USA (MNN) — "About eight years ago, I had an ache in my heart to
help the local church become more missional," explains Dave Player, pastor of
First United Methodist Church in Altus, Oklahoma.
For the next several years, Player and his church embarked
on a journey to get more people involved in missions. They needed something to spark a fire in the hearts of most of the congregation: only about one or two percent of the 2000 member church was involved in
Then, Player heard about The Mission Society and their
Global Outreach Weekend. In October of last year, The Mission Society came to
Player's church to hold a seminar.
"When we discovered this opportunity to have someone
come from The Mission Society and help us mobilize the church, we were just
delighted. The weekend proved to be a turning point for us. We are now …
planning a Global Impact Celebration this August, in which we hope to mobilize
a majority of our members," Player said.
The Mission Society will hold a 5-day conference at
the First United Methodist in Altus. It will include intensive prayer, food, fellowship,
extensive study of Scriptures concerning missions, and at least a dozen
As Player and his church work toward a majority of members
being involved, the lack of manpower hasn't hampered ministry. Locally, they have helped out with the hungry, people struggling
financially and young people. They have also taken teams around the world, including
Cambodia, on medical, construction and church partnering missions.
Since the Global Outreach Weekend, Player has seen an
increase in interest among his congregation, and he only expects this to
continue: "Within the next couple of years, a majority of our members will see
missions as our DNA: not just that we DO missions, but that it's who we ARE. We
are the hands and feet of Jesus, locally, in the national crises that take
place … and then also [missions is] a vision that goes past the United States
of America to the uttermost parts of the world."
Player said, ultimately, "God wants to make churches missional,
where the very identity of the church is missions … We should all be about
loving God and loving our neighbor with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength."
Would you like to see your church get more involved with
missions? You can visit The Mission Society's Web site and find more information
about the Global Outreach Weekend and Global Impact Celebration. Or click here to watch a video about the Global Impact Celebration.