By Sharon Mager
“From Baltimore to Antigua to Cambodia, our staff missionaries have been working to catalyze stronger efforts by our churches to make the Gospel clear and present, wherever they are ministering in the world, starting with their own neighborhoods!” Joel Rainey recently wrote in a written report to the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network’s General Mission Board. The Engagement Team supports churches as they develop and implement effective mission strategies that will fulfill Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8.
The Engagement team desires to “fortify a strong witness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ within our churches, and the empowering of our churches to penetrate lostness through every sector of society in our region,” Rainey added.
This includes personal evangelism, training individuals and churches to ask the right questions as they frame their own contextually appropriate strategies to connect with a lost world. “We will equip our churches to engage the world Jesus died to save in four primary ways,” Rainey said, outlining specific areas:
We help provide development funds towards human needs as an avenue for sharing the Gospel, such as disaster relief and recovery, project development volunteer training and urban poverty initiatives, immigrant, and other cross-cultural ministries, and resort ministries.
“We believe that the Lordship of Jesus doesn’t stop with the church, but extends to every ‘dominion’ on the planet. These funds will be aimed at events, training, and evangelism projects that equip laity in our churches working in these sectors to demonstrate how the Gospel of Jesus brings the Kingdom of God into these environments and contributes to human flourishing,” Rainey explained. “There is no more strategic place on earth for a focus like this than the Mid-Atlantic region!”
“…While we work together to improve this life, we also want to start conversations with our neighbors to talk about the next life. Apologetics resources will be aimed at helping those in our churches more effectively give a reason for the hope they have, and bear an effective witness for Jesus, whose message has no parallel.
“The Mid-Atlantic region is one of the most multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-faith areas on the planet, meaning that those who attend our churches have neighbors that are as likely to be eastern-Indian Hindus as Irish Catholics,” said Rainey. “Interaction with, and cross-cultural service toward our current environment of hyper-diversity can and most likely will affect subsequent relationships around the world.”
To these aims, Rainey shared upcoming events:
“A Night For Peace,” at Glenelg High School on Oct. 16 will feature Emmanuel Jal, who as a child was handed an assault rifle and challenged to kill as many Muslims as he could. Jal will present his story and music at the event. There will also be a panel discussion with leaders from a broad spectrum of faiths. The event is sponsored by Gethsemane Baptist Church.
“Baltimore After the Riots: What’s Next?” is the topic of an evening luncheon on Nov. 9, during the Network’s annual celebration, sponsored by the engagement team and multiplication teams for those interested in learning more about what has transpired in Baltimore since the riots, and how churches can engage more substantively to serve the city. A panel of pastors will include: Joel Kurz, Sean Robinson, Jeremy Dickson, and Dan Hyun alongside Bill Simpson and Pastor Dan Crow of Open Door America.
“Ethnos,” sponsored by Village Church, Baltimore, on Nov. 14 is a conference designed to help churches reflect the heart of God in bridging historically diverse cultural barriers in race, ethnicity and class.
Learn more by contacting Rainey at email@example.com, 800-466-5290 x235.