North American Baptist Conference Weekly Update - July 25, 2011

For God so loved…..He gave!

Can you imagine what it’s like to spend considerable time contacting people via phone, e-mail, snail mail, and face-to-face in order to invite them to participate in an opportunity to give “over and above” for a ministry or special cause? I know, a lot of folks would shy away (maybe run away) from such a task.

Since recently assuming the role of president of the North American Baptist Foundation, I’ve engaged in this task on a regular basis. Let me give you two examples of how blessed I’ve been in connecting with NABers across the country. 

Example #1: A faithful NAB congregation encountered difficult financial straits. They found they needed to forego a commitment they’d made to support a new missionary appointee to an NAB mission field. Immediately we sent out an “SOS” e-mail to about twenty-five other NAB churches, asking them to consider meeting this important need. Within ten days, two congregations called and said they’d like to pick up the shortfall! Together, these two congregations provided the $4,400 annual funding that was needed to keep this family on the field. What a joy it was to call twenty-some other churches and share the good news of this quick response. Of course, I not only thanked them for considering this need, but told them that since it had been met, I would take a “rain check” on any additional help they had considered. 

Example #2: Over the past Conference fiscal year (September-August), many individuals had been contacted to consider a special gift toward the Moving Forward Together fund. This fund was designed to raise $150,000 toward significant needs that had arisen since the approval of the Conference budget. Not the least of these needs was the support of cost-of-living deficits created by the changing economy. As we entered the closing three months of this campaign, we knew that we would still be short. Once again, I sent out a special letter of inquiry to fifteen churches across the Conference to see if they might help us reach this goal. Again, what a blessing to receive the response from the majority of these churches that not only would they provide the requested amount, but several have indicated that they would like to know, as we get down to the deadline, if there is any additional need.

“God so loved….that He gave….” (John.3:16) I’ve discovered it’s the same with our NAB family. A special thank-you to these wonderful people, pastors, and lay leaders who have indicated that they also are willing to give… because they love!     

Ron Norman
President, North American Baptist Foundation
West Chicago, Illinois

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