Why Is It Important?

Before I came to national WMU, I served as a pastor in Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia. The churches I served had varying levels of missions participation and missions education. At each church, I encouraged the missions organizations in their work and tried to assist them where I was most needed.

I will admit that, at times, it was difficult for me to know how best to support the work of WMU in the churches I served. You see, as most pastors will tell you, there are literally thousands of things that pull at you, day in and day out. It’s easy for a pastor to get distracted or simply misunderstand something that’s really important in his church’s WMU organization.

However, that all changed the day my WMU director presented me with my own copy of the WMU Year Book! My WMU director set up a meeting with me in my office. When she arrived, she presented me with the WMU Year Book. She told me what was found in the Year Book. We talked about things coming up in WMU, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, and countless other missional things I needed to know for the coming year.

After my WMU director left that day, I spent several minutes thumbing through the book, familiarizing myself with its layout and the information included. The Year Book quickly became a must-have item for my desk. It was a good reference tool that I could—and did—reference throughout the year.

Now, fast-forward a few years to my new job at WMU. At that time, I was asked to serve on the churchwide leadership team at WMU. Guess what was one of my editing responsibilities? You’re right—the WMU Year Book! My love for that little annual book had come full circle! I was asked to design it, lay it out, and see it through to printing.

To this day, working on the WMU Year Book remains one of my favorite responsibilities I’ve had during my tenure at WMU. While I no longer edit the piece, I still look forward to receiving my own copy each spring, thumbing through it, marking it up, and then referencing it throughout the year.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes this year to order your copy of the WMU Year Book 2017–2018. The Year Book can be ordered by calling 1-800-968-7301 or visiting wmustore.com.

Oh, and while you’re at it, be sure to order one for your pastor and church staff. Your pastor and staff may just be as appreciative of your gift as I was each year.


As a husband, father, pastor, and editor, M. Steve Heartsill has used many words in his life. Hopefully, he’ll not run out of them anytime soon.

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