Linda's Articles

Indiana State Convention Meets

October 9 – 10 Indiana Southern Baptists gathered for a time of fellowship, business, and inspiration. Held at Highland Lakes Camp, the annual meetings included messages from Indiana pastors, reports on ministries in the state, and two concerts of prayer led by Dr. Rick Hillard.

Reports of mission giving and evangelistic efforts created an atmosphere of celebration among those present for the sessions. Following are some of the report information (just in case you couldn’t attend!)

*The International Mission Board representative reported that 87,000 persons were won to Christ last year and that 4,500 new churches were planted. New missionaries sent out numbered 193.

*Indiana Southern Baptists gave more than $2.5 million to mission causes in the state, nations, and around the world.

*Two churches in SEIBA were recognized for being in the Top 10 in Cooperative Program giving: Graceland Baptist Church, New Albany and lst Southern Baptist Church, Clarksville.

*Disaster Relief volunteers were called out 4 times so far in 2017. They are available to visit churches to make presentations about how to become a DR volunteer. Contact Rick Hilliard at SCBI for more information.

*There were 2,176 baptisms in Indiana last year (the first year of increase since 2005!).

Here’s How They Did It…

The Women on Mission group in an Ohio church wanted to do something for children in their community. They did some research and decided to purchase backpacks and fill them with items for children who are placed into emergency care due to family issues or natural disasters. The bought and packed 30 backpacks, each containing these items: small blanket, pencil box and pencil,  coloring book, crayons, toothpaste and toothbrush,  stuffed animal, pillow, winter hat, gloves and small toy. They delivered the packs to the local family services agency. As a result the group has been invited to participate in other events that minister to children.

Operation Interdependence in Grand Junction, Colorado is a nationwide organization that helps support many of our troops serving overseas. One church in Virginia collected 226 packets of instant oatmeal and 159 individual drink stick packs and sent them to Colorado for delivery to troops. For more information about how you and your church can get involved go online to operation interdependence. The website will give suggestions for needed items and the address for delivery. This is a great idea for children or youth groups!

Women in several churches in Mississippi make small stuffed bears for Operation Christmas Child boxes. The bears are used as fillers in boxes needing extra items. They began the sewing project in 2010 and have made 12,000 bears! As part of the ministry when they get together to sew, the women pray for missionaries having birthdays that day (see Missions Mosaic monthly magazine for monthly birthday lists) and for each child who will receive a bear. A great ministry idea!

Great for the Entire Family!

As our thoughts turn to a new school year and fall activities at church, why not plan a missions event that will include the entire family? Schedule the event on the church calendar and chose a time that will attract the largest crowd. Sometimes an activity right after Sunday morning worship is successful. A special missions evening may work well for you. Maybe even a Saturday!

Keep in mind that your focus is families, so plan with them in mind. This will mean that activities should be all-age friendly. If the event is to educate, gear the projects to children so they will be interested in participating. Here is one idea you might consider using:

“Family Fall Festival of Missions”

  1. Plan activities for a come-and-go event so families can stay as long as they like and then move on to errands or sports events on their schedule.
  2. Enlist plenty of volunteers and provide them with supplies and instructions for each display, activity, or project at the event. Arrange the facility with tables, chairs, and other equipment needed.
  3. Promote the event about 4 weeks ahead of time to maximize attendance. Keep your plans simple but interesting. Be sure your publicity is attractive.
  4. Enlist someone to provide food (there always has to be food!). Again, remember children will be present so serve finger food that they will like.
  5. Think about having some of these activities/projects:
  • Our World – learn about Southern Baptist mission work around the world. Attach balloons with world facts on slips inside them to a large world map. Darts that don’t have sharp points will please parents! Free bookmarks can be ordered from the International Mission Board at www.imbconnecting.com to use as prizes.
  • Our State – use the Indiana State Missions Offering age level ideas online to provide information about our state and its spiritual needs. Choose 1 or 2 ministries and enlist someone involved in them to tell mission stories about their experiences (i.e., a Disaster Relief volunteer or volunteer at the Rescue Mission).
  • Our Association - learn about church planters in southeastern Indiana. Ask our association’s Mission Coordinator, Gary Yochum, for information on the location of church plants in our area. Distribute a list of ways families can help.

