I was struck by Saddleback pastor Rick Warren’s observation and challenge at this year’s Southern Baptist Pastor’s Conference about the way we Southern Baptists keep score on churches. He observed for the past 30 years “we have rewarded attendance.” However, in order to reach the world’s 3,800 remaining unengaged people groups with the gospel in the next decade, he contended we needed to reward “not attendance but reproduction, not size but sending capacity.” So his plea and challenge was for church planting. His method was for churches to plant and parent churches in the U.S. and among the unreached people groups. His conviction with which I wholeheartedly agree was “God blesses the unselfish church.” And, I would add God blesses the unselfish Christian.
What an opportunity we Kentucky Baptists have to expand our individual and collective “sending capacity” in response to the More for Christ emphasis. More for Christ means more of ourselves, more of our families, more for the lost, more for the needs of others and more for the nations. To me, More for Christ is about discipleship and a growing relationship with the living Lord and a declining relationship with the material world. It’s about becoming a more Kingdom-minded steward of whatever it is the Lord has entrusted to you to use for His purposes.
I am convinced we cannot expand out sending capacity sufficiently simply by writing checks and placing them and our currency in the offering plates on Sunday mornings. It requires us to steward both out of our incomes and also out of our non-cash assets – out of our estates. And, for most of us Christians how we plan our estates likely will be the single most important and significant act of financial stewardship we shall ever make.
As you prayerfully ponder how God is leading you to do More for Christ and expand your sending capacity, the KBF stands ready to assist you with private estate stewardship consultation to facilitate your life-changing legacy for Kingdom advancement. Please call Laurie Valentine or me toll-free. There is no charge or obligation for this service because it has been paid in advance by the Cooperative Program.
(502) 489-3533 or 1-866-489-3533 (Toll-free, Kentucky only)