By All Means

By All Means

By All Means logo

“It’s all about relationships.” I must have heard that statement 100 times over the course of one summer. I served as the assistant director of the preschool program at Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center in North Carolina, and Marge Sherman served as our director. As I worked alongside Marge for the weeks of that summer, she focused on the importance of the relationships we formed with the preschoolers and their parents. She reiterated that relationships came first, above policies or programs. Her words made an impact on me over the years since that summer.

By All Means, Step into the World

First Steps

One of the big milestones in a preschoolers’ life is when he takes his first steps. We will even ask a parent, “Has he learned to walk yet?” We bend down, hold out our hands, and urge the little one to step toward us. Sometimes we stand behind him and hold his hands so he can step toward others. Learning to take those steps is important as preschoolers grow physically.

As I Have Done to You

Friends

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:14–15 ESV1)

Recently I asked my Mission Friends® how Jesus wants us to treat others. “Be nice.” “Love each other.” “Take care of each other.” “Help each other.” Ah, we were on the right track. And then, sweet little Sadie said, “Do what others need, even when it’s hard.”

Yes. Even when it’s hard. Do what others need, even when it’s hard. Even when you are tired. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when the person in need has hurt you or treated you unjustly. If we really think about it, doesn’t this statement get to the very heart of grace—serving and loving others even when that service and love is unmerited?

By All Means

Channapatana Nativity Set

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).

As Christmas draws near, we are reminded of the greatness of God’s love for us. The above verse is not typically known as a Christmas verse. It does not refer to a Bethlehem stable, shepherds on a hillside, or wise men who saw the star. The verse does not speak of an innkeeper, swaddling cloths, or a manger. The verse does encompass the very meaning of Christmas in that God loved us so much that he sent his Son. Christmas is a time for us to celebrate the coming of Christ into the world and God’s love for each of us. We rejoice at this time of year as we are reminded of His love and the eternal life that we have through Christ.

Cultivating Relationships and Sharing the Gospel

Praying friends

“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (1 Cor. 9:22—23 NIV1).

Cultivating relationships often begins by meeting the needs of those around us. In communities where arts are valued, missionaries develop creative studios. In areas where international students need after-school care and homework help, missionaries open their homes for dinner and tutoring. In cities where sports are esteemed, missionaries offer free summer sports camps. In towns where men and women enjoy quilting and woodworking, missionaries purchase supplies and provide crafting workshops.

By All Means WMU Emphasis for 2016–2018

In 2016–2018, WMU will challenge Christ followers to

  • follow His example;
  • step into the world around them;
  • cultivate relationships; and
  • create opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ.

Check out the printed and downloadable By All Means resources for 2017–2018.


Scripture Passage:

By All Means

By All Means

Our first session of Mission Friends® for the new church year started in a most exciting way. We had a big group of preschoolers coming up into our class of 3- and 4-year-olds. The first session is usually a little more hectic because the preschoolers don’t know the schedule, and you are trying to figure out preschoolers’ names. I expected to have 8 or 9 preschoolers, but we had 13! I had planned the painting activity suggested in Mission Friends Leader for the session, and it took a while for the preschoolers to take turns in sets of 2 or 3 preschoolers at a time. When we finally gathered for Group Time, the power went out in the whole church! We spent the remainder of our session in the dark, using the flashlights from our smartphones.

Developing a Heart for Missions

Jason and baby

We are thrilled to share the following devotion from Jason Hyche, one of the preschoolers in Robin McCall’s first Mission Friends® class. We pray that as you read Jason’s words, you will see that by teaching preschoolers today, you are touching the future.

“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means, I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings”
(1 Cor. 9:22–23).

By All Means Changes Lives

“El Salvador will never be the same,” said one of our church members when she saw who had decided to go. While I can’t say that is true of the country, it is certainly true for those of us preparing to go. As of this writing, a dozen men and women are preparing for our church’s first international missions trip. Six of the 7 women in the group are members of our Martha Robinson Baptist Women, and some have never been outside the United States. As we prepare to step out of our comfort zones to change lives in El Salvador, changes within our lives and the life of our church began months ago.

Personally, I began working with our Wednesday night children’s ministry, at first serving food but soon joining in teaching first- and second-graders. Others joined in as well. Several children have received Christ as Savior and their families are starting to attend on Sunday morning.

Pages

Back to Top