Two churches report how they used the 2012 Prayer & Self Denial materials to focus on mission
Prayer & Self Denial at Franklin
Steve Clark is Associate Pastor at Franklin Baptist in Pukekohe, south of Auckland.
I have to admit, from the very first clay pot many years ago right through to this year’s rice container, the weeks of Prayer and Self Denial have captured my attention. 2012’s appeal is no different, especially when it came accompanied by the wonderful story of Thailand’s Kalasin people and how God is making himself known to them.
At Franklin Baptist we wanted to give our folk a small taste of mission and so, during our four weeks of mission focus, we organised a menu of various mission flavours.
We used the material provided by tranzsend to bring a special focus in our morning services but also had special times of prayer for the mission workers. One special time was a prayer concert with PowerPoint meditations and prayer points to work through.
We also arranged for someone from NZBMS to come and speak about how the funds raised through Self Denial are used. This was most worthwhile and very informative.
The highlight of our small taste of mission was an evening of culture and challenge. Following a wonderful traditional Indian meal, those attending were split into four groups. The groups rotated around three interactive mission stations and a fourth station – rickshaw riding.
Tranzsend has two genuine Bangladeshi rickshaws, which we borrowed. They made for a great display in church during the time of the appeal and also provided a wonderful opportunity for people to experience the joy of a ride without having to leave Pukekohe.
Our Self Denial focus was certainly a special time for Franklin Baptist. I’d encourage all Baptist churches to make the most of the material provided and create a valuable opportunity to focus on prayer and giving towards the work of NZBMS.
Prayer and Self Denial at Blockhouse Bay
Murray Black leads the Overseas Mission Team at Blockhouse Bay Baptist in Auckland.
“Today’s service is brought to you by the letter ‘R,’” intoned the big yellow bird on the screen. And so began our Self Denial presentation to the congregation at Blockhouse Bay. Over three weeks the children learnt words like rice, receptacle, ready, reach, restore and redeem. The short, pithy video clips from the tranzsend resource disc focused our thoughts on what NZBMS is doing to reverse the poverty cycle.
But how to justify our involvement at all? How do we get across to small children (and adults also) the enormity of the evangelical task?
Again the rice theme was used to give a dramatic visual contrast between the total populations in the countries where missionaries are working and the number of Christians there. A little blue wheelbarrow full of rice was wheeled in and the children asked to help give the illustrations. For example, “Japanese Christians come to 254,000 (1/4 tsp) compared to the total population 127,000,000 (1 Litre jug).” The children were impressed and enjoyed helping measure teaspoons, quarter cups and even a few grains of rice! The numbers certainly made more sense to them after the service.