Guest Editorial: Making a Plan for Kingdom Work
by COBA BEASLEY
Special to Florida Baptist Witness

Article Date: Jan 24, 2014

BEASLEY
Marking a new year in ministry as a director of missions, I encourage our churches to assess all the ministries of this past year. I encourage them to evaluate what is working and what could change to make it more inviting for new converts and members to each church. If we are not willing to look at our ministry over the last year or years then we look at closing our doors to the next generation.

What do we assess? 

Our worship service:  The Greeters. Are our “welcome people” or ushers greeting everyone with a pleasant and welcoming voice and direction? Our Music. Is our music reaching all generations in our audience? The Choir. Are our choir members smiling as they worship in song? Everyone should smile and make a joyful noise unto the Lord! Praise Team. Are the band members and the audio sound equipment agreeable, well working, and pleasing to the ear? Our Visual Aids. Are the visuals up to date and do they keep up with the music and sermon? Did we offer training for all the above areas of worship?

Our Sunday School: Is our Sunday School reaching the lost for Christ? Is our Sunday School reaching new people? Do we make room for visitors in our classes? Do we need to have or make another class for our Sunday School? Do we have an outreach team for our Sunday School?  Do our teachers share the plan of salvation in their classes? Do we need a new members Sunday School class? Do we provide training for our teachers?

Our Discipleship or Bible Study: Discipleship trains our next leadership in our churches—it marks a deeper learning of the Bible and a greater walk with our Lord. Are we weak in our discipleship?  Discipleship does not have to be offered on Sunday. We have six more days during the week when we can have Bible Study and/or discipleship. Do we have training for our leaders?

Our Outreach: Workers that run the bus ministry. Can we do this better? What about those that follow-up on our visitors that attended our churches this past week? How is this going? Do we need to make this better? Do we offer outreach to our computer nerds or the phone message junkies? Do we offer training for these leaders? Have you found out that outreach is not simple anymore?

Community Involvement: Do we get involved in our community? Does our community know we are here? Are we a value to our community? Did we have an event and ask our community leaders, firemen, or policemen to come?

Missions: Do we plan and go on mission trips? Do we support missions?  Is our support adequate? Are we training our folks about missions and missions giving? 

All of our ministry actions or plans must be built upon fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20).

All church ministry actions or plans must be built on accomplishing one or more of the following biblical functions: 1) Worship (John 4:21-24); 2) Fellowship (Acts 2:42, 46-47); 3) Discipleship (Eph. 2:8-10); and 4) Evangelism (2 Cor. 5:17-21).

As a director of missions, I must help our churches increasingly share the powerful Gospel to the lost. I must help them develop crucial leadership. I must help them lead their church to be healthy. I must help them transform unhealthy churches to be healthy churches. We must start new churches here and elsewhere. Through training from the Florida Baptist Convention and the Association, we can move forward in God’s Kingdom work.

“He is the One who gave these gifts to the church, the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up the full stature of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-13).

Seeing many of our churches close the doors in Florida, I can only suggest measures to keep our focus on the main thing. Telling the story of Jesus who loved us so much!  Singing the best we can and teaching God’s word with conviction and power, power that can only come through prayer. Pastors, we must preach like there is no tomorrow for those that are lost. Preach Heaven for those that know Him. Preach judgment for those who do not follow God’s Word.

As a director of missions, I have traveled around the world and at home on mission trips. Seeing the different cultures and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Living in Miami for 10 years, I feel the world has come to Florida. We are more diverse now than ever before. What will God require of us this year?

Our association has built one of the strongest ministry centers in Florida. With God’s help this past year, we have fed more than 20,000 people and we had the privilege of leading 50 people to the Lord. This ministry gives 17 of our churches a place to do home missions of feeding, clothing, and leading people to Christ. Many of our pastors come and share the Gospel at our ministry center. Every person that comes through the ministry center for food is shared the Gospel of Christ. During our monthly board meetings, we look at what can be done better and how can we do it. How can we improve meeting the needs of the hungry? How can we more effectively share the Gospel with the lost in our community?

Recently, four of our churches met together for their New Years’ service.  One Anglo church, two African- American churches, and our only Hispanic church were under one roof in worship. Awesome!  Together we can reach the world for Christ. Being a part of our Cooperative Program means we can lean on each other to keep us on track for the Lord’s work.

As a director of missions, we have also given an opportunity for all of our people to serve in the area of disaster relief. Feeding, clean-up and recovery, mud-outs, chaplaincy and child care. God has used this area of our Christian witness to touch thousands of lives. Our association has made over 62 trips to Katrina’s disaster. We have spent many hours and monies reaching and helping those in need.

My son, Jacob, just left our home to go back to Liberty University and at age 19, Jacob will be a senior. I did not like to see him go, but I know God has special plans for him and his education. My daughter, Rachel, is taking classes to be a lead instructor as a daycare teacher. My wife, Rebecca, teaches science at Grand Ridge Middle School. Oh, to have a Christian science teacher. She rides with me from church to church and keeps me looking good. God gave me a special family.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit, and that your fruit should remain, so that whoever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you” (John 15:16).

Coba Beasley has served as Director of Missions for the Chipola Baptist Association since 2003, served as pastor of Maple Grove Baptist Church for 13 years, ministered at the Florida Baptist Children’s Home in Miami for five years, and served five years as youth pastor at Expressway Baptist Church in Miami.  He has served on the board of the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and on the long-range planning committee for the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes. For the last six years, he has served on the Florida Baptist Convention’s State Board of Missions.

 

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