Let’s commit ourselves to being on mission together to solve the world's greatest problem: lostness.

As North Carolina Baptists gather for your annual meeting in Greensboro, may your eyes be on the nations. Nothing could be more important as you consider the world’s greatest problem: lostness. 

Since 1830, as a state convention, and since 1845, when the International Mission Board (IMB) was born, we have focused collectively on getting the gospel – the solution to the world’s greatest problem – directly to the nations. 

Truly, we are on mission together. And never has our mission carried more urgency. 

The global population today sits at more than 8 billion people, and it grows by more than 200,000 each day. Every day, 391,941 people are born and 185,452 die. Why does this matter? It matters because more people will die separated from God tomorrow than those who die lost today.

Why? Simply put, gospel sharing globally isn’t keeping up with global population growth. 

Southern Baptists are on the frontlines of God’s work to change that trend. We have our eyes on the fulfillment of the Great Commission, as we read it in Revelation 7:9-10, when we will behold “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”

Between the Great Commission and this great multitude, there is a great pursuit. It is in this great pursuit of lost souls that North Carolina Baptists are on mission together. Consider your brothers and sisters who have gone from North Carolina to the nations, such as: 

  • Cameron and Jessica Armstrong, who served 10 years in Bucharest, Romania, planting churches and providing theological education at the Bucharest Baptist Seminary. In 2022, God called the Armstrongs to Manila, Philippines, where Cameron directs the world’s first master’s/doctorate (Th.M./Ph.D.) program in orality studies. He also engages and teaches in Baptist colleges and seminaries around the Philippines. Jessica teaches high school algebra at Faith Academy.
  • Russell and Ingrid Woodbridge, who started an Institute for Church Planting this year to assist German churches in their efforts to plant churches. Both use their doctorates to teach at Bibelseminar Bonn, and Ingrid provides counseling care for missionaries and women in their local church. Their current service comes after work in Vienna, Austria, and Kiev, Ukraine, as well as Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. 
  • Daniel and Tara Rice, who work in Tokyo, Japan, to foster globalization opportunities to send non-U.S. nationals to the field to partner with IMB teams. The Rices also build strategies to engage the lost digitally; develop short-term team paradigms; and work in ministry at a local church, doing evangelism and discipleship to develop new leaders who will be sent out either as church planters within Japan or as missionaries overseas.

The urgency of this work cannot be overstated. We must send more Southern Baptist missionaries to the nations to train and mobilize more national believers. The question is, who will go? 

But that isn’t the only question. Who will send them? Let’s commit ourselves to getting more missionaries to the nations. Let’s commit ourselves to being on mission together.

EDITOR’S NOTE – This article originally appeared in the November 2023 edition of the Biblical Recorder magazine. Paul Chitwood will deliver the convention sermon during this year’s N.C. Baptist annual meeting as part of a special joint IMB and N.C. Baptist missions Sending Celebration service on Monday evening, Nov. 6.