Jesus Christ commanded us ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’ (Mathew 28.19-20).
The ‘early church’ took this command very seriously, though in the Middle (Dark) Ages it seems missionary efforts were forgotten. Then came Wm. Carey, who ushered in the modern missionary movement at the end of the 1700’s, as he felt God’s call to preach to those ignorant of the gospel, in his case going out to India. We, at Parkland Baptist Church (PBC), also take our Lord’s command seriously, it is not an option, and Missions is a big emphasis in our ministry.
So what is Missions and what are the goals of PBC in this regard? Simply put, Missions is carrying out our Lord’s command to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ (the Gospel) around the world. The command was to ‘all nations’ and so this means no one should be excluded from hearing the Gospel. There are many missionary organizations in the world carrying out God’s work in this way and PBC tries to do its part in fulfilling this goal.
PBC has had a long history, over its nearly 40-year existence, of supporting missionary endeavors around the world, including the denomination to which we belong, North American Baptist Conference (NABC). In fact, as many churches today can claim, PBC was the result of a missionary effort at one time, a daughter church to Central Baptist in Edmonton, as well as being supported by various other churches. We want to carry on the tradition of spreading the gospel, just as our founders started PBC.
While it is a huge task to preach the Good News to ‘all nations’, PBC does its part as we discover areas we can help people to know Jesus, in communities near and far. Beyond our day to day church ministry to inquirers visiting PBC, other examples of the former is our summer outreach to children in the community and support of ministries to First Nations. Further afield, we support missionaries and missionary efforts in such countries as Brazil, Ecuador, Romania, Zambia. We do of course support NABC itself, which has arranged for missionaries to go to many countries of the world that one church cannot cover.
We pray that God would find us faithful in these endeavors and that we would be as Paul was, ‘eager to preach the gospel’ way beyond the walls of PBC, through our missions efforts.