Exodus 4:10 reads, “But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.’”
This is a sentiment Paul Chitwood can understand. Growing up, he was so afraid of public speaking that couldn’t even read aloud in his literature class. He recalls, “I finally told my teacher, ‘You can fail me if you want, but I’m not reading out loud anymore.’ I would have these little panic attacks, lose my breath, and sound like I was crying when I was trying to speak aloud.”
And yet, God called Paul to follow Him into the unknown, far past the comfort zone of his natural skillset. Today, Dr. Chitwood serves as the President of the International Mission Board with the Southern Baptist Convention, the America’s largest protestant denomination.
God’s heart for missions and evangelism is very close to Paul. In the rural Tennessee town where he was raised, some deacons from a local church made their way through a steep, mountainous neighborhood to find the home of a single father raising three young boys by himself. They invited that father and his sons to church. One of those sons was Paul, and this act of evangelism changed his life. He came to know Christ, began serving in church, and eventually felt the call to ministry as a result of missions-minded Christians obeying the Great Commission.
Now, Dr. Chitwood oversees an organization who sends out thousands of missionaries across the world. The International Mission Board works to fulfill the vision John saw in Revelation 7:9-10: “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, to the Lamb!”
This is a vision of the future, of a day when the good news of Jesus Christ has reached every people group on the planet. It isn’t a reality yet. Currently, there are three thousand people groups who have not yet encountered the Gospel. That’s why Dr. Chitwood and the IMB are working to send missionaries to every corner of the earth.
But does he actually believe this mission is possible to complete? He has an immediate answer: “Absolutely. Not only do I believe it’s possible, but I think it definitely will happen. Because God’s Word is true.
Listen to our full conversation with Dr. Paul Chitwood on this episode of STEP INTO THE STORY. And learn more about the International Mission Board at IMB.org.
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