Linda's Articles

Here’s How They Did It…

A church missions group in Florida chose Pure Water, Pure Love as a project for last year. Members took bottles of water, drank the water, and returned the bottles filled with change. They called it “Pennies for Pure Water” and were able to send in $1,206.40! They followed the collection with a Hawaiian luau. They are doing the project again this year and will celebrate with a Mexican fiesta.

Pure Water, Pure Love is a ministry of Woman’s Missionary Union that provides water filters for missionary families and the people they serve with wells that offer clean water, free from disease-causing microorganisms. More information is available at www.wmu.com/getinvolved  (videos, water bottle labels, etc.).

How much do you know about the water crisis in the world?

*About 3.4 million people each year die from water-related diseases.

*More than 780 million people lack access to clean water.

*Lack of clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate of a plane crashing every four hours.

*Women spend 200 million hours a day collecting water.

There IS something we can do – and Pure Water, Pure Love is a channel for our giving and support of clean water.

Week of Prayer for North American Missions

March 5 – 12, 2017 has been set aside to pray for Southern Baptist North American mission efforts. An informational packet is mailed to every Indiana church, and your church can order free posters, prayer guides, and offering envelopes through the state WMU office. Ordering can be done online or by contacting Terah Adams at: tadams@scbi.org  The North American Mission Board (NAMB) has a Press Kit available online at www.namb.net that contains missionary stories, videos, and photos of featured missionaries.

This year’s theme is “Together for His Kingdom,” and the national goal for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is $70,000,000. It’s estimated that 259 million people in North American do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. Prayer and financial support are critical for the work of church planters, evangelism catalysts, and missionaries who carry the gospel throughout North America.

Has your church set a goal for this offering? If not, set one and challenge your members to become actively involved by praying, giving, and going. “Together for His Kingdom!”

Need a New Ministry Idea?

This book is for you! “Across the Street, Around the World” is a resource full of ideas to spark missional focus in your missions group or church. The authors focus on presenting practical suggestions and give hundreds of ideas that are arranged in categories depending on the amount of time needed – one hour, one day, one week or longer. The book can be ordered through New Hope Publishers for $14.99.  Visit www.NewHopePublishers.com to order this valuable resource.

It’s a New Year!

As we enter 2017, make plans to introduce your church to mission opportunities every quarter. Here are some ways you can do that:

  1. Winter Quarter: Select a date for the missions-related project and put it on the church calendar. Since cold weather is a real part of these months, gather good, used coats, gloves, mufflers, and hats and take them to a ministry for distribution. Promote the project in your bulletin, on the church website, and in worship services. See the article below for ideas to involve children in missions in February.
  2. Spring Quarter:  Set a goal for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. Enlist several persons to work with you to create a promotion display to chart the progress toward reaching the goal. Using scratch-away paper, outline the shape of each state and as certain amounts of the goal are given, scratch away to reveal the colors underneath. Encourage giving so the entire U.S. map is “colored in.” (This scratch-away paper can be ordered through Oriental Trading Company online or at Norton Novelty in Jeffersonville)
  3. Summer Quarter: Go online to www.wmu.com  www.namb.net or www.imbconnecting.com for missions videos to show at a Missions Movie Night during the summer months. Choose videos that are brief and ones that would interest everyone in the family. If your church has a suitable outdoor area, set up the viewing screen and chairs there. Serve popcorn, hot dogs, etc. to make the event a fun evening that will create missions awareness. Pinterest is a great site for fresh ideas about food, outdoor movie screens, etc.
  4. Fall Quarter: As children begin a new school year, lead church members to equip needy students with backpacks containing school supplies such as pencils, lined paper, etc. Find an existing ministry that will distribute them or contact the school nearest your church for information on donating them.

Love Your Neighbor: Children’s Ministry Day 2017

Children in grades 1-6 are invited to participate in this community outreach event during the month of February. Children’s Ministry Day is an opportunity to teach children that they can help make a difference in their neighborhoods and community.

The projects your children do should be dictated by the needs in your community. One idea would be to help the children make simple winter-themed wreaths and take them to neighbors near your church. Give them Scripture verses to share as they present the wreaths. You may choose to use the church kitchen to bake cookies and deliver them to neighbors close by. Include information about your church and its activities as well as a copy of the Gospel of John.

Children’s Ministry Day reminds children (and their parents) that they, too, can be missionaries!