This event doesn’t have to be complicated or lengthy. The purpose is to educate and that can be done with creativity and attention to details!

Missions is for Life!

Six words can be used to describe the purpose of missions education in individuals’ and churches’ lives. These 6 words can enrich your church’s missions life!

Learn – about missions with biblically sound and age-appropriate curriculum for all ages. Go to www.wmu.com/getstarted for information. Gain a deeper understanding of tough topics like orphan care, depression and more, and see how you can make a difference: www.newhopepublishers.com  Find simple, effective ways to reach the community and the world for Christ: www.justmissions.com

Pray – for missions by cultivating a deeper prayer life. Find books on prayer at www.wmustore.com/prayer  Pray for Southern Baptist missionaries all over the world: www.wmu.com/prayercalendar

Develop - spiritually toward a missions lifestyle. One way to do this is to discover and develop leadership gifts and skills through the Christian Women’s Leadership Center’s learning experiences via online courses. Go to www.wmu.com/cwlc to register.

Support – Make a difference in the lives of human trafficking and disaster victims when you give. Be an active part of missions work around the world by giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering: www.wmu.com/support  WorldCrafts is a ministry that changes the world as it gives hope to the hopeless by teaching women and men about God’s love and helps them develop a sustainable income. See fair trade products at www.worldcraftts.org

Participate – in the work of your church and denomination by helping your church further the kingdom when you give through the Cooperative Program. For resources go to www.wmu.com/cp

Engage - in mission action and witnessing through a variety of mission activities supported by resources available through WMU. Christian Women’s Job Corps, Baptist Nursing Fellowship, and Pure Water, Pure Love are 3 ministries designed to encourage believers to use their talents and skills to serve God and proclaim the good news of His  Son. See www.wmu.com/jobcorps and www.wmu.com/bnf and www.wmu.com/trips as well as purewater@wmu.org

These six words can change your life, your church, and the world!

Ideas for Involving Adults in Missions

Here are some new and old ideas to help your church demonstrate God’s love to others:

  • Take a fall camping trip and carve pumpkins, inviting other campers to see them.
  • Build wheelchair ramps for those needing mobility help.
  • Package health care kits for the homeless.
  • Crochet baby blankets for a pregnancy center.
  • Volunteer at a food distribution center.
  • Provide “Blessing Bags” with food items that don’t require cooking for homeless persons.
  • Volunteer at a rescue mission to lead Bible studies or serve hot meals.
  • Provide birthday parties for residents in a care facility.
  • Knit hats for preemies and donate them to a local hospital.
  • Host a regular meal for your local high school football team during the season.
  • Serve Thanksgiving dinner at a rescue mission or on Skid Row.
  • Get training and participate in Disaster Relief.
  • Assemble food baskets for the needy in your community.
  • Distribute cookies to community personnel (fire, police, etc.)
  • Donate funds for water purification units for missionaries (contact WMU at www.wmu.com/PureWaterPureLove)
  • Teach English as a second language after being certified.
  • Read stories to elementary children.
  • Lead worship and a Bible study at the county jail.

If You Missed this….

….if you missed the annual Missions Lifeline event, you really missed a blessing and adventure! The one-day event held at Calvary Baptist Church in Greenfield was attended by more than 125 adults, youth, and children and began with a “Reaching the Lost” speed breakouts.  A lively kick-off rally led to breakouts that covered WorldCrafts ministry, Disaster Relief, church planting in Indiana, special sessions for pastors, how to enlist senior adults in missions activities, and working with women with a heart for missions. While adults attended the breakouts preschoolers and elementary children learned about mission work in Russia, complete with borsch and crafts! A bar-b-que lunch was held under the church’s outdoor pavilion along with popcorn, cotton candy, and a bounce house. Another adventure waited those who learned about disaster relief by touring the shower and cleanup units that were parked in the parking lot. What more could anyone want from a $5 registration?

Begin now to plan to attend next year’s event. Set aside Saturday, August 7 for Missions Lifeline 2018!

