WMU Blog

The Association: More than Marketing

We support lots of organizations throughout our lifetime: parent/teacher groups at our children’s schools, local and national charities that touch our lives, neighborhood supper clubs, professional organizations related to our employment. All these groups are excellent and meet a relevant need, but what about your local Baptist association? When was the last time you celebrated what God was doing in and through your association’s churches?

People are starved for meaningful community, and they want more than just being a target of marketing and consumerism. Associational missions can be the connector for people to experience a holy more as you partner with others of like mind. Heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul encounters through associational missions are a beautiful thing that changes you and your community.

Many church members have forgotten or never learned how Baptists partner through the association. An Associational Missions Emphasis event is a fun way to educate them. The payback is huge. God is glorified and people are loved and helped in the name of Christ.

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My Favorite Thing

Imagine you’ve been friends with someone for several years. You know each other’s birthday, favorite color, and how you like your drinks at Starbucks.

Imagine your friend doesn’t know Jesus, and one day, after telling her all your other favorite and not-so-favorite things, you bring Jesus into the conversation. You invite her to church or tell her something you learned in your Bible study that morning.

And then your friend looks at you and says, “You follow Jesus? I didn’t know after all these years that you followed Jesus!”

This is not the response we as believers should hear from those who know us best or from those we want to share Jesus with. As we go out into the world and share with our friends, co-workers, and families that we like our coffee with no cream or that our favorite color is blue, we must also tell them that our favorite thing above all things is Jesus.

Disaster Relief

Helping others in a time of crisis is perhaps one of the most basic aspects of our faith in Christ. When we hear of someone in need, something deep within us stirs and urges us forward to see how we can help. Children understand when someone is hurting. In fact, they often grasp this much better than we do. Through all of our layers of reasoning, distraction, and comfort, we’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring the pain of others. But children have a special way of taking on the pain of those around them, and they feel it deeply. They want to help any way they can. That is why it’s so important to teach our children about disaster relief.

There are many ways of doing this, but here are just a few ideas you can use to introduce your children to disaster relief:

Questions about Develop Online Training

Joye Smith

The part I like best about our online Develop training courses is that I get to interact with you, the Mission Friends® leaders. I so enjoy the correspondence back and forth with each leader who has taken one of the preschool Develop courses. Most of the leaders I have never met in person, but I feel like I know them as they go through the courses. Even though the training is online, that does not mean that it is impersonal. This has been the most pleasant surprise for me as we developed the online courses to include contact between the course participant and Mission Friends consultant.

In thinking about the preschool Develop courses, I thought I would answer a few questions that I am asked about the online training.

  • What is included in the preschool Develop courses? Each of the preschool courses include several short instructional videos, handouts, and interactive assignments.

Salt Dough Recipe

Who doesn’t need to know how to make salt dough for an upcoming craft project?

Here’s a quick recipe to make your own salt dough to use in class and various other art projects!

What you need:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup salt
• 1 cup cold water
• food coloring (optional)
• large bowl
• mixing spoon

What you do:

1. Combine the salt and flour. Mix well.

2. Gradually add a 1/2-cup of water and mix well.

3. Knead the dough on a counter or table. Add a few drops of water as needed, but be careful not to make it too sticky.

4. Add food coloring, if desired.

5. Put the dough in a sealed container until you are ready to use it.

Too Much Information!

You’re being real. You’re applying the message of James 5:16 and confessing sins to each other and praying for healing. Intimacy is vital to growth in a relationship. So, when does this become a problem? Here are a few things to consider before letting it all hang out:

*Use discretion. Not everything should be shared with everyone. Listen carefully before you speak. Pray for guidance on when to be quiet. Remember something you say could impact others negatively. Don’t inadvertently cause others to stumble.

*Know your audience. Proverbs 18:24 states, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin…” (NIV). If someone you know struggles with keeping confidences, don’t entrust them with sensitive information. Be friendly, but think before you speak.

*Seek out Godly advisors. Rather than going to those who will say what you want to hear, consider asking God for friends willing to sharpen you.

The Best Mother’s Day Gift

Mother's Day

If you’re a mom, you might wonder why every day can’t be Mother’s Day. Being a parent is tough work, no matter what that looks like for you. Unfortunately, there is only one day allotted on the calendar to celebrate moms, but we have to be a mom those other 364 days, too.

Have you ever considered motherhood as a missions field? It’s messy, filled with long days and daunting tasks. There are some really high points, like the first time you hold your newborn in your arms, and there are some really low points, like when your teenager argues with you for the 900th time.

As moms, we need to remind ourselves that we are on a missions field everywhere we go, modeling Christ for those little people who call us Mom.

This year, I will celebrate my very first Mother’s Day, so I am no expert. My son is almost one, and I know I have so much to learn as he grows up. It’s helpful knowing that I have a sacred job, a job that I do not take for granted.

Of my many jobs as a mom, the most important is to model Christ for my son and always point him to Christ.

Self-Editing and the Struggle for Authenticity

I’m a peer writing tutor at my university. Students will come to the writing center for feedback about papers, essays, and even the occasional creative writing piece. I love this job . . . every day at work is a new one with new challenges and individuals. I love people, I love words, and I love being able to help.

Sometimes, however, this impulse to edit creeps its way into the rest of my life. I am often tempted to look at others and their actions, and, in the same way that I would correct their grammar, I highlight their poor choices and suggest what changes they should make. This “life editing” is not new and not something that is unique to me. It is a daily struggle of which I am acutely aware.

Mission Complete: Time to Celebrate

Ah, May! Welcome to the busiest month of the year! If you look at my family calendar this month, you will have to channel your inner sleuth to crack the code. Every single white block is filled with colorful reminders to help me juggle multiple kids’ activities—recitals, concerts, sporting events, open houses, banquets, parties, and exams. The list goes on and on, but, whew, you get the gist. I say it every year—May is even busier than December!

Even with the end-of-the year hustle and bustle, it's a great time to recognize the boys and girls in your missions organizations for their accomplishments this past year. How did they complete the Mission: My Life special assignment? Did kids participate in Children’s Ministry Day or the International Mission Study? Did they raise awareness and collect funds for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering or the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering? Did they participate in an individual achievement plan like GA Journey, RA Trek, or Missions Expedition? If so, celebrate their missions involvement and give them the recognition they deserve!

Jump-start your planning with one of these fun ideas:

Seven Trends That Affect Your Church

church pews

Do you long for the “good old days”? I often hear friends talk about “the way it was when we were kids.” And, those were good days—playing outside after dark, riding my bike (without a helmet or pads) to the nearby store, standing up on the front seat of my daddy’s pickup, playing with a friend who had contracted polio as an infant, worrying about a nuclear bomb attack from the Russians . . . Well, maybe not all of the days were so good.

For my parents, my “good, old days” were their “scary future”. My scary future is the world inhabited by nieces and nephews who do not know a world where polio and small pox vaccines were necessary. Yet, they also live with the pressure of a future that is changing more rapidly than any of us can fathom.

The church is no different. Is your church living in the “good, old days” or trying to make sense out of the “scary future”? Perhaps it is trying to do both, struggling to let go of old ways and yet, not quite ready to embrace the new. The new is exciting, but it is also frightening when we do understand what is happening around us.

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