ou dont have to read much of On Mission to
discover one of our most important core beliefs: God wants every Christian to
be personally on mission with Him, delivering the gospel to the
Does that mean that every Christian is a missionary? Well, not exactly.
Some on mission Christians receive a special call from God to go from
where they are to places and people that God has prepared for them. Philip went
to Samaria and Gaza (Acts 8), Peter went to the
Gentile household of Cornelius (Acts 10), Paul and his partners went to places
and people now chronicled as the names of many New Testament books (Acts
13-28). Names like William Carey, Adoniram Judson and Lottie Moon bring to mind
more contemporary missionaries called to specific places and
So does that mean you have to cross an ocean or speak a different
language to be a missionary? Again, not exactly. Take for example the eight
modern-day missionaries profiled here. Their unique giftedness and preparation
now help them get past the barriers that have kept people in their mission
field from hearing the good news about Jesus.
These missionaries are representative of the 5,025 who have been
appointed by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) to places of service in
the United States, Canada and their territories. During a special Week
of Prayer for North American missions March 5-12 thousands of churches and
literally millions of Christians will pray for these eight and for
theon mission cause of sharing the gospel throughout
We invite you, too, to be their partners in prayer.
He used to "play the preacher" after church for his
brothers and sister. "Back then the preacher would really preach and sweat and
throw his hands up in the air and spin around and everybody would shout and
just have a great time," said Roosevelt Broach, who recalled hollering to get
the right sound and putting water on his face to get the right look.
But it was all just play to the 12-year-old boy who never dreamed of being a
preacher. After he became a Christian at 14, that all changed.
"When I surrendered to the Lord, I really wanted to do something for God,"
Roosevelt said. "I knew it was just a matter of time before God was going to
call me to the ministry."
In 1984, Roosevelt told his wife, Roslyn, that he believed God wanted him to
be a pastor. He served as an associate minister at New Mount Zion Baptist
Church in Dallas, Texas, before starting Macedonia Baptist Church in Garland,
Texas, in 1989 and serving as its senior pastor until 1994.
Then Dallas Baptist Association (DBA) and the
North American Mission Board asked Roosevelt to be a church growth consultant
for African-American churches. Rooseveltwho thought his ministry would be as a
pastor to a congregation, not to pastorsaccepted the position as a missionary
and soon found Gods confirmation.
"Once I got to the association, I found out that God really had gifted me
and that I had a passion to do what Im doing.
And I enjoy doing it," Roosevelt said.
Roosevelts ministry includes 122 African-American churches, 80 percent of
which have fewer than 100 members. He counsels pastors and church planters,
aids churches in locating resources, and helps churches and pastors work
through problems. His goal is to help existing churches and church plants reach
a community he said has a high spiritual sensitivity and openness to the
"You dont find a lot of atheists in the African-American community," he
With 12,000 to 15,000 African Americans attending the 122 churches, DBAs
goal to plant 10 new African-American churches a year might seem high. But a
growing African-American population estimated now at 427,000 in Dallas County
means the association is reaching only 3 to 4 percent.
In addition to planting churches, Roosevelt works to keep at least 80
percent of existing churches healthy.
He defines healthy as a congregation that is growing. And to grow, churches
must be relevant. "We cant do church the way we did church 50 years ago [or] 30
years ago," he said.
Roosevelt also encourages young pastors to do as he did and get ministerial
and theological training from college and seminary.
"I felt to be the best I could be I needed to get all the practical,
personal mentoring experience I could get from the church, but I also needed to
get all the academic training, development and exposure that I couldnt get from
my pastor," said Roosevelt, who is a doctoral candidate at Fuller Theological
Seminary in Pasadena, California.
Roosevelt does not believe younger African-American pastors should forget
the past. He knows firsthand the value of his spiritual father and mentor, R.E.
Price, pastor at New Mount Zion for 35 years. From Price, Roosevelt traces his
desire to love people, to preach the gospel and to minister with integrity.
Calling African-American churches the fastest growing group in the
association and the state convention, Roosevelt senses that pastors are upbeat
and excited about the spiritual and numerical growth.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC