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Make Him Known

The call to follow Jesus is a call to go.  It’s a call to be “fishers of men” (Mark 1:17).  In fact, one of the essential marks of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is one who constantly seeks to make disciples of Jesus Christ.  We share our stories, we share our lives, we share our time, energy and resources so that others may come to know Him.  Read below for all the ways we seek to Make Him Known.

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The Task Remaining

As we explore the opportunities that lay before us, we must always be reminded of the task at hand.  The need remains great … in fact, watch the video below to understand why Jesus called us to go.

So how do we respond?  We go.  We understand our identity to be disciples who make disciples.

What happens if a church prays?

Crave

We often refer to our prayer ministry as CRAVE.  It’s a reminder of the longing we feel in our soul when we desire God to move in some way.  As we crave, we pray. We earnestly ask God to draw near and hear our requests so that the unquenchable may be satisfied. We crave His response.  As a church, our vision is to pray in small groups, occasional gatherings and a highlight all-church event in November. Read below for details on the next Crave gathering as well as current prayer requests, or help us pursue the vision of Crave as we Make Him Known through prayer.

Advocacy

It is important that we pray for the workers already sent out from our church.  In addition to the teams each worker develops prior to leaving for the field, we have asked every Sunday School department of every age level to “sponsor” a worker for a season of time.  Ask your Sunday School director about your assigned worker and how you can begin to pray.

Vision

As a church, we must all constantly seek to ask God to reveal His plan for our future.  Specifically, where is God leading us and who is He raising up to go and be sent?

The Word of God

The Harvest

This is a small group Bible Study that is led by the Director of Global Ministries during the week.  It is primarily focused on discipleship and the desire to integrate knowledge with obedience.  It is meant to strengthen and equip others to be influential in a local or cross-cultural context.  For more details visit The Harvest.

Panorama

This is a curriculum provided by the GCPN/Kinexxus network to help equip those preparing to be sent overseas.  It is administered in a small group setting on three different levels (Intro, Advanced and Practicum).  It’s over 40 weeks of material that will highly strengthen an individuals theology and missiology.  Review the Panorama web page for more details.

Bible Study

The call of discipleship is a relentless pursuit in the word of God.  While we focus on Making God Known, we will be ineffective if we don’t anchor ourselves in His truth.  We must know Him to make Him known.  The following lessons are designed to help us dig deeper into the text and grow in our understanding of God’s mission as it is revealed in the Scriptures.  This is a three-week curriculum developed for Sunday morning Bible studies that can be utilized at their own discretion.

And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Ends of the Earth (Acts 1:8).

Blessing the Nations Wherever We Are

There are four spheres of potential influence for individuals to engage missionally.  It is our hope we bless the nations wherever we are and this often takes shape in a number of ways.  It could occur through being “sent,” going on a short-term trip or volunteering here in our local context.  Our short-term efforts span through all four areas mentioned below.  For more details on our short-term trips and the opportunities we provide for others to grow in the areas of discipleship, visit www.fbca.org/gotomakehimknown.

Jerusalem (Local)

Maybe you can’t “go” on a trip or be “sent” long-term but have a heart for the world.  We believe a vital part of our commitment to making disciples of all nations is by being intentional to reach those who live in our own city.  There are 67 unreached people groups in America and many live in Arlington.  This is perhaps one of the most “missional” things you can do through our church and there are a number of opportunities you can consider.  For details on local opportunities visit www.fbca.org/jerusalem

Judea (State)

One of the most effective ways to engage our state is through our Baptist partnerships.  Specifically, we engage through many opportunities and the financial support of Texas Baptists.  While we send short-term teams to the border (see trip opportunities) we also want to engage through these partnerships to ensure we are taking the gospel to those in our own state.

Samaria (North America)

There are more than 67 unreached people groups throughout the US and we must remain committed to reaching these groups and the millions of lost people that join them.  We send many teams to New York and Mexico but are constantly seeking more ways to engage those within our own immediate region to ensure the gospel is being carried to all people.

Ends of the Earth (being sent)

We are a sending church.  FBCA is committed to sending it’s own Cross-Cultural workers anywhere in the world.  We are prepared to equip, send and support those that feel called to live overseas.  This is a thorough process but one we believe is fundamental to kingdom work.    Our church’s core region of focus is West Africa but we are praying for two more to be identified in the next five years.  Read more about how you could pursue such a calling and our core regions of focus by visiting www.fbca.org/endsoftheearth.  There are three main ways in which we support those being sent from our church body:

Partner Church: This relationship is attributed to any worker that is affiliated or connected to FBCA but is not a member nor are they commissioned by our church body.  That said, they are integral to our work in various parts of the world and are affiliated to our church in some personal way.  this may apply to those sent with other agencies with whom we partner.  We also tend to welcome them when they are on stateside assignment but there is not a direct connection to strategy and implementation.

