IMB Commissioning Service

I had the amazing opportunity last week to attend my first International Mission Board commissioning service. Some very dear friends of ours from Westwood are preparing to serve an unreached people group in central asia beginning later this year. They were commissioned, and as an extra surprised, a good friend of ours from college was commissioned as well. Ironically, she will be serving just 2 hours away from our friends at Westwood!

Anyway, the service was overwhelming to me, to say the least. It was incredible just to once again see how active God is in calling ordinary vessels to fulfill the commission He gave us to go and make disciples of all nations. A couple aspects of the service stuck out the most…

1. A vast majority of those who were commissioned, as they shared brief testimonies of their calling, spoke of being called to career missions while in a foreign land on a short-term mission trip. This should make all of us take note of the importance of every believer serving in that capacity in some way. Not only is it important for the people that will be served, but also in our walk with the Lord. It is simply amazing how God communicates new things to us when we step out of our comfort zone and in faith to serve Him in that way.

2. The music was awesome. As we sang about missions and seeing the nations evangelized, the words had a reality that they had never had before for me. I just had to glance at the crowd of those who are about to go to see the vessels that God would use in that very task. That was pretty neat for me.

3. I left more passionate about missions. God has been developing that within me for some time, and this service only served to enhance that. I am more excited than ever about the vision that God has given me, along with our student ministry for the upcoming summer.

4. The service served as a great reminder (once again) that there is so much more to this life. We can get so narrow minded on the here and now that we so easliy lose sight of the grander and larger story of God. I felt smaller during the service, which is a good thing and something that I need to experience more often. For a few moments my life was put in perspective. That perspective is that my life has been given to me so that I may offer it back to God as a living sacrifice so that He would be brought much glory, and that others might be drawn to Him as I live as a witness to His truth. Thank you Lord for this much needed reminder.

Please join me in praying for the 89 people that were commissioned last Wednesday night in Greenville, SC. Many of them are going into the most dangerous parts of the world for Christians to live presently. Many of them take small children, and even children who are yet to be born! Among them are our good friends Andrew and Shelia, along with their daughter Olivia (or OE to Emma, who is her best friend on the planet), and baby boy Hudson. Also included in that number is our good college friend Shanna. To them: we love you guys dearly, and you will be in our most fervent prayers as you make this transition and offer your lives so that the Great Commission might be fulfilled to the ends of the earth.

I Married my bride, Erin, in 2003. We have 3 children: Emma, Elijah, and Lydia. I have served full-time on staff at Westwood Baptist Church, in Roxboro, NC, since summer of 2006 as Pastor of Students & Discipleship. I am currently enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, pursuing my Doctorate of Education.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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