This past summer, I led a group from Woodridge Church to go serve alongside IMB missionaries in Osaka, Japan. On this trip, I saw both the darkness in Japan as well as the hope that Christ offers the Japanese people. That's why I'm excited about an upcoming training for those interested in reaching Japanese people in Japan as well as in Houston. This free event is Friday, September 13th at the UBA offices from 10am-12pm.
One of the things I like about working at Union Baptist Association is the kingdom mentality. I have the privilege of serving outside our institutional boundaries on occasion to serve a broader community. UBA believes we are better together not only at the local level but also as we share the gospel and sow seeds for the Kingdom throughout the world. Here are just three of the many opportunities I have to make a kingdom impact in our city.
I was recently interviewed on a news program and was asked the question, “What is the best way to engage people in conversations that can lead to sharing the gospel?” Of course, there are hundreds of ways, because the Holy Spirit is unlimited and creative in how He can lead us when we are available and responsive. I've found that showing kindness is always a good place to start.
Estados Unidos es quizás el país con más libertad para predicar el evangelio. Tenemos canales de tv, radio estaciones, iglesias, seminarios, ministerios, y publicaciones que inundan el país con el mensaje. ¿Estará, de veras, llegando al corazón de la gente y dando fruto?
America is perhaps the freest country in which to preach the gospel. We have tv channels, radio stations, churches, seminaries, ministries, and publications which flood the country with the message. But will it reach people's hearts and bear fruit?
It feels like another life since I was a missionary in West Africa. Now as a work-from-home mom of two under two, going to the post office seems nearly impossible—nonetheless going to the nations. I wonder how I'm supposed to invest in people outside our home when just keeping everyone alive feels hard enough. But that's where the things I learned in West Africa come back into play. Turns out, these skills are valuable for all seasons of life.
Reaching out to Muslims who may be seeking Christ and discipling Muslim-background believers can be a unique challenge. One resource we've found particularly helpful is Abu Da’ud's 5-book series on Discipling Muslim Background Believers. From his own experience coming to faith in Christ and reaching out to other Muslims, Da’ud discusses common misconceptions about Christians, answers questions Muslims often have, provides a structure for discipling new believers, and creates specific study resources for those who are helping Muslim-background believers grow in their faith.
In my role in ministry, I have a lot of people confide in me that they feel they are failing with personal evangelism. You may be one of those people. Honestly, I feel I am at times. Truth is, I am afraid too many believers (here in the US that is) are struggling in this area. That’s one reason why I'm so excited about a new initiative by the Southern Baptist Convention called “Who's Your One?”
On my last sabbatical, I researched the early church. I studied the time from right after the resurrection of Jesus until the time of Constantine and wanted to see how they survived and thrived during a time when they were not the cultural norm and experienced intense persecution. I grew up in a Christian culture where Christianity was not only accepted but also encouraged by the culture. Getting to know the early church taught me many important lessons, some of which were hard to learn.
If you are thinking about going overseas, you need to consider a few things in discerning your call. Pastor, if you have people who want to go (and you should), you need to be looking for these things in their hearts. We need many more people to serve overseas as missionaries, but the truth is, not everyone should. Not everyone is ready, and not everyone has the right motivation.