I was recently with Dr. David Crosby, Pastor of FBC New Orleans, at a state meeting in Alexandria. Dr. Crosby expressed his concern for his city and in particular his hope that the North American Mission Board would honor its commitment to have 6 missionaries in New Orleans. At the time of our meeting, there were only 4 NAMB missionaries working in New Orleans. New Orleans would have all 6 missionaries, but one retired and the other resigned with neither being replaced. Having lived in New Orleans for five years, I certainly understand Dr. Crosby's plea for help. Later, a thought occurred to me: there are over 1,600 churches in the Louisiana Baptist Convention. If each one of those congregations sent one disciple to New Orleans to live and make other disciples, how different could New Orleans potentially be? Imagine with me . . . 1,600 additional missionaries living and sharing the Gospel of Christ alongside the current brothers and sisters who live in New Orleans. It was then that a second question occurred to me. How many of these 1,600 congregations have actually discipled and deployed members for the sake of the Gospel? As scary as it may be to learn how few are sending folks out for the sake of Christ, it might be even scarier to see how many are actually making disciples? That's for another post, however. Sticking to the topic at hand, I am praying that CrossPoint becomes a major disciple-making factory, where we see folks come to Christ, grow in Christ, and then go for Christ. What if CrossPoint never has 1,000 members at one time, but what if we plant 1,000 churches in our city, in other cities, and in other countries? What if we constantly discipled and deployed?
A final thought: If New Orleans needs 2 additional missionaries, then I believe the best place to start looking is in our 1,600 congregations. If we cannot find 2 that are both equipped and willing to move for the Gospel, then we might want to reevaluate exactly what we are doing from week to week.
A final, final thought: You might say and ask, "This is great, but where is the funding going to come from?" When Christ begins to reign over our family and church budgets, I do not believe funding will be an issue.