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INDIANA STATE MISSIONS OFFERING

INDIANA STATE MISSIONS OFFERING

September is the annual season of prayer to focus on the ministries of our state convention here in Indiana. There is information about offering allocations and a prayer guide online. Go to www.scbi.com or call the state office to order resources such as posters and envelopes.

Following are some ideas to help you promote this important missions offering in your church. This offering is critical to strengthening and establishing ministries within Indiana. A percentage of what your association gives to the offering is returned to the association for use in special missions projects. We can win Indian to Christ more easily is funds are available to assist church planters, church revitalization, and ministry!

2020 Theme: Churches Helping Churches

Scripture: Hebrews 10:24

State Missions Offering Goal: $75,000

Tips for Promoting the State Missions Offering

1. Make your church aware of the needs in Indiana for evangelism (statistics and information are online). Use the church newsletter, website, and worship screen to educate your members about the importance of the offering.

2. Set a goal and create a visual to show the progress toward that goal. Idea: divide a large map of Indiana into associations or counties and assign a numerical “value” to each by dividing your goal. As gifts are given, color in that section or cover it with decorative paper to show goal progress.

3. Prepare information that is age-appropriate and give to Bible study teachers and leaders as well as community group leaders to share. Call an associational leader and ask him how your association uses their portion of offering gifts in your area.

4. You may be able to create a video of the above interview and show it during worship. Personal testimonies of missions projects are a good way to illustrate the offering’s importance.

5. Schedule a date on the church calendar and have a Hoosier Fair which focuses on the importance of the Indiana State Missions Offering. “Booths” could include a Did You Know table with facts about Indiana; a food table with street corn, popcorn, chicken wings; a basketball hoop for free throw shots; and games popular at county fairs in Indiana (corn hoe!). Use your imagination as you create an event to highlight Hoosiers’ need for Christ. Perhaps one booth could be a demonstration of how to give a simple testimony to share Christ. This is a perfect venue for a “Who’s Your One” evangelism emphasis.  

Recognizing that all of this will be impacted by covid-19, you may need to shift and adapt your plans to meet current social distancing restrictions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in hosting a missions event using technology such as Zoom.

Regardless of current pandemic restrictions, gifts to the State Missions Offering are more important than ever in our search for ways to reach out to Indiana residents with the good news of Jesus. When our churches unite in giving, we will be more effective in showing God’s love through evangelistic projects, church planting, and revitalization efforts.

Tell His story in Indiana!

Indiana Woman Receives Leadership Development Grant

Elizabeth Morris, Mt. Vernon, IN, has received one of the first grants from the Candy P. Phillips WMU Endowment established in 2018 in honor of the WMU missions leader by her husband and family. The endowment’s purpose iss to identify and support emerging female leaders for future roles within Woman’s Missionary Union and its ministry partners. The grant to pursue the Christian Women’s Leadership Center Leadership Certificate consists of nine four-week courses in the area of Leadership Foundations, Formation, and Skills. Participants invest 3-5 hours each week to complete activities with a group of participants who watch instructional videos, converse on lively forums, and complete online reflections, quizzes, and reading assignments.

Beth serves alongside her pastor husband Don at Mt.Vernon Baptist Church. We are so proud of Beth for receiving this award. Congratulations!

Just a Pair of Glasses

Several years ago I found an illustrated advertisement in a Christian journal. At first glance I saw a drawing of a pair of eyeglasses. Upon closer observation, however, it was apparent that the glasses were very unusual. One lens was round in shape and etched on it was a world globe. The other lens was rectangular and had the words “Holy Bible” etched on it. To my way of thinking, the pen and ink drawing illustrated perfectly the concept that we as believers are to have one eye on the world and its needs while looking to the Bible for mandates regarding our witness and ministry.

Going and sharing God’s love is an over-riding concept of the letters of Paul to the New Testament churches. He challenges them to be faithful in sharing Christ as they live their daily lives. Unfortunately, even though we have many similar accounts that should lead us to a deep understanding of God’s desire for all men to come to Him, we leave the “going and sharing” to others. That part of the gospel  is for those who have answered God’s call to full time service or to go to another part of the world.

As many of our states focus on ministries within their boundaries, we may feel a question rising up from within us, a question we don’t ask aloud. “Why?” One small word with just 3 letters. How we as individuals, families, and churches answer this question will impact our states greatly.  Why should we be involved in going and sharing? Why can’t someone else do that part? Why does the need seem so critical?

Consider these responses:

Why? Because it is every person’s responsibility to tell others about Jesus.

Why? Because we are commanded to be salt and light.

Why? Because financial distress has fragmented our states’ economies.

Why? Because society has lost its moral compass and we are to be strong examples of how Christ can transform lives.

Why? Because those who are hungry, homeless, shunned, and forgotten need us to be advocates for justice and examples of God’s love and mercy.

We need to use new glasses to see our world and how God wants us to Go and Share!

Pandemic Calls for Sacrificial Giving

We’ve been on lockdown, learned how to social distance, and are “doing church” in ways we’d never dreamed of before COVID-19 hit. The impact consumes our news reports and has filtered into the very fiber of all that we do as believers. We don’t need another list of all that has changed nor the problems that have arisen because of those changes

However, the impact of the pandemic on our churches and their giving cannot be glossed over. Because of the giving process of Southern Baptists, every ministry and agency has been hurt by the fact that giving on the church local level has dramatically changed. Giving online has become the norm; churches are re-aligning their budgets; state conventions have cancelled events that created income and downsized spending. The support of missionaries on the field and concern about decreased giving to special missions offerings has meant our two mission boards have made tough decisions about allocations.

