Spend a week or more in the heart of northern Michigan. This area is well known
for its natural beauty. Rolling mountains and lush forests skirted by white
sand beaches that extend into the crystal blue waters of Lake Michigan draw
thousands of tourists each year.
The booming tourist population is a ripe mission field, but of primary concern
for Ken Wilson, director of missions for the Northwest Baptist Association, are
the 600,000 locals—68 percent of whom are unchurched.
“It’s a beautiful area and there are many things we could do because of the
tourism,” Ken says. “But first we need
to reach the indigenous people who live here year round.”
Northern Michigan has a staggering lost population of 70-80 percent, and the
Northwest Baptist Association has only 15 churches and missions to reach them.
This is why Ken needs the help of volunteer mission teams. He needs volunteers
to work alongside local church planters to share Christ and help lay the ground
work for new churches.
“With the area growing at a rate of 15 percent annually, we have many church
planting needs,” he says. “We just need some partner churches to come up here
and help us.”
Groups are needed to help with sports camps, vacation Bible school,
door-to-door surveys, as well as construction and evangelistic outdoor events.
Mission teams need to be ready to embrace and encourage local church members
and pastors as well as make connections with people in the community who don’t
have a relationship with Christ. “The culture of rural northern Michigan
is very relational,” says church planter Rich Ratts. “We want to build
relationships through outreach events that will help us incoporate people first
into a relationship with Jesus Christ and second into a relationship with our
Ken says the Northwest Association needs as many volunteers as they can get. He
encourages people to come and enjoy the beauty of northern Michigan while
serving those who live here.
“In the fall we have the most beautiful colors you could ever want to see,” he
says. “Come and check out the leaves and also help us engage our culture and
reach the lost population of northern Michigan. Who knows, God may call you
here on a permanent basis.”
Volunteers are needed this fall and winter to help two new church plants hit
the ground running, minister through event evangelism at winter festivals and
on the ski slopes at Crystal Mountain Resort and to help with wild game
dinners. No special skills required—just a heart for seeing people come to
Christ and a willingness to serve.
More Information:Individuals and groups have an
ongoing ministry opportunity in northern Michigan. To find out how you can
participate, contact Ken Wilson at email@example.com or 231-649-2398. For
information on other volunteer opportunities, visit www.thebridge.namb.net.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC