According to our Lord Jesus Christ, sharing the Gospel with whomever will listen is the top priority He assigned as recorded in the Gospels. Historically, Southern Baptists have focused on that priority at every level.
As a twelve-year-old boy, I attended a Royal Ambassador summer camp and learned of Jesus’ love for me and my need for a personal relationship with Him. One of the counselors took the time to guide me through Scripture to learn how to respond to Jesus’ offer of forgiveness and eternal life. When I responded and committed my life to Him, He forgave my sin and gave me eternal life. I rejoice that someone had time for a twelve-year-old boy who had a need.
As I have journeyed through life, I have been captured by the Scripture references about Jesus making time for children even in a culture that relegated children to be in the background.
In addition, Jesus spoke of a coming time when He would return and separate the sheep from the goats. He spoke of what characterized a sheep from a goat. Several ministries were noted. Jesus said that, “In as much as you have done these things to the least of these, you have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
The Office of Public Instruction in Helena states that roughly one third of the children in our grade schools are struggling and need out-of-class help to succeed in their studies. Across the state, there are stories of adults who are functionally illiterate and are struggling to provide for their families. In addition, the major population centers in Montana have people from around the world who cannot read, write, or speak English well enough to function effectively in the job market. These needs will not be met through normal Bible studies, Sunday school, church services, Bible schools, and other “events” because of the limited contact with those in need. Only through commitment to the principle set forth in Matthew 28:20 (discipling) will struggling people be helped.
Discipling is a long-term commitment to pour ones’ life skills into the life of a person who does not yet have those skills. Jesus, speaking of spiritual discipling, instructed to disciple others until they can practice all that it means to be a disciple.
Those who have literacy needs are like the lost sheep in Jesus’ parable. Who will leave the comfort of the routine to help those in need? Literacy Missions provides opportunity to touch a life spiritually and educationally.