Teamwork forSummer Missions
This was the second summer that WhiteOak ARP in Georgia sent a team on asummer mission trip to help Hill City Church in Rock Hill, SC. Rev. Mackay Smith kept a blog for the week if you’d like to read more:
Rev. Mackay Smith, White Oak ARP
Partnering with Hill City was a uniquemission trip experience. Rather thancrossing oceans or vast economic di-vides, we were a church going to an areavery similar to our own, to provide themwith labor to carry out a mission in theircommunity that they otherwise wouldnot have had the man power to accom-plish. From the outset, I think there wasless of a motivation of “Wow, this willbe a cool experience that I can post onFacebook.” amongst our team, and moreof a “We’re going to help these people”idea. We were able to closely focus onevangelism and personal ministry.
This year, we spent our rst night with
Hill City families, which gave our folksa great chance to get to know them. Itallowed them not only to be stretchedsocially, but gave them more reason toown the mission. We helped Hill City puton a VBS for the week at a local park. Ithink some of the best moments camewhen a few families who had been in theouter orbit of Hill City were able to en-gage and connect with some of the corefolks, as everyone picked up/droppedoff kids. I heard at least one dinner planbeing made.After VBS, all the kids, their parents,and Andy Stager (the Hill City pastor)enjoyed hot dogs in the park. As wewere winding down, a lady asked me aninteresting question. She asked, “Howdo you measure success?”I thought for a brief moment before I re-sponded. How do we measure success inour ministry at VBS and at White Oak? Isit some number, whether a number of attendees or a number of children whoanswer a question regarding their salva-tion in a particular way? Is it how muchwe learned? Is it how good we felt doingwhat we were doing? Is it whether HillCity was encouraged?My response was simple:
our trip wassuccessful if the gospel was clearlyproclaimed.
It doesn’t matter if we sawany immediate fruit (even though it isalways nice to see it!). It doesn’t matterhow many children came. If one personwas confronted with the saving realityof Jesus Christ, we did our job. If wewere faithful to the Great Commission,conducted ourselves worthily, and didn’tshrink from the opportunities before us;we have accomplished what I would con-sider a successful “mission trip.”Think about that next time you’re con-sidering a church event, or the “suc-cess” of Sunday morning worship. Areyou looking for a number? Are you aftera certain “feeling?” May all of our minis-tries be guided by the simple presenta-tion of the gospel, which, as Paul tellsus, “is the power of God for salvation.”May each day of our lives be “missiontrips” where we seek to do exactly thissame thing.
If your church is interested in doing amission trip like this, contact ONA:Tessa Taylor, email@example.com
Tessa Taylor, ONA Staff
I had the privilege of recently attend-ing
Engage the South
, a church plantingconference put on by the Acts 29 ChurchPlanting Network, in Birmingham, Ala-bama. While it was marketed for churchplanting, I thought it would be relevantfor not only church planters and theircore groups, but also pastors and ses-sions, or anyone interested in makingdisciples for Christ this day and age. I
would denitely encourage more people
to attend next year!Ray Ortlund, Bryan Loritts, Matt Chan-dler, Kevin Smith, and David Plattspoke about the need in this countryfor churches that embrace theologicalclarity, churches that plant churches,churches marked by humility and holi-ness, churches committed to ethnicdiversity, and churches serious aboutevangelism and conversion.Below are some application points fromDavid Platt on how to be
, about making disciplesfor Christ.1. “
Profession of faith without transfor-mation of life is not biblical conversion.”
We live in a place lled with people who
think they are Christians but aren’t. Intrue conversion, God will “remove the
heart of stone from your esh and giveyou a heart of esh” (Ez. 36:26). As a
result, we have radically new wants andentirely new wills.2. “
Pastors, we need to expose the idolsof the heart as we expound the Word of God” (Ez. 14
). We can’t just manage ourbehavior because the root of disobedi-ent action (sin) is disbelief in the heart.3. “
We need to equip people to spread the gospel of God to sinners as they trust the power of God to save.”
Thesovereign grace of God is our sole con-
dence in evangelism. We need to com
-municate the gospel and God will savehis people.4.
“Let’s be conscious of the inextricableconnection between personal conver-sion and global mission.”
We are not thecenter of God’s universe. His purpose insaving us is “the nations will know that I
am the Lord” (Ez. 36:23).
†For more information visit: www.gotothehub.com/acts-29-engage-the-south/