Blog items tagged with "missions"

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)

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.

International Missions Study: Rohingya

It’s time to begin planning how your church will learn about refugees this fall! The Southern Baptist International Mission Board in partnership with WMU has chosen the Rohingya people as the focus for this year’s mission study. The most persecuted of all refugees, the Rohingya are stateless with no access to income, education, medical help, or residency.

Materials are available for all ages this year. A Promotion Kit includes posters, teaching guides, and other resources to enrich guide your planning and enrich your presentations. The “Missions Traveler: Rohingya” is a full-color magazine style product contains articles on how missionaries and volunteers are working to introduce refugees to Christ.

Engage your entire church in this year’s International Mission Study! Materials can be ordered at www.wmu.com/ims

Missions Lifeline

If you missed Missions Lifeline this year, you missed a great blessing! First Baptist Church of Charlestown led a mini missions day camp, and several North American and international missionaries participated and their presentations were motivational. The annual missions event is sponsored by Indiana Woman’s Missionary Union/Women’s Ministries and is designed to inform and equip all ages to be on missions and make disciples.  The 2020 event is already being planned, so watch for the date. Begin planning now to encourage your church members to attend!

The Number “131”

What does the number 131 have to do with missions? If you attended the annual Woman’s Missionary Union meetings in Birmingham last month, you got a glimpse of what can happen when missions-minded women, men, and children come together to celebrate! 2019 is the 131st anniversary of WMU and no effort was spare for the 2-day event that culminated in a day with 131 (yes, 131, count them!) different missions activities.

Held at the national WMU building on Missionary Ridge, the activities were held inside and outside and there was something for everyone! Guides dressed in historical clothing told the story of Southern Baptist missions and WMU. Ministry projects for Baptist Global Relief, packing meals for hunger relief, and making tee-shirt jump ropes were hands-on experiences. The new Walk of Faith made from bricks given in recognition of missions advocates or in honor of individuals who supported mission causes was featured. There were gutter sailboat racing, banana boats, and porcelain painting under the outside canopies. Breakout sessions included Baptist Nursing Fellowship info, the Baptist Friendship House in New Orleans, how impoverished women survive, and witnessing to friends.

It was hot on Monday, June 10. It was crowded. And, it was a great time of learning, encouragement, and fellowship!