Is there a solution to the financial issues caused by the pandemic? We in the local churches must continue to be faithful in giving our tithes and offerings. We need to encourage staff and leadership to commit to the same level of giving through the Cooperative Program to enable our agencies to continue to support and expand evangelistic efforts around the world.

The Indiana state missions offering is emphasized in August and September, so as soon as promotional materials are available (contact our SCBI office for information), set a church goal and begin to make  your congregation aware of how crucial this year’s offering will be. Begin making plans to promote the Lottie Moon Christmas offering, realizing that 50% of the IMB budget comes from the gifts to LMCO.

We can help our ministries and agencies survive and support missionaries who are proclaiming the good news of Jesus in difficult places around the world!

ONLINE MISSIONS CELEBRATION SET FOR AUGUST 15

Something new is coming your way! In compliance with Indiana State WMU By-Laws, an election of officers must take place every year. The annual Missions Lifeline event that usually provides the venue for doing that has been postponed until the fall, but the actual business component for WMU will be held online with a special missions celebration on Saturday, August 15 at 10:00 a.m. The hour-long event will include interviews with missionaries, a word from national WMU Executive Director, Sandy Wisdom-Martin as well as the business component.

This is the first call for all WMU members to attend this exciting online event! More information will be posted and published via Face book and emails about connecting to attend. Voting privileges are extended to any member of a WMU group in any local Indiana church.

You’ll be able to participate from your home or with a small group connected at your church. It’s a new day, dictated by necessity! It’s a new way of doing something we’ve done for a long time! It’s a new way for you to participate and learn about how Southern Baptists engage in missions!

MI Re-Entry Retreat to Be Held at Highland Lakes

Indiana and Kentucky WMUs are co-sponsoring the annual MK Re-Entry Retract for IMB missionary kids returning for college. This event is coordinated by IMB and state WMUs to provide an intense time of orientation for students to help them adjust to life in the United States. A casual camp atmosphere helps them relax as they discuss serious topics that will impact their college years and help them cope with issues facing most college students.

WMU provides backpacks, lodging, meals, snacks, and more snacks, and more snacks plus some fun-filled sessions designed for interaction among students. This year’s event is being coordinated by Allison Kinion, Indiana WMU and Liz Encina, Kentucky WMU. If your church would like to participate financially, there’s still time to give! Contact the Indiana state WMU office and speak with Terah Adams.

The event will be held August 4-7. Here’s how you can pray:

1. Pray for safe travel and minimum pandemic restrictions.

2. Pray for the health of college students as they gather.

3. Pray that the students will be able to overcome homesickness for their family and homes.

4. Pray that camp counselors and presenters will connect with the students and establish strong ties even during this brief time together.

5. Pray that students will feel God’s presence as they begin new lives in new surroundings and meet new life challenges in the United States.

Time to Order State Missions Offering Materials

Contact the SCBI WMU office for information on theme, offering goals, and promotion materials for the 2020 State Missions Offering. Set a church goal, put an in-gathering date on the church calendar, and help your church become aware of how our state convention is proclaiming Christ to Hoosiers. Watch the SSBI website for details coming soon.

Growth Through Missions Education

Creating an awareness of God’s mission for His followers should be an integral part of our churches. Learning about missions is one part of this awareness. As we learn how God is working in the world, we will be challenged to participate as individuals, families, and churches. Following are some resources available through Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. The website – www.wmu.org – gives resources and information to help you begin your missions journey.

Age-Level Mission Groups:   Preschoolers, children, and students can learn how missionaries share Christ around the world. Each age has its own age-appropriate missions magazine and materials for leaders of the groups. Co-ed materials for children and youth are also available.

Adult Mission Groups:   Adults on Mission is a co-ed mission group with online resources. Adult women can find mission stories and ministry ideas in its monthly publication, Missions Mosaic.

New Mission Groups:   Starter Kits for any age-level mission group are available through WMU. Six month’s mission curriculum is FREE when processed through Indiana’s State WMU Office (www.scbi.org/wmu). Southeast Association can help you through this process.

Churchwide Missions:  WMU publishes many resources to help churches reach their communities for Christ and motivate members to develop missions lifestyles. Go to www.wmu.org/ministries for project ideas, mission experience opportunities, and how to support Southern Baptist mission endeavors.

33 Easy Ways to Do Missions in Indiana:   A new print resource (available via email upon request), this leaflet outlines 33 “user-friendly” ways you and your church can tell others about Jesus and support missions through praying, giving, and going.  (Email request: lclark1213@hotmail.com)

It’s Never too Early to Begin Planning!

Did you know you can plan a whole year of churchwide missions with one book?

This guide introduces the year’s mission theme and provides suggestions for missions events, weeks of prayer and missions offering promotion, leadership tips, and much more.

Order Missions Leader: WMU Planning Guide 2020-2021 in print or digital version. Visit wmustore.com or call Customer Service at 1.800.968.7301 to purchase.

National WMU Presents “On the Journey Conversations” Podcasts

Listen to engaging conversations that will inspire you to go deeper in your Christian faith walk. These podcasts are designed for women who want to develop a missional lifestyle. The podcasts are available at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Podcasts thus far include:

“10 Ways God Encourages to Give and Receive Hope”

“Hope for Anxious Women in Anxious Times”

“Committed to God’s Call”

“Loving God with All Your Mind”

Go online to watch these timely podcasts and join Sandy Wisdom-Martin and guests. When you download the podcast, be sure to subscribe and leave a review if option is available.