Gifts in the Church
In the Consider This column of the March issue of Ethnos Magazine, I pondered the question of why God refers to missionaries as “gifts” to the church (Ephesians 4:11-12).
When I visited Community Baptist Church in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, this summer, I found some great answers.
Involvement, Growth, Community
Through sending teams, individuals develop strong personal relationships with missionaries, and Community Baptist elder Harry Boyer believes that spreads throughout the body.
“We’re interested because someone we know is interested in what’s going on,” Harry said, “and that’s blessed the church because now you have people who might not know a particular missionary, but they know the person who is on their sending team, and that sending team person is excited and interested, and that interest spills over.”
Sending teams also spur spiritual growth, according to Ben Hazen, Community Baptist’s director of adult discipleship. “We’re finding that a lot of times our sending teams have more passion or interest in spiritual things,” Ben said. Relationships and growth “spur on real Christian community at our church. Yes, we want to see the missionary helped, … but we’ve benefitted way beyond that.”
Reap the Blessings
Community Baptist has a few built-in advantages for missions involvement, but anyone can emulate their use of sending teams and take advantage of the lessons they’ve learned about how to help people get involved with missions and missionaries.
Want to find out how you and your church can reap the blessings of being part of God’s big-picture work? It’s all spelled out in the September issue of Ethnos Magazine.