel may arise.

 

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