“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matt. 25:35-36).
When we see brokenness in our state, we see an opportunity for the Gospel. Through the Edna McMillan State Missions Offering, nearly 30 ministries are funded to meet the same needs Jesus addressed in Matthew 25. When we give together, the impact is significant.
For example, through our giving, 30 church food ministries across our state shared the Gospel 13,190 times and provided 140,918 meals to their local families last year. These Gospel efforts resulted in 425 professions of faith in Christ and 146 baptisms.
Furthermore, statistics show our state’s incarceration rate continues to grow. However, through the State Missions Offering, Oklahoma Baptists use one-on-one counseling sessions, Bible studies, Evangelism Explosion and job-readiness training to show Christ’s love and share the Gospel. Last year, Oklahoma County Jail alone saw 2,300 spiritual decisions.
Together, our impact on lostness is great. Vital ministries are funded, bringing the hope of Jesus to a broken world. As we prepare to promote the offering in the month of September, here are a few ideas to get your church involved:
• Mark your calendar for the Week of Prayer, Sept. 9-16. Use this week as an opportunity to join in with churches across our state to pray the Gospel will shine in the darkness. Promote a ministry funded through the offering everyday on social media, then encourage the church to pray for this ministry.
• Show the State Missions Offering videos. At StateMissionsOK.org, four videos feature some of the ministries funded by the offering. Use the videos as an element in worship services, Sunday School, or any other time your church gathers. Share these videos on your church website and your social media accounts. Downloadable links are provided on the website.
• Print the Children’s Activity Book. We must continue to educate the next generation about missions. Creative and educational activities are provided on our website to utilize in the church and at home. Age-appropriate activities are weaved throughout the children’s book, ranging from coloring sheets to crossword puzzles. Through fun activities, children learn the importance of missions and how they can be involved.
• Be creative. Use the offering as an opportunity to involve the entire church. From cake decorating contests to friendly giving competitions, find a fun way to promote giving. Get a map of the state of Oklahoma, set a goal to give a certain amount of dollars per association or county, then mark off a section of Oklahoma as the funds are raised.
• Plan to give. How is the Lord leading you to give? Begin praying with your spouse. Share ideas with your children on how they can earn money to give. Together, we can make a great impact on lostness in Oklahoma!
If we do not reach our state with the Good News of Jesus, who will? The church must answer this call. Together, let’s feed the hungry, give the thirsty a drink, befriend the stranger, clothe the needy, look after the sick and visit those in prison.
Visit StateMissionsOK.org or search the hashtag #StateMissionsOK to find more information about State Missions Offering.