to the Acts 1:8 Challenge
You might have heard of the Acts 1:8 Challengean emphasis to assist churches
to be on mission in partnership with associations, state conventions, the North
American Mission Board and the International Mission Board. The two missions
agencies came together May 19 to show support for churches accepting the
challenge of Acts 1:8 as they reach their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the
ends of the Earth.
But, what does the Acts 1:8 Challenge mean to you as a leader or layperson
with an on mission lifestyle? The Challenge is a biblical emphasis
designed to help your church respond to Gods command to make disciples of all
nations. These responses shouldnt be treated as a checklist but as vital signs
of churches growing under the leadership and power of the Holy Spirit.
Here are eight biblical responses of churches who want to reach their
Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. Plus, on page 37
read what some folks say about fulfilling their purpose in Gods eternal work.
Find information at www.ActsOne8.com.
Prepare empowering a designated leader of missions and
developing mission teams, strategies and plans to take the gospel to our
community, state, continent and world.
Learn bringing mission awareness and interaction to the
entire church body, training members for service and connecting them to
missionaries and mission needs.
Pray asking God for Kingdom perspective and worldwide
vision, interceding for Christian workers and unevangelized peoples.
Give increasing the financial support of the Cooperative
Program and SBC cooperative missions.
Go enabling a growing number of members to participate
directly in short-term, long-term and marketplace opportunities to minister and
spread the gospel beyond our churchs walls.
Tell involving an increasing number of members in
intentional, culturally relevant evangelism.
Send providing members with opportunities to hear Gods call
to vocational mission service.
Multiply participating in church planting, and facilitating
church planting movements, to reach people that existing churches do not.
We are in the community telling people about Christ, planting
churches in the hoods and equipping our members to be a part of new church
pastor, Word Tabernacle
For the first time in 50 years our church understands how to reach the
local housing communities. Now we have two permanent residents in one of the
communities who are working with children and helping other members to find
their calling in the community.
pastor, Kalihi Baptist Church, Honolulu, Hawaii
Five years ago I stood up in the pulpit and said Im going on a mission
trip. I dont know where, but Im going somewhere. I wanted us to get outside the
four walls of the church. Since then weve had regular trips to Idaho, New
Mexico and parts of Canada. Our missions giving has tripled for Annie Armstrong
and Lottie Moon, and we just began hosting a Japanese congregation at our
church in January.
pastor, Riviera Baptist Church, Eugene, Oregon
Since 1998 weve planted four churches: one on a First Nations reserve
and one thats already planting its own churches. Getting members of the church
involved in these projects has been a matter of preaching through the book of
Acts and sharing Christs vision for the world.
pastor, Scarborough Baptist Church
Prince Albert, Sasketchewan
Our church has decided to become that boy with two fish and five
loaves. Members are working to meet the financial needs of the North American
mission. This past Easter we gave our entire Easter offering, money that could
go toward our own building and projects, to the Annie Armstrong Easter
Offering, because we know Gods projects and vision are bigger and that He will
multiply beyond our wildest dreams.
pastor, First Baptist Church, Katy, Texas
When I came six years ago we had a WMU director, and we now have a
missions chairman. This church has been for years and continues to be a
missions-minded church. Its through our WMU and programs such as Royal
Ambassadors that the missions message continues to be conveyed, and our
missions giving continues to grow.
pastor, Love Baptist Church, Phoenix, Arizona
communicating missionsMake em want to go
on mission with you next year!!
So youve returned from a trip to Alaska
where you spent 10 days sharing Christ in Eskimo villages, and you want to
paint a picture, excite people about your trip and motivate them to pray, give
As a communication consultant for businesses and organizations for more than
10 years, Reva Daniel of Clinton, Mississippi, notes that an effective missions
presentation will focus on the broader audience in your church, not just those
faithful who are already missions-minded. So how do you get their attention and
motivate them to become missions-active? Lets say you led a mission team
and youve been asked to tell about your trip during a service. Ask yourself:
what information will compel my audience to try going on a mission trip
themselves someday, and how much time are they willing to sit and listen to
As a practice, says Reva, try disciplining yourself to five minutes and
request to do your talk during the offering when people can give you their
attention. It would be easier to get many more opportunities to put the message
of millions before our churches if our messages were short but powerful, says
Reva. Often one of the biggest challenges to good church-wide communication is
getting the time scheduled.
While five minutes may seem like an impossibly short time to show Gods work
around the continent, the five-minute format will force you to hit the high
points and carefully choose your words and images. Instead of having a
mission-trip marathon, you give your congregation just a taste, though a meaty
one, of the awesome experiences they could have if they committed to missions
Heres a five-minute presentation model that could turn your talk into a
1. Lead with a one-minute anecdote from your mission trip. Get your
listeners attention right away with a story thats humorous or exciting or
other-wise creates emotion in your listeners. Its helpful if it illustrates one
of the main lessons learned on the mission trip, but if it only serves to get
your listeners interested in what you might say next, thats good enough.
2. Give a two- to five- sentence explanation of your mission tripwhere you
went, who attended, what were your objectives in going there, etc. Practice
your explanation so you can fit it into one minute. Dont tell the
results yet to keep your listeners interested and wanting more info.
3. Spend one minute telling of a struggle you had to overcome, either
personally or as a group. Tell how you succeeded.
4. Tell of at least one lesson learned from the mission tripwhat you would
do differently next time or how the experience clarified some spiritual truth
for you. Dont be afraid to be vulnerable. You want to hook your listeners with
your story, and a credible telling of the impact this mission experience had on
you will make them want to go on one too. Your lesson learned doesnt have to be
overly profound or even spiritual maybe you just share how fun it was to be in
the fellowship of other church members in a new setting or that you enjoyed
seeing how the people live in the area you visited. Or maybe you want to go
deeper and say how this experience impacted your understanding of evangelism
and made you fine-tune your people and communication skills. Practice the
lesson-learned point until you have it down to (you guessed it!) one
5. Now for the best part! End with the results of your mission trip, using
both stats and anecdotal informationhow many people heard about the Lord, how
they hugged you so tight when you left, in other words, the sort of info that
illustrates success and makes your listeners enthusiastic about missions. Try
to keep this to one minute or a maximum of two, if youre really on a
roll and your audience is responding. End with a big, ol contagious smile!
mission educationTurning fathers to their
How can you help the men in your church take
their jobs as fathers and mentors to a new level? Encourage them to walk their
sons, or other boys in the church, through Sons of Virtue, a 10-week
study on biblical virtues. Boys will learn the importance of loyalty,
friendship, courage, responsibility, honesty, faith, compassion, perseverance,
teamwork and self-discipline. Most important, Sons of Virtue is an
opportunity to help you lead that boy in your life to Christ and to a life of
living on mission for Him.
Sons of Virtue is a tool that will help fathers do what they want
to do anyway, which is to spend more time with their sons. The book also can be
a tremendous resource for mentors to be father figures in the lives of boys who
dont have fathers at home, says Joe Conway, manager of Mission Education
Organizations at the North American Mission Board.
We can leave a legacy for generations of boys who will be the men and
fathers to carry on His purpose.
Hold a Sons of Virtue event. The Saturday before
Fathers Day, encourage the men in your church to make commitments to use
Sons of Virtue with their sons or fatherless boys in your
Make the commitments public. On Fathers Day recognize the
men in your church who have made the commitment to use Sons of
Commit to support. Commit to prayerfully support the men in
your church as they fulfill their commitments.
Take it a step further. Organize your men to form a Baptist
Men (BMEN) organization. BMEN is the umbrella group for other mission education
organizations such as Challengers (grades 7-12), Royal Ambassadors (grades
1-6), effective strategies for equipping the boys in your church to live out
the on mission lifestyle.
resourcesWhats on your
Bert Fersner, singles pastor of Summerville Baptist Church in Summerville,
South Carolina, gives a list of must-reads that have helped him in his
Classics. I read Oswald Chamberss My Utmost for His
Highest (Barbour & Co., 2003) fairly regularly for truth and
inspiration. This book meets me where I am. Also a book I plan to teach from is
F. F. Bruces The Acts of the Apostles (IVP, 1990). This is a classic
that provides great depth and clarity for understanding how we can live like
those in the early church.
Table top. For Bible study and preparation I recently read
Twelve Ordinary Men by John McArthur (W, 2002). I plan to read The
Unchurched Next Door by Thom Rainer (Zondervan, 2003) and Refining
Your Style: Learning from Respected Communicators by Dave Stone, (Group
Publishing, May 2004), which targets 13 communication styles from expository
preaching and writing to storying.
On the web. To stay up-to-date on whats new in Single Adult
Ministry I refer to the SAM journal online at www.samjournal.com where you
can find tips on starting ministries, ministry tools and other info even for
lay leaders. I also log onto www.preaching.com for sermon notes and other preaching tools.
For the future. The books I plan to read for my personal
journey are Waking the Dead by John Eldridge (Thomas Nelson, 2003) and
The New Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman (Baker Books, 1998) because we
are about to have a third child and this book will help me understand how birth
order affects personality and what we can expect as parents.
Now thats an idea!
No more What did he say? The city of Damascus, Maryland, is
almost four percent Hispanic in a county thats nearly 12 percent of the same,
but First Baptist Church Damascus is making it easier for a growing people
group that could be reached more effectively with the aid of on mission
churches and some high-tech help. Enter headset translators, a technological
advance FBC Damascus started offering last summer for its Spanish-speaking
attenders. Now Hispanics sitting in the pews will only have to turn up the
volume to understand the sermons more clearly.
A waterproof way to pray. The childrens
ministry of West Ridge Church in west Atlanta gave its kids a waterproof way to
pray for the Jamaica missions teama plastic snap-on bracelet with team members
names written with a Sharpie marker. Two weeks leading up to the trip, first
through fifth graders donned these neon-green reminders and began praying for
the name written in black ink. Not only does it teach the importance of prayer
for missions, but it gets kids praying and excited about missions, says Paul
Richardson, childrens pastor at West Ridge Church. Hopefully, itll get them
excited enough to go on trips when theyre a little older. To get your
wristbands, call Wristband Resources at 800-481-2263 or email email@example.com.
Dont keep it to yourself! If you have a missions or ministry idea youd like
to share with other readers, send us a brief description of how its worked for
you and your church. If we publish it, expect a free gift!
On Mission magazine
4200 North Point Parkway
Alpharetta, GA firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to include your mailing and email addresses.
you and your kidsMore on The Passion of the
Are your kids old enough?
While Mel Gibsons The Passion of the Christ has proved to be a powerful tool
for evangelism, the same elements that make it compelling might make it
inappropriate for some ages. We spoke with Dr. Mary Manz Simon, practical
parenting consultant and host of Front Porch Parenting which is carried on more
than 300 radio stations. She gave On Mission insight on seeing the
movie with your young ones:
Maturity, not age, needs to be the guide. No matter what age your children
are, if they dont have the mental tools to process certain images, movies with
violence, whether gratuitous or not, could have a negative effect.
Parents need to preview the movie. Because a parent is the only expert on
his or her own children, I recommend that parents see the movie and determine
whether its appropriate. Parents should ask: How can the film experience relate
to my childs journey with Jesus?
A child or youth should not be forced to see the film or sent on a guilt
trip if he or she chooses not to see the movie. A walk outside on a beautiful
spring day can be an equally teachable moment for growing in faith.
Is it a good evangelism tool?
Magnolia Avenue Baptist Church in Riverside, California, rented out three
showings of The Passion of the Christ at a local theater. People made decisions
for Christ at the theater after each showing, and more have made decisions
since. Examples of the power of this outreach are a married couple named
Patricia and John, a Riverside couple who hadnt entered a church since infancy.
Their neighbor had invited them. Patricias exact words after seeing the movie?
I never knew Jesus did all that for me!
