Linda's Articles

Hot Off the Press!

“Tell the Story: Bible Storying for Kids” is now available at www.wmustore.com  Sharing God’s stories with children has never been more easy and effective. A digital download, this new resource includes these tools:

  • 40 individual Bible story sessions
  • 60 different activities and games
  • 8 strategies for sharing Christ with kids
  • 5-day Bible storying plan for a mission trip, outreach project of VBS
  • Ideas for sharing with children who are unchurched or from different cultures
  • Tips for adapting stories for adults
  • A Bible storying cloth which is shipped separately

The response to this new resource has been great. And, it can be yours to use in ministry for $44.99!    

Mark Your Calendars Now!

The annual Missions Lifeline event will be held Saturday, August 11 at Calvary Baptist Church in Greenfield. The event is designed for anyone interested in missions involvement and learning about how Southern Baptists “do” missions. There will be a variety of breakouts to encourage local ministry, disaster relief, partnering with other for ministry, and hearing guest missionaries. A mini Kids on Mission camp will be held for children grades 1-6. Registration includes all breakouts, lunch, and an Invitation to the Journey, a missions experience for all ages. Special guest is Sandy Wisdom-Martin, Executive Director of national Woman’s Missionary Union in Birmingham, Alabama.

This is an event you don’t want to miss! Make plans now to bring people from your church. Register online soon at: www.scbi.org/missionslifeline

Christmas in August

August is the month Southern Baptists demonstrate special support for our North American Mission Board missionaries as they serve across North America through a wide variety of ministries. It’s not too late for you and/or your church to participate by purchasing items the missionaries have requested for their projects and ongoing ministries.

Lists of items can be found on Woman’s Missionary Union’s website. Go to www.wmu.org and in Search type “Christmas in August.” There are missionaries’ lists for every age group. Choose a missionary and then print their list of requested items. Do not purchase any items not on the list. You don’t have to buy all the items though! Publish the list in your church newsletter, bulletin and on your church website. Set a Christmas-decorated box in a high traffic spot in your church for the items church members will bring. Box the unwrapped items and attach the mailing address label to the outside of the box. Include a self-addressed stamped postcard for the missionary to acknowledge your gifts.

Christmas in August is an important way to encourage our missionaries in their efforts to tell others about Jesus and his love.

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.

Additional resources are provided by Southeast Southern Baptist Association through its missions efforts. Contact Linda Clark, lclark1213@hotmail.com or call 502.595.8473 for more information about how your church can become more engaged in missions.

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)

If you would like specific information about starting or strengthening missions education in your church, Linda Clark is available to explore avenues of partnership with you. Email: lclark1213@hotmail.com or call 502.595.8473

SUMMER FEEDING PROGRAMS

Now that summer is here, there are many children in our area who need to be fed. Just because school isn’t in session doesn’t mean they aren’t still hungry! Several county agencies provide hot meals certain days of the week. If your church is in a position to participate in this type of ministry, contact the county or district school office for information. If your area has no such program, think about how you could begin one. A centrally located church could cook and pack the meals and volunteers could deliver the meals to another church or park. This is a wonderful opportunity for your church to get to know unchurched families in your community and connect with them while feeding the children.

ANOTHER SUMMER MISSIONS IDEA

While children are out of school, it’s a great time to take them to visit local nursing home or care facilities. Spend time listening and talking to residents. Pray with them; write letters for them; and share Jesus with them. You could include some of these activities:

  • have monthly birthday parties (check with facility about diet restrictions)
  • provide music (piano, instrumental, vocal)
  • plan a weekly or monthly worship service
  • host holiday parties (July 4th, Christmas)

Want more ideas? Order Across the Street and Around the World by Diana Davis. Visit wmustore.com to order.

Evangelism Events in Our Association

Several churches in SEIBA are planning evangelism activities to reach out to their communities. Block parties, gatherings in parks, Vacation Bible Schools, youth activities, and other outreach projects are slated to make our churches more visible. The purpose of these activities? To proclaim Christ to the unreached and unchurched in our 9-county area. These intentional plans demonstrate the faithfulness of churches to engage others in gospel conversations and to minister to those in need. If your church wants to host evangelistic efforts, please contact Gary Yochum at SEIBA’s office for information about possible financial assistance for your projects. 

Take a Mission Trip at Home!

Here are some ideas for taking a mission trip right where you live. Finances or time may not allow you or other church members to travel overseas, but that doesn’t mean you can’t engage in projects to share Christ in your immediate area. Plan several ways to reach out into the neighborhood around your church.

  • Enlist youth to visit local businesses and volunteer to wash their windows. When asked why they are doing it, they can reply, “We are grateful for what Jesus did for us when he washed away our sins, and we want others to see him clearly.”
  • Host a family fun night at the church, at an apartment complex, or in a block party format. Pinterest has great ideas for easy games such as fishing, ring toss, or pick a duck that children will enjoy. For information on making “salvation necklaces” go to wmu.com/projects  Invite non church members to participate.
  • Face-Painting is always popular and doesn’t require a lot of effort. Enlist volunteers with a bit of artistic ability and others to interact with the parents while they wait for their children. Find out some key information: Where do they live? Do they go to church? Have they heard about Jesus?
  • During warm weather set up a water stand in a community park and distribute bottled water. Ask to pray as you give away the water. Make labels with your church address and service times and attach to the bottles.

Summer Sign-Up

Unfortunately, hunger doesn’t take a summer break. Now is the time to get involved in your church’s or community’s feeding program. Many programs provide hot meals 3 days a week during summer vacation. Find out what your community does to alleviate the hunger issue and enlist volunteers to help cook, pack, and distribute food to children who might go hungry otherwise. This ministry is a wonderful way for your church to become involved with families in your town and to develop relationships with them.  Go online for information about these hunger relief groups:  New Albany Food Pantry, Dare to Care (Floyd County), Community Kitchen Inc (Jeffersonville), Summer Food Service Program (Clark County).

Planning Ahead

A missions emphasis in your church won’t form automatically! Establish a team that will specifically address the missions education needs of your congregation. Following are some questions you might consider as you develop a strategy for education your members about how Southern Baptists do missions.

What kind of missions education do you currently have?

   There are resources for different age groups to help you expand and strengthen how you do missions in your church, including a yearbook of mission projects and emphases to guide your planning. Start small and grow from there!

Will you need training for leaders and volunteers?

There is online training available through the Christian Women’s Leadership Center for age level missions leaders. Go to cwlc.com for information on the user-friendly courses. SEIBA’s Missions Education Consultant, Linda Clark, is also available for group and individual training or to consult with your missions team.

How do we begin?

With a plan and a strategy, you can begin as soon as this fall. Free starter kits are available upon request, and information on discounted curriculum is provided through the Indiana state WMU office. Contact Allison Kinion, director, at akinion@scbi.org  Information is also available from Linda Clark at lclark1213@hotmail.com