GREENSBORO, N.C. – In his message Thursday night, Judge Wendell Griffen, pastor of the New Millennium Church in Little Rock, Ark., quoted Elwood from The Blues Brothers’, donned dark sunglasses and challenged Cooperative Baptists to be on a “mission from God.”
To act on God’s behalf is an audacious belief, Griffen said. “However audacious our calling and claims may seem, remember that our audacity must be traced to God. God, who had the audacity to empty divine grace and truth into humanity and place it in the world in Jesus, is at work with us,” Griffen said.
“We’ve been commissioned to proclaim God’s good news to people in bad situations and change the world. We’ve been sent to shout freedom to people imprisoned by life and the order of things. We’ve been sent by God to declare new vision to people blinded by the weight of their past and present realities. We’ve been sent by God to call people who’ve been oppressed by greed, pride, power, violence and hate and declare their freedom. We’ve been commissioned by God to change the world.”
During the service that featured readings and songs in Arabic, Spanish and the Yoruba language from Nigeria, attendees gave $21,197.83 to support CBF’s work around the world. An additional offering on Friday night will go to the Offering for Global Missions, which provides for the salary, benefits and operating and ministry expenses of fully-funded field personnel and member care, health insurance, technology support and travel stipends for self-funded personnel.
CBF commissioned eight field personnel and church starters and recognized 48 new CBF-endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors.
Bo Prosser, coordinator of missional congregations, and Jim Smith, interim coordinator of global missions, led a litany of commissioning for the field personnel and church starters. “God has called. Your communities of faith have affirmed that call, and you have responded. These who stand with you represent all of the fellowship of CBF churches, and we are sending you out to invest your lives in the work of Christ,” Smith said.
During the service, George Pickle, CBF chaplaincy and pastoral counseling endorser, and Angela Lowe, chair of the CBF Council on Endorsement, recognized 48 chaplains and pastoral counselors endorsed by the Fellowship in the past year, bringing the total number of CBF-endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors to more than 700.