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State Missions emphasis calls upon ‘God’s Compassionate People’

By Barbara Denman

July 18, 2012


JACKSONVILLE—As God’s compassionate people in the Sunshine State, Florida Baptists are called by grace to be His Great Commission laborers together in the state and with their mission and ministry partners.

Each fall, Florida Baptists turn their attention to needs in the state as they pray for state missions, learn about the work being done in His name and give to support that work.

This year’s theme, “God’s Compassionate People, Planting, Watering and Seeing His Increase” based on I Cor. 3:6-9, recognizes the partnership that Baptists in the state have in their efforts to reach the spiritually lost persons in the state.

The statistics are overwhelming—three out of four Floridians do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. An estimated 79 percent or 15 million will not spend eternity in heaven.

Just as the Apostle Paul distinguished between his work as spiritual seed planter and Apollo’s work watering the seed, and others who nurtured the crops, Florida Baptists too have unique roles to fulfill in reaching the state for Christ.

However, also as Paul, Florida Baptists know ultimately God gives the increase—if all will do their part.

Florida Baptists are about the ministry of planting, watering and nurturing as they start and strengthen new churches; reach out through compassionate ministries; inspire the next generation of mission leaders; and share God’s blessings with struggling churches in Florida’s partnership states and countries.

As the Florida Baptist Convention develops a comprehensive strategy to reach the state for Christ, many ministries are needed to reach the diversity and size of the state. Yet funding through Cooperative Program channels is not always enough. Many of these ministries rely on Florida Baptists to give a little extra for the needs within the state.

The Maguire State Mission Offering provides funding for 23 compassionate ministries to accomplish God’s purpose in Florida and its mission partners. By giving to the offering, Florida Baptists are working together in God’s will and spreading the Good News of His Kingdom.

The goal for this year’s offering is $1 million, an amount reached many times before the state’s economic downturn. In 2011, Florida Baptists gave $882,832 to the offering, which was below the $954,435 given in 2010.

This year’s Season of Prayer for State Missions will be observed Sept. 2-9. A prayer guide highlighting missionaries who are working on behalf of Florida Baptists is provided for every family to take home and pray over during their daily devotions. Then on the second Sunday, Sept. 9, the offering will be taken among churches.

Also provided to Florida Baptist churches to promote the offering are videos to show in small groups and worship, age group curriculum, clip art and the state mission offering issue of Florida Baptist Missions.

A planning guide, with these materials will be mailed July 31 to all Florida Baptist pastors and mission directors. Additional copies of all material may be ordered by clicking here; email MSMO@flbaptist.org; or by calling 800-226-8584, ext. 3151; 904-596-3151.

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