FLUSHING, MI – Westside Baptist Church is continually trying to do new things in and around our community to help spread the Gospel of Christ more effectively. We have tried many different evangelism events, but a couple years ago we wanted to try something new. We called it Harvest Days, and leading up to it we had three different evangelists come once-a-month for three months.
But there was a problem. To make this new evangelism event a success was going to be expensive. I shared this idea with a staff member with the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM), and he said I should apply for an “Evangelism Grant.” I never knew the BSCM even had such a thing. They pointed me to the application on our website, I filled out the grant, and they quickly answered my request with a “Yes.”.
It was such a simple process, and BSCM State Director of Evangelism, Mike Durbin, even helped us make sure we invited great quality evangelists. I would encourage you to look into requesting the BSCM Evangelism Grant the next time God gives you a dream of evangelizing your community, and it seems a little too big for you and your church to handle financially. As Southern Baptists we cooperate together and this is a great way to experience that cooperation. Evangelism is at the very core of who we are so working in partnership seems only natural.
So here’s how the Cooperative Program investment in our Harvest Days worked out. We had more people saved on those 3 Sundays than the rest of the year combined. There were 22 salvation decisions, and we were able to baptize the majority of those new believers in the next few months. If you are sensing God challenging you to take a step of faith in your ministry to do something creative in evangelism, you do not have to walk it alone. Our cooperating churches and the BSCM staff are ready to walk with you. So be sure and make an application soon. Hurry, because I have already received another grant and will soon be apply for a third.
Partnership is great especially when it is for His Kingdom work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ed Emmerling is pastor of Westside Baptist Church, Flushing, Michigan. Ed and his wife Reneé together have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. Pastor Ed has been privileged to be Pastor of Westside Church since 2002.