Tornadoes. Wildfires. Floods. Hurricanes. Whether it’s Oklahoma or New York, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers step into the pain and destruction left behind by natural disasters to bring healing, restoration and the Good News of Jesus Christ.

For 40 years, Oklahoma Baptists have given themselves to touch those who suffer because of disasters. From a small group of men to more than 5,000 trained men and women volunteers, Disaster Relief touches lives in the midst of some of the most life-shaking experiences. 

When the tornadoes struck several areas this spring, Disaster Relief teams were on the ground within a few hours. As teams cleared debris, cooked meals or offered support through chaplains, they all shared the Gospel of Jesus. Many are brought to faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord when the doors of their hearts are opened by acts of kindness.

Oklahoma Baptists have for decades led the way in prison and jail ministry in Oklahoma. We have served the incarcerated, but today we are also helping prisoners in pre-release programs through Christian Men’s Job Corps and Christian Women’s Job Corps. Churches offer their facilities, and lay leaders serve as mentors to teach classes that offer skills in computer training, interviewing and learning financial responsibility. As always, the heart of this ministry is the Gospel.

Every study of our churches suggests the vast majority are either in plateau or decline. We have tried every kind of program, new philosophy and approach across the ecumenical spectrum, hoping we can turn our churches around. As many of us have prayed for solutions, we have rediscovered the power of the small group.

ReConnect is a strategy to reenergize the focus of the church to think small rather than large. It should be the primary strategy of the local church to connect people to Jesus, to His Word, His community and His mission. Rather than curse the darkness, we have committed ourselves to set a new course anchored in our greatest years of history. Whether you call it Sunday School, connection ministry or Bible fellowship, the key is the focus of small groups.

Oklahoma Baptists have a great heritage and history marked by creative ministry. The Edna McMillan State Missions Offering allows us to impact our state through many ways of together (WE) ministry. I am pleased to challenge you to join Polla and me as we give generously to the Oklahoma State Missions Offering. WE can make a difference in our state.