THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn
2013 recap</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/ibsa”>IL
Baptist State Association</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>
A story is told every year around this time, about a little girl from an IBSA church who knocked on the door of a crisis pregnancy center one Saturday in March. She wasn’t alone; bolstered by several others her age, she answered the question, “Who is it?” with a bold proclamation:
It was Children’s Ministry Day, and the young missionary was delivering handmade blankets to mothers and babies in need.
Hundreds of kid took up her rallying cry in mid-March, as the third annual IBSA Children’s Ministry Day sent 900 volunteers into five communities. At the Mt. Vernon site, IBSA’s Rex Alexander told the story to help motivate more than 200 kids who gathered at Park Avenue Baptist Church before scattering to their ministry sites.
“The church is often guilty of overlooking children when it comes to mission action,” Alexander said later. “We send youth and adults on mission trips, but we limit mission involvement with children to teaching ‘about’ missions.
“Our kids are very capable of serving the Lord outside the walls of their church and having an impact on their world.”
Children’s Ministry Day is an Illinois expression of a nationwide initiative created by Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU). Mark Emerson, IBSA’s associate executive director for missions, has let the statewide project from the beginning, when it started in 2011 with several projects in the Springfield area. Children’s Ministry Day expanded to three last year, and this year, host associations coordinated various projects in five cities – Bourbonnais, Carbondale, Mt. Vernon, Springfield and Troy.
A total of 903 volunteers, including kids, their leaders and host site helpers, served at the most recent event, a 25% increase over last year. The number of churches represented also increased, from 50 to 64.
For more about Children’s Ministry Day, see the upcoming issue of the Illinois Baptist, online Friday at ibonline.IBSA.org.
Alabama cop turns over badge
But Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy did so willingly. While speaking at First Baptist Church as part of the 13th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama, Murphy (right in photo) gave his badge to U.S. Rep. John Lewis (left) and apologized to him on behalf of the police department, Baptist Press reports. The Georgia Congressman and long-time Civil Rights activist was beaten along with other Freedom Riders at a Montgomery bus station in 1961, while Montgomery police stood down. “He us my hero,” Murphy said of Lewis. Read the full story at BPnews.net.
NAMB sends Bibles to every church
The North American Mission Board will send this spring a case of New Testaments to every Southern Baptist and Canadian National Baptist church. “If your church hasn’t been out in your community sharing Christ in a while, we think these Bibles are a great tool for outreach,” said NAMB President Kevin Ezell. The New Testaments are part of NAMB’s vision to see every Christian sharing the Gospel by 2020, and should arrive in churches by early April. Read more at BPnews.net.
Tomlin gives spotlight to God
On any given Sunday, worship artist Chris Tomlin’s songs are sung in at least 60,000 churches. And it could be as many as 120,000, estimates Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI). In a recent CNN interview, Tomlin said he likes stepping back from the microphone during his concerts so he can listen to others worship. “It’s about a greater name than my name,” he told CNN. “My name is on the ticket, but this is about a greater name.” Read more at CNN’s belief blog.