NAMB President Kevin Ezell, right, interviews Dan Coleman, a church planter in August, Maine, during Ezell’s report to the Southern Baptist Convention June 14. “Pray for encouragement,” Coleman told messengers. “Physically it’s cold in Maine. It’s also spiritually cold.”
Photo by Matt Jones

Church planting is the responsibility of every Southern Baptist church, and that responsibility begins with prayer. That was the message delivered by Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board at the SBC on Wednesday (June 15).

“We believe at NAMB that churches plant churches, and churches send missionaries — churches of every size,” Ezell said. “Often, when we talk about church planting, some might believe that’s for larger churches, but I want you to know that every church — all 47,000 Southern Baptist churches — can be involved in missions. We believe the very first step to doing that is to pray. Every one of us can pray.

“I want to urge you, and really beg you, to pray for our church planters.” Ezell said as he introduced an intentional effort to involve every church and church member in planting through prayer support by registering at

Testimonies from NAMB-endorsed church planters both in video and in person highlighted the importance of intercession for these missionaries on the front lines in North America.

“Dr. King said, ‘To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.’ I think we’ve found that to be true. We’ve found prayer to be the lifeblood of the church,” said one planter in a video interview.

“Prayer is sometimes not the means to an end. It’s sometimes the end in itself,” added another. “I think knowing that other people are seeking the Lord on our behalf, it’s a constant reminder that what we’re being called to do, it’s not a human thing. It’s a God thing.

Church planter Dan Coleman ministers in one of the most unchurched states — Maine. Pew research calls Maine one of the three least-religious states in the nation. He asked the convention to pray for him and his family as they minister in this difficult area.

“Pray for encouragement,” he said. “Physically it’s cold in Maine. It’s also spiritually cold.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
K. Faith Morgan