NAMB online map connects missions needs with volunteerscomment (0)
December 12, 2013
"It’s a “need for survival,” and it’s being met in a surprising way, Randy Hinkle said.
Hinkle, founder and president of Stoney Creek Camp, said there’s “no way four people could’ve accomplished the task already completed without God and hundreds of workers.”
People would be “shocked,” Hinkle said, “at how many volunteers have come to the camp in the past four years.”
Somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000, he estimates, most of which came through a Volunteer Opportunities map created by the North American Mission Board (NAMB).
The map, found at namb.net/volunteer-
opportunities, connects volunteers and needs nationwide. Currently 19 Alabama job requests are posted, one of which is at Stoney Creek Camp, an outreach ministry connected with Stoney Creek Baptist Church, Vinemont.
“We continually have needs for cleaning after groups leave, yard and building maintenance, firewood for winter groups and our big need is a gym facility so we can keep bookings year round,” Hinkle said. With multiple teams coming, he said he thinks the camp can have a gym built “one week at a time” over the period of a year or two.
“One group could do one small item, which in the grand scheme of things would be a big help,” Hinkle said. “God has always sent the people we needed at the perfect time.”
NAMB created the Volunteer Opportunities map to be a useful tool for both churches in need and teams looking for ways to serve. As pastors, church planters and ministry leaders identify areas of their ministry or in their community where they could use some extra help, they can simply go online and submit their need on the map.
The site allows them to be as specific as they want, including details like a summary of the project, how many teams are needed to serve, the duration of the project and more.
Then as churches throughout North America begin praying and planning for upcoming short-term missions opportunities for their congregations, they can go online and search the site for needs their team might be able to meet. The map is customized by region, with each need represented by a dot on the map. Those searching for opportunities can go online, view the needs available, pray through these opportunities and easily connect with a place to serve.
“The map has made connecting churches and volunteers as simple as one click,” explained Susan Peugh, volunteer opportunities coordinator for NAMB. “We hope that by simplifying the connection process for both churches in need and volunteer teams looking for needs to meet, we’ll see more and more connections made and partnerships formed between churches.”
There are already more than 300 needs posted to the map and more are on the way.
Steve Tipton, manager of Coffee Baptist Association’s camp The Vineyard, said partnerships are key for the camp’s ministry.
“Our need here for volunteers is great,” he said. “Nearly everything we have done or built here has been done by volunteers.”
The NAMB website has helped tremendously in recruiting help for The Vineyard, Tipton said.
“It really kicked off our being able to reach some missions-minded partners,” he said.
Chris Terrell, director of Renovation Ministries in Anniston, said he is new to the map but hopes it “serves as a wonderful tool that matches us up with youth groups across the nation and state looking for a positive, kid-based evangelistic ministry that is really making a difference in our city.”
Moving into 2014, the map will expand as new needs are posted and churches begin planning their short-term trips for spring and summer breaks. Additionally NAMB hopes to see the tool utilized as a part of Crossover 2014 in Baltimore prior to the Southern Baptist Convention hosted by the city.
For more information or to view the Volunteer Opportunities map, visit namb.net/