Press Toward the Mark
is such a wonderful time of the year.
Decorations, movies, music, greetings and other media transmit messages
of joy, family, life, love, and celebration.
Disciples of Jesus know that He is the eternal source of real celebration
during Christmas as well as the remainder of the year.
Ohio is the united missionary work of Southern Baptists to make disciples of
Jesus in Ohio. The 2020 Vision is to
reach at least 1,000,000 believers in 2,020 congregations by the end of
2020. Ohio Southern Baptists can
celebrate God’s blessings upon Mission Ohio this last year.
Based upon the
last Annual Church Profile, Ohio Southern Baptist churches reported an 18%
increase in baptisms. The Annual Church
Profile is the only source available for baptism data. Thus, it is critical for all Ohio Southern Baptist
churches to complete their Annual Church Profile now.
Missionaries reported 27 new church starts and 3 new affiliations for this past
year. These additions bring the total
number of congregations to 702: 613 constituted and 89 yet to be constituted. Survival rate for funded starts has reached
the 75% ratio. Since 1996, Mission Ohio
has added 225 congregations: 202 being new starts. For the last available baptism statistics,
these 202 new church starts contributed 24% of the total number of baptisms.
Many features of
Mission Ohio have contributed to these baptisms and church starts: Appalachian Regional Missions, Associational
Missionaries, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Buckeye Builders, Chaplaincy,
Children’s Ministries, Church and Community Ministries, Church Planters,
Disaster Relief, Evangelism Ministries, IMPACT, Leadership Ministries, Literacy
Ministries, Men’s Ministries, Mission Education, Mission Participation Mercy
Ministries, ReFocusing and Alignment Ministries, Seneca Lake, Small Groups and
Sunday School Outreach, Vacation Bible School, Women’s Ministries, Worship,
Youth Ministries and more. The
Cooperative Mission Program has provided the base support for these and more
ministries including the International Mission Board and the North American
Even though the
economic challenges faced by Ohio Southern Baptist churches has affected
mission giving, our churches remain faithful in their support of worldwide
missions through the Cooperative Mission Program. Penetrating the Lostness of our world remains
our heartbeat, because it is the heartbeat of our Lord. This is the message of Christmas, and this is
why we celebrate it.
Southern Baptists across the United States and Canada, we are taking the Gospel,
the true message of Christmas (from the manger to the empty tomb) to the
world. Through the Cooperative Mission
Program, Southern Baptists are helping us to Penetrate the Lostness in Ohio:
1,000,000 believers in 2,020 congregations by the end of 2020. Let’s press toward that mark.
Ohio Team wishes each one of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New