On those rare sunny Seattle days Michael Burgett might be seen at the
basketball courts just down from his apartment or at a Starbucks up the street.
Other days he's strolling the local college campuses. His goal is to build
relationships with students who may never set foot inside a church or a Baptist
Campus Ministry (BCM). His mission is to start the first Southern Baptist
church on a college campus. If you'd asked him a couple of years ago where he'd
be today, he probably would have said a grade school classroom.
"I've felt a call to missions for some time. I just thought it would always
be short term," Michael says. "I majored in history with a minor in Christian
ministries and recreation. Basically, I planned on being a full-time teacher
who did missions in the summer."
Michael became heavily involved in missions through his BCM at Union
University and even served as a summer missionary in Alaska in 2003. Still
pursuing education, Michael earned a master's in education at the University of
Tennessee at Martin. But in the fall of 2004 something clicked.
"This last year I felt God calling me to do missions full time," he
Throughout his college years, which is when he first was turned on to
missions, Michael was mentored by his campus minister in partnership with the
North American Mission Board. Last year, Michael applied to become a US/C2
missionary in Seattle. He was approved in November, the day before
Thanksgiving. He's been in Seattle since the first of the year working to bring
light to "a dark culture."
Michael is the first to serve as a US/C2
missionary through a process called the Missions Prep Network (MPN), an
initiative of the North American Mission Board designed to nurture, resource
and cultivate students called to full-time ministry or missions.
Other students are on their way along a similar journey as they seek God and
His calling on their lives.
"We receive emails from students every day asking serious questions about what
it means and what it takes to be a missionary," says Donald King, who manages
the MPN. "We love to answer those questions, because we know we're
communicating with sincere people."
MPN keeps students aware of what missions
and ministry opportunities exist, puts them in touch with people actively
engaged in missions and provides firsthand missions experience in cooperation
with campus ministers plus IMB and NAMB missionaries.
For more information about missions opportunities and the Missions Prep
Network, visit www.answerthecall.net.
The words of Christ to the Church are as
relevant today as they were to early-church believers. We are to be his
witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. The Acts 1:8
Challenge is a way for churches to develop their vision for fulfilling the
Great Commission. Here are two of the more than 900 congregations who've
accepted the Acts 1:8 Challenge.
Bruce Landry, Nome Community Baptist
Church, Nome, AlaskaBruce Landry came to Alaska with the
military and never left. Now he's pastor of Nome Community Baptist Church in
Nome, Alaska-a majority Inuit town near the western coast of the state.
"Right now I really would like for my church to get an understanding that our
mission field happens to be everywhere around us. We're in a hub community that
has 15 communities around it that are very remote by any standards in the
United States. There are high suicide rates in those villages. God would not
put a church in a hub community just to sit in a hub community. 'Go ye
therefore' is what I've always preached."
Bruce registered his church to communicate to his congregation that he's
serious about missions locally and internationally.
"I'm trying to give them ownership,"
Bruce says. "Jesus' last words before going into heaven are something we should
pay close attention to. We can get mighty busy on things and not focus on what
is the most important thing. Anything to get the point across that the four
corners that we worship in every day are not the four corners of the world. 'Go
ye therefore' means go beyond the walls of your church."
William H. Smith, North Buffalo Community
Church, SBC, Buffalo, New YorkWilliam Smith says he embraced the
Acts 1:8 challenge, because "we wanted to put a stake in the ground that our
church will continue in an Acts 1:8 direction and join our brothers and sisters
across the continent in doing the same."
William has been using Acts 1:8 resources such as videos from the
International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board to show his
congregation the necessity and urgency to become a worldwide missions
William says of the 60 to 100 attenders who come on Sunday to the mostly
African American fellowship, 25 to 30 percent are excited about and active in
the church's mission work.
"Next year we're ready to take it up another notch," William says. "We plan
to do missions more closely related to home.
"We'd like to get something in every realm," he adds. "We're a small church,
but I know we can do that."
