N.C. Baptists have a long and demonstrated history of strong support for international missions. Evidence of that support was on display during last month’s annual meeting in Greensboro.

N.C. Baptists have a long and demonstrated history of strong support for international missions. Evidence of that support was on display during last month’s annual meeting in Greensboro.

During the meeting, we heard from International Mission Board (IMB) President Paul Chitwood during a joint Sending Celebration between N.C. Baptists and the IMB during which we recognized and prayed over about 30 missionaries from our state who have recently answered the call to take the gospel to the nations.

Those missionaries will soon be joining the approximately 500 missionaries who have been sent out from N.C. Baptist churches and are currently serving around the world, which is the most of any state convention. As I saw those new missionaries and joined messengers in praying over them, I thought, “What if one of these missionaries takes the gospel to an unreached people group somewhere in the world for the very first time?” Lord, may it be so!

God is continuing to raise up others from our state to go to the nations, just as He has raised up and sent out those we publicly recognized at the annual meeting last month. I continue to hear stories, testimonies and reports from N.C. Baptist pastors about individuals and couples who have also answered God’s call and are even now preparing to go.

I am also humbled by reports about college students from North Carolina who have answered the call to invest two years living on mission in North America or internationally for the sake of the gospel through the “Go2 Years” initiative.  

During the annual meeting, messengers also approved a historic $31 million budget for 2024 that for the first time in our state’s history reflects a 50/50 split between N.C. Baptists and our global ministry partners. 

This historic and significant vote allowed us as N.C. Baptists reach the milestone of a 50/50 split that was envisioned when the Cooperative Program was first established in 1925. That vision was reaffirmed by leaders in this state almost two decades ago, and I’m thankful to the many N.C. Baptists throughout our rich history who brought us to the day where we could see this milestone achieved.

N.C. Baptists, your budget vote not only made history, but it also means that more money and more resources will go toward reaching more people and more places around the world, resulting in more lives impacted by the life-changing power of the gospel. Praise be to God!

During the annual meeting, we also learned that we are on the cusp of witnessing something that hasn’t happened in our state in a long, long time. As this year draws to a close, we have a chance of exceeding our Cooperative Program budget for the third year in a row, which hasn’t happened in our state in decades. N.C. Baptists, thank you for your generosity and making an eternal investment in our state and beyond to support God’s kingdom work.

Your generosity is also evidenced by your ongoing and faithful support of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. During the annual meeting, we heard that North Carolina once again led all state conventions in gifts to support international missions through the Lottie Moon offering with $14.2 million given during the 2022-2023 Southern Baptist Convention fiscal year. This year marked the 19th year in a row that North Carolina has been the national leader in Lottie Moon giving, and we praise the Lord for that.

And as we turn the calendar to December, I invite you to pray about how you and your church would be led by the Lord to support the Lottie Moon offering this year. In addition, I invite you to also consider how else God might be leading you to be involved in missions. We can all play a role through praying, giving, going and sending. 

N.C. Baptists, thank you once again for your generosity and for your support of missions and missionaries. That’s what it means to be on mission together.

EDITOR’S NOTE – This article originally appeared in the December 2023 edition of the Biblical Recorder magazine.