Experiencing the Ripple Effect

Have you noticed that when God is at work, there is a ripple effect? Not only does He change the life of an individual, but often He also affects the individual’s friends and acquaintances.

I love seeing this happen in Luke 5:17–26. A man is lowered by his friends to Jesus. He is healed. Not only is the man healed but his friends’ faith is also strengthened and the crowd is amazed. I saw the same ripple effect course through the Familyfest held in our city of Indianapolis in 2015. 

Here’s a glimpse into what took place to plan our Crossroads Baptist Association Familyfest:

  • We began by getting our associational churches excited about receiving help with their community outreach events. We let them know that missions teams from all over the country would join local church volunteers to impact their communities through a sports camp, painting a community center, Backyard Bible Clubs, and follow-up from a Vacation Bible School.
  • Promotion and personal contact were key in getting churches involved.
  • A group meeting of representatives from all participating churches to review project forms, along with continual communication, was necessary to prepare for the “big event.” We heard the heart behind the missions projects.
  • Finding a host church for the opening and closing celebration was essential. The closing celebration was very moving. We had worship and lunch and heard firsthand stories of how God worked in wondrous ways throughout the week.

My greatest impression from the event is what God accomplished through the ripple effect. One morning while I was visiting the sports camp site, one of the Familyfest volunteers shared with me her experience the previous day. She was promoting the sports camp in a neighborhood with flyers. The first door she knocked on was opened by a distraught mother in tears. She invited the volunteer in and shared why she was upset. The volunteer prayed with and encouraged her. The volunteer shared that the whole trip was worth that 1 person she encountered. Ostensibly she was promoting a sports camp, but before the event took place, God used it in a unique way. It encouraged a mother, it strengthened the faith of a Familyfest volunteer, and it amazed all of us who heard.

Lana Shields is associational WMU coordinator for Crossroads Baptist Association in Indianapolis.






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