Adult Team Blog

My myMISSION

Missions education has played an important role in my life since I was a young girl. I was a GA, an Acteen, and an Acteens leader.

Missions education is more than having a meeting periodically. It is also more than participating in missions projects. Missions education is a specific facet of discipleship.

In order for me to be most effective in my personal witness, I need the accountability of other people. Learning about what God is doing in remote parts of the world encourages me to look for what He is doing around me. Praying together for missionaries, people groups, and other believers is a powerful way to connect with God’s larger purpose. Giving our time, talents, and resources to support missions efforts in our church, nation, and world enables us to impact the kingdom of God as part of the body of Christ instead of trying to do it on our own.

As a young adult, it is hard for me to find a missions education environment that fits me. Often I don’t feel comfortable in the missions groups of older women.

A Need for Spiritual Parents

I recently celebrated my 30th birthday, which makes me a member of the emerging generation. Who are the emerging generation? We go by many labels; most commonly, we are referred to as Generation Y or millennials. The emerging generation encompasses those of us born between 1980 and 2000, roughly.

We are the largest and most unchurched generation in America. Notably, we are the first generation in history that didn’t grow up with a church or religious background. We weren’t raised in church. We weren’t taught the authority of the Bible, the inerrancy of Scripture, or other basic doctrines of the evangelical Christian faith.

More than half of the millennial generation believes being a religious person is about doing the right things versus holding the right beliefs. The majority of the emerging generation believes religion is a private matter that should be kept out of public affairs. More than half of my generation does not see a connection between belief in God and morality. In other words, you do not have to believe in God or have a personal relationship with Him in order to be moral.

The Benefit of Staring

I have always been an observer. In my childhood years, some (namely my mom) might have called me someone who “stared.” She constantly reprimanded me in public places because my gaze would set on the most interesting figure in the room, and I would stare until my mind had found a conclusion to my curiosity.

Maybe I still am this way, but I try to be more covert in my observations of other people and less like 7-year-old Abi, with her mouth gaping open.

I have travelled the world and observed some interesting things in the public sphere, but the observations that have impacted me the most and at a deep level were those of the people who were in my direct community.

Every night as a child I would creep around the house, in denial of the 9:00 bedtime rule, and I would watch her.

She tidied up our home, watched the 10:00 news, and got ready for bed. Sneaking around, I would check in on these routines to assure my mind the world was spinning exactly as it should.

Responding to Disasters to Share Christ

As a member of the Texas Baptist Men’s disaster relief shower and laundry unit in Austin, I am often called out to help those who have faced a traumatic event in their lives. We are there to meet victims’ basic needs in a dire situation—we wash their clothes and provide hot showers with clean towels for them.

But more importantly, we are there to minister to their souls and share the love of Christ. Victims of floods like we have had in Texas this year or other disasters are hurting and need comfort. We listen and when we establish a relationship with each person, then we tell him or her about our Jesus, Who is the Everlasting Comforter.

Our motto is Anyway, Anytime, Anywhere—Love, More Than Words and it means being on mission for Christ, sharing His love in a tangible way for eternity. We make a difference in people’s lives for now and forever.

What opportunities do you have to help others so you can share the love of Christ? How have you learned to live a missions lifestyle?

Don't Shrink Back!

Sometimes it’s hard to start something when you don’t know the end result. Specifically, building relationships with unbelievers can be intimidating when you don’t know how the story will end. You may pursue a friendship with someone for a season, and then you may drift apart. On the other hand, this person could come to know Christ and become one of your closest friends.

For those of you who shrink back with fear of the unknown, there is good news! It’s not our responsibility to make sure that an unbeliever accepts Christ.

John 6:44 says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them.” It does not say, “No one can accept Christ unless you convince them that the gospel is true.”

Toward the end of the past semester, I ran into one of my non-Christian friends on my way to class. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time, and I felt bad for neglecting that relationship.

A Brother’s Witness

A revivalist preacher’s message made it very clear that I needed a Savior, but my thirteen-year-old response was a fearful one that didn’t last. I married, had children, and continued to live life my way.

One sunny afternoon, while sitting on the porch with my brother, he said to me, “Sister, you know that your girls deserve to be in church.” His words pierced my heart, and I knew he was right.

Discipling for Christ

Christ discipled those who followed Him and they learned from Him how to make disciples of others. He taught them how to have a missions lifestyle.

Who are the people you remember discipling you? I remember my Girls’ Auxiliary (now Girls in Action) leader and the WMU director from the church where I grew up. The missions education I received from them has expanded for decades and resulted in me starting an Acteens program at my current church.

For others, it also began with missions education as a child. At a recent state WMU meeting, my pastor recalled his Sunbeams (now Mission Friends) and Royal Ambassadors leaders and how they inspired his life. At another church in my city, I have a friend who has been a RA leader for more than 50 years.

TEACHING CHILDREN TO SHARE JESUS IN A POSTMODERN WORLD

“Then the 11 disciples went to Galilee. They went to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him. But some still had their doubts. Then Jesus came to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end’” (Matthew 28:16–20).

The Great Commission. As Christians, this is what we are commanded to do—share the truth of God with the world. But this is not always easy to do in today’s postmodern society, especially for children.

From the friends they interact with at school to the messages constantly bombarding them through various modes of entertainment (TV, movies, radio, social media), children are extremely vulnerable to the postmodern belief that “anything goes.” After all, today’s children are postmoderns living in a post-Christian world. This is all they have ever known.

Layering Missions Education

You may think missions education is only for children, but my introduction came as an adult. Robin Janney, our church WMU Director, saw herself as someone who opened doors for everyone to learn about and engage in missions.

Relationships

Friends, family, and other relationships bring memories, fun, blessing, confusion, and challenges. And sometimes they are just plain hard . . . but needed.

Relationship is God’s chosen way to relate to us, and His design for how we relate to one another. Sometimes, especially as leaders, we are tempted to think that we don’t need deeper relationships. Sometimes we find ourselves out in front, with others following at a distance. But is this the best or only way? And how can we share with others? How can we be open for new relationships?

I love the fact that Jesus lived with His disciples. His call to leadership development was to “come” (Matt. 4:19). He invited others to walk with Him. He even let little children come to Him (Mark 10:13–16).

Paul shared his life with those he ministered to (1 Thess. 2:8). Some of Paul’s friends and co-laborers in ministry were people he had worked with as a tentmaker (Acts 18:3).

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