Our Mission Strategy - for our church, for your life!
Just four words sum it up – worship, prepare, serve, and engage. Our worship service is usually the first place people come. Then they get plugged into a small group. From there they begin to serve and ultimately engage. As we begin to invite others to join us on the journey, they also begin with worship, moving to a small group experience (prepare) and then ultimately to reach out to their circle of friends and the community.
Worship is an opportunity for us to praise God and experience fellowship and unity with others. As we lift up the name of the Lord with gladness we are lifted up in Spirit and in Truth.
Hebrews 10:22-25 gives five exhortations for courage and strength to those who trust in the Lord. We are persuaded to:
· spend time with God and seek His face
· hold steadfast to our belief of salvation
through the death and resurrection of
· have tender consideration and concern
for each other
· gather together as a body of believers
· support, watch over, and lift one
another up in word and deed
Following these instructions will yield
an invaluable harvest.
Lucy Sizemore says “My husband and I work a lot in children’s ministry and we went on a mission trip this summer. We enjoy coming together to worship. It’s easy for all of us to get caught up in serving, serving, serving; what we really need to get caught up in is worshipping.”
Without preparation, our serving and engaging are empty. LIFE groups and discipleship groups prepare us to grow in our relationships with God. We serve from an overflow of that relationship.
Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace course caused several families to rethink their family budgets.
Kristi and Jim Bowen realized childcare expense was tremendous. They didn’t want to compromise the care of their three children as they were very pleased with the quality of care they received.
One day a friend volunteered to babysit. When Kristi returned home from work, she approached Jim. “I felt so good about Elizabeth taking care of Addi. I wish we could find someone like that to babysit a few days a week. I would feel like we were being better stewards of our finances,” she said.
Jim and Kristi began to pray, mentioning to God that Elizabeth was exactly the kind of person they wanted to take care of their children.
Elizabeth loved keeping Addi. When husband Chris got home that night Elizabeth said, “I really enjoyed keeping Addi. Do you think Kristi would let me keep her more?” Chris and Elizabeth had been praying for a way to increase their finances since they began Dave Ramsey’s course. Elizabeth liked being at home but needed to contribute to the family’s budget.
“Why don’t you give Kristi a call,” Chris said.
Elizabeth dialed Kristi’s number and began. “Kristi, I don’t know if you have ever considered a different arrangement for your children but I would really like to babysit more. I just thought I would ask…”
Kristi couldn’t believe what she heard. She and Jim had prayed for someone like Elizabeth to keep their children and now Elizabeth herself had called to volunteer. God answered their prayer before they had even acted on it.
In preparing themselves for ministry, God answered the prayers of two precious young families.
The Bowens and Fowlers
As we prepare ourselves to serve, we often grow closer to those in our small groups.
When Donna Druell retired from teaching school at E.P. Todd Elementary, she wanted to fill that void. But she wasn’t sure how. She loved being with the children and missed them. But she wanted a flexible schedule. When Donna heard the Good News Club needed volunteers it sounded like a good fit.
Three years ago one of the third graders came to know the Lord through the Laotian Baptist Mission but she was full of questions. Living in a Buddhist home the little girl was very confused. She was told one thing at home and then something totally different at the Laotian mission. At Good News Club the child heard the same thing as at the mission.
As Donna answered this little girl’s deep questions, she saw the child grow in her faith. Today, the girl comes in singing Christian songs. “I’ve been telling people about Jesus,” she says, smiling. Donna’s husband Ned now joins her at Good News Club every week.
Recently, the Druells made their weekly stop for a hot dog before going to E.P. Todd. Rob and Treva Webb, also church members, learned where they were going and offered to treat the children to hot dogs. Another Sunday School friend donated Moon Pies.® The opportunities for service multiplied.
“If I can help one child a year,” Donna says, “then I’ll be there.” Donna Druell
Unless we become completely committed to living out the four-part strategy, we are missing a great blessing. Kim Bishop and her friends have been putting their faith into practice in our community.
In discipleship since seventh grade, Kim says, “When I started I was a Christian,” she says, “but I didn’t understand how vital it was to have a personal relationship with God. Discipleship prepared me to reach out to others and share my faith.”
On the Kentucky mission trip, Kim felt God wanted her to be a missionary. Back in Spartanburg she called Shepherd’s Door and asked them if she could volunteer. “My D-group and Kentucky mission trips prepared me to serve in missions and stand up and teach in front of people.”
“Shepherd’s Door serves a very diverse population. My job is to teach the young girls,” says Kim. “I am thankful to be part of a youth ministry that prepares me to engage in my community to spread the message of Jesus Christ.” Kim Bishop
In order to be well-rounded disciples of Christ, we should participate in some aspect of each of those four words. If any of the four parts becomes weighted too heavily, the imbalance will make us ineffective in our individual ministries.
All of the ministries at First Baptist are designed to help us use our God-given abilities to serve others or to equip us to engage our worlds in a meaningful way – everywhere we go, with everyone we meet.