Whether it's pounding shingles onto a roof at a World Changers mission
project or contributing to historic agreements among Southern Baptist agencies,
Bob Reccord invests himself in evangelistic partnerships. He knows that this
same spirit of partnership is one of the key ingredients for winning North
America, and the world, for Christ. Reccord is president of the North American
On Mission: Dr. Reccord, tell readers your view of
partnering and why it's so important to Southern Baptists.
Dr. Reccord: The essence of successful partnership is
synergy--the theory that the outcome of the whole is far greater than the sum
of the parts. Two people working together can accomplish more than the total of
what each does individually. So partnering is the effective leveraging of
assets, abilities and strengths. Our missionaries exemplify this principle in
action. If churches work together and each church does its part, they can
support and field a mission force far greater than if every church simply
supported its own.
Historically, Southern Baptists have understood this principle, which is why
the Cooperative Program, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Annie
Armstrong Easter Offering were established. Today 46,101 churches are reaching
people around the globe through more than 9,000 missionaries, including 4,815
in North America. Churches working independently could not accomplish such a
Also, we believe missionaries can be more effective when they aren't drained
with the responsibility of raising funds. When they come home on furlough, they
can rest and get the wind back in their sails. That way they're ready when they
return to the mission field.
On Mission: Partnering starts with the individual. One
person--or one team--partners with another. Can you share examples from your
Dr. Reccord: I'll give you two.
First, I think one of the greatest examples of partnership is marriage. I've
seen innumerable accomplishments happen within our family of three
children--and in my personal life--because of Cheryl, her input and our work
together as a team. So I have a constant reminder of the effectiveness of
partnering 365 days a year, because of my marriage.
Another example involves Randy Singer [executive vice president, North
American Mission Board], his wife, Rhonda, plus Cheryl and me. We decided that
one way we could be on mission was to start a Bible study in our neighborhood.
We distributed some fliers, setting the date and the place as the Reccord house
and inviting people to come.
Well, on the first night of the Bible study I heard a knock on the door
about half an hour before anyone was supposed to arrive. Frankly, I was tempted
not to answer it. I'd been traveling and was incredibly tired. Plus, I was
trying to get a quick bite to eat before the Bible study started.
But Cheryl said: "We'd better get the door," and she headed in that
direction. When she opened it, there stood a woman who lives in our
neighborhood. She told us: "I've been sitting outside your door for almost an
hour. I can't wait to come in. I've been on a search for truth. I've looked
everywhere, and I can't find it. But something told me 'here's where I need to
come and here's where I'll find the truth.'" That night Toni Ann accepted
Christ. And, by pooling our efforts, we four--especially the two wives--have
been able to follow up with her, and now her mother also has come to know the
This illustrates the synergy of partnering. Think about it. Had it just been
me conducting the Bible study in my neighborhood, a lady probably wouldn't have
come. But, because of the synergy of the two couples working together and the
wives following up with her, a woman who was searching for the truth found it.
And now she's sharing the truth with others. Out of that effort has sprung a
brand new Bible study for women in our neighborhood.
On Mission: That experience came as a result of time and
effort--commodities that are in short supply today. Can you say something to
the reader who's discouraged when abundant time and effort have been spent, but
there don't seem to be many results?
Dr. Reccord: The biggest challenge I see today is that we
live in a microwave oven society, and we want instantaneous results with ease.
I was amazed at myself recently when I put something into the microwave and got
impatient because I had to wait three minutes. How ridiculous!
I think we've been fed a false philosophy that if God is blessing you, and
if you're doing what you should be doing, then things will be easy and the
results will be fast.
After Adoniram Judson had been in Burma for seven years, he hadn't seen one
convert. He was interviewed by a young reporter who rather arrogantly asked:
"Well, Mr. Judson, after seven years and no results, what do you think now
about this Christian faith and your mission?" Without hesitation Judson smiled
and said, "What do I think now? I think the future is as bright as the promises
of God." And it was not long afterward that Burma experienced an amazing
movement of God.
On Mission: Southern Baptists are known for working
Dr. Reccord: Exactly. One of the greatest assets we
Southern Baptists have is our whole concept of partnership--agencies partnering
with states and associations and local churches, all of them working
autonomously yet interdependently. Partnering has been a key reason why the SBC
has become the largest evangelical denomination in the world. That didn't
happen by coincidence. That happened through partnering. And partnering is how
we'll make a difference in the 21st century.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC