This past Sunday I allowed Central Baptist Palmyra to preview one of the videos which will be shown at Annual Session . The video is a heart-felt, deep, and shows how ABCNJ is involved in the mission of the Gospel. The congregation thought the video was wonderful, especially the part about a giant fish , and I used the moment to highlight our relationship as a church within ABCNJ.
Following the video, I told the story of Elmo's sabbatical invitation to bring a team for "Christ Emphasis Week" in the Philippines – the end of which bore a question, "So, who do you think paid for that trip where so many people committed their lives to Jesus Christ?" The congregation looked around for a moment until someone hazarded the response, "I guess we do."
This response occasioned both an affirmation and a second question, "Right! And who do you think encouraged the regional staff to take such a bold step in response to Elmo's invitation?" This time the congregation had guessed what the correct answer was, they responded, "We do!"
Elated, I called back, "That's right! The regional team sees what churches, like ours, are doing in response to the Gospel – and they know if they're going to be able to help lead us in ministry then they need to be in ministry as well. The regional team saw our faith, and it strengthened their faith. The wonder of it is this, having seeing what our regional team is up to for the Gospel, aren't we encouraged?  Don't we want to echo the example they are showing us? What a wonderful cycle of ministry we get to be as part of ABCNJ!"
Now, I could have simply read off a bulletin insert or a form letter – but it wouldn't have been as effective. By showing a video, we got to see the team which went out in Jesus' name and with the regional's credentials, and catch a glimpse of the world-changing work we are part of. The video is, in fact, a powerful testimony to what a strong relationship between our churches can accomplish.
I encourage our churches, when you see a video or an article on our web-site, share it with people. Post the links to our youtube posts on FaceBook, your church sites, or use the in worship where you seem fit. If you would like a downloadable version of any video, please email me and I'll be happy to get you a link to one. Let's make use of the technology at our disposal so we may be reminded of what Christ is doing in our midst – and let our stories encourage us to even greater heights.