November 25, 2020
Each of the missionary testimonies shared during last week’s International Mission Board virtual Sending Celebration touched my heart, but one particular story hijacked my senses.
As an IMB staff member shared the need for a videographer to join the media team serving the East Asia affinity group, I found myself back in 1993, sitting in the pew of the old sanctuary of my home church, Mountain View Baptist Church in Phil Campbell.
During that early spring Sunday morning, a guest missionary speaker shared about her work on the IMB media team serving in Africa.
I can’t remember much of what she said, but the call on my own heart is still as clear today as in that moment 27 years ago.
Of course, I stuffed the urge down deep and attempted to fight the call for several weeks leading into college graduation.
When I finally conceded, everything made sense. The engulfing peace and clarity carried me along each step of the process and continues to this day.
What an incredible experience to use my communications training on the missions field and to help share the story of what God was doing among Caribbean Baptists.
My two-plus years on the field are forever part of who I am, and I advocate for everyone to participate in missions in some form — pray, give or go, or some combination of all three.
The request for a videographer included noting how he or she will get to work with a world-class team of media professionals, support the work of missionary personnel serving in various roles and coach those not trained in communications to better tell their stories.
He or she also will get to contribute to IMB’s mission of reaching the world for Christ.
From those like the now-retired media missionary I heard share back in the 90s to the yet-to-be appointed videographer, media teams have always been vital to IMB’s mission.
I applaud IMB leaders for keeping media professionals among the slate of missionary appointments and look forward to continued partnership in telling the missions story.
We must be creative in the way we share missionary stories today because of security concerns, but those trained in multimedia are navigating the options with success.
Thank you for counting TAB Media as part of your communications network and allowing us to keep you informed about missions efforts in your neighborhood and around the world.
The opportunity to report on the stories is more than an assignment.
Three of us on the team served previously with the IMB. One worked for the then-Home
Mission Board (now North American Mission Board).
Several team members take routine missions trips, and three are trained to serve with Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief.
Individually and collectively, we have a heart for missions and reaching the world for Christ. And it’s through our media training that we serve Him.
‘I thank my God every time I remember you … I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel’ (Phil. 1:3–5)
Thanksgiving weekend looks and feels different in so many ways this year, but we wanted to make sure our weekly conversation with you remains consistent.
Please know how much we appreciate you and are honored to stay connected.
We love hearing from you and always want to know how we can improve on the work we do in our service to you and the Lord.
Every once in a while we try something new, such as the word search puzzle you will find on page 21 in the print edition. We are interested in your feedback. It helps us make decisions, so definitely let us know.
Remember when we tested out a new crossword puzzle style?
Yikes — that certainly was not a popular move on our part, so we changed it back really quick.
We do listen and work hard to find the right balance for informing about the latest news with a calm and clarifying manner, inspiring and preparing believers for discipleship, and connecting committed Christians for missions and ministry.
The pages of The Alabama Baptist also offer a tremendous opportunity to spend time in prayer and think about how to apply concepts, ideas and challenges in our individual lives as well as corporately through our church families.
It’s always encouraging to our staff to hear from you about how a story touched your heart and life in some way.
You’ll read some of these stories on page 2 from time to time, such as the story Choctaw Association’s Terry Long shares this week.
And when you read about the 2020 Alabama Baptist Pastors Conference on pages 6 and 7 in the print edition, be sure to notice the comment from conference president Nathan Daniels, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church, Andalusia.
Daniels said he selected the Scripture passages for the conference because they are “powerful passages that have had a transforming effect on my life and my heart.”
The conference theme, Scripture passages and preachers were selected well in advance of anyone knowing exactly what life would look like in November 2020 — but, wow, did everything line up “for such a time as this.”