The offering emphasis kicks off a five-year strategy to reach Florida’s most dense and diverse population center where 33 percent or 7 million—of state’s 20 million residents live.
One hundred percent of the State Mission Offering proceeds will be earmarked for church planting, church revitalization and church restarting in South Florida.
“Send South Florida” grew out of a conviction of Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, who drew new attention to the overwhelming spiritual needs in South Florida when he was named to the post in 2015.
“If we are serious about reaching Florida for Christ, we must be serious about reaching South Florida where less than five percent of the population profess Christ as Savior,” Green said. He urged Florida Baptists to become more aggressive in reaching the South Florida region.
The new initiative marked the relaunching of “Send Miami” as “Send South Florida” in a partnership between the Florida Baptist Convention and North American Mission Board. The initiative calls for greater Kingdom vision with more engagement, more commitment and more involvement on the spiritual needs of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
The State Mission Offering plays an integral role of the Send South Florida initiative. All state mission offering receipts will be channeled to South Florida for the next five years to help plant churches and revitalize struggling churches in the three-county region.
However, the funding changes will not come at the expense of the other ministries traditionally funded by the State Mission Offering. These ministries—disaster relief, church grants, mobile dental unit, partnerships, camps, etc.–will be earmarked in the 2018 Cooperative Program budget.
These ministries will continue to be funded to meet needs across the state and beyond. Additionally, no promotion costs will be allocated from the offering receipts.
During the week of July 24, Florida Baptist churches were sent a 2017 State Mission Offering Planning Guide with more information about the Send South Florida initiative. The guide includes a sample poster, prayer guide and offering envelope which can be ordered in quantities to distribute in churches. Also included is a DVD with 11 videos to highlight church planters and the mission challenges in South Florida. Additional materials can be ordered by returning order card included in the packet, or by contacting the Florida Baptist Convention at SMO@flbaptist.org; 800-226-8584, ext. 3072 or www.flbaptist.org/send.
By Barbara Denman, Florida Baptist Convention, July 26, 2017