As difficult as it seems to believe it, another year is quickly coming to a close. This year has been filled with its fair share of blessings but also with heartbreaking stories of loss for many of our pastors, directors of missions and churches.
I am truly thankful for the blessings, but my heartfelt prayers continue for those facing much difficulty moving forward with their lives. We are indeed a family and when parts of the family hurt, we all are affected to some extent.
In times like these we look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. He alone can bring hope where there is so much hurt and despair. The California Southern Baptist Convention staff will do everything we possibly can to help those affected by the fires throughout the state. Our Disaster Relief team is on the field in many places and will continue to be there for the foreseeable future.
Looking back on 2018, much has happened that is cause for thanking the Lord. The structure the messengers voted for last year was showcased at the convention annual meeting by churches that were directly affected by the ministries provided through the teams.
Literally hundreds of churches took advantage of evangelism project help, starting new churches, making the Count the Cost process available to their congregation through the church revitalization initiatives team, and small churches feeling like they have a place and a voice through the small church initiatives team.
The Convention has been able to address our financial picture and get a handle on where we currently are and what can be done moving forward. Cooperative Program receipts are ticking upward for the first time in many years, and the California Mission Offering is thus far very strong and could be at record levels by year’s end.
I want to say a big thank you to all our churches for stepping up and taking responsibility for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in California.
Much has been accomplished, with much left to do to assist the churches in California as they seek to fulfill the Great Commission.
May this Christmas season be a time to refocus on the Reason for the Season as we give Jesus His rightful place as Lord. 2019 will be here before we know it, with a new set of blessings and a new set of challenges. Let’s face them together and trust that God will work in each situation.
From my wife, Pam, and me, Merry Christmas!
See archives of Dr. Agee's previous Insights.