Are we taking care of our missionaries?
by Bruce James
New England is a mission field, and it’s important that we not forget it. We rank at the top or national surveys for the least churched and most biblically illiterate region in the nation. I tell people often that we must think like missionaries because the prevalent culture around us is post-Christian. That’s why one of our primary objectives is to reintroduce this culture to the Gospel. As with any mission work with an unreached people group, you need missionaries (either homegrown or transplanted) to go and share Christ in faithfully. Praying, sending and funding missionaries is an ancient practice of the church and is vital to any mission endeavor. Why give to New England Missions Emphasis? Because missions is God’s means of making Christ known to this generation.
The BCNE is a great missions organization that is growing. We take seriously the call of reaching New England for Christ. We have so much to be thankful for. God is at work in New England. We have seen record baptisms for several years now. New churches are being planted. We have great partners, and God is calling people to come and serve. We have a good network and are able to provide resources to help new and older churches reach their communities with the Gospel through partnering, equipping and encouraging. But what we don’t have in our budget are a lot of resources to help our missionaries with personal needs – the broken car, sudden family emergency, busted heater or unexpected expense that puts extreme stress on a family.
NEME has the potential to be that resource. It’s something that we each can do and something that can have a profound impact on our missionaries. If each of the 27,000 members of the BCNE would give $8.00 once a year, we would have a contingency fund in place to support our missionaries in their time of need. For the price of a movie ticket or a fast food meal once a year we could have $216,000 set aside to take care of our missionary families.
Years ago as a young church planter family, we faced great challenges on a daily basis. We were not living week-to-week but day-to-day. We were desperate to see the work of God succeed, and God was faithful to supply – through other believers. It may have been that observant deacon who overheard our need and left groceries on our porch or the wealthy widow who took it upon herself to be a faithful donor to our journey. Let your name be on the list of those that God uses. Be faithful to give to NEME and encourage other to do so as well. It will make a missionary smile and give thanks to God for His faithfulness.
Bruce James serves as director of evangelism and church growth at the Baptist Convention of New England.