Leaders Blog

Unshakable Pursuit: The Devotional

There’s an eternal momentum coursing through our veins.

There’s a God pursuing us in love, tapping our shoulders and telling us life will only find its rhythm when we chase Him back with everything we’ve got.

There’s a world walking the paths God has orchestrated, just waiting for someone to be fully engaged in His story — and share it with them.

It’s the story we see in Acts 17:16-28, the story this book focuses on for 30 days of devotionals. It’s the story that gives us the unshakable foundation to the chase of our lives, the one that leads us to Him.

We’ve been invited on the chase, and if we say yes, life will never be the same.

Unshakable Pursuit, a 30-day devotional, is the companion book to the new WMU churchwide emphasis for 2018-2020. It will quicken your heart to see God’s steadfast pursuit of His people. Award-winning journalist Grace Thornton shares stories from around the world as she calls you to engage the eternal momentum coursing through your veins. God wants you to live fully engaged in His story — and share it with others.

Doing More Together through the CP

Offering plate with open Bible

Call me an overgrown toddler. I still like to think, “I can do it myself!” even though I know I can’t. Jesus said so. See John 15:4 about the vine and the branches.

Southern Baptists figured out long ago that we could do more together than we could alone. In 1925, we created the Cooperative Program (CP), a unified method of giving to fund the missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention, along with every state convention and every local church.

Nobody Tells Me Anything!

How did you learn to use makeup? Did you wake up one morning knowing how to make a quilt? What about playing a musical instrument? Did that come to you out of nowhere? Aside from the rigors of consistent practice, most of us learn new skills when someone shows us how to hold the guitar or violin, stitch fabric together, or apply eye shadow. In other words, someone models the skill for us.

There are many components involved in becoming a leader who communicates well. Let’s consider 4 of them, but remember that communication can be verbal or written, making clear communication just that much more difficult!

Pay attention to your attitude. Your attitude, positive or negative, will show as you speak or write. Our influence as leaders is often more widespread than we realize. As you carry out your responsibilities, craft your verbal and written communications carefully, making certain you are encouraging and enthusiastic. Working with others can be very rewarding, and everyone will be more willing and generous with his or her time when the atmosphere is a positive one.

On Mission: Here and Now in North America

Each year, your gifts to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering help support more than 5,000 missionaries and more than 3,800 chaplains throughout the United States and Canada who are sharing the gospel in some very tough places.

This year’s theme is On Mission: Here and Now. For North American missionaries, “here and now” is their missions field. For each of us, “here and now” is a challenge to live a missional life wherever God has planted us.

This year’s official date for the Week of Prayer and Mission Study for North American Missions is March 4–11. However, the prayer guide and other materials are not dated, so your church can choose any week during the Easter season to participate.

Promote the offering and the week of prayer this year by using the promotion ideas guide or one of these suggestions:

CMD 2018: Go Serve

Children's Missions Day (CMD) 2018 is coming soon! In fact, this annual February event will celebrate its 11th year this Saturday, February 17. It's not too late to join other children's missions groups nationwide in a great day of service to share God's love with people right in your own community. So, lace up your sneakers and get ready to hit the road and go serve!

Appropriately, the theme for this year's event is Go Serve. As you prepare your group for this special day, help children identify people in your area who are hurting — whether it's physically, spiritually or emotionally. Remember that a successful CMD project gives children the opportunity to tell someone what they know to be true about God while also meeting a physical need or offering words of encouragement. Ask children, What would you do for these people to share the love of Jesus with them?

Happy New Year Book!

It’s that time again—time to start planning for the new year. The new year in WMU, that is.

When you think about planning for WMU, the WMU Year Book most likely springs to mind. For years, it has been the annual planning resource for church WMU leaders. It outlines the WMU emphasis, provides monthly plans for each WMU age-level organization, and highlights ways to be involved in WMU ministries. Still, you may have found it, well, incomplete.

In order to do more detailed planning each quarter, you have needed a subscription to Missions Leader. The quarterly kit provides implementation ideas for the emphases on the Southern Baptist Convention’s calendar, along with leadership tools and color posters.

Complicated, isn’t it?

Not anymore. WMU has put everything you need to plan for a successful year of missions education and involvement in one resource. And all those other helpful things like posters? Throughout the year, supplemental materials will be posted as exclusive digital content on wmu.com.

Focus on WMU: It’s about Missions

Focus on WMU is not about WMU. It’s about missions. It’s about the work of God through the church by which the gospel of Jesus Christ is extended in word and deed to all the people in the world.

WMU is just a vehicle through which Christian believers can “understand and be radically involved” in the work of God. It encourages participation in the work of the church and denomination. It aids in developing spiritually toward a missions lifestyle, which includes learning about missions, praying for missions, giving to missions, serving in missions, and supporting missions.

Focus on WMU "by All Means"

I remember so vividly my years as a GA. I enjoyed learning about missions, praying for missions, giving to missions, and doing missions. It was in Girls in Action that I learned about the Cooperative Program and how the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering support missionaries. GA was my window to the world.

As an adult, I knew the impact WMU missions organizations had had on my life and I so desired that my daughters would also have that biblical worldview. I became a GA leader before my daughters were in the first through sixth grade. It was such a joy seeing the gospel come to life for them as we learned about missions in GA.

Throughout GA and all the other WMU missions organizations, you will find the following 6 objectives in the curriculum and other resources:

Develop: Changing the Way WMU Leaders Are Trained

As technology has changed, it has changed the way educational classes can be delivered. While many still enjoy the traditional classroom setting with a teacher and the camaraderie of other students, some need options that allow them to learn on their own schedule. I am one of those learners.

I have taken courses through Develop, WMU’s online and on-demand leadership training. While leadership conferences are still offered by national WMU, state WMUs, and associations, Develop’s courses extend the availability for leadership training to anyone with a computer at any time of the day or night. I have worked on courses at all hours, both on my computer and on my smartphone.

I appreciate that all Develop courses are reasonably priced and provide opportunity for interactive learning. Courses are self-paced and designed to be completed in about 4 hours. Each Develop course is a stand-alone module with a month to complete the work. The deadline provided me with motivation to get finished in a reasonable amount of time yet without too much time pressure.

Consider All Options

We recently purchased a new car, and I was amazed at all the options we were offered. What color? What seat package? We had choices about the radio, tires, warranty, paint finish, floor mats, and a GPS system. The options were seemingly endless. Oh, and yes, there were about 15 ways to finance our purchase!

We live in a time when options are available in almost every area. Even hamburgers can be custom-made! With all the options people are offered in their lives, we often make a fatal mistake when we approach leadership responsibilities: we do not offer options. We plan our meetings with no choices. We insist that activities must be conducted the way they have been in the past. After all, they were good enough for us in 1970, so why not now?

The people you and I know are so accustomed to making choices that they are not terribly open to joining a group or participating in a project where their input isn’t asked for—or wanted. Their opinions matter, and they want to be part of the decision-making process. A preordained format or action planned by 1 or 2 leaders isn’t terribly attractive to them.

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