A Word from Walker
Just a few weeks ago we celebrated our 136th Annual Meeting as an Association. We had great food, music, fellowship and presentations. Our new Executive Director/Treasurer Todd Unzicker gave a stirring message for unity in mission from Revelation 5. We voted unanimously (as far as we could tell) to support our new Budget Plan for 2022, and did the same for the installation of our new officers. Overall, it was an uplifting meeting. Thanks again to Pastor Jay Boyce and the fine folks at Oaklawn Baptist for hosting us. Here is a link to view our updated ministry video: https://youtu.be/TAe6vFHnlqU
Now, as we round the corner of winding down 2021, let me encourage you to participate in a couple of ministry opportunities. First, you will not want to miss our Men’s Banquet on November 8th at 6 pm at FBC Stanleyville. Lt. General (Ret) Jerry Boykin will be speaking on Christian Manhood and the great Gospel Blue Grass Band Chosen Road will provide our music. This will be an event that those who attended will look back with fondness and gratitude. You can click the link above, or click on the banner on www.pmba.org
Second, the month of December brings us back around again to Toy Stores. For over 30 years the PMBA has provided toys for underprivileged kids in both urban and rural areas. If your church has not signed up to volunteer or bring toys, please contact Craig Clayton. Let’s finish out the year in a strong and faith-filled way.
Grateful to serve alongside of you,
One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16
If you are sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to see if I continue my three part series on the concentric circles of engagement, I have good news…I am! Even if you are not necessarily on the edge of your seats, I am excited to continue our journey through the circles as we examine the implications for PMBA churches to engage people with the gospel!
Last month we discussed the importance of transactional ministry or what some might call giving a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name. This consists of sharing something of value with people without any overt gospel witness simply having the goal of communicating the love of Christ through our actions. There are some amazing examples of such during this time of year! I had the joy of visiting six churches who had Fall Festivals and/or Trunk or Treat events. Each one was unique and displayed a keen understanding of and love for their surrounding community. That cup of cold water might have taken the form of some chocolate, candy, a hotdog, CHICKEN STEW, or something else dear to the heart of a child (and possibly a few adults…can I get an amen!). God has a way of using these transactional ministries to touch hearts and lives when negative experiences or (dare I say it?) sin has separated people from God and planted misconceptions in their minds about who the church really is and what faith is all about.
This month we can take that paradigm one step further as we move from transactional missions outreach to transformational. The goal here would be to go beyond that cup of cold water (or REECE’S CUP) to sharing gospel truths in a way that would lead to life change. In the course of our tour de sugar recently I saw some amazing examples of such! Some churches chose to do a registration that involved gift cards as prizes while others had trunk hosts who were trained to share their faith. Others even had areas dedicated for children to hear the Good News of Jesus amidst all of the sweets and fun. While each example was highly intentional, they did not force the issue at all. Those were simply opportunities to hear what this Jesus is all about.
While these presentations of the gospel can be very effective in outreach events and missions ministry, individual conversations can also be very impacting. I often went “undercover” at these events knowing that some of the church members had not met me or had any idea what a PMBA even is! (Definitely not a sandwich…) In the course of my engagements people would often seek to have meaningful conversations with me and my daughter as we passed through the events. Many times they would seek to share a word of testimony, a piece of literature, a church invitation, or some other significant information to plant seeds for the gospel. These are all efforts to move from transactional to transformational ministry. Sadly enough that Halloween (I mean Fall Festival) candy will get eaten and disappear. What (besides weight gain) will remain in the lives of the people who participate? We have eternal life changing opportunities to be that person who plants a seed and makes a difference in someone’s life for ETERNITY! That is mind-boggling, but it isn’t just their lives that are impacted, but the lives of their family and many others that they come into contact with. Now I’m drifting into next month’s emphasis of translocational ministry, so I will land this plane with just a few more thoughts.
My daughter and I read recently together that we are salt and light that has a purpose. If we lose our saltiness or cease to shine, then we have a problem. How is the salt and light of Jesus being communicated where you live through you as THE CHURCH? We must not limit this transformational objective to isolated events on special occasions. We need to transcend cultural Christianity in such a way that our lives become a missions trip wherever God chooses to plant us. Then we can see lives transformed both intentionally and unintentionally by the gospel flowing freely through each of us. This should not be difficult or complicated. If it is, maybe we need to revisit the life of Jesus in the gospel and be reminded how he made disciples “as he was going” about his life. Would you commit to pray over the next month for God to guide you in the power of His Spirit to live a transformed life that catalyzes transformation in the lives of others? If so, buckle up because God has great things in store any time that we resolve to walk in obedience to his great commission to make disciples of the nations. (Yes, the nations are right here where we live.)
Can we help? Do you have questions about what this looks like or where to begin? We would be honored to walk with your church toward greater progress on the concentric circles of engagement for community missions. As always, we are here to serve the churches of PMBA in as many ways as possible for God’s greater glory.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!