TULSA—When Jordan Stowe, pastor of Sand Springs, Angus, heard about a tragedy in a local mobile home community, it led him to reach out to the manager to let them know he and the church were there for them if they needed anything.
Making that connection enabled Stowe to serve the family in need and share the Gospel with the manager of the complex. On Oct. 15-16, participants on the first stop of the Send Relief Serve Tour in Tulsa, will help build a needed fence for that community.
“This Serve Tour is a way to inspire and engage churches to take their next missional step in compassion ministry,” said Sammy Simmons, national project director with Send Relief. “Our heart is to engage with state convention, local association and local pastors to share the love of Christ throughout Tulsa.”
Volunteer teams from across North America will travel to serve those in the city through various projects and events.
“We have had a tremendous outpouring of Oklahoma Baptist churches who have signed up to be part of this Gospel effort,” said Alan Quigley, associate executive director-church resources for Oklahoma Baptists. “We are praying that the Lord would move mightily through this tour.”
As churches and volunteers participate in the Serve Tour, they will meet tangible needs by painting schools, doing small construction projects and hosting block parties and assisting local church replants and revitalizations whose facilities may need repair.
Stowe has been a part of planning for the Tulsa stop of the Serve Tour. He hopes the event will inspire churches throughout Tulsa.
“Sometimes, a church can get their blinders on and see the main things they do inside their church building so much that they don’t see the needs outside their building,” Stowe said.
Opportunities to serve across the community will provide a model for how churches can replicate these methods of service to begin opening doors for the Gospel in their communities.
“Serving has been really impactful for us,” Stowe said. “So, having the opportunity to be a part of something like this on a much greater scale is pretty exciting for me. I saw what it’s doing for our church where we’re trying to breathe new life. It will be impactful for the churches that come and be a part of this.”
While churches and volunteer teams will come in from out of town, the projects they participate in will be connected to local churches in ways that will help them build long-term relationships with those in their community.
“We are just excited to love the Tulsa metro area and not just with projects but with sharing the Gospel,” said Mike Lehew, project manager for the tour stop and pastor of Sapulpa, Church Inside Out.
“Our aim is to address the brokenness in our city with hope,” Lehew said. “My prayer is that through all of this the Tulsa metro area will know that Southern Baptists love Tulsa and that we don’t want something from them. We want something for them, and that’s hope through Christ.”
Tulsa is the first stop in Send Relief’s Serve Tour with additional stops beginning in 2022. More information about the Serve Tour can be found at sendrelief.org/serve-tour/tulsa.
“We are pretty excited about being the first city that Send Relief has considered to do this,” Lehew said. “We are learning a lot and excited about what’s going to happen beyond Tulsa. My biggest prayer is that revival would start through this.”