In addition to a weekly missions promotion, William plans for the church to
engage the local community with Vacation Bible Schools and other local outreach
For more information on how your church can accept the Acts 1:8 Challenge,
or call 800-4-ACTS18. To order the Acts 1:8 Challenge doctrine study, visit
impacting the culture
My Turn – Jeff Johnson, cultural
missionary and former American Idol hopeful
By Jeff Johnson
I'll never forget the experience of trying out for "American Idol." My
friend and I spent all night on the road driving from Irving, Texas, to New
Orleans where we planned to audition for the show. When I made the final cut
and made it into the group going to Hollywood, of course I was excited, but I
wondered how it would affect my ministry.
Before auditioning, I asked the board of directors of the ministry I serve
if I would in some way compromise our vision and hurt what God has blessed.
Without missing a beat, one of them told me "you are a missionary. Missionaries
look different, and you are a missionary on this television show."
What he said stuck with me, and I realized what an opportunity I had to use
my talents as a way of transforming the television culture. But still, in all
the excitement I think I began to lose my focus, because when I was cut from
the show I was pretty discouraged. When I came home to Irving, my pastor called
"Are you really making this about Christ?" he asked me.
I wish I could tell you that I helped start a revival in Hollywood, but
honestly I wasn't given the opportunity to walk anyone through the Four
Spiritual laws. I did, however, form relationships with people who may never
set foot inside a church, and I learned what the church's role is in helping
shape the culture. Not only should churches commission cultural missionaries,
but they should be a source of encouragement, a refuge and, as I learned, a
source of honest accountability. If I'd come back from Hollywood and continued
in my wrong thinking about my "failure" to make it, I may never have
experienced the huge success afforded me by the experience.
Since "American Idol" I've been on radio talk shows, well-known radio
stations have picked up my music, and I've received emails from people who read
my testimony and wanted to know more about Jesus. My ministry is reaching
people more than ever. People who might never have come to a Christian event
before will show up with their Christian co-worker because "the guy from
'American Idol' is there."
I thank God for the community of believers who encouraged me to jump in.
Lives have been changed, including mine!
Follow Jeff's life after "Idol" at jeffjohnsonministries.com.
volunteering in missions
Here are ways to make your mark in June, July and August:
• Ask your church missions director or call your state convention office
about missions opportunities that can involve you, your friends and family. For
more ideas, visit www.TheBridge.namb.net.
• Remember that vacations are great opportunities to reach people with the
gospel. So, while you're reading by the pool or enjoying a round of miniature
golf, look for opportunities to shine.
• While the kids are out of school is a great time to teach them about
ministry and evangelism. Get involved in community activities where you serve
others, and give your children the chance to learn more about the Great
For more on sharing Christ in any season, visit www.namb.net/evangelism.
2005 PICTURE THIS! CONTEST WINNER
Bruce Osborn, Alpha Baptist Church, Morristown,
"Through A Child's Eyes" was taken in Cuita (pronounced choota),
Romania. Cuita is a Romany (Gypsy) village about one hour outside of Buzau, a
city northeast of Bucharest. We have made trips to the area about seven times
in partnership with an existing work reaching Gypsy people. On this trip we
were working on the Baptist church there in the village, pouring a concrete
driveway and doing some general updates on the facility. We also did some
general evangelism projects with the children and door-to-door visitation. The
photos are of two young boys playing outside of a house where we stopped to
make a visit. The children are a beautiful example of the children seen
throughout the village and who would attend our Bible clubs.
Find your favorite mission trip image, and send it to On Mission magazine
for our 2006 PICTURE THIS! photo contest. Winners will receive $100 plus we'll
publish your photo. Email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to On
Mission magazine, North American Mission Board, 4200 North Point Parkway,
Alpharetta, GA 30022. Entries due by June 30, 2006.
