I was recently on a swing through southeast Tennessee visiting with pastors and churches when I met a young man named Daniel as I walked out of a Hampton Inn in Athens. One of the first things I noticed about Daniel was the logo on his shirt: “United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.” Obviously, a telltale sign that I’d engaged in conversation a pretty intelligent fella.
I learned Daniel was originally from Cookeville, attended Tennessee Tech and was a Christ follower. He was very involved in the TTU Baptist Collegiate Ministry and expressed appreciation for the impact campus minister Ben Maddox had on his life.
I had a smile on my face and an excitement in my heart as I climbed in my truck. Daniel didn’t know that Ben wasn’t the only person who had an impact on his life. Thousands of other Tennessee Baptists did too.
How? Tennessee Baptists — you — giving through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions and the Cooperative Program made the ministry and the minister possible. Because you gave, Ben and the TTU BCM were available to connect with Ben, disciple him and have a part in launching him into the marketplace where God will use him.
But Daniel is a single ripple that is part of a larger wave of Tennessee Baptists that God is using to have a Kingdom impact in our state and beyond. Your financial support of GOTM touches countless thousands of lives.
Interestingly, the very day I met Daniel was the day we “closed the books” on the 2021-2022 Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions. Combined, Tennessee Baptists and their churches contributed $2,227,367 toward GOTM missions and ministries. I’ve said before that the Golden Offering is to Tennessee what the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is to the International Mission Board. Any way you slice it, Tennessee is a mission field, and every GOTM penny serves people in Tennessee and helps reach spiritually lost people in our state while also serving untold others through various ministries.
Your giving was well beyond the offering goal and by far established a new GOTM record. In fact, your generosity has exploded over the past 10 years. A decade ago, Tennessee Baptists gave $1,453,435 through the Golden Offering. This year’s total is a 53 percent increase! Additionally, 124 more churches contributed through Golden Offering this year than did last year. Incredible.
While we absolutely enjoy looking back and celebrating, we have turned a page and are now looking forward to all God has before us. We are currently in the middle of our Week of Prayer for Tennessee Missions. I strongly encourage you to visit GoldenOffering.org for the daily prayer guide (which can be used any time, not just during this week).
There are also a variety of other resources to help you promote GOTM in your churches as we launch toward our 2022-2023 goal of $2.4. And I really recommend watching the video stories that share how what you’ve given in the past made a tangible difference in the lives of others.
So, as I reflect on all that God has done and express my gratitude to Him for His provision, I also simply want to express a profound word of gratitude to you, Tennessee Baptists, for your faithful giving through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions. You are a vital partner in reaching this mission field we call Tennessee.
It is a joy to be on this journey with you, especially when I meet someone like Daniel.