One of the largest and strongest horses in the world is the Belgian draft horse. These horses are so strong that one Belgian draft horse can pull 8,000 pounds. What an incredible feat. Apparently, if two stranger Belgian draft horses are harnessed, they can pull 22,000 pounds. Notice that their combined strength more than doubles their ability. However, when they train and pull together, these two Belgian draft horses can pull up to 32,000 pounds—four times the amount that they can pull alone.
I recently shared about a mission survey that the Missions Mobilization Team (MMT) of the Kentucky Baptist Convention sent out to our churches. Our desire was to learn how our KBC churches are engaged in missions and how we can better help them reach KY and the world for Christ. In my first article detailing the survey results (“We Are Stronger Together”), we focused on two areas: praying and giving. This last article, I want to share about the results as they pertain to mission engagement locally, nationally, and internationally.
Two-hundred and forty-six churches participated in the survey. When asked how many churches are engaged in missions locally, 75% said that they are. Indeed, it is encouraging that KBC churches are beginning in their own Jerusalem as Jesus instructed (Luke 24:48). As a follow up question, participants were then asked how many partnered or worked locally with a KBC or SBC connection. Of responses, only 20% of the churches engage locally with KBC or SBC partners.
Moving our attention to national mission engagement, 46% of participating churches said that they are engaging somewhere missionally nationally. When asked how many of the churches are partnering with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) for their national mission engagement, only 22% said that they are.
As we think on a global scale, participants were asked about their mission involvement internationally. Of responding churches, 57% affirmed that their church is engaging internationally. However, only 30% of those churches are partnering with the International Mission Board (IMB) or Baptist Global Response (BGR), the Disaster Relief arm of the IMB.
So, what did we find out from this survey? For one, our churches are much more engaged locally (75%) than nationally (46%) or even internationally (57%). However, in their local engagement, they often partner outside of the KBC and SBC family. Another lesson learned is that our national and international engagement, while closely averaging a combined 50% of churches, is relatively low when it comes to partnering with NAMB or IMB/BGR (only 22% and 30%, respectively).
As I noted in my first article, these churches support the Cooperative Program overwhelmingly at 96%. Perhaps at that rate we can pull 8,000 pounds for gospel advancement. However, what if in our partnering we meant not only giving, but our going too? Maybe instead of pulling 8,000 pounds, we can pull 22,000 or even 32,000 pounds. When we stay within the family and “pull together” in our praying, giving and going, we can accomplish much more, even in some instances four times as much. As the Missions Mobilization Team of the KBC, we would love to help your church engage your Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the world as we “pull together”.