Adults

Living a Missional Lifestyle by Refocusing

How can I refocus my life to have a missional lifestyle and take up my cross to follow Jesus daily?

Volunteering as a Missional Lifestyle

Let me begin by saying since I retired from my career in public relations and teaching public relations, I have coined the job title professional volunteer. A friend of mine calls me a schizophrenic missionary because I’m always going in so many different directions. For example, I love volunteering with WMU because it offers many opportunities to serve in various missions-related activities, from short-term missions trips to leading missions education at the local church. Additionally, I have a very missions-focused church. At our recent missions fair, we had more than 40 missions/ministry organizations participate because each had a personal connection to our church body. And yes, I wanted to be involved with every one of them.

But, alas, to be intentional about serving Christ with my best, I need to focus on the cross I am to carry daily. Or maybe just refocus. What missional lifestyle has Christ called me to live? Where can He use my gifts and talents best?

The Value of Building Relationships

“We have a front row seat to see people experience forgiveness and freedom. We’ve seen marriages restored, relationships mended, and people discovering their purpose in Jesus. There is absolute joy in this!” Sterling Edwards said of being a church planter.

He and wife Jenna have been church planters in New York for 10 years. When the Edwards first moved from Houston, Texas, to Long Island, they connected with the first people they met: post office employees, a restaurant owner, and a man at the golf course. These people became the first attendees of their church, Crossroads Church of Long Island in North Babylon. As time passed, people introduced them to other people and their circle of friends widened. And their church’s membership grew. The church currently meets in 4 locations each weekend.

The Edwards still make developing relationships a priority, because growing churches is not about watching a structure go up—it’s about the day-to-day development of relationships with people.

Missionary Spotlight Update: Josh and Christine Andrews*

“Pray that Christians in America will continually lift up their Christian brothers and sisters in Syria in prayer,” Christian worker Christine Andrews asked.

As war in Syria continues, many Syrians are starving and in desperate need of relief. The United Nations has increased its efforts to deliver food and medicine to the Syrian people. The physical and spiritual needs are many. Pray for Andrews; her husband, Josh; and their 4 children as they work to meet these needs.

Pray also for them as they continue to study the very difficult Arabic language. “Since we want to learn Arabic so that we can share truth with the lost around us, we must spend many hours in school studying the language and then must spend many hours practicing the language out of school. All the while, we are busy parents with active kids and a calendar full of activities related to our children as well as business to take care of and housework to do. Sometimes, it is very difficult to make time for all of the studying we must do to succeed in this goal,” Christine Andrews shared. Pray for her and her husband to learn the language and be able to communicate God’s love to the Syrian people.

Wherever He Leads I’ll Go

For many of us, the title of this blog brings to mind the title of one of the wonderful hymns of our faith. It is one of my favorites.

I must confess that as much as I love singing this beautiful hymn, I have to be very aware of the words—“Wherever He leads I’ll go.” You see, I’m a planner and an administrator. While these can be great traits, they can also be stumbling blocks. I have to ask, “Are these your plans, Lord, or mine?” Ouch!

As I reflect on the emphasis, All for You, I’m continually challenged to surrender, sacrifice, and serve:

• surrender completely by denying self;

• sacrifice willingly by taking up my cross;

• serve intentionally by following Christ into my community, state, and world.

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Mark 8:34 NIV).

Missing my Dear Friend

I miss her. I do. I miss my dear friend.

We did everything together. Our kids were best friends. We celebrated birthdays together, holidays.

All Talk?

Often we concentrate on missions in foreign lands, losing focus of needs lurking close by. I was shocked to learn that an area of our city was the most food-deprived in our state. Although our thriving congregation contributed during holidays, we could do more.

Leaving a Bible in Africa

I went to hear our church missions team report on their Africa trip. Viewing their pictures, hearing about the lions calling out to each other near their living quarters, discovering how the monkeys stole their shampoo and soap in the outdoor showers, and listening to their plans to return was amazing.

Every detail intrigued my heart.

Give for His Glory

I want to introduce you to Anna. She and her family live in Moldova, a former Soviet country located between Romania and Ukraine.

Anna and her husband, Oleg, are farmers. They are believers and attend a small village church.

Several years ago, I was privileged to be in their church. Through WMU’s partnership with Moldova, I was there for the annual women’s conference, which was held in the capital city of Kishinev. Because the capital city is a few hours drive for Anna and others from her village, they were unable to attend the conference, so we brought the conference to them. It was an incredible time of worship, prayer, and fellowship among these believers. Anna and Oleg were so gracious to us. In fact, after the conference in their church, we were all packing up to leave when they told us that they had prepared a feast for us. In a side room, we all sat down to a wonderful meal, but more importantly, we shared our blessings with one another. We sang in both English and Russian the hymns of our faith. It is an experience I will never forget. As a small token of our appreciation for their hospitality, I gave Oleg a gift.

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Learn-Serve-Fun Days

Kindergarteners through sixth-graders at our church engage in unique missions during their SON Kids summer program. Three areas of activities are involved.

On Learn Day, the youngsters are taught basic skills of using hammers, rakes, garden tools, scissors, needles, and thread. These new abilities will be implemented in the next phase of SON Kids.

Submerging Yourself in God’s Word

“What are we doing in VBS this year?” I asked my daughter. I lay back on the carpeted floor near her. I know she’s in “the know” because both my teenage girls work in children’s choir.

“We’re doing ‘Submerge.’ We’re already working on a song. It’s really annoying that even when we aren’t practicing it, the girls are singing it. The boys are fed up with the girls.”

Sometimes we have to give up our desires for the greater good.

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