The Mully Movie

WorldCrafts, a ministry of Woman’s Missionary Union, is partnering with the Mully movie about a Kenyan man who worked his way from abject poverty to great wealth, only to be called by God to return to poverty. His “yes” to God has led him to rescue more than 12,000 orphans in Kenya. The movie will be in 800 theaters across the United States in October. There are kits available for downloading that will help you promote and plan follow-up as well as a 6-week devotional book. Go to WorldCrafts.org/Mully to purchase the downloadable kits. If your church would like to host the Mully Movie, contact WorldCrafts for referral directions.

While you’re online check out the Yatta purse and necklace being made by Kenyan artisans to develop sustainable fair-trade businesses. Mully Children’s Family began a vocational training center that rescues and restores young women broken by exploitation.

How Good is Your Drinking Water?

You might say, “What a silly question! We have good water!” Unfortunately, that is not true in many areas of the world. Pure Water, Pure Love is a ministry of WMU that is a very practical and tangible way of channeling support to our missionaries who serve in places where safe water is not available. Based on missionaries’ requests, WMU seeks to provide the method of water filtration or water supply that best meets the need. Grants from this ministry have made water filtration systems to be installed in countries where drinkable water cannot be found.

How can you help?

*This project is great for church plants as a way of introducing missions to members.

*Small groups can make donations online or send a check made payable to WMU, PWPL.

*As your community groups meet weekly, encourage them to sponsor donating money to purchase a counter water filtration unit. Send the gifts to WMU, PWPL, c/o WMU, PO Box 830010, Birmingham, AL 35283-0010

*Children and youth can collect money too! Over a period of time you’ll be surprised at how it mounts up!

Pure Water, Pure Love is supporting missionaries in a tangible way! Go to www.wmu.org/pwpl for more information.

New Resource for Women’s Bible Study

If you are looking for a new Bible study resources, I have several to recommend. Katie Orr has designed 4-week studies for women who crave more from their devotional time. The series is excellent for gifting or individual purchase.

Everyday Faith – will help women discover how to draw near to God as they explore Hebrews 11, the hall of faith.

Everyday Hope – explores the book of Romans and other passages to lead women to hold fast to God’s promises amidst feelings of hopelessness.

Everyday Love – will show how women can give witness to God’s purpose in their lives as they study 1 Corinthians.

Everyday Obedience - is a new study just released in summer 2017 and shows women how to walk purposefully in God’s grace.

Go to www.newhopepublishers.com to order these studies.

Mississippi River Ministry – YOU can get involved!

How about doing something different at Christmas this year? I know this seems early but for this ministry project advance planning is necessary. Read on!

Mississippi River Ministry celebrates its 25th birthday this year and wants to provide more Christmas backpacks for children than it ever has before. You can help celebrate by being involved in the SEND Relief Christmas Backpack effort. The River Ministry and Appalachian Regional Ministry work with over 450 compassion ministry sites and church plants across 18 states to deliver backpacks filled with necessities, gifts, and goodies at Christmas time. Included in every backpack will be a copy of the Christmas story and the opportunity to join the Mailbox Club (an age-appropriate Bible study by mail).

This year’s collection goal is 65,000 backpacks. The backpacks must be delivered to a collection site no later than December 8. Kentucky WMU is participating in providing backpacks for Appalachia so you could deliver your backpacks at Kentucky’s different associations. The list is online at: www.kybaptist.org/Backpacks  If Louisville is the closest location for you here is the address: Louisville Regional Baptist Association, 960 S. Third Street, Suite 100, 502.645.0357. The backpacks need to be at a collection site October 16-20, 2017. Instructions for packing are online, including the Christmas story and Mail Box card downloads.

Packing information is available online. Go to www.kybaptist.org/backpacks for local information or to www.NAMB.net/Backpacks for details about mailing to the Mississippi River Ministry sites.

Why get involved in something so far away? Poverty threatens 17.3 million children in the U.S. You can help! One little girl last year was grateful for the toys and other stuff, “but she really liked the food best of all, because that’s all she had for Christmas.”  (Missions Mosaic magazine, July 2017, p. 11)