What Will Next Winter Be Like?

Barrett DukeAll Enews

Yes, you read that right. I’m asking you to consider what winter will be like before we’ve even gotten through summer. This isn’t only a question we can ask about the weather. It’s also a question we can ask about the church. When it comes to your church, what you do now can have a huge impact on how you answer that question. Remember Jeremiah’s lament in Jeremiah 8:20, “Harvest is past, summer is over, and we are not saved”? He was looking back on a time of opportunity and lamenting that God’s people didn’t respond when they had the chance.

In Jeremiah’s case, he had been doing what he could to call his people to repentance, but they refused. All that was left for him was grief, but he didn’t have to feel the guilt of inactivity. Jeremiah preached his heart out. He labored hard to turn the people around.

Will you be able to say the same? What you do now will determine how you answer that question. COVID is past, but summer is not. People are getting out again. No one can guarantee that your community will respond the way you want them to if you make a plan now and go after them all summer. You can be pretty sure, though, that if you don’t, you won’t be able to look back and say you did all you could to reach people while the opportunity was there.

One of our favorite things to do during the summer to help us reach new people was Backyard Bible Clubs. You find a home in a neighborhood that’s willing to host the Club, usually a church member, you prepare some basic Bible lessons for children, make up a few crafts and activities, and you tell children about Jesus for a few days. That’s it!

The great thing about Backyard Bible Clubs is that you always get lots of lost kids. Because it’s in the neighborhood at a home people know, parents are usually willing to have their children go down the street for the morning. Then, at the end of the week, you contact the parents and ask to visit with them about their children and your church. Many parents were very open to making an appointment and letting us come by. We got to tell the parents how much we loved their children, and we got to share the gospel with them.

It takes three people to do a Backyard Bible Club. You can even do it with only a couple workers.  And it hardly costs anything. The MTSBC will even pay for the materials for you to do one or half a dozen if money is tight. If you’re looking for a way to share the gospel this summer, this will do it. You’ll almost certainly see some children saved and may very well see a parent or two saved, too.

Now is the time to plan something new for this summer. It doesn’t have to be earth-shaking, but it could be. It doesn’t have to be massive in its scope, but it could be. The motto of Go Montana is “Just Do Something.” The Go Montana web page is still up and running and full of ideas that you could consider. Maybe none of those ideas are right for you, but they might just get your creative juices flowing and help you come up with your own idea that’s just right for your church and your community. Why not check it out at www.gomtsbc.org and see if God will lead you to do something new this summer. Then, when summer is past, you’ll be able to say, “We did what we could.” I believe you’ll also be able to say, “And God came down in great power.” Let’s see what God will do. I believe you’ll like it.

About the Author

Barrett Duke

Barrett Duke is the Executive Director and Treasurer for the Montana Southern Baptist Convention.