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Boaz’s Sardis focuses on missions year-round with theme ‘REACH: Go, Pray, Tell and Teach’comment (0)

May 26, 2011

By Anna Swindle

Members of Sardis Baptist Church, Boaz, are serious about missions, and their 2011 calendar proves it. Under the theme of “REACH: Go, Pray, Tell, and Teach,” the church has divided the year into quarters, with each targeting a different area of missions: community, state, nation and world.

From January through March (Quarter One), the Marshall Baptist Association church’s missionsfocus was the world.

During those months, members gave a $10,600 offering to support the building of a church in Gilau, Romania.

The money will be presented to the Romanian church during a missions trip this summer. This June will mark the seventh year Sardis Baptist has partnered with this particular Romanian congregation and the 20th trip to the country.

“We structured our year to coordinate with activities we already have going on,” said Zac Goforth, Sardis’ minister of students and recreation. “We tried to coordinate our world mission for when they were taking up an offering for Romania, for example. And we’re kind of building on it from there, adding newer projects like Bibles for Burma.”

That project was intended to collect 250 Bibles for the Southeast Asian country. Instead the congregation donated and sent 1,063 Bibles.

Members spent the month of March learning about and praying for Burma’s needs.

During that time, the recent tsunami devastated Japan so they stepped up to help victims by providing shoes through Soles for Souls.

Now the church has moved into Quarter Two, which runs through June and focuses on Alabama.

One way members are ministering is through Downtown Rescue Mission in Huntsville. They also are praying for and encouraging state missionaries of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and supporting the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries.

From July through September, the church’s attention will turn to the United States.

During that time, the church will take its annual home missions trip, traveling this year to South Lebanon, Ohio.

There, the Sardis team will help with church construction, lead a backyard Bible club and conduct an evangelistic crusade.

In the final quarter of the year, families will be encouraged to choose a way to minister on their own, whether it be local, state, national or international, Goforth said.

One option will be the church’s Angel Tree ministry, an outreach to neighbors in need during the Christmas season.

Treating missions as a year-round endeavor has made a lasting impression on Sardis member Chris Royal.

“I didn’t grow up in a church where missions was a big deal, so it’s taken me awhile to get with the Baptist view of missions and it’s really cool,” Royal said.

And he pointed out that the church is making missions personal to every age group.

“I’ve seen my kids share with their buddies at school and church and have outreach to classmates,” Royal said. “Our girls get an allowance, and they give from their allowance to the church,” he said of his children. “Our youngest daughter got really excited about Bibles for Burma. ... [She] funded nine Bibles on her own.

“The fact that the church helps us with more than just studying and learning and really puts wheels on our religion is a neat opportunity.”

Pastor Mike Goforth is thrilled to see how readily the congregation has embraced being involved in missions all year long.

“Our people have really responded and stepped up,” he said. “Missions has always impacted me and my family, and thankfully the church is catching on to it. And we’re seeing a lot of great things happen already this year, like with the amazing response to Bibles for Burma.”

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