When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36).

When we see brokenness in our state, we see an opportunity for the Gospel. Jesus reminds us in Mathew 9 that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Through the Edna McMillan State Missions Offerings, ministries are funded to send workers into the harvest. When we pray and give together, the impact is significant: churches are provided resources, believers are trained and basic needs are met as a tool to build relationships with those who do not know Jesus.

As we prepare for the promotion of the offering and gather in prayer for lostness in our state, here are a few ideas to get your church involved in state missions, using the acronym S-T-A-T-E:

Send workers. If we do not reach our state with the Good News of Jesus, who will? The church must answer this call. Right here in Oklahoma, there are people who have not heard the Good News. Together, we will seek to take the Gospel to every people group and language. Oklahoma Baptists fund the work of missions to people who do not know Jesus. This year, the Week of Prayer will highlight African American ministry, Deaf ministry and Refugee ministry.

Tell others about mission opportunities. Show the State Missions Offering videos. At oklahomabaptists.org/smo, four videos feature ministries funded by the offering. Use the videos as an element in worship services, small groups 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.

Assemble in prayer. Mark your calendar for the Week of Prayer, Sept. 4-11. Use this week as an opportunity to join in with churches across our state to pray for the distressed and dejected. Ask God to send workers into the harvest. Pray God will open our eyes to missions in our own neighborhoods and communities.

Teach the next generation. Children have great opportunities in their own neighborhoods and schools to love others and share the Good News of Jesus. Teach them about opportunities in their community through downloadable children’s activity sheets on the State Missions Offering website. Age-appropriate activities are designed for children to learn the importance of missions and how they can be involved. New this year is a video tutorial for children to learn “Jesus Loves Me” in American Sign Language.

Evaluate your role in local missions. Through our giving, we have the opportunity to reach the lives of Oklahomans we may never meet. How is the Lord leading you to give? If you have yet to find a mission outlet in your community, ask God to open doors of opportunity for you to share Jesus. 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! Every gift to the Edna McMillan State Missions Offering goes to train, resource and send workers.

Your generous giving to the annual Edna McMillan State Missions Offering makes an eternal impact. Use the offering as an opportunity to creatively involve the entire church. From church announcements to friendly giving competitions, find a fun way to promote giving.

As we prepare to give towards mission work in Oklahoma, remember your prayers are vital to the work we do together as Oklahoma Baptists. As we give, let us unite in prayer asking the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.

For more information about the Edna McMillan State Missions Offering, visit oklahomabaptists.org/smo.