Adults on Mission Blog

Hunger Destroys Families

There’s an online video that depicts a mother walking her daughter to a train station, handing her a bagged lunch, seating her on the train, and then walking away. The family had run out of food and did not have the resources to continue caring for the girl and her sister. The parents made the agonizing choice to send one daughter away.

As a parent, my heart squeezes each time I watch the video. I know the images are recreations with actors, but the story is true. According to the video’s ending, UNICEF estimated in 2007 there were 25 million orphaned children in India. Thousands of families each day face starvation and poverty. Parents make the impossible choice of who gets to eat and who starves.

I have four children and am beyond blessed to have an overflowing pantry. I cannot imagine, though, having to say goodbye to a child because of unending hunger and exhausted resources.

Sacrificial Giving

Earlier this year my pastor challenged church members to sacrifice something so they could give to ministries that help the needy. The point was to give something of value, not something left over or unneeded.

One family sold a valuable collectible. Another family canceled their cable and donated whatever they would have spent on their cable bill. Our children sold their favorite doll and toys and gave the proceeds.

Ultimately, several hundred dollars was raised to clothe and feed people both locally and globally. Can you imagine the impact such sacrificial giving would have if every Southern Baptist gave deeply to care for the hungry and poor?

The Global Hunger Relief Fund ministers to the needy in North America and around the world by offering help to those suffering from disasters, as well as those who struggle with chronic hunger. October 9 is Global Hunger Sunday. Ask God how He would have you help end hunger for the most vulnerable around the world.

Finding Refreshment in Prayer

In Luke 5:15–17, we see Jesus’ source of strength sandwiched between His ministry: “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick.” (Bold added.)

Jesus was busy about ministry. He was healing and teaching large crowds all the time. So how did He refuel? Where did His strength come from? He regularly stepped away from the demands on Him to pray, to talk with and listen to His Father.

When we are busy with our lives—work, family, friends, church, ministry—and we find ourselves exhausted from all we have to do, let’s follow Jesus’ example. Find regular time for Bible reading and prayer, spending time with God, and allowing Him to refresh you.

Whatever It Takes to Spread the Gospel

Some of you live in big cities, with the nations surrounding you on every street corner. But some of you are like me—you live in small towns and smaller cities, with neighbors who, for the most part, look, act, and think as you do. So how do we put the principles found in 1 Corinthians 9:19–23 into practice in our daily lives, doing whatever it takes to spread the gospel to all people?

I have learned to be the first to bend—the first to be flexible, the first to apologize, the first to compromise. No, that doesn’t mean I compromise on the gospel. Jesus was, is, and will always be the only way to God. His death, burial, and resurrection are the foundations of our faith, and the Word of God is true. Those things don’t change.

But when it comes to welcoming the drug addict and her rowdy children into our worship service, I need to put aside my reservations. When it comes to welcoming people of other races into our church, I need to put aside my prejudices. When it comes to helping the down and out, I need to put aside my judgments.

Reaching Others “by All Means”

We live in a world defined by boundaries. We talk of setting boundaries with people, with our jobs, and even with our churches. We want “space” and “me time.”

Quite simply, we think of ourselves a lot.

WMU’s emphasis theme for 2016–2018 encourages us to do something else—to think of reaching others with the gospel “by all means.”

In 1 Corinthians 9:22b, Paul tells us how he is willing to “become all things to all people so that by all possible means [he] might save some.” Rather than talking about the ways that he is excluding people, Paul encourages us by his example to include others, regardless of socioeconomic divisions.

Why is Paul willing to do this? “ I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (v. 23).

5 Questions to Start a New Year of Missions

Welcome to a new church year and a new year for your adult missions group! Just as January 1 brings the feeling of a fresh start, the beginning of a new church year can be a great time to give a fresh start to your group.

Here are some questions to get your leadership thinking about how you can grow this year:

It’s about Relationships

I have heard it said by many that religion is man seeking God but being a Christ follower is a personal relationship with Jesus. Do you have a personal relationship with Christ? If you do, then you can share that relationship with others just as you tell a friend about someone you just met.

Sharing Christ is like sharing a friendship with others. You can tell others how your Friend Jesus has helped you, what He has done for you, and how knowing Him has changed your life. Who are your friends who don’t know Jesus? Do you have neighbors who don’t have a personal relationship with Christ?

Jesus gave His all so we can have a personal relationship with Him. What are you giving so others—your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers—can have a relationship with Jesus? It’s not about religion or denomination; it’s about a real, everyday relationship with the Creator of the universe—Jesus. Tell others about your Friend today.

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?

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.

Meeting Physical Needs

Remember how the men and women who followed Jesus attended to his physical needs—whether it was a place to stay or food to eat or giving Him time to rest. These followers were all in for following Christ and living for Him. Perhaps, they were the first Adults on Mission™.

Those followers had personal relationships with Jesus, just like we have personal relationships with those whom we disciple. There are people in need in every city or town. They may be lonely, hungry, or homeless, or all three. By developing a personal relationship (yes, it can be messy as one Christian Women’s Job Corps™ director has said), you can let them see Jesus in you.

How are you all in at following Christ? Jesus told His believers that, "'Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’” (Matt. 25:40 NIV). Men and women today can be all in for Christ by following His example and serving the least of these and meeting their physical needs today.

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