March 2012 Press toward the Mark
Who are the people known as the
State Convention of Baptists in Ohio?
This question elicits many facets in its answer.
Obviously, we are Baptists who
live, work, and minister in Ohio. What
is a Baptist? The answer to that
question can vary greatly according to the one who provides the answer.
While the State Convention of
Baptists in Ohio belongs to the larger family of Baptists around the world, we
are specifically and intentionally Southern Baptist. Who are Southern Baptists? Historically, Southern Baptists originated in
the southern region of the United States.
Several features have propelled them beyond the region of the southern
states in the United States to a global outreach and ministry.
This global vision results from a
shared missiology that views all people as spiritually lost and needing God’s
salvation which is available only in Christ Jesus. That vision led Southern Baptists to Ohio and
every other state and territory in our country and to the one hundred thirty plus
other countries around the world.
So, the people of the State
Convention of Baptists in Ohio are Baptists and Southern Baptists in
particular. To be a Southern Baptist
first of all is to be a Christian: someone who has repented of personal sin and
received Christ as Lord and Savior by faith in His death, burial, and
resurrection. In short, Christians are
the people of Jesus. As the people of
Jesus, Christians are to be Christ-like.
Christians are to reflect the person and character of Jesus.
Thus, the State Convention of
Baptists in Ohio are the people of Jesus with the mission from Jesus. Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so
send I you.” We are the people of
Jesus. We belong to Him, because He
redeemed us. Since we belong to Him, we
obey Him. We have a mission from Jesus.
What is this mission? It is the same one that brought Jesus to
us. Jesus said, “I am come to seek and
to save those who are lost.” That is our
mission, too. We belong to Him, and we
obey Him. This is our calling as the
people of Jesus.
In our state of Ohio live over
eleven million people. The Home Mission
Board (predecessor of NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention estimated that
between seven and eight million of the residents of Ohio are spiritually
lost. These precious people do not know
Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They
will go to hell when they die unless they receive Christ as Lord and Savior.
Our mission from Jesus is to share
the “Good News” of salvation from sin and hell with these precious souls. We cannot do less; we are the people of Jesus
with a mission from Jesus. Mission Ohio
is the cooperative effort of Southern Baptists in Ohio to reach one million believers
in 2,020 congregations by the year 2020.
As the people of Jesus, will you join me in pressing toward this mark?