Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Wednesday, February 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsHow Do We Associate? (Part 3 - BMA Global)

How Do We Associate? (Part 3 – BMA Global)

By Dr. John David Smith, President

Executive Editor’s Note: The “Moving the Conversation Forward” article by Associate Editor Allan Eakin in the Dec. 20 issue introduced a series of articles we would feature at the beginning of the new year. The first of these articles — “How Do We Associate?” — appeared in the Jan. 10 issue.

In the Jan. 17 issue, we shared the stories of two of the ministries that are made possible because of the churches of the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas. We will return to the ministries from the state of Arkansas in a future issue. In this issue, we will share the stories of the two largest ministries — BMA Global (Missions) and Lifeword — that are made possible because of the national association of churches — Baptist Missionary Association of America (BMAA). (All articles in this series are being made available and accessible to everyone at BaptistTrumpet.com. Look for the “How Do We Associate?” Series graphic.)

      With humble beginnings and a great focus on God’s mission, BMA Global began in 1950 through the efforts of the churches of the newly formed Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) of America (North American Baptist Association at the time). Six North American church planters and two international missionaries were elected that first year.

All glory to God that through the years of faithfulness and focus on that great mission, BMA Global has grown to a ministry of over 400 missionaries working in 70 countries of the world. Hundreds of thousands have been reached with the gospel, discipled, trained and empowered toward a church planting ministry that now includes well over 2,000 established churches, in addition to 400 current church plants.

      In his insightful writing on the mission of God, Christopher J. H. Wright penned the following to a class he was teaching on the Biblical Basis of Mission: “I would like to rename the class from ‘The Biblical Basis of Mission’ to ‘The Missional Basis of the Bible.’” He continued, “I wanted them to see not just that the Bible contains a number of texts which happen to provide a rationale for the missionary endeavor, but that the whole Bible is itself a ‘missional phenomenon.’” The Bible, and especially the New Testament, is a product of God’s mission as it was given by the Holy Spirit on the mission field and not in the classroom. The Bible is indeed the story of God from beginning to end and the account of the mission that he is fulfilling on earth to eternity through His son, Jesus Christ. We are reminded that:

      • The Bible is a missionary narrative from beginning to end.

      • The Mission of God is the purpose for the existence of individual followers of Christ, churches and associations.

      • Mission is not a line item in the church budget; it should be the church’s defining purpose.

      • Every passage in the Bible is a “missionary” passage.

      Through this brief description of God’s mission, we are reminded of the enormity, priority and purpose-giving nature of the command to make God’s glory and love known to all nations… we are Sent to the Nations!

         The mission of BMA Global is to see God’s glory and love to the nations through church multiplication. Our values must reflect in writing and practice that everything we do leads to fulfilling our purpose/mission.

      • BMA Global is motivated by the mission of God. God’s mission (singular) is indeed all about His glory and love to all nations. Missions (plural) is everything we do, such as evangelism, discipleship, church planting, leadership development and all philanthropic efforts to fulfill that mission.

      • BMA Global practices discipleship-based multiplication of disciples, leaders and churches. In following the example of Christ in His ministry, we seek to make disciple-makers who will then be leaders and the foundation for church multiplication.

      • BMA Global is local church-centric. We believe local churches are both the source and the goal of New Testament missions.

      • BMA Global practices indigenous mission principles. We invest heavily in the local leadership in order to partner for locally-led ministries that will not be dependent on us intellectually, emotionally or financially.

      • BMA Global seeks to be driven by Holy Spirit-led risk. Mediocrity and status quo maintenance are the unrelenting enemies of excellence and fruitfulness. May we not bury our one talent, and when the Master returns, may He say to BMA Global, “Well done.”

      BMA Global seeks to fulfill its mission, as guided by our values, through three specific tasks — send, start and support. BMA Global comes alongside local churches to help send missionaries to those places they are called to serve. The basic root word for missions is the word “send.” We help the local church send missionaries by offering help with assessment, training, coaching, partnering with other churches, accounting services, missionary care, etc.

      The essential nature of the local church in the missionary process compels us to start more churches that become the manifestation of Christ in those communities. Christ is glorified in and through His church. BMA Global plants churches!

      The supporting of the missions enterprise includes supporting both personnel and missions structures. Missionary logistics that include leadership through directors and regional coordinators, financial services, security training and briefings and missionary care all help to make our missionaries’ lives a little easier and potentially more fruitful on the field. Missionary care seeks to strengthen the lives of our missionaries in all facets of life — spiritually, emotionally and physically. As it pertains to the structure of missions, BMA Global is able to do more with less, many times with very low overhead and a dedicated, high-capacity team. Out of every dollar given to BMA Global, 85 cents goes directly to a missionary. A big portion of the other 15 cents pays for the support structures for missionaries. We are committed to the highest possible level of excellence while maintaining our focus on the mission field.

      BMA Global has a rich history that is attributed to God’s favor and the faithfulness of many churches, missionaries and leaders. As we give undying thanks for the past, let’s look with unlimited expectation for the future — God’s glory to the nations through church multiplication!

      BMA Global is so grateful for the partnership with our churches to fulfill this great mission. Thousands have been saved and baptized this past year. We are currently planting over 450 new churches around the world as we have ongoing ministry in almost 70 countries. Thank you for your faithfulness in the support of missions structures, missionaries and future expansion. Speaking of expansion, the beginning of the year presents the opportunity to evaluate our present realities and dream about the future. Our goals are indeed vital to ensure that we stay focused on our stated mission and avoid stagnation.

      BMA Global will focus on the areas of mobilization and missions’ leadership in 2024. Mobilization deals with the connecting of people to God’s mission. We need to be more proactive in this area to make sure people understand the commission, a clear path to service and ongoing support on the journey of giving our lives to this non-negotiable cause. We are thankful that Sean Richards, former missionary to Papua New Guinea, has joined our team to provide greater focus and effort in this area of mobilization.

      The other big picture emphasis for 2024 will be in missions’ leadership structures. Recently, we transitioned from a single director of international missions to a group of 10 leaders who are regional coordinators. No one was hired specifically for this role; we have utilized existing personnel and sacrificial leaders who were already part of our global team. As we continue to find our rhythm in this new structure, we are already seeing major benefits and blessings as more leaders provide greater communication to field personnel, greater awareness and greater effectiveness in assuring that we are working toward our stated mission, vision and values.

      Again, thank you for your partnership in the Mission of God. We pray 2024 will be noteworthy in goals that are achieved for God’s glory. We are Sent to the Nations! We are BMA Global.

         Executive Editor’s Note: Due to space limitations, we are not able to print all the goals shared by BMA Global. You can find some specific goals for the areas and ministries of BMA Global at BaptistTrumpet.com/BMAGlobal2024. You can also find out more about the leadership structure in place at BMA Global.

Next Article In This Series

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