Now that's an idea
First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Georgia
It's a car enthusiast's dream: buying car parts, powering up old models and,
of course, looking at the other guy's work at a local car show. But you don't
have to be a car enthusiast to reach car enthusiasts. First Baptist Woodstock
is planning its eighth annual Restored Car, Truck and Bike Show, a professional
car show where auto lovers come away with trophies, door prizes and the love of
Jesus. Last year, more than 300 entered the show with their polished autos,
and, all together, more than 2,000 showed up. Each show has resulted in dozens
of new visitors to their church. Several people in the past have made
commitments to Christ.
Hint: Denise recommends inviting the local fire department to come out and
give fire safety presentations while providing medical personnel-a must for any
For more info, visit www.coolcarshow.net.
Send us your church's ideas
Send us your church's ideas for evangelism, missions and outreach! If we
print yours in "The Pulse," you'll receive $100 and a gift subscription to On
Mission for a friend or family member. Submit your ideas to email@example.com or mail to:
On Mission magazine
Attn: Adam Miller
4200 North Point Pkwy
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Meet you at the corner of Church and
Where does the church fit in with mainstream culture? Well, if Christ came
to redeem all of creation, the church should be grafted into every area of
life. If Christ is all and is in all, that means as Christians we are called to
be salt and light everywhere!
"The church should not spend its time condemning culture," says Bret Lott in
an interview with On Mission. Author of the novel Jewel and editor of
the Southern Review at Louisiana State University, Bret is a Southern Baptist
with a passion for Christ becoming real in today's culture. "The bottom line is
we need more Christian artists dedicated to excellent art. If we allow culture
to be perverted but don't reclaim it, we are not being obedient."
John Avant, vice president of Evangelization, NAMB, says it's our job to be
instruments of change in the hearts of people in the arts and media.
"Unless we have believers who have answered God's call to work in the
mainstream culture of North America, there won't be a heart change," he
During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, church art was a staple for most
aesthetic craftsmen, the likes of which included Leonardo Da Vinci,
Michaelangelo and Raphael. Where have all the artists gone? And why?
In future issues of On Mission, "Meet you at the corner of church
and main" will explore the relationship between Christians and their world.
With the help of writers, thinkers, theologians and our readers, we will
discuss how believers can be instruments of heart change.
Also, in future pages of On Mission, look for more on how churches
use art to worship God plus a piece by Bret Lott on God's vision for church and
the creative arts.
Send your thoughts and experiences on impacting our culture to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPFM.org Visit the Center
for Single Parent Family Ministry online where you'll find strategies and
resources for reaching the single parents and their children in your community.
Plus, find more about SPFM's schedule of conferences.
desiringGod.orgThe site for the ministry of John
Piper (author of Desiring God) provides sermon manuscripts, audio sermons,
suggested resources and other ministry valuables.
www.worldmagblog.com/blog Find out what Christian
leaders and thinkers are saying about culture at large. This is the blog of
WORLD, a reputable, conservative news magazine, where you'll find archives of
previous issues and links to other good blogs and websites.
www.fbcdurham.org The website of First Baptist
Church, Durham, North Carolina, provides viewers with resources from advanced
scripture memory tools to sermons to a clear presentation of the gospel.
non-profit Christian organization that provides social services to
multi-housing communities and opportunities for churches to reach the
communities in their area.
In Leading Baptist Men On Mission (NAMB, 2005) North
American Mission Board President Bob Reccord and Patrick Morley, author of Man
in the Mirror, cover the bases in beginning a men's ministry and leading men in
your church to greater spiritual maturity.
Lean Hard on Jesus (Crossway, 2005) by Joyce
Rogers is a reminder of God's goodness even when times are bad. Rogers explores
how to follow Jesus and find strength and refuge in Him even in the "darkest
The Costly Call(Kregel, 2005) by former
muslim Emir Caner and H. Edward Pruitt tells the stories, struggles and
triumphs of Muslims all over the world who have come to Jesus as Lord.
Captivating(Nelson Books, 2005) by John
(author of Wild at Heart) and Stasi Eldredge tells the story of the woman's
heart. Peek into the heartlife of women as they seek the adventure God
has designed for them.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC