By Greg Addison
The Acts 1:8 One Day Mission Trip to North Little Rock on October 7 was an incredible success. More than 2,000 Arkansas Baptists from 190 churches served and shared Jesus in a myriad of ways: block parties, food distribution, laundry ministries, car washes, and prayer walking, just to name a few. To date, 35 people have come to faith in Jesus Christ, and we are still collecting reports! It is invigorating to your faith to be part of such a spiritual event as One Day; it leaves you excited and hungry for more.
The same is true for any mission trip or service experience. Volunteers in the Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief ministry have had similar victories. Serving the Lord in any "step out in faith" type of experience will challenge and grow you. You will get a deeper taste of what serving the Lord means. These experiences connect us to the incredible spiritual needs in our world and stir us to do more.
How do we build on such a moment? How do we take these lessons and experiences and then grow from them? Here are six simple ways you can deepen your ministry impact and build on what God has done in your life.
1. Share your testimony with friends and your Sunday School/small group families.
Few things work to bring glory to Jesus and galvanize an experience like sharing your testimony. But sharing your testimony can be frustrating; too many people try to carry the emotions and experience home, but you cannot recreate the experience for your friends.
Instead, break your testimony into "God moments." Share a simple moment when God worked or taught you something. Your friends and ministry families will understand that and God will use it to stir them to do ministry.
2. Become more involved in other missions partnerships through your home church.
Most Arkansas Baptist churches have several missional ministries or partnerships. Seize the spiritual momentum in your life by turning this experience into a lifestyle. Pick one and dive in!
3. Create a missional prayer list.
Your missional experience was all about walking with Jesus—living through faith—for that event. The best way to keep this connection with Him is to build a prayer list and continue the journey. Start with some simple prayer requests...
- First, pray to deepen and make permanent the faith lessons you were taught.
- Second, make a list of three lost people you know to come to faith in Jesus. Pray for a chance to share your salvation testimony with them.
- Third, pray that specific ministries in your church will see salvations occur in their ministry.
- Fourth, ask Jesus to direct you to another missional commitment. From that, God will speak and work in your life to grow you beyond the foundation built in your missional experience.
4. Begin a greater commitment to giving.
You have just experienced how important missional giving is to Arkansas Baptist missions. Your tithing to your church creates the mechanism that funds ministry development: the Cooperative Program. The missionaries and mechanisms for the experience you just had at One Day were built through Cooperative Program missions!
You have also seen, firsthand, how giving to the Dixie Jackson State Missions Offering is incredibly vital. Giving to Arkansas missions means bringing our neighbors in our own state to Jesus! Dixie Jackson gifts given through your church also allow for other Arkansas Baptists to go on similar missional experiences.
5. Follow Arkansas Baptists on our website and social media.
We take on the attitudes and actions of the people we are around the most. If you want to be missional in your Christian life, then be influenced by missional people. We spend a lot of time following news, trends, and even cat videos. Take some time to stay attuned to the mission work you are involved in by virtue of belonging to an Arkansas Baptist church through the ministry of the ABSC. Easily access new information and stories on our website (absc.org) and on social media (@ArkansasBaptists).
6. Talk with your pastor about missional strategies for your church.
My favorite moment on every mission trip is that conversation when someone shares with me their "lightbulb" moment: "Pastor, we can do THIS at home—in our church or in our city!" The awareness of lostness, needs, and the power of the Gospel that occurs in a missional experience spreads through a church when this conversation continues at home.
Talk with your pastor. He will be blessed and will encourage you. You might very well be the catalyst for your church to develop a new missional strategy or strengthen an existing one to higher levels of effectiveness.
Whatever you do from this point forward, please do not lose the passion that has been stirred in your heart. Keep praying and listening to the Lord. Share the victory. Step out in faith towards your next missional experience. God has more that He wants to do through you!