When we hear the word “missions”, we often think of a project, church program, or emphasis within our church or denomination. As Southern Baptists, we are closely identified around the world as people who believe in, and support, “missions”. When we think of the word “mission”, we tend to think in terms of a calling or purpose in life, fueled by a strong conviction. “Missions” and “Mission” are distinct in many ways, yet integrated in our lives as well. Ed Stetzer writes, “They are not mutually exclusive, but thrive best when they are both embraced and implemented in a local church body.”
You have heard it many times before, but we live in a world that is changing rapidly. These culture shifts have significantly impacted the way we function as the church. One friend of mine recently said, “We have to be more missionary-ish in the way we all live.” The same is true of our churches. As Knox County Association of Baptists, we are a network of churches on God’s mission, living out the grace of the Gospel and sharing the Gospel of grace, to connect people with Christ and His Church.
KCAB is focused on ways to assist churches in being missionaries in their own community and across the world. Some of the opportunities include Mission Partnerships in New York, Cleveland, Guatemala and Italy. Project Knox is our KCAB ministry that partners churches to live on mission right here in our own city.
Bonita Wilson is our International Missions Catalyst, She helps us identify and connect with people groups across our county as well as the surrounding area. One of our goals is to begin Bible Studies and start churches among the many language groups that now live next door to us. She also works with our churches to map their neighborhoods so that they can better reach out to everyone in their community.
We also launched a Missional Learning Community that is instrumental in assisting our churches to live as missionaries in their own communities.
The more our culture and world changes around us, the more our mission remains the same.
These are exciting days for the church, and for our network of churches as we focus even more on being Ekklesia-Missio Dei; the church on God’s mission.
We coordinate mission opportunities in New York and Cleveland, OH, Guatemala Arrezo Italy.
RIGHT HERE-RIGHT NOW!
A recent survey among Knox County residents revealed that
only 19% reported being actively involved in a local church;
39% identified themselves as having no religious affiliation;
41% said that they had previously been involved in church but had “walked away”
"All Christians, . . . have been sent by God on a mission and they have tremendous Kingdom potential in the here and now of their current situations. God is already there at work in our neighborhoods, workplaces, amusement parks, schools, movie theatres, or whatever, and we must learn again what it means to courageously join Him in His mission" . . .
That is what it means to be Ekklesia-Missio Dei; the Church on God’s Mission . . . Right Here – Right Now!