COLUMN: SEND ME MICHIGAN
by Tony Lynn – BSCM State Director of Missions
Plan an Adventure
Would you like to create a lasting memory for your family or for your friends? I have an idea. During June, July, and August the BSCM will provide a list of short-term Michigan mission projects on our website: http://www.bscm.org/summer. Check the list, invite friends and family then make your plans to go on a short-term Michigan Mission Project.
Call or Email Them Directly
Once you decide which project you want to embrace call the church pastor to set a date. Ask all of your questions. Recruit your family
members and/or friends. Bring everything you need to serve the church and its pastor. Go to serve. Go to help. Bring a love offering for the church and its pastor so they feel spoiled. Ask the pastor to pray over your plans and then start praying daily for the adventure yourself.
Take a Road Trip
Pack for a fun & meaningful mission trip. Take what you are going to need to help them. Take healthy snacks. Play fun music. Sing your hearts out. Take turns driving. Order t-shirts that identify the church where you’re going to serve. Make that church and its pastor feel like rock stars as you shower them in love. Pray over them and with them, then for them. Make the entire event about growing that church. Reach out to those who have no church in the community and introduce them to the church. Encourage those who belong to that church by reminding them that they are not alone. Invite them to come alongside and get involved so they feel part of the work. The engagement will encourage them to carry on after you are gone.
Pack Your Best
Remember to pack your best. Take your best attitude. Dress representing God and the church you are going to help. Read the entire Book of Acts in an intense fashion one week before you go. Go with the intention to do whatever it takes to see people come to know Christ. Pray alone and with others for weeks before you go. Invest not only your time and talents, but through dedicated prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit to work in and through the mission project.
Bombard the People with Prayer
Miracles happened when volunteers came to help us while we were international missionaries. Where men opposed us sharing Christ among their tribe, when volunteers were with us we would be allowed to start our initiative. When we thought someone would not ever become a follower of Christ, that person would finally decide to follow Christ when 14 Americans came to visit. So, ask your larger church family to pray for your trip before you go, to continue to pray while you are there, and keep your eyes wide open expecting miracles to happen.
Minimize the Bumps
Expect the unexpected. The accommodations will be less than you expected. Plans will change. Food, mealtimes, and your favorite restaurant cannot become your obsession of your mission trip. You won’t sleep well. You will be tired everyday if you are doing the mission trip correctly. Remember there will be time to sleep when you return home. Lessen the stress by remembering the 9 antidotes for acting like a jerk: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. They can be found at the Pharmacy of Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT). Take them as frequently as needed. You cannot overdose on them. Minimize being a bump for everyone else.
Record & Retell Your Story
Find some way, when it is appropriate, to record your experiences while you are on mission. Keep a log. Share on social media. Post pictures of people and moments encountered during the adventure. Ask the pastor if you can share in some venue with your faith family. When you share your experiences make God the hero of every story and every moment. He is the one who puts the most effective mission trips together, so remember to give Him all the credit. Consider writing an article for the Baptist Beacon about the trip (submit articles to firstname.lastname@example.org) to encourage others. Be sure and add pictures to the article. Please, remember to call me and tell me about your mission trip. I hope to hear dozens of stories all summer long.
Visit http://www.bscm.org/summer to review a list of short-term Michigan mission projects available. Check the list, invite friends and family then make your plans to go on a short-term Michigan Mission Project.