Jesus did not intend for the Church to sit and do nothing when he ascended back to Heaven; but instead, he gave us a "Great Commission," to "go into all the world" with the gospel.
At First Baptist, we want to be a "sending church." That is we want to be a church with a heart and a sincere passion for seeing the gospel of God preached all over the world.
We partner with missionaries both here and abroad and use missions teams from our own local church to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
Baptists and the Great Commission
From the earliest days of baptist history, missions was in the forefront of the conversation for the future and vision of the baptist movement in the world. Men like William Carey fought for the central role and importance of world missions and evangelism for the sake of the gospel. Some baptists had become complacent in their theology of missions and suggested, "when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid and mine." These men argued against the notion of taking the gospel into foreign lands suggesting that men ought to minister in their homeland, letting God take care of the nations. Carey would go on to write, "That there are thousands in our own land as far from God as possible, I readily grant, and that this ought to excite us to ten-fold diligence in our work, and in attempts to spread divine knowledge amongst them is a certain fact; but that it ought to supersede all attempts to spread the gospel in foreign parts seems to want proof." The arguments were stifled and the Baptist Missionary Society was established in 1792. Carey would go on to India where he would translate the Bible into many of the native languages. Carey's efforts sparked what would become the largest missionary effort in the history of the Christian Church.
In 1845, baptists in America would split over issues of funding, missions goals, and most notably, slavery. The Southern Baptist Convention was formed from this schism. Though from a less than noble beginning, The Southern Baptist Convention quickly organized cooperative efforts to aid missions works at home and throughout the world. Notable missionaries such as Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong were sent out from this great movement; an entire denomination of Christians united under the common purpose of cooperating for the spread of the gospel into all the world.
When the Cooperative Program was established in 1925, the one and only goal was to gather funds from SBC churches into one place in order to more effectively send and fund missionaries in the world. First Baptist Church gladly participates in the Cooperative Program, which sends a large portion of our gathered funds directly to the SBC for the benefit of missions and missionaries around the world. Not only that, but we take up two large offerings every year: the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Both of these are special offerings given above and beyond regular contributions to the Cooperative Program.
We want to foster a sense of mission in our church which is precisely why we have personally partnered with the Southern Wisconsin Baptist Association, which receives direct support from our local church. We also send our students on mission trips such as World Changers in order to cultivate a sense of mission and gospel-centered purpose beyond our own town. Our children's programs on Wednesday night are geared toward missions education in Mission Friends, Girls in Action, and Royal Ambassadors.
From its earliest days, the baptist movement has been a missions movement. We want to be a part of that at First Baptist Church and we hope you will join us as why obey Jesus' Great Commission, to make disciples of all nations.