During his time at the SBC meeting, Jenkins had the chance to share his experience with other pastors, both as a participant in the IMB presentation and in one-on-one conversations around IMB's "prayer tent" exhibit.
"To be mobilizing others when we're just getting mobilized, it helps you see the work that God is doing," he says. "But I feel like a cat in water, too. I dove in and here I am trying to help other people. Sure, we've sent four teams, but I'm not ignorant enough to think that we're an engaging church just because we've sent four teams. We're still learning about our people, what our platform is and how we're going to raise money for the next 10 or 20 years to do this thing.
"But I want to help churches see that this is not just for mega-churches. You don't have to have a thousand people in your sanctuary on Sunday morning to be able to adopt an unengaged, unreached people group. If you've got 80 people in your church, adopt that people group, be as loud about 'em as you can, find other churches of 80 members to team up with, and you might have a thousand people reaching out to that group one day. It's for all of us. It doesn't matter our size; it doesn't matter our race. … That's who God has called -- the local church."
The first step, he adds, is to take a first step:
"Start praying for a people group. Start researching and learning about them. It's amazing what God does in your heart as a pastor and the heart of your congregation as they start to literally embrace a people group, not just on paper. Their heart starts to get wrapped around these people and they start seeing a God-sized call and a God-sized task in reaching them. I came to talk to pastors and see churches get fired up."
As IMB President Tom Elliff says, it's not the size of a church that matters in embracing lost peoples; it's the size of the heart of a church.
And its pastor's heart.
Erich Bridges is IMB global correspondent.
Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net