Since 1845 Southern Baptists have been funding and sending missionaries to the foreign field. In September of that year, the Foreign Mission Board, now the International Mission Board (IMB), commissioned two missionaries and sent them to China.
Fast forward to today, we find that as of November 30, 2023, there were 3,515 field personnel serving with the IMB. Did you know that the IMB is in the process of assigning each missionary unit a portfolio of churches? This will serve to put a very personal face on our cooperative efforts to take the gospel the ends of the earth.
Besides praying for those profiled in the Lottie Moon week of prayer for International Missions, or those listed in other publications, your church can get personalized prayer requests from “your missionary.” (I’ll use the word missionary to keep things simple, but a husband and wife are both considered missionaries. There are many single missionaries on the field, as well.) Your church’s relationship with a missionary can go beyond prayer for the work. You can also pray for the family on their birthdays and special occasions. And, in most cases you can GO and serve on a short-term mission trip with your missionary.
If you already have a relationship with one or more IMB missionaries, and they don’t happen to be your assigned missionary, do you “have to” create another relationships with your assigned missionary? No. But, with the emphasis being prayer, that would be a pretty easy relationship to manage!
How do you find out who has been assigned to your church? Please ask your pastor or church staff member to fill out the form at this link, and the ABSC will make the proper contacts with the IMB. It will likely take several weeks to get back to you. Thank you for your willingness to build a relationship with a missionary unit on the field!