Sharing the Gospel with whomever will listen is the mandate our Lord Jesus Christ assigned to all believers before He ascended to Heaven. He simply stated that as we are going on our life’s journey, we are to be His hands, feet and voice to reach out to whomever He brings across our path.
In Mathew 25, Jesus spoke of the separation of the sheep from the goats and how people could know which they are when He returns. Jesus said how we treat those in need is a clear indicator of the genuineness of our faith. It is true that not every sheep will participate in every evangelism ministry, but our Lord has left us here to be actively participating somehow.
Our Montana Southern Baptist Churches are located in very diverse ethnic, social, spiritual, and economic settings. However, regardless of location, we share a common opportunity for touching the lives of those for whom our Lord gave His life. That opportunity is based on the critical importance of literacy. People who are not literate cannot read Scripture for themselves. Therefore, they will not and do not read a Bible and struggle in all areas where literacy proficiency is needed. More…
Three specific groups can be identified, each with their own unique opportunity for literacy ministry.
One group is comprised of those who have immigrated to the United States from countries that do not have an English-based vocabulary. They need to be taught English as a Second Language.
Another group is made up of those who have an English-based background, but because of various circumstances do not read well enough to have adequate employment or opportunities for advancement. At present, they are destined to struggle in minimum wage employment at best. This group will be helped with Adult Reading and Writing.
The third group is made up of K-12 students who are struggling in their grade level. These students also have trouble with mathematics because they have trouble reading instructions in their mathematics book. The curriculum, Tutoring Children and Youth Literacy Missions, addresses these needs.
Literacy missions also provides an open door for evangelism. This past school year, two precious young people prayed to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives as a direct result of literacy missions. Their mother and grandmother both received the plan of salvation. Fellowship Baptist Church in Billings was blessed to touch seven families with the Gospel through Literacy Missions.
Literacy Missions also promotes core growth in every church that participates. How many of our churches have an abundance of members who are able to teach or witness with confidence? Working one on one with a student in any of the three areas is a non-threatening way to gain maturity in both teaching and witnessing. As one gives of one’s self to help another, skills are gained both in teaching and sharing the Gospel. What could be possible if your church members, regardless of age, are given opportunity to participate in Great Commission opportunities in your community? Every literacy student is someone the instructor will have taught and shared his faith with. Salvation and Christian maturity are bound to follow such a ministry.
There will be two opportunities to become certified in Literacy Training this summer. The first is August 25-26 at Central Baptist Church in Lewistown. The second is September 8-9 at Easthaven Baptist Church in Kalispell. The entire training must be attended for certification. We will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. Dinner will be served that evening at the church. Saturday’s sessions will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Each group will be responsible for their own lodging.
This is an inexpensive way for your church to become involved in this valuable ministry! Your church can register on the MTSBC Literacy page at any time. If you have any questions or for more information, please contact Ray Willis at 406 855-4265.