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Still developing: Asking the Right Questions

The dash warning light indicated I had a low tire. After filling the tire with air two days in a row, I decided it was time to stop by the local tire store and have the potential leaky tire examined. As I was setting up an appointment for the car, the clean-cut young man said, “BGCO, what’s that?” At this point, I started to ask a few questions myself. “Do you attend a church every week?” He shrugged his shoulders and moved his hand in a waffling motion side to side to signify, “Eh, kind of.”

I said, “BGCO stands for Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.” The young man nodded his head in affirmation, but there was no recognition in his expression indicating that he knew anything about the BGCO. I had not yet struck oil with my explanation of what the BGCO meant.

So I continued, “The BGCO is a group of 1,800 Southern Baptist churches that cooperate together to do mission work in Oklahoma and around the world.”  Still nodding, no light bulb had gone off in the young man’s mind.

“Our offices are the central location where the churches we work with partner to do mission work. The BGCO doesn’t tell churches what to do. The churches are autonomous, independent, and they pool their money with the BGCO and together we decide how to tell people about Jesus.”

Nope—glassy-eyed polite stare, but nada, nothing. I’m just messing with him now and say, “We have men’s ministry, women’s ministry, children’s ministry, disaster relief work,”—still a polite smile. Then, wanting to move on, he asked, “What do you do?”

Then I asked the question that usually gets a response of recognition. “Have you heard of Falls Creek?” His face lit up. “Oh yeah, I went to Falls Creek. I was raised Baptist!” Now he understood who the BGCO is and what we do.

I continued to talk with him about Falls Creek and what he did when he attended. But when I mentioned the words “Falls Creek”—those were the words that rang true for him and his connection to who the BGCO is.

This year, during your conversations with family members and people like the young man at the tire store, take time to ask the right questions. “Do you mind if I ask you a personal question? When you attend church, where do you attend?”

Or use another witnessing tool question that leads into witnessing opportunities like those in the “Roman Road,” “Faith” or here in Oklahoma, “Have you heard of Falls Creek?” Then take the privilege to share with family, friends and strangers your Falls Creek story of how you came to know the Lord Jesus, found peace or were called to ministry at Falls Creek. Then tell them about Jesus.

Two years ago, Kerry Russell, BGCO Finance Team leader, was in the Holy Land on a tour near Jesus’ tomb. He was wearing a jacket with the words “Falls Creek” printed on the front. A man passing by with another tour group saw the shirt, stopped and said, “Do you work at Falls Creek?”

Imagine—halfway around the world people recognize the words “Falls Creek.” As we approach the 100th anniversary of Falls Creek in 2017, now would be a perfect time to show your appreciation by making a gift or multi-year pledge to Falls Creek. Make the gift or pledge for all of those who, over many years, have shared with you at Falls Creek and have made a difference in the spiritual landscape of Oklahoma.

Contact me for more information about your gift for the Falls Creek Centennial Campaign at 405/516-4868, mharkey@bgco.org, or toll free at 800/690-6933.

Marty Harkey

Author: Marty Harkey

Marty is the BGCO Chief Development Officer

View more articles by Marty Harkey.

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