The Season of Prayer for State Missions is approaching. The suggested date for churches to observe the week of prayer is Sept. 9-16.
The theme is “My Tennessee, My Mission, His Message” which focuses attention on Matthew 25:31-46. In this passage Jesus taught His disciples that He expected them to minister to their neighbors by meeting physical needs. As we minister to others in simple, practical ways Jesus said that we are in fact ministering to Him. In addition He considers acts of kindness to be so important that the good deeds performed will be the determining factor as He sits on the throne and judges mankind. The actions we perform or neglect will determine whether we are seen as sheep or goats.
The theme poster for the week of prayer is made up of words describing ministries that are mentioned in the Scripture: feed the hungry, quench thirst, welcome strangers, visit prisoners, clothe the naked, minister to widows and orphans, etc. The three-part theme was selected to motivate Tennessee Baptists to obey the Master’s message by making it their personal mission to minister in their communities. By using the daily prayer guide, Tennessee Baptists will be challenged to compare His message with how they live their lives.
The 2012 Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions has been allocated to 20 ministries that impact lostness in our state. Those ministries fall into five categories: church revitalization, church planting, reaching underserved people groups, meeting human needs and equipping future generations.
The state missions video features ministries which receive support from the Golden Offering: church revitalization, Chilhowee Area Ministries, Mississippi River Ministries, church planter, seminary extension, Special Friends Camp and WMU scholarships.
Jason Dukes, author of Beyond My Church: Thinking and Living So the World Might Know, wrote, “When we give our lives away for the sake of others having life, and when we think of the interests of others before we think of our own interests, then and only then are we loving like Jesus loved.”
What if we as Tennessee Baptists focused on meeting physical needs in our communities? Every community has needs. Dukes speculates that “maybe if … we loved the city and the world like this then, maybe, just maybe, the community and the whole world would know and believe in the One who was sent.”