Dr Avery Willis, one of the undisputed heroes of Baptist Missions, is again championing the campaign called Great Commission Resurgence (GCR).  GCR is a reminder that 90% of the world is lost in sin, and 1.5 Billion people have little or no access to the Gospel. 

Dr Willis has himself been a missionary, to Thailand, and the head of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB).  It was his compilation of disciplemaking materials “MasterLife” that had such a tremendous impact on my spiritual growth.  So when he reminds us that “less than one tenth of one percent of Southern Baptists become missionaries,” we listen.  And when he says that “97.5% of the money in the offering plates stays at home and only 2½ % gets to the rest of the world,” it gets our attention.

The GCR Task Force is due to report out what the Southern Baptists ought to do to reach our world.  It worries him when he thinks what he’ll hear.  I think Dr Willis is worried that we will create another program, but not really motivate anyone to do anything about it. 

I ‘ve been addressing this as a common theme for some time.  On Dec 4, I told you about the 7 Deadly Sins of a Dying Church – number 4 is an inward focus.  Unless a church is focused outside its walls, it is in danger of dying as a congregation.

My recommendation is to start with prayer for an unreached people group.  Pray that God will send missionaries there, and then pray for those missionaries.  Take up special offerings for them.  Treat them as if you are their home church.  Treat them better than their home church.  Take part of the church budget and send someone to that unreached place to gain first-hand knowledge of what to pray for.  Train every member of the church to share their faith and to become mighty in prayer.  Instill a desire in every one to pick up and move to the mission field.  (If they do, God will bring replacements or take you with them!)

The surest way to build a church is through prayer for missions.  It will grow the kingdom and grow the people.  And it will change your giving priorities.

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