Over the last decade, your giving through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions has grown by more than 50 percent. That’s an astounding amount.
As astounding is that you’ve set record highs in giving in three out of the last four years (and four out of the last six). The only year that was not a record total was 2020, the COVID year, but even then you were faithful, and your giving remained strong.
We say it every chance we get that any way you slice it Tennessee is a mission field. On behalf of the countless people, you’ve served in our mission field through your generosity, I want to extend a sincere and heartfelt, “Thank you.” I am proud to be a Tennessee Baptist and you are the biggest reason why. Tennessee Baptists always rise to the occasion.
Because you’ve caught vision of the great spiritual and physical needs in our state, you’ve planted churches, assisted struggling churches to realize a new vitality, equipped churches in compassion ministries, made a tremendous Great Commission impact on university campuses through Baptist Collegiate Ministries, supported life by placing ultrasound machines at crisis pregnancy centers, brought help and comfort to hurting people through disaster relief, and so much more.
Well done. We may never know this side of heaven the full impact we’ve had as a network of churches working collaboratively in the great missionary task God has given us right here in our state. That’s okay. We do it to glorify God and to love people in such a way they know our Savior and come to a saving faith in Him.
But together we still have so much to do. As of right now, it will take a significant increase in GOTM giving through the end of August to meet our $2.4 million 2022-2023 goal.
But as great as hitting goals are, they are less important than what can be done with that money. The money is a tool, that enables ministry, that serves people.
At the 2014 Tennessee Baptist Convention in Brentwood, messengers voted to set an impossible and impractical goal of increasing GOTM giving to $3 million by the end of 2024.
I did not then —nor do I now — believe that that goal is impossible or impractical. I believe that as Tennessee Baptists have seen four-plus million family, friends and neighbors living in spiritual lostness, it has stirred our hearts. I believe it still does again.
Tennessee Baptist churches have a “whatever it takes” mentality when it comes to Great Commission work.
I know TBC churches are led and served by pastors who are the most focused, faithful, and gifted men I’ve had the privilege to meet. And I know the spiritually lost of Tennessee are on the heart of our Heavenly Father. I believe He will be pleased with the effort of this sacred and sacrificial effort done by those He commissioned to go.
Philippians 1:27 says, “Just one thing: As citizens of heaven, live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear that you are standing firm in one spirit, in one accord, contending together for the faith of the gospel” (Italics added by the column writer).
Let’s resolve with all our hearts to stay focused on our mission field, standing firm — together — in the Spirit contending for the faith of the gospel.
With all my heart, again, I thank you, and want you to know that it is a joy to be with you on this journey. B&R