Today I was reminded once again of the blessing of being a part of something as vast as the mission enterprise of the Southern Baptist Convention. The occasion was the 195th annual meeting of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. In a period of less than an hour I talked to people from just about every crossroad in our state, but also others who had served as missionaries in the far flung places around the world. There were college professors, church leaders, deacons, school teachers, nursery workers, university presidents, newsmen and women, students, administrators, musicians, youth workers, worship team members, chaplains, counselors, medical personnel, policemen, retailers, plumbers, coaches, builders, pilots, and a seamstress, just to mention a few. They were all shuffling through the exhibit area making note of the diverse work of our denomination. It was a graphic reminder that our assignment is bigger than me.
There weren't many selfies being taken in that exhibit hall. Faith does begin in the heart of one individual believer and each one matters. Just the same, it is really a community experience meant to be shared in partnership with others. So, every contact today was a vivid illustration of the biblical truth that two are better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12), that the Christian church is an inter-connected body, and that this body reaches farther than any single one of us can. Sure, I can support a mission somewhere and be an integral part of it. But, today I remembered that we can support missions in hundreds of places simultaneously, something that I cannot do alone, or even accomplish in my church. What is more, this work serves, educates, trains, prepares, and launches more ministry that I could ever support on my own, or even in my church. Our seven ministry partners multiply this mission far beyond my or any other single humans reach. So, I'm thankful to those people who are connected to this enterprise in such far-reaching and diverse ways---
Connie Maxwell Children's Home
The Baptist Homes for the Aging
The Baptist Foundation of South Carolina
The Baptist Courier
Charleston Southern University
North Greenville University
Spread the mission across 42 Associations and more than 2,000 churches in South Carolina and the dimensions of this work is multiplied more.
The mission is bigger than me and so is our work in it. And, that is a fresh and exciting prospect that links like-minded believers in something so vast.
Bigger than me means I depend on Him to bring others alongside. It makes me appreciate the others more too, because it reminds me how small I am. And, that's an important element in a prideful, self-absorbed world.
it's bigger than me. But, not bigger than Him.