Perspective - July 2006
Meeting the needs of people is one of the strongest ways we show Christ's love to those around us. That is why ministry is an essential element in the life of a person, church, association and state convention.
Jesus modeled ministry for us throughout the New Testament by healing the sick, feeding thousands, etc. On more than one occasion He used food - namely water and bread - to teach about ministering both physically and spiritually.
In the Bible we find scripture calling us to action in matters of physical ministry. Two familiar passages, both found in Matthew, give examples. In chapter 10 we are told that we are His disciples if we give a cup of cold water, and in chapter 25 we find that if we do for "one of the least of these brothers of mine, you do it for me."
These examples, if for no other reason, are a basis for our ministry. Recently a national missions leader said some of Southern Baptists' greatest advances in evangelism in the 21st century might well be through disaster relief and community ministries. I think that is true.
Again this summer California Southern Baptists are involved in one of the greatest mission fields through the "Feeding Those Who Feed Us" ministry to migrant workers. But this year the effort has expanded. Instead of ministering to 23 migrant centers throughout the state, we have added 31 of the most impoverished communities, not only in California, but in the United States. Statistics indicate the central San Joaquin Valley is one of the most impoverished areas outside Appalachia.
In these areas California Southern Baptists will be led by Oscar Sanchez, CSBC migrant missionary, and Tom Stringfellow, CSBC president. However this year, we have partnered with other evangelicals to minister by distributing food, clothing and the Good News of Jesus Christ.
An added dimension of ministry this year is medical and dental care using the CSBC Mobile Medical Clinic which California Southern Baptists purchased with gifts to the 2005 California Mission Offering.
Jesus modeled ministry during His public life. I pray that this summer and throughout the year, California Southern Baptists, their churches, associations and state convention will mimic the Savior in ministry so someone sees the love of Jesus.
Last Published: July 5, 2006 9:19 PM