Home Church: This relationship applies to any individual that is a member of FBCA and wants to serve overseas in some capacity.  In this relationship, the church doe not play a role in supervision or financial support as those needs are often met by other means.  Nonetheless, we want to remain a critical identity of support through advocacy and prayer.  These individuals main connection would be through core prayer/advocacy groups here at our church.

Sending Church: This relationship is attributed to any candidate that completes the commissioning process outlined by the Direct Mission Sending Council and is a member of FBCA.  This may result in various levels of funding that range from core region, core region development or project funding but in all scenarios, FBCA is considered the sending church.  This relationship is defined by missiological, strategic and spiritual supervision by the DMSC and advocacy from the larger church body.

The World Mission Offering

The World Mission Offering continues to be one of the most important ways our church can make God known throughout our city and the world.  Overseen by the Strategic Global Mission Oversight Committee (SGMOC), our church has agreed on a goal of $200,000 of undesignated giving.  You can give towards this goal throughout the whole year. We would love for you to prayerfully consider how you might be able help and see how your gift would impact the ministries listed below. Should you feel led to give simply write “World Mission Offering” on the memo line of your check.  Thanks for your prayers and thanks for giving to Make Him Known.

Direct Mission Support (33%) – FBCA is a sending church.  That means we are built to train and support people that have decided to follow God and serve in another country.  So every time you “give to Make Him Known,” you are helping support young individuals and families to serve God across the world.  This includes the Bonnets, Herreras, and Towerys who serve in Sierra Leone and Japan.

Mission Arlington (20%) – If we can share Jesus in other countries we can do it right here in our own city.  Led by Tillie Burgin and a host of other faithful workers our church has been reaching out to the needs of Arlington for more than 25 years.  Every time you “give to Make Him Known,” you are helping support this incredible ministry that has led and continues to lead so many to Christ.

Volunteer Mission Team (20%) – Every year hundreds of volunteers from our church get in a van or on a plane and travel to key parts of the world to share the gospel.  We send short-term teams to Sierra Leone, Niger, Costa Rica, Brownsville, New York, Japan, India, China, Torreon and Spain.  Every time you “give to Make Him Known,” you help these teams make disciples of Jesus Christ.

The Baptist Family (18%) – One of the greatest things about the Baptist family is its long-time commitment to missions.  Whether it is focused here in Texas or across the world the Baptist family continues to reach the world for Christ.  Through Mary Hill Davis (state missions), Annie Armstrong (U.S. missions), Lottie Moon (international missions) and World Hunger, every time you “give to Make Him Known” you support these strong Baptist ties that continue to take the gospel across the world.

International Friends (4%) – For more than 40 years, every Wednesday morning our church building is filled with people from all over the world.  They come to hear Bible Stories, do crafts and learn English.  On any given week we may have up to 35 countries represented here in our church.  Many of the people who come don’t know Jesus and through the friendships they build they are given a chance to hear.  “Giving to Make Him Known” helps make this ministry continue to faithfully reach all peoples who are here in our own city.

Christian Women’s Job Corp (3%) – This wonderful ministry reaches out to women in need to help equip them for life, employment and enriching relationships.  This is women helping women with an opportunity to share the gospel.  Every time you “give to Make Him Known” you help these women embrace these new opportunities.

Community Connections (2%) – Engaging our local community is always a priority of FBCA.  Be it through mentoring young students in Kids Hope or First Fest, Community Connections is focused on taking the gospel to our neighbors.  Every time you “give to Make Him Known” you help mobilize our church to reach our neighbors.

The Road Ahead: 2014

There are three main areas of focus for 2014 that warrant continued prayer and reflection by the FBCA church body.

Core Regions

The Strategic Global Mission Oversight Committee would covet the prayers of the FBCA congregation as we seek to consider God’s leading for the next two core regions.  Currently, we have adopted West Africa as a primary core region but would like to add two more.  We’d like to have the second core region by the end of 2013 and another by the end of 2015.  Here are some questions to guide your prayers:

1. Where is God leading this church?
2. What nations has he brought to us locally?
3. What’s the best process to make this decision?

Volunteer Missions

One of the strongest missional components to FBCA is the wide base of volunteers that go on short-term trips throughout the year.  Our church needs to prayerfully consider how our strategy guides our volunteer efforts.  Specifically, how do we strengthen the opportunities for discipleship in both the team that has volunteered to go as well as the people were are ministering to in a specific context.

Other Spheres

There are as many as 67 unreached people groups in the United States alone.  With that in mind, we want to be intentional in how we continue to engage Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria (Arlington, Texas, North America).  We want to ensure that if we send and support people engaging in ministry in a more immediate context that we continue to help equip, support and lead efforts for all involved in all areas of the world.  We are asking the question, how do we engage in the unreached in Arlington?  How do we engage the unreached in Texas and North America.

Pray for More Workers

This year we are setting aside special time to pray for God to raise up more long-term workers. We have the resources to send these people to the field. Like Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Luke 9:37-38).

For more information on any of these opportunities please contact Jerimiah Smith.