Leaders

Report on What God Is Doing through WMU

antique typewriter

When I was in journalism school, I was told, “Don’t tell me. Show me.” And no, I wasn’t majoring in broadcast journalism or photojournalism.

What my professors wanted me to do as I wrote newspaper, magazine, or website articles was to be descriptive, using active verbs and strong nouns and avoiding superfluous adjectives and adverbs. They wanted just the facts, but they wanted the facts to be presented in a way that would capture the audience’s attention.

As you prepare your end-of-the-year report for your church, keep this idea of showing— not just telling—in mind. Think of your report as an opportunity to celebrate what God did through WMU over the past year and inspire others to get involved in missions through WMU in the year to come.

Your Assignment

First, gather the facts:

Connect with Others to Be a More Effective Leader

group holding hands

The technology we have today is wonderful, isn’t it? When I enter Starbucks, I immediately connect with the wireless system. My car is equipped to sync with my phone so I can retrieve my contact list and make calls. When I arrive home, my phone connects with our wireless setup, and I’m ready to go! My oldest son gave me a digital photo frame, and I’ve downloaded photos from my phone to my computer and then to the frame. If I wander into my office during the night, the frame immediately flashes on because it has a motion sensor.

Similarly, learning to connect with others can help leaders be more effective in mentoring, training, and teaching. New and experienced missions leaders must realize the value of connecting with other leaders, church staff, and members of WMU missions organizations. An entry point for someone not involved in missions activities can come through one of these connection points.

What, then, are some ways you can make connections that will help you inform people? Here are several suggestions:

Show Love to MKs Transitioning to College in the US

portrait of female college student smiling at camera

Throughout the summer, many International Mission Board workers will send their kids back to the United States to start college. This is an incredibly emotional time for us as parents, and it can be so challenging for our kids as they navigate a new culture—the American culture!

Because these missionary kids—sometimes called third-culture kids (TCKs)—look and sound like other Americans (mine even have a proper Southern drawl), people expect them to feel at home when they come to the States for college. But many of them have spent most of their life outside of the States and the transition for them can be like riding a rollercoaster: both exhilarating and terrifying with lots of ups and downs. Please pray for these kids and for their parents in these next weeks and months.

Here are a few insights and ways to help, in case you have the opportunity to love on some of our kids. It will mean so much to parents who must return to the field and to the kids they leave behind!

You Can’t Do It That Way!

women staring at each other

I found myself in a new leadership position. The ball was rolling downhill—rapidly—and I was trying to catch up! I had a good idea and posed it to my secretary, who responded, “You can’t do it that way!” Well, her statement raised a red flag as I sought a solution to a problem with an upcoming major event. Was this the time to confront her? Should I not say anything and let her attitude go? If I decided to confront her, how should I do it?

Confrontation can impact our effectiveness as leaders, so let’s look at some truths and myths regarding this sensitive topic.

Reach Out to Refugees with PTSD

refugee and child in a camp

Do you remember what it was like to cram for a test in high school or college? You made sure that everything you could possibly need to know was fresh in your mind so you would be ready to answer any question that might be thrown at you. Then, at some point after the test, all or most of that knowledge slowly faded from memory.

Don’t let that happen with what you’ve learned over the last 4 years about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Knowing how to walk alongside those with PTSD will come in handy as WMU shifts its focus for Project HELP to refugees beginning with the 2018–19 church year.

IMS Participation Leads to Missions Involvement

Hosting the International Mission Study is one sure way to give missions knowledge to church and community members. Participation in the study often leads to prayer for missionaries and their people groups. Many times, attendees are spurred to join missions efforts.

Gwen Moor, former president of Northwest WMU and a member of Dayspring Baptist Church in Chehalis, Washington, said prayer, advance delegating, and working out details are keys to success when hosting the study.

“We use the wonderful materials from the promotion kit to try to spark interest, [do] bulletin boards, [find] posters,” Moor said. In addition to the pastor promoting the study, it is announced in the bulletin for 3 or 4 weeks beforehand. A “guess how many of something that pertains to the country” game is presented. Church members have to attend the study to get the prize given to whoever is closest.

The Best-Laid Plans

to-do list with cup of coffee and muffin

God has a plan and a purpose for each of His followers. We each have a mission while here on earth. In Acts 20:24, Paul said, “My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” We are to tell others the good news about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. And God puts people in our path every day.

I had a plan for my flight home from Russia after a vision trip to gather information for the International Mission Study 2017 on Central Asian Muslims living in Russia. I was going to get a lot of work done on the longer second leg of my flight. I had speaking engagements to prepare for, cards to write, emails to read and respond to, etc. But God had other plans.

Unshakable Pursuit: Read All about It

Unshakable Pursuit devotional

We pursue many things in life: Friendships and acceptance. Freedom in the form of a driver’s license or a high school diploma. Higher education or technical training. Financial security with a job that pays well and provides benefits. Hobbies that feed our passions. Love and maybe a family of our own. The comforts of our dream home. Recognition for a job well done. Retirement goals. Items on a bucket list. Happiness. Purpose.

And we even get pursued. By the university we’ve always wanted to go to. By the company we’d like to work for. By the person we are interested in getting to know better. By God.

God has pursued us in love since He created the world. The new 30-day devotional Unshakable Pursuit: Chasing the God Who Chases Us by Grace Thornton explores this truth and helps readers understand that life finds its rhythm when we pursue Him wholeheartedly.

“Siri, What Is an Association?”

AME 2018 clipart

During my 18 years as director of missions, the world of handheld technology has exploded. On my cell phone or newest tablet, I can talk to this pleasant person named Siri or Alexa and get a fast response to the question, what is a Baptist association? Siri’s response quickly reveals an article saying a Baptist association is “a self-governing fellowship of churches on mission.”

Thank you, Siri! It is hard to believe that in the palm of my hand, I hold a device that has more computer capacity and memory than the computers on the first lunar module. I am truly amazed at the amount of information that is available right at our fingertips. I am even more amazed that after more than 300 years, so many in Baptist life do not know the power contained in the association.

The association is

Volunteer and Let God Work through You

group of volunteers

I have spent many hours volunteering at local ministries, but it wasn’t until I was a program director at a ministry that I fully understood the impact of volunteers. I could do everything I needed to prepare for Monday night classes for those in my program, but without volunteers, the classes we offered would not have taken place. Each volunteer brought a unique set of skills and gifts and impacted the lives of the women in the program, perhaps in ways he or she will never know. And for some of the women, it was through the life and testimony of a volunteer that they came to know Jesus and His love for them.

Have you ever wondered how your church might serve your community? Have you considered volunteering in your community as an individual or a family? What impact might volunteering for a local ministry have on your life and the lives of others? Here are a few tips to consider as you seek ways to serve:

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