Adult Team Blog

Courage to Obey

We often stumble all over obedience. Yet when we do obey, we find how powerfully God uses it.

Carrie Stallings discovered this on a Peru missions trip. Carrie walked by a field and saw a woman using a tub and washboard to do laundry.

“God spoke in my heart and told me to go and wash her clothes,” Carrie said.

As she washed, she talked to the woman named Exalta. Carrie learned that Exalta felt unforgivable because she had had an abortion.

“As I was washing Exalta’s clothes, I was able to witness to her and tell her about God and how much He loved her; . . . He sent Jesus to die for all [her sins].”

That day, Exalta traded her guilt for a new life in Jesus.

“It taught me that when I surrender to God and His perfect plan, then there is peace, joy, and blessings like no other,” Carrie said. “Through my surrender and obedience, I was able to see a woman forgiven of guilt and sin that had plagued her for years. I was able to experience the joy of leading her to forgiveness and to Christ!”

Leigh Pritchett lives in the southeastern United States, a missions field that is “white unto harvest.”

Hot Fudge Cake and the Gospel (Part 3 of 3)

I did not see that coming. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was not expecting a positive response. I assumed this entire scenario was about God testing me, and perhaps He was, but how self-focused of me not to realize that this wasn’t just about God working on me! This scenario was also 100% about a young waiter at a diner, feeling Holy Spirit conviction and needing guidance.

My waiter shared with me that his grandmother had been sharing Jesus with him, but he still had some concerns about his sin. God gave me the words to assure him of His grace, and then he sat across from me in the booth, bowed his head, and prayed to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

I couldn’t help but wonder if his grandmother had been praying for his salvation that very night. Maybe she prayed for God to send a messenger. Truthfully, if God had asked me to go to that diner to witness to a waiter, I may have given into fear and found some excuse not to go, but God knew He could get me there with hot fudge cake. Thank you, God, for hot fudge cake.

Author and speaker Kimberly Sowell calls women to live beyond themselves and surrender their lives fully to Christ.

Sharing Intentionally

Time and again, God has put in my path people who needed to hear about Jesus. Unfortunately my life story is not one of reaching people for Jesus but one of missed opportunities. Too often, I’ve stood in a funeral home confronted with the reality that the chance to tell this person about Jesus is gone forevermore.

Recently I read a column by Chip Warren, minister of education at First Baptist Church in Albertville, Alabama, about focusing on evangelism. He said this requires setting a specific goal for evangelism, devoting time to ministries that lead to telling others about Jesus, and understanding that personal evangelism is the “DNA” of evangelism.

Suddenly I saw that I must be intentional about witnessing or else I will continue to squander opportunities. I must

  • make a plan for sharing the gospel daily and weekly and then act upon it;
  • seek situations that will allow me to tell someone about Jesus;
  • let sharing about Jesus become as essential to me as breathing is.

Leigh Pritchett lives in the southeastern United States, a missions field that is “white unto harvest.”

Hot Fudge Cake and the Gospel (Part 2 of 3)

As I waited for the waiter (how ironic is that), my mind traveled back several hours to an assignment given in one of my classes. The professor wanted us to share the gospel with 5 people during the semester. I had already decided on the 5 lucky winners who would receive my gospel presentation, but here I was about to share the gospel with a perfect stranger who hadn’t made the list.

I suddenly realized that perhaps God had a list and it trumped my plans. I was going to have to revisit that list and eat some humble pie as soon as I finished this hot fudge cake and a conversation with my waiter.

As the young man approached my table, I did exactly what I had agreed with God I’d do: I opened my mouth. Truly, I was going to be as surprised as he was with what I was about to say, because I didn’t have a clue. Knowing God was providing the words, I was hoping for something profound and theological. I quickly blurted out, “You seem like a nice young man. Are you a Christian?”

“No,” he replied, “but I’d like to be.”

Author and speaker Kimberly Sowell calls women to live beyond themselves and surrender their lives fully to Christ.

Sharing Jesus

As a believer, I know that I ought to be telling others about Jesus. Yet I find myself thinking of it as a complex endeavor for which special training is needed.

Although it isn’t complicated, it is a good idea to make preparations by learning pertinent verses, putting our testimony into words, and praying for guidance.

