Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Mission teams can greatly expand the ministry of inner-city churches

Nearly 100 students from the University of Texas at Arlington Baptist Student Ministry spent six days at Baptist Temple to minister in San Antonio. They formed 11 teams, partnering with churches to host backyard Bible clubs in low-income neighborhoods and apartment complexes, serving in a soup kitchen and at a nursing home.

One of the things that struck the students was the poverty found in San Antonio. “One of the main things that surprised me is the neighborhood here around the church has a lot of poverty.” said UTA student, David Weick, “It’s a level that most of us don’t see when we go around in our towns. It’s amazing to see the need of the people here and to see how the church is stepping up to meet the needs.”

These short term missionaries have a long-term impact in urban areas where the need exceeds the resources. In Chicago, one large team was so helpful in so many areas that several local ministries banded together to continue their work. In New Orleans, short-term missionaries worked in tandem to run a day camp all summer. In Miami, short-term missionaries helped jump start a children's Sunday school in a church that had no children.

These collaborations between churches that have abundant resources and those who do not demonstrate the unity of Christ's followers and unleash the power of the Holy Spirit in mighty ways. I have been on both sides of short-term missions and know that everyone involved benefits.

Baptist Temple will host several teams this summer to bring a variety ministries to San Antonio. We will also team up with several churches to send a group to minister on the Mexican border.

No comments: