ROSWELL (BNM) – New Mexico Baptists need to reach everyone, according to Steve Ballew. Ballew, executive director for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, delivered his report to messengers and guests of the convention’s Annual Meeting after a well-attended prayer service led by keynote speaker Nathan Lino.
Ballew began his report by reading the International Mission Board’s vision statement. The statement came from Revelation 7:9, “A multitude from every language, people, tribe and nation knowing and worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ballew expressed that “the entirety of churches” should embrace the same vision statement – to reach people from every language, people, tribe and nation. To make the point that those people are not all far away, he reported that in the Albuquerque Public School System reports indicate that students its schools speak 80 different languages. He noted that New Mexico has a great diversity of people and that the world is already at our doorstep. Ballew tasked New Mexico Baptists to reach the nations in our state and around the world.
Ballew shared random statistics regarding percentages of the population of New Mexico such as the percentage of people in the state who live below the poverty level and the percentage of ethnicity groups in the state.
Because of the diversity in our state, Ballew announced that the BCNM is forming another ministry team among its missionary staff to reach the many people groups in New Mexico for Christ. The new People Groups Team will focus is the 2/3 of our state who are non-English-speaking people. Ricardo Rivera, the BCNM’s current Hispanic Strategist will lead the team.
“The challenges are enormous. We have the unique opportunity to reach more and more people,” Ballew said. He shared that New Mexico is projected to see only 1% growth in the next few years, so he feels we have an open door to make a difference and change the culture in New Mexico. “We need to transition to reach all the nations, all the tribes and all the languages – because we are going after them to share the Gospel in their languages,” Ballew concluded.