|Wednesday:||Opportunity for Missions|
|Bible Lesson:||Armor of God: Resist temptation using God's word, not human reasoning.|
|Memory Verse:||Ephesians 6:11|
|Missions Concepts:||Missionaries need an opportunity – an invitation or contact in the community.|
|Missions Examples:||South Whitley, IN: Marvin Meeker|
Introduction: Need for Churches
How far did you drive or walk to get to Bible School tonight? Did anyone come more than ten minutes? Do you drive more than ten minutes to get to your own church on Sunday morning? Did you know that some people in the United States live in places where they have to drive half an hour or more just to get to a church that believes the whole Bible? Some towns do not have one church that teaches the whole Bible. Some people in Vermont drive an hour to go to a church that teaches the Bible. Other people in the same communities decide that it's easier to go to a church they know doesn't teach the whole Bible, because it's closer. They think they don't have time to go far enough to get to a better church.
Example: South Whitley, IN
Dave Swensen was from Vermont and went to the Irasburg church but when he and his wife Tonya moved to her hometown of South Whitley, Indiana, they looked for a church there. They had trouble finding a church in their town that taught the whole Bible. Instead of going to a church that left part of the Bible out, they decided to drive twenty miles each way to attend the Lakeland Grace Brethren Church in Warsaw [show map]. That doesn't seem too far, but for a family with young children it was a little much. And if they wanted to invite their friends to church they had to ask them to drive for half an hour to get there. How many people want to drive that far to go to a friend's church. Their kids probably have friends and want to invite them to Bible School. How many of their parents will allow them to go that far to Bible School? It's too far. So, the Swensens wanted to start a new Grace Brethren Church in their own town.
In the Lakeland church there is a retired Pastor named Marvin Meeker. When the Swensens came to the Lakeland Church they met him. So, when they started praying with their church about finding a church in their own town, Pastor Meeker prayed with them. They prayed for a long time that something would happen in South Whitley. Eventually, they decided to start a Bible study to see if there were people in the town who would start a new church. Maybe there were others going to churches that don't teach the whole Bible that would like to find a better church. Maybe there were people who didn't go to church at all or didn't go very often because there was no good church to go to. Maybe some of the Swensens' friends would come. God might have put several families together in South Whitley to start a church there.
The Point: Missionaries Need Contacts
Marvin Meeker wasn't looking for a new town to start a church. That's not why he started a Bible study. People wanted a church in South Whitley, so they started a Bible study there. The Swensen family was already there. Any time a missionary wants to start a new church, he has to make contact with people in the community. That's hard. Sometimes it's very hard, but if you start someplace where you already have contacts, it's a little easier. Marvin Meeker didn't go through the phone book to try to find people to come to the church. The Swensens just started inviting their friends.
Conclusion: South Whitley GBC
Now the group has grown to about twenty people. They have baptized several and have started having Sunday morning services. The Swensens can take their family to church and invite friends. They no longer have to drive to another town to find a good church.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.