Linda's Articles

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.

Attention All Pastors!

By this time you should have received an important email for our state WMU director, Allison Kinion. She has sent each of you a downloadable copy of David Crosby’s book, “Your Pain is Changing You.”This book was written for Project HELP: PTSD and can be a valuable help for churches at this time with topics such as fear.

This resource will give you and your staff and church leaders a beginning point for ministering to the members of your congregations and community. The Bible Study “Trading Up” is another resource which contains several study sessions that may be of use to you as you navigate the uncertainties of re-opening your churches after the long period of social distancing.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Allison through the state convention or via email: akinion@scbi.org

Online Transformation Seminars Offered

Because the second Transformed event in northern Indiana was canceled, “Tuesdays at 2” is being offered online providing a selection of the seminars that were to have been given there. Every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. a leader will present her seminar followed by a live Q and A chat. The first Tuesday at 2 was held on May 5 on Facebook. Go to Facebook next Tuesday and participate! Oh, and it’s free!

WorldCrafts Update

WorldCrafts, a fair trade compassion ministry of national Woman’s Missionary Union, is featured in the May issue of Missions Mosaic and the heart-warming stories of  women who have found eternal worth in Jesus are told. Artisans learn a handmade craft which provides a sustainable income. In many parts of the world, human trafficking and labor slavery are ways of life. WorldCrafts is a ministry that helps women and girls who are vulnerable to make a living, discover their self-worth, and hear about Jesus. There are over 30 million women, men, and children who are at risk for forced labor or forced marriage. Refugees and impoverished families live daily in fear of hunger, shelter, and freedom being taken away. Southern Baptist missionaries work closely with the artisan groups and are committed to helping these persons and families come to Christ through the ministry.

What can you do?

1. You can support WorldCrafts through prayer.  Download the monthly calendar and make it available to church members.

2. You can shop! Host a WC party or shop online.

3. You can share the stories. Set up an informational display at church and enlist prayer partners. The display can be part of a missions event.

4. You can host an offering for the Isaiah 58:10 Campaign which provides the funding necessary to  pay WorldCrafts artisans a sustainable income.

Visit WorldCrafts.org/share for resources.

Honor 6:2 has just been birthed!

In response to the needs of seniors who are sheltering in place or in care facilities with no visitors, WMU is partnering with Iron Stream Media to provide boxes of Christian books, Bible studies, ad fiction for them to read to seniors to ease the pain of their isolation. Honor62.com comes from Ephesians 6:2 where we are commanded to “Honor our Fathers and Mothers.” WMU and Iron Stream are sending the boxes to senior care facilities, hospice centers, hospitals, and to individuals. Will you partner with them by assisting with the cost of printing, shipping, and handling? Boxes star at only $15.00 (shipping included)! Go to www.Honor62.com for details and online purchasing.

Keeping Women Connected While Being Socially Distant!

“Stay At-Home” and “Shelter in Place” are phrases we all are having to adjust to, in this new normal we are experiencing.  These measures, that have been put in place to prevent the spread of this horrible virus, have isolated us.  Women, who thrive on social and relational connection, are having to find new ways to connect, encourage and minister to each other.  “How do we continue studying the Word together?”, “When will we be able to pray with our small group again?” and questions like these are floating around inside the heads of the women in the church. 

As ministry leaders, we must take time to consider all of the angles by which we might connect women and encourage them through these lonely times, that may be filled with worry and anxiety.  Though we are socially distant during these days, there are some great ways to reach out and continue to build relationships.  Some of these aren’t revolutionary thoughts, but sometimes it sure is helpful to be reminded of things that can make a difference, large or small. So here are 5 ways to create community with women in your church!

  1. Pray for each other! Create a prayer tree or prayer partner system where women can share burdens and concerns and know that someone specifically will be praying for them.  These easy ideas have been used for generations, but certainly haven’t lost their relevancy.
  2. Communicate with each other! Whether you simply call the women in your church or you set up multi-person online get-togethers, make sharing life happen.  You can access several free ways to accomplish this goal.  Utilize group meeting or video chat apps on smart phones like Skype, Zoom, Go To Meeting, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp Messenger, or Facebook Messenger. Consider writing letters or notes to women each week to encourage them.  Snail mail may seem outdated, but you know what they say, “Everything Old is New Again”.  It will be so nice to receive a kind letter or note in a mailbox filled with advertisements and bills!
  3. Get in the Word Together!  Dive into reading and studying the Bible together.  Utilize the F260 Bible reading plan on the YouVersion Bible App, add friends and interact together on the app.  Create a small group study using the First 5 app and tag and invite other friends to join in.  Go online and access one of the free Lifeway Women’s Bible studies that are available now through June 18th and discuss the teaching videos through a video chat.
  4. Have Some Fun Together!  Put together a virtual trivia game with a group of friends!  Create a Private Facebook Group and have a Cooking, Baking or Crafting at-Home Challenge.  Post videos or pics online and chat about your successes or potential bombs!
  5. Create an Online Support Group!   This period of isolation has changed so many things.  Connect women virtually as they navigate through similar struggles.  Topics can range from serious burdens like caring for a loved one or dealing with addiction to more lighthearted topics like ideas for family time, homeschooling kids while the schools observe e-learning or even how to stretch a dollar while feeling the economic effects of COVID-19.

National Woman’s Missionary Union Amps up Social Media Presence

While WMU has had an active presence on social media for the past several years, it has recently taken steps to become a more visible source of help for churches as they navigate how to do missions and be socially distant.

Age level consultants are providing weekly missions education sessions on Face Book to help missions leaders grapple with trying to remain connected to preschoolers, children, youth and adults. These sessions on held on Wednesday afternoons and provide mission stories, craft ideas, and ideas for ministering to those in need while sharing Christ.

WorldCrafts, a compassion ministry of WMU, posts regularly to inform you about how to participate in the Fair Trade artisan ministry that is now functioning in more than 25 countries as well as sites in North America. Currently, the focus is praying for artisan groups around the world. You can download a prayer calendar for each month. Go to www.worldcrafts.org and click on the Blog and then on “download monthly calendar” for monthly downloads.

It’s Time for Annie!

Annie Armstrong, that is! This year’s emphasis on North American missions is March 1-8. The theme is “It’s All about the Gospel,” and the national goal is $70 million. As you lead your church to participate in this important missions offering, there are several things that need to be on your checklist:

  • Review resources and set a church goal.
  • Download promotional ideas, videos, and presentation suggestions.
  • Order the free posters, prayer guides, and offering envelopes through the Indiana WMU office at scbi.com or by calling 317.481.2400.
  • Schedule Week of Prayer for North American Missions.
  • Promote the offering with videos, missionary speakers and prayer guides.
  • Collect offering gifts.

Materials are available in English, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese.

Go online to: www.namb.net for videos and other resources.