President’s Perspective: One Day — 11.7.17

Do you ever feel frustrated because you can’t solve all the problems you see around you? There are so many needs in our communities: single moms in distress, broken families, underfunded schools, people struggling to pay the power bill — the list could go on and on. None of us can help everyone, but what if, for one day, we all decided to help someone?

Imagine what it would be like if this year’s annual meeting of the South Carolina Baptist Convention were more than a meeting. What if, for one day during the annual meeting in Columbia, we all went out into the city to serve people who live there? Lord willing, that is exactly what we will do on Nov. 7.

Think of it as a one-day mission trip to Columbia! The afternoon session on that day will be devoted to serving the city. We will partner with area churches and church planters to support the work they are already doing to share the love of Christ with their communities. This work will allow for follow-up efforts after we are gone. Think of the encouragement you could be to pastors and church planters as you serve alongside them in their community.

We will also be working with some worthy ministries like food pantries, crisis pregnancy centers, and those working to stop human trafficking. Finally, we will also seek to be a blessing to local schools and to the soldiers at Fort Jackson, as well as to local policemen and firemen. Hundreds of South Carolina Baptists will scatter out across the city of Columbia to do kingdom work together! The theme for our annual meeting this year is one word: UNITE. Let’s make that more than a slogan. For one amazing day, let’s live it out!

After the afternoon of service, we will come back to Shandon Baptist Church for our evening session, where we will hear testimonies and celebrate all that God will have done that day. Kevin Ezell, president of  the North American Mission Board, will be preaching that evening. We will close the Tuesday night session by having a commissioning service for everyone who plans to go on a mission trip in 2018!

We will be providing you with a lot more information in the months ahead and telling you how to sign up for “One Day.” For now, I simply ask you to place Nov. 7, 2017, on your church and personal calendars. I want to challenge you to bring the largest group your church has ever taken on a mission trip! I’m not asking you to go to the mission field for four years — just go on a mission trip for one day. I’m not asking you to commit to a partnership for 12 months — just partner with us for one day. I’m not asking you to sign up for something that will take weeks to complete — I’m asking you to sign up for one day.

None of us can help everyone, but what if, for one day, we all decided to help someone? How many lives could God touch in just one day? Let’s find out together on Nov. 7.

— Keith Shorter is pastor of Mt. Airy Baptist Church in Easley and president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.