To get started, go to www.wmustore.com/cmd or call WMU Customer Service at 1.800.968.7301. A resource/promotion packet is available for $17.99, badges/patches for each child for $2.99 and shirts for $8.95 each. Free Resources of clip art, flyers, press releases, and certificates can be downloaded online.

Using Social Media to Share the Gospel

(information based on article “Tweet It! Share It! Post It!” in Missions Mosaic Magazine, February 2017,  p. 23)

Being intentional in sharing Christ as you use social media can become part of your daily life, just as using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become. Sharing your faith in this way takes prayerful consideration and careful postings. It’s more than posting a Scripture verse or Christian slogan on a placard! Post with the goal of establishing relationships. Here are a few suggestions as you consider sharing your testimony through social media.

  • Be personal – This will impact readers.
  • Post more than just a Bible verse – Share what the verse means to you. In other words, make it personal.
  • Use discernment in your postings – Strong graphics may be regarded as judgmental.
  • Be careful about postings whose meanings are clear only to Christians – Intrigue readers, rather than lead them to unfriend you!
  • Church politics, political tirades or whining have no place in your posts – Posts should be positive and uplifting.
  • Offer additional support that will build relationships.
  • Be a friend – It may take time to develop a relationship. Be patient!

Women’s Leadership Courses Update

The following courses through the Christian Women’s Leadership Center in early 2017 are as follows:

Leadership Theory” led by Dr. Noel Forini Burt will begin February 1 for 4 weeks. This course will lead participants to consider how their leadership styles are impacted by their faith in Christ. The course text will be “Servant Leadership” by Rhonda Kelley (a New Hope publication).

Follower Skills” taught by Danette High, an emeritus missionary, will investigate the balance of leading and following. Course text is “The Team that Jesus Built” by Janet Thompson (a New Hope publication).

Both courses run for 4 weeks and are taken online. Register online at www.ChristianLeaderLearning.com  

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions

December is the month Southern Baptists observe a Week of Prayer for international missions and participate in giving to a seasonal missions offering. The International Mission Board (IMB) relies on gifts to this offering to fund 50% of its mission budget for efforts around the world. Gifts are allocated for missionary salaries, special projects such as water wells for villages, radio broadcasts, language materials, pastoral training, and work with children and students.

Free materials are available to help your church promote the offering. Go online to www.imbconnecting.com  for testimonies, videos, and ideas for presenting mission information.  Bulletin inserts, posters, and offering envelopes are available through the Indiana State WMU office.

Here’s How You Can Do It!

Lottie’s Latte Shop

The youth of a nearby church sponsor an annual Lottie’s Latte Shop to raise funds for the Lottie Moon Offering. Sugar cookies (a favorite of Lottie, missionary to China in the 1880s) and lattes are given to church members for offering donations. What a great idea!

Other churches sponsor a Post Office for members giving each other Christmas cards. Youth work the project and the money that would be spent on postage goes to the mission offering. Another great idea!

Some churches provide a Christmas tree and add ornaments as a gifts are given to reach their goal. Wreaths can be displayed and ribbon bows attached to show how much money has been given. Some churches display a world map and mount fabric or color in continents as portions of the goal are given.

For Women:

Local Women’s Event Coming Soon

A fellowship event for all women in Southeast Association will be held in February. Still in the planning stages, a ministry opportunity will be provided and a “get-to-know-you” time will focus on what women are doing in our churches in missions and ministry. Watch for the event date coming soon!

Wives in Ministry

If you are a pastor’s wife looking for ministry training, this weekend is for you! The event is designed to train and equip you to minister alongside your pastor/husband. Topics included will be: finding contentment as a ministry wife, leadership development, building friendships, cultivating relationships, handling healthy conflict, fighting depression, and supporting your husband. The event will be held at Highland Lakes Camp and registration is $25 (housing not included). For more information and to register go to www.scbi.org/wivesinministry.

Statewide “Transformed” Events Planned

Transformed women’s retreat is a rewarding weekend that challenges women 18 and over to grow in their relationship with Christ and to answer His radical call to reach the nations with His good news. You have a choice of two events:

  • March 3-4, 2017 at Graceland Baptist Church, New Albany
  • April 7-8 2017 at Sunnycrest Baptist Church, Marion

Registration is only $55 if paid by Feb. 3 for the southern event or by March 7 for the Marion location. Hotel options can be found online at www.scbi.org/transformed.

Don’t miss this exciting time for Indiana women!