Actually there are numerous ways to share Jesus with others. The following are but 3 of them:

Hot Fudge Cake and the Gospel (Part 1 of 3)

For me, it was really just about the hot fudge cake. After sitting through classes all afternoon and studying in the library well into the evening, my brain was tired. I slumped in the booth at my favorite diner, finishing my pasta bowl while dreaming of a hard-earned hot fudge cake topped with a scoop of vanilla, when all of a sudden God started interrupting my thoughts.

“God, You want me to witness to my waiter? That can’t be right. He’s a teenage boy; how could he possibly relate to anything I would say? And the other customers—dare I be so rude to tie up too much of his time and risk getting him in trouble with his manager?” Of course, there was also the little matter of having absolutely nothing intelligent to say. But God kept pressing.

I made an agreement with God. Since I had no idea how to start this conversation, I acknowledged God could put His words into my mouth (Jer. 1:9). “God, when the waiter comes back, I’m going to open my mouth, and whatever comes out has to come from You.” Then I waited and prayed. And nibbled on hot fudge cake.

Time for Missions

Our fast-paced society leaves us with little time to devote to missions. If we are not careful, then we schedule all our time doing “good” things and often overlook the “best” things God has for us.

Here are a few tips to help you make room on your calendar for missions:

  • Look at responsibilities for which you have volunteered. Decide which ones are in line with what you believe God has called you to do in your life.
  • Determine the time frames for these current responsibilities. If there is a specific end date to fulfill a responsibility, do your best to make it through that time so you can complete your commitment. If it is an activity that has no specific end time and is not aligned with what you believe God has called you to do, eliminate it from your schedule.
  • When asked to take on another commitment, spend a lot of time in prayer and consideration so that you do not automatically take on something else that will distract you from God’s purposes for your life.

With just a little planning and a lot of prayer, you can make time to be involved in missions.

New Year, Fresh Vision?

On a personal level, I’ve been examining my missions vision. God has given me an overall vision of being involved in missions ever since I accepted His gift of salvation as a child. Yet the specific vision has changed as I’ve gone through life stages. Can you relate?

I have participated in missions trips at home and abroad. Several good friends serve as missionaries with either the North American Mission Board or the International Mission Board, personalizing missions to me. I have been involved in missions education and served as president of Mississippi WMU.

My specific vision now is, on the one hand, to be willing to serve Him wherever He calls, yet on the other hand, I believe that I’m to be a missions encourager. An encourager to my church to share the wide vision with them. An encourager to smaller churches around me in my association and state to participate in missions as fully as they can.

Could you take some time to discover the missions vision God has for you? He may want to give you a fresh vision for this New Year. All you have to do is ask.

Go Forward

I have been privileged to lead Girls in Action in my church for more than 13 years. I have taught first-, second-, third-, and sixth-grade girls.

Through all these years of teaching, the missionaries we have studied have inspired me, too. It is not just the girls who learn about missions during our class time.

I am excited that we have several young mothers who are leading in GA this year. My missions vision is to not only teach my third-graders but also encourage these young teachers.

You see, the more these teachers learn, the more they are going to want to know, give, and go. They can’t help but be inspired to become involved in missions and go forward just as the girls are learning to do.

As a result of these young women sacrificing time to teach GA, they are laying the foundation for teaching their own children about missions.

I can’t wait to see the impact these moms are going to have in our church and around the world because of their excitement about missions!

Jennifer Booth writes from her home in Little Rock, Arkansas. Connect with her on her blog at JenniferBooth.com.

A Church on Mission

Our church held a missions conference this past October. We hosted several missionaries from our state and nation and around the world. Church members were able to interact with missionaries on a more personal level.

The goal of this conference was to encourage church members to commit to a new level of missions involvement.

For some, that meant they would start praying for missions. Others were challenged to give to missions. Still others committed to support those who wanted to go on missions trips. And many committed to actually go on a missions trip.

The most exciting result of the conference was the 3 members who dedicated their lives to full-time Christian service.

Because of this conference, our church has developed a greater vision for reaching the lost. Many more are now involved in missions and are doing their part to spread the gospel message.

Jennifer Booth writes from her home in Little Rock, Arkansas. Connect with her on her blog at JenniferBooth.com.

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