JACKSONVILLE–Members of the Florida Baptist Convention’s State Board of Missions gathered in a virtual meeting Feb. 1 to celebrate what God has done through Florida Baptists and to acknowledge that “He is still asking more of Florida Baptists.”
Aaron Burgner, board president, focused on Acts 18, a biblical passage detailing the Apostle Paul spending time in Corinth with both the Jews and Gentiles. Burgner stated that Paul appeared to be growing tired in spirit and that the Lord spoke to him through a vision, inspiring Paul to stay in Corinth for 18 months.
“Getting weary in ministry is normal,” said Burgner, senior pastor of Lakes Church in Lakeland. The Lord’s words to Paul in Acts are a two-fold prescription to weary Christians today, he said. First, God calls believers to “continued obedience,” and second, God calls believers to “remember His promises,” which happens by “living in His Word every day.”
Burgner encouraged those in attendance, saying, “Don’t give up. Keep doing what God called you to do.”
Florida Baptist State Convention President, Mike Orr, greeted attendees and said, “How blessed we are to be Florida Baptists. It is exciting to see what God is doing in our state.” Orr, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Chipley, echoed Burgner’s encouragement and called on Florida Baptists to “be faithful.”
Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, reported that Florida Baptist churches gave $28,629,944 through the Cooperative Program in 2023. Of that, the convention sent $14,410,231, or 51% of actual receipts, to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program. The state retained $14,219,713 for missions and ministry efforts in Florida.
Green stated that Florida Baptists have given $1,349,685,999 through the Cooperative Program since its inception in 1925.
Board members learned that in the final quarter of 2023 the Florida Baptist Convention provided a total of $68,701 to assist 101 pastors through its Pastor Financial Assistance Program.
Additionally, Florida Baptists gave $707,019 in 2023 to the Maguire State Mission Offering. The entire offering is designated to fund church planting initiatives in the state.
Attendees received reports from four Florida Baptist Cooperating Ministries: The Baptist University of Florida, One More Child, Florida Baptist Financial Services and Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center.
In closing, Green reflected on Luke 12:48, stating that God has committed much to Florida Baptists. Yet, “He is still asking more of Florida Baptists,” Green said. “And we want to do more; we want more to be done in Florida.”
With the local church as the “center” of all that Florida Baptists do, Green asked, “How can we best work together as churches to change lives to the glory of Jesus Christ?”
The next board meeting will be April 4-5 in Jacksonville.