Summer Missions Idea
Planning a trip to Native America for your summer vacation?
Serious about your church reaching Native American and Can- adas
First Nations people? Heres how to get started:
More than 600 native tribes live in the United States and
photo by paul obregoN
Groundwork. Get on your knees. Pray for the tribe God has
laid on your churchs heart. Pray that He would open doors, give you a burden
for the physical needs of the people and a sensitivity to the specific culture
of the tribe.
Network. Contact the missionary commissioned to the area
you want to visit. This enables you to form a partnership with someone in or
around the culture who has specific knowledge about the customs, traditions and
economy of the tribe. Ask for any materials that may give you insight into the
tribe youre trying to reach. Nail down a good date for the trip as well.
Prepwork. Months before you head out, the mission team
leader should initiate a dialogue through email or telephone on how to approach
the tribal people. Ask your missionary for homework and discussion materials to
review with the group.
Fieldwork. Youve prayed, researched, prepared and now youre
ready to fulfill the Great Commission among the Cherokee, Navajo, Sioux or
another tribe that has created in you a burden for ministry. Before piling into
the bus to hit the reservation, refine your vision. Remember:
Their culture, not yours. Christianity is a personal relationship
with Jesus Christ regardless of ethnicity and cultural traditions. Your
presentation of the gospel should reflect Gods love and not overwhelm them with
your culture. See Biblical Guidelines for Contextualizing Native American
Church Ministry at www.nambnative-ministries.org.
Meet their needs. While sharing the hope of Christ will be a
blessing to your group, its important to remain in line with Gods leading and
not your agenda. This means being sensitive to the physical needs of a tribe.
The gateway to meeting spiritual need is quenching physical hunger. If
necessary, partner with another church or association that might help provide
the necessary resources. Ask your missionary for the best way to pool these
Follow up. Reaching a native community requires a relationship,
which means regular, even annual, trips to the location where your group makes
genuine friendships and creates an air of mutual respect. Tap into your
missionarys vision for the people in the tribe and try to commit to being a
part of that vision until it bears fruit.
While many Native American and Canadas First Nations people reside in urban
areas, reservations continue to be distinct cultures in great need of the
gospel. For more information about how to plan a trip to reservations and other
native populations, visit the North American Mission Boards native ministries
website at www.namb-nativeministries.org. Also, look for more in-depth
coverage on this growing mission field in the July/August issue of On
Youth on mission at concerts
What if going to a concert resulted in some of your youth committing to
missions in North America?
The Go Show, featuring contemporary Christian recording artists Audio
Adrenaline and Mercy Me, may be the ticket to getting your son, daughter or
youth group on fire about fulfilling the Great Commission.
Youll have to act fast. Through May 3 this Acts 1:8 tour will make its way
cross country with music and a challenge for todays young people to take the
helm and become tomorrows missionaries.
The Go Show is a way to stoke the flame among Christian youth, and its also
a gateway for word to spread about The Go Foundation. A recently formed
organization, it combines the resources of several missions organizations
including the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the International Mission
At the end of each concert, youth and college students will be presented
with an opportunity to commit to North American or International missions.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com.
For The Go Show tour schedule visit www.thegoshow.org.
To learn more about how to involve your youth in missions, visit NAMBs
student ministries at www.go.studentz.com or The Go Foundation at thegofoundation.com.
Helping folks back home
By Jane Moran
When we moved into our neighborhood in Hope Mills,
North Carolina, a city right outside Fort Bragg, my husband Tony and I prayed
that God would help us find ways to reach and influence our neighborhood. A
community filled mostly with military personnel from the 82nd Airborne, the
Army Special Forces and Pope Air Force base, who, in times of deployment, often
leave behind spouses and children, our neighborhood has proven to be a ripe
mission field. God has shown us opportunity after opportunity to minister to
families who need anything done from simple chores around the house to meals to
disaster relief and a listening ear.
We have mowed lawns while neighborhood husbands have been away on
extended military deployments, taken in mail and newspapers, cared for pets,
assisted with computer repair, cooked meals, helped deliver puppies, shared
tools and babysat. We have played Trivial Pursuit, watched football
games, helped clean up after hurricanes and listened to marital problems.
As military deployment becomes more and more frequent, we expect to see our
ministry grow tremendously. During these times, even something as simple as a
cup of coffee and a little conversation can result in a life-changing
I pray that we have given them a taste of Christ- centered community and
that He will use our small acts of service to draw them to Himself.
Soldier missionaries go to war
With an Internet connection and a computer, soldier missionaries
can attend stateside Sunday school from thousands of miles
photo by hans halberstadt/corbis
When Jimmy Atkinson says goodbye to church members who transfer or go off to
battle with the U.S. military, he doesnt look at it as losing members but
rather as sending missionaries.
We are a missionary church. We send out missionaries, he says. We train them
here at Arran Lake Baptist Church, and we send them around the world. Minister
of education at Arran Lake Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina,
Jimmy says his church is very transitional, especially during military activity
overseas. With a congregation made up primarily of military personnel (65 to 70
percent), Arran Lake is located just outside Fort Bragg and has a new
congregation every three and a half years.
In addition to sending out soldier missionaries with each military
deployment, Jimmy says he will soon have Sunday school on the Internet. Hell
post an audio version of each Sunday school lesson at
This resource will not only keep soldiers sharp in their personal studies,
but it also will provide the opportunity to share Christ with others who listen
in on the cyber Sunday. And though thousands of miles away, soldiers can email
Jimmy at the completion of each lesson and be counted in the regular Sunday
While spouses are away, Arran Lake also ministers to families back home
through its Sunday school classes. Visitors to the churchs classes are
automatically enrolled not only in the class but also in a ministry that
includes helping with anything from chores to transportation to moral
Personal evangelismOn mission parenting in
As international uncertainty and a sluggish economy stay
in the headlines, Dr. Mary Manz Simon offers us some insight on shepherding our
children to be on mission in such times. A well-known author, speaker,
consultant and parent with a biblical perspective on child development and
practical parenting, she reaches thousands of parents each year through
magazine articles and conferences.These are her thoughts:
Give children peace of mind. Remind them that you will do
everything possible to protect them. Encourage them to think of other
people who help to keep us safe. (Suggest first responders, soldiers,
etc.) Childrens anxieties often emerge before nap or bedtime, so help
them memorize a simple verse that reminds us of Gods care. Psalm 4:8 (CEV)
reads: I can lie down and sleep soundly because you, Lord, will keep me
safe. Older children can search the Psalms to find other references that
highlight God as our protector.
Speak on your childs level. Carry on a conversation, not a
lecture. Answer concerns with another question. For example, if your child
says, My friend says soldiers are going to come and get us, ask, What do you
think? By listening carefully to your childs response, you will have the
opportunity to correct misinformation, provide information and remind your
child of steps you are taking to keep him safe.
Avoid media immersion. Because young children cant tell the
difference between live and recorded events on television, they think they are
seeing the same event happen repeatedly. Turn off the television and tape
it for your later viewing. If something comes on TV that needs
explaining, filter and interpret.
Turn uncertainty into opportunity. Whether your child is 5
or 15, there are outreach opportunities during times of tragedy. For example,
young children can gather toys or clothes they dont use anymore and donate them
to a shelter or donation center. Older children can help with blood drives by
serving cookies or pouring juice for donors. Sharing the love of Christ through
acts of kindness provides an on mission approach to work through anxieties.
Practice your everyday family traditions. Routines provide
comfort for children. Regardless of what happens on the national or world
stage, continue regular devotions. Have your regular dinnertime
discussion about what happened today at school. Attend Bible class and
worship. Tragedy or terror may grab front page headlines, but children still
need their normal mealtimes, plenty of sleep and the security that comes with
Model an on mission mindset. Even if children are
too young to understand the dangers of war and economic downturn, your actions
and words can reflect your personal dependence on God. We are primary
role models for our children, so invite children to join you in prayer for the
neighbor who lost his job or the soldier whos been deployed overseas.
Teaching children to share this perspective with their friends can open up
doors for them to share the gospel.
Missions in Nevada
Looking for a way to make tracks this summer with
your churchs mission group?
Try exploring the wide-open spaces of Nevada with missionaries like James
Vaughn, director of missions for Nevada, who acts as a liaison between missions
groups and the areas greatest need. You can expect to work plenty of backyard
Bible clubs and door-to-door visitation.
Also expect to confront a culture you may never have seen before. In
addition to being famous for casinos and exotic shows, Nevadas cities are also
well known for law-sanctioned sin and a great need for people eager and bold
with the gospel.
The area is developing into a multi-ethnic mixing bowl with growing
populations of Hispanic, Korean, Chinese and other ethnic groups. The fastest
growing state in the U.S., Nevada offers mission groups the opportunity to see
many of the cultures of the world without leaving the country.
We have a very high percentage of people who are lost here, James says. We
need partners in Christ penetrating those pockets of lost people with the
Deemed the last frontier, Nevada could be your next destination to pioneer
change. For more information, contact the Nevada Baptist Convention at
PHOTO BY GIBBS FRAZEUR
evangelism for men
Unmasking the masculine
Trying to reach the guy next door? You see him mowing his lawn on Sundays,
defrosting his windshield on Mondays and even one day, youve decided, you want
to see him accepting Christ. So whats stopping you from reaching this action-
Men tend to think and do, says Jaye Martin, who directs NAMBs womens
evangelism ministry. Women tend to share and feel. In other words, reaching men
requires a unique perspective and set of tools. In contemporary times,
the tools of the trade are changing to break down the barriers built between
men and Christ by todays culture.
Men are trapped in the rat race, bored, underchallenged, disconnected from
their masculine core and are trying to be something other than themselves, says
Brian Peterson, a publishing media consultant for Christian organizations. This
means men need to be engaged in ways that will bring out their personalities
and a vulnerability to the love of Christ.
Men must bow their wills to Christ, but our approaches in personal
evangelism should allow them to maintain control and affirm their manhood,
writes Will McRaney in The Art of Personal Evangelism due to be released in
May. Professor of Evangelism at New Orleans Theological Seminary, he adds that
we can do evangelism best on neutral ground or on their turf, not in a place
where they feel vulnerable, such as a church building or a small group in a
Christians home where they may feel cornered. Talk with men, not to them,
especially not down to them as if they are children or ignorant.
For more ideas, insight, and inspiration on crossing the gender gap with the
gospel, look for the July/August issue of On Mission magazine featuring Good
News for Modern Man, an article by John Eldridge, author of Wild at Heart.
Did you know...
Physical stamina is a requirement for Xtreme Team members as tasks
could include vigorous climbing and hiking in humid jungles.
The International Mission Boards Xtreme Team is looking for single men age
21 to 30 to journey into the jungles and mountainous terrain of Peru, Ecuador,
Bolivia Chile and Argentina to share the love of Jesus Christ. If youre
interested in a two-year stint in one of the most remote regions in the western
hemisphere,visit Xtreme at www.thextreme-team.org and find out how to
apply online. Xtreme will recruit volunteers for the next three to five years.
Act fast. The deadline for the first round of applicants is April 23.
NAMBs Volunteer Mobilization Information System, a database listing the
boards short-term mission projects, has changed its name to The Bridge and is
located at thebridge.namb.net (formerly www.volunteers.namb.net). If youre
registered with VMIS, your registration has been transferred to the systems new
To find out more about NAMBs volunteer missions opportunities, visit The
Bridge at thebridge.namb.net.
Your church has the potential to influence the world. If youre interested in
unlocking the missions-mindedness of your church, Global Focus could be the
key. Global Focus is a way to get your church leadership and congregation
praying, giving and going to reach your churchs Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and
the ends of the earth. Through a Global Focus Leadership Seminar, then a
church-wide Global Focus Seminar and finally a Global Impact Celebration
attended by North American and International missionaries, your church will be
awakened and equipped for its call to missions. To get started visit www.global-focus.info.
Chaplains earn their stripes
Nearly a thousand chaplains have been commissioned by the
North American Mission Board (NAMB) to minister in all branches of the United
States armed forces.
While these chaplains perform ceremonies such as weddings and funerals, they
also look for opportunities to share the gospel.
The chaplain has the opportunity to initiate dialogue and relationships
through which they can influence people with the hope we have in Jesus Christ,
said David Mullis, a retired Navy chaplain serving with NAMBs chaplaincy
Currently, SBC chaplains are playing an essential role in the war in Iraq.
To learn more about NAMBs chaplaincy program and how to support your
military chaplains, visit namb.net/evangelism/cev.
Acts 1:8...prayer in times of crisis
Jerusalem...Pray for your neighbors and the safety of their
loved ones who have been deployed and for opportunities to serve and share with
them the hope of Christ.
Judea...Pray for your region and for the leaders of your
state or province who make decisions for your safety. Also pray for the people
and churches in neighboring counties.
Samaria...Pray for North America and its leaders that they
would seek godly wisdom and that their hearts will be turned to Christ. Also
pray for Christian unity during these times.
Ends of the earth...Pray for our allies, enemies and
military and that peace would come through these times of struggle. Lift up our
chaplains as God uses them to reach our soldiers.
Youre invited...heres my card
Things thinner than your insurance card can help
save lives. At least this is the idea of the pastors of Cottonwood Church in
Albuquerque, New Mexico. On his business card, Cottonwood worship pastor Craig
Sundheimer provides several points of contact (three phones and three
addresseselectronic and otherwise) and a generous invitation to visit a place
with a casual, relevant and contemporary atmosphere. Whether by phone, fax,
Internet or in-person, making contact with Cottonwood Church is as easy as a
flip of a fold (the business card is a mini brochure) and the push of a button.
One panel of the card simply says Youre Invited.
Your business card (youre in the business of evangelism)even the standard
two-sided versioncan contain anything from an invitation to Sunday services to
your contact information and an invitation to hear more about the gospel. You
may even include a favorite quote to spur thoughts about Christ. While three
and a half by two inches may not be enough space to delineate Gods plan of
salvation, it could be enough to start an important conversation.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC