IMB commissions 26 missionaries to go ‘among the nations’

IMB commissions 26 missionaries to go ‘among the nations’

Everyone clapped, many stood and some even cried as 26 missionaries were commissioned for gospel ministry June 11 at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Birmingham. 

Led by International Mission Board (IMB) president Paul Chitwood, the Sending Celebration included each commissioned missionary speaking briefly about where he or she was going and why each felt called to missions. Some faces were left in the dark, their names and identities concealed due to the dangers of carrying the gospel to many places around the world. 

Listen and pray

“As they speak I want you to do three things,” Chitwood told the crowd. 

“Listen to how God is moving. Pray fervently for them and the people they will live among. Consider what God might be telling you to do.”

Believers of all ages, couples and singles, were sent out to Asia, Spain, Madagascar, Argentina, the Middle East and to the ends of the earth. One young man was sent out to proclaim the gospel among the Deaf peoples. 

“What an incredible privilege we have to send missionaries,” Chitwood said. 

“I say ‘we’ because you play a part in sending them. Together we as Southern Baptists have been sending missionaries for 174 years.”

Chitwood asked all former IMB journeymen, IMB missionaries and pastors to stand. 

“All of you have been a part of making disciples. I want you to know that not only are we thankful but we also recognize that you are the IMB’s greatest mobilizers for missions,” he said.  

The celebration also included a time of worship and an opportunity for those present to lay hands on and pray for the missionaries. 

“May they proclaim the name of Jesus. May they boldly preach the gospel. May they glorify Christ in all that they do. Not to us but to Your name be the glory,” the crowd prayed aloud. 

“As we’ve been singing praise to God tonight we know that God deserves the praises of all the people of the earth,” Chitwood said. 

“Isn’t it inspiring to be a part of what God is doing among the nations? Join us in the mobilized effort for the sake of the mission. Every church. Every nation.” (Jessica Ingram)