Now new believers, they continue to ask questions of GROW, Magnolia Avenues
evangelism follow-up team. In addition, as part of a three-week, 19-church
ecumenical outreach effort, Magnolia Avenue worked with evangelicals from other
denominations during which 55,535 people (one-tenth of Riversides population)
saw The Passion, many accepting Christ, or recommitting their lives to Him. The
Riverside Passion site (www.riversidepassion.com) received more
than 20,000 hits.
campers on missionBuilding faith
Seven miles northwest of Ocala, Florida, and nestled in
the rolling hills and horse farms of Marion County off state highway 27 sits
the community of Fellowship, a segment of land defined by interspersed housing,
a Masonic Lodge, a Kwik King jiffy store and Fellowship Baptist Church, the
oldest Baptist church in the county and the seventeenth oldest in the
Aletha and Bob King, and 28 other couples and individuals, arrived at
Fellowship Baptist last year to help build a 6,800 square-foot worship and
fellowship center designed to hold 275 people and provide them with a kitchen,
nursery, choir room and conference room. The older sanctuary had become too
small for the number of people who had moved to the scenic area.
Members of the Campers On Mission (COM) group stayed from a few days to
several weeks digging footers, framing, installing plumbing, hanging and
finishing drywall, plus performing other tasks and making sure the building met
local codes and the needs of the congregation.
We normally come on a construction site at the framing stage, but with this
project we built it from the ground up, says Bob King, project coordinator for
region five of the Florida COM. This is what our mission is as Campers On
Mission. We go where the needs are and do what needs to be done to meet those
Now more than a year later, Fellowship Baptist Church is a thriving
community of believers with a building where they can share burdens, learn
about God and reach out to the residents of Fellowship community and other
areas in that part of Florida.
To learn more about Campers on Mission and how you and your church can take
on some of the many ministries COM provides, visit www.thebridge.namb.net,
email COM organizers Martha and Wintford Haynes at email@example.com or call 800-462-8657.
Members: drawing them in with your media
If youve spent any time surfing church websites, youll probably agree that
they inspire little more than a yawn. They may describe features of the church
but not the benefitswhat they will mean to visitors and potential members.
Descriptors like First-class student ministry or Bible studies for all ages
make the eyes glaze over, rather than entice the web surfer.
What is first-class and how can the Bible be broken into age-sensitive
lessons? If youve never set foot in a church and youre looking for a place that
can teach you the basics of the spiritual life, terms like median adult or
expository preaching will only work if your spiritual seeker has attended
seminary courses or a church workshop on terminology.
The bottom line is that people dont want programs; they want their needs
met. If you want your audience to respond, show them what they can expect to
gain and experience when they involve themselves with your church. Consider
some of these suggestions next time you print up a brochure or make changes to
your web page.
If you were trying to sell cars, your selling point wouldnt be we have great
cars of all colors nor would you be drawn to take your blouse or slacks to a
dry cleaner who boasted that we use advanced chemicals to clean your clothes.
The product or service must be connected to the need of the consumer. Instead
of colors and chemicals, you would want to assure your audience that theyll get
a reliable car to enjoy or freshly cleaned and pressed clothes to dress up
If you want to reach your audience, find out what needs they have, and
determine what benefits you can provide. Then, instead of balking at expository
messages from Gods Word, your audience will be drawn to a church where they can
find real truth for real life.
For more effective tips on reaching your community with church media, watch
for future issues of On Mission.
Eric Ramsey, church enlistment manager at the
North American Mission Board, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know? Disaster Relief sites soon will be
accessible to chaplains thanks to something newa Disaster Relief training
program for chaplains who have a concern for victims of disaster. Training is
under way, and the first endorsed Disaster Relief chaplains should be ready by
the end of summer. You can understand and reach your Jehovahs Witness friends
more effectively with the soon-to-be released resource In the Name of
Jehovah. Scheduled for release Fall 2004, In the Name of Jehovah
will help you understand and share the true gospel with the Jehovahs Witnesses
in your life and neighborhood.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC