This month, First Fruits of Zion was represented at the annual Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Phoenix, Arizona. The SBC is the world’s largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 15 million members as of 2015.
FFOZ’s presence at this conference provided opportunities for us to discuss “restoring the Jewish foundations” with high-impact Christian leaders from around the world. We were deeply encouraged by the amount of traffic and interest that our booth attracted on the exhibition floor.
One great value of the SBC denomination is that they are positive toward Israel and the Jewish people. This factor leads to a welcoming environment in the SBC when it comes to Jewish and Israel-related ministries. At this conference, we interacted with many Christian leaders who were hungry to learn more about the Jewish foundations of Christianity and how that makes a real difference in people’s lives.
Our booth was busy for the entire conference, but one conversation stood out to me in particular. On the first day of the conference, a couple from Alabama approached our booth and shared that they had just visited Israel. The gentleman shared with me that though he has been an SBC leader on the state level for many years, this was the first trip to the Holy Land for him and his wife. As is the case with so many Christians, they were deeply affected. As our conversation progressed, this couple asked me various questions about Judaism, Messianic Judaism, Israel, and how that all relates to them as Christians. At one point, the lady said, “I’ve been a Christian all my life, but I’ve come to see that incorporating the Jewish foundations is deeply needed. We are missing so much by not expressing the Jewish roots of our faith as Christians.” We went on to talk about how “restoration” is needed in two main ways—Jesus needs to be restored back into Judaism, and Christianity needs to restore its Jewish foundations. What a joy it was to see this couple take hold of and see the value of the mission for which FFOZ exists!
The favorable attention and traffic that First Fruits of Zion received at the Southern Baptist Convention is another indication that God is doing some fantastic things in the Body of Messiah. Little by little, foundations are being restored. Many Christians are coming to see Judaism, Torah, and the gospel in a new and positive way. FFOZ is grateful to be a part of that process. Please pray for us as we seek to carry this vision and mission of restoration forward. We are not waiting for people to come to us, we are going to them!
*Our FFOZ Friends program is what makes it possible for us to have a presence at events like the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting. Please consider partnering with us as an FFOZ Friend. To learn more, go to www.friends.ffoz.org.