This week at FBC Vidalia, we are hosting two Southern Baptist overseas workers at our church. They are coming from a region of the world where it is illegal to share the gospel and to convert to the Christian faith. I cannot tell you how excited I am for you to meet, spend time with, and become friends with these two servants of Christ.
May I encourage you to prioritize time to learn and get to know these two overseas friends?
As I have pastored and led the churches I have served to embrace God’s heart for the nations, a single question seems to always find its way to the surface: “When there is such a need here, why are we focusing so much attention overseas? Don’t you think it is time for us to focus on reaching America/Vidalia again?”
Yes. We should absolutely bring Christ to America and be enthusiastically passionate about reaching our city. The question though presents a fake choice. It assumes that caring for the world means we don’t care for our city. We should be able to care about more than one thing. The church should be able to chew gum and walk at the same time.
As a church, we have a responsibility to send, pray, and financially support our overseas workers. When we allow God to focus our heart, we take on His heart for every person in the world to know Him. As a church, we go overseas to work alongside of our workers to encourage them and to gain a heart for the people God has sent them to.
But what about us? Our country is falling quickly away from God, and there does not seem to be an end in sight. Our city has major needs. Why send people overseas when we have needs in the Miss Lou? The reason is simple: it is our job. First Baptist Church of Vidalia exists to be God’s hands and feet to our city. We are the gospel sending organization for our city.
By the way, when I say that we are the gospel sending agency of our city, that means we are sending you to our city. If you are asking, why focus on the world when there are such great needs in our city, can I ask you a different question? Are you serving in a ministry within our church which reaches our city?
Our church overflows with kids on Wednesday nights from our city. Every Thursday night at FBCV we minister to people with addiction issues. We have launched ministries which seek to engage our civic servants and schools. Our greatest need at FBCV is for volunteers to step in and serve. Can I turn the question to you? Where are you serving?
FBCV exists to connect people to God, to each other, and to the world. You exist to connect people to God, to each other, and to the world. Will you serve with me?