On Sunday, I had the privilege of speaking at West Toronto Baptist Church, an historic Fellowship Baptist congregation planted in the middle of a very diverse neighbourhood – “The Junction”, as it’s called (showing its railway influence). This community of faith is composed of dozens of people bearing different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Unlike so many other congregations, it looks like its community. That’s a sign of health.
That impressed me. But what impressed me even more was the congregation’s commitment to mission, at home and abroad. My Sunday morning speaking was part of the congregation’s missions conference, which would see several agencies and missionaries addressing the church family about the needs that exist in our world. I was delighted to have been in such great company!
The church’s commitment to mission goes beyond having an annual conference. During the service, there was a presentation on how many different missionaries and mission agencies that are supported by the congregation – and it is not an especially large congregation. The financial tally was significant: $40,000 annually is given toward the support of missionaries and mission agencies in Canada and around the world.
For some congregations, that wouldn’t seem like a great deal. I asked, casually, what the congregation’s annual budget is. Without any paperwork in her hand, my friend guesstimated that without the mission support, the budget was in the order of $113,000.
Isn’t that remarkable? A full quarter of the church’s budget supports mission work. And by “mission work” I’m not talking about relief and development, which some do classify as mission work: the work they are supporting is in Scripture translation and distribution, relationship building, and sharing Jesus with others.
West Toronto Baptist Church, keep up the good work. You are helping to fulfill the great commission before our very eyes.
(To listen to the message I preached at West Toronto Baptist Church, click here.)