How do you see Tennessee?
That is not a trick question. Have you taken a good, long look lately at our wonderful state— statistically, clearly, perceptively, demographically, personally, eternally? Jesus said, “Look at the fields, they are white already for harvest” (John 4:35). He also asked a powerfully penetrating question in Mark 8:18: “Do you not see?”
As we look at our own state, we see a mission field filled with opportunity. Yes, there seems to be a church on every corner but Christ is not in every heart. Matter of fact, it is estimated that much more than half of the residents of Tennessee do not have a personal relationship with Christ. We, by God’s grace and according to His will and power, can see that statistic radically changed.
In 1902, Dr. W.C. and Mildred Golden, with urgency about the lostness of Tennessee, rallied Tennessee Baptists to see their state. They received our first state missions offering 111 years ago. During the month of September, we begin receiving the missions offering that bears the name of the Goldens. Every penny given goes to reach and serve Tennesseans with the gospel. The major bulk of our $1.6 million goal is utilized for church revitalization and church planting for the purpose of reaching people with the gospel. More than $300,000 of the Golden Offering for State Missions will be used for equipping young church leaders that will also reach more people with the gospel.
The Golden Offering impacts lostness by serving the underserved people groups in the Mississippi area to the West, and the Appalachian Mountain region to the East. And through this offering, Tennessee Baptists also will touch Special Friends campers as these dear, sweet people have the opportunity to see, feel, and experience the love of Christ. There are many more ways this $1.6 million miracle will be used to touch lives for Christ over the next 12 months.
During this time of specific focus on Tennessee, I am asking the Father to give us 100 new churches that receive the Golden Offering, or will include the Golden Offering as part of their missions budget. I am praying our $1.6 million goal will be exceeded, and I am asking you to join me in praying that many, many more Tennesseans will come to Christ because of your sacrificial giving. For more information about the Golden Offering for State Missions, go to www.tnwmu.org.
Now more than ever it is a joy to be on this journey with you.