This week, I will be speaking at two global mission boards.
The International Mission Board is my own denominational international mission agency. On Monday, I join with Jerry Rankin to end the evening session talking about how pastors can be involved in global missions.
One of the favorite parts of my job is working with the International Mission Board. When I was praying about coming to LifeWay, it was my dinner with Jerry Rankin that finalized the decision. Odd, I know, but it went like this.
Thom Rainer had approached me about coming to LifeWay and leading LifeWay Research. I was very interested, but feel a call to missiology and mission research. Dr. Rankin had asked me to dinner in Atlanta to talk about working with the IMB in a full or part-time role.
We talked a bit about working at the IMB, but when I told him about Thom Rainer's LifeWay Research role, he leaned over the table and said, "Oh, Ed, you need to go to LifeWay and we will just partner with LifeWay to share you!" The rest is history. Part of my job is to serve the IMB-- when I speak, I represent the IMB. And, twice a year I try to involve innovative church pastors in global missions. (My next trip is to Krakow this fall.)
After I speak there, I jump on a plane (a really small plane) from Richmond, VA to Harrisburg, VA to lead a seminar at the Association of Baptists for Worldwide Evangelism (ABWE).
The ABWE is a large mission board for independent Baptist churches. Their website explains:
The Association of Baptists for World Evangelism is an independent mission agency that exists to serve local churches in the task of sending missionaries around the world. ABWE, with ministries in over 80 countries, services over 5,000 churches and 1,400 missionaries.
Many people first heard about the ABWE when the Bowers family was shot down by Peruvian air force planes assist by U.S. advisors in a tragic accident over Peru. (Read their memorial service here.)
You can read more about the remarkable ministry of the ABEW here.
You can read about the ABWE event here.
I have a great heart for the nations-- and hope you do, too. There is so much to distract us from the Great Commission, but it is worth all our effort and our focus.