Sometimes you just need to hear how someone else is doing ministry to spur on your own creativity. Joining Brian on the podcast is Marques Pauley. Marques is the Student Pastor at Mill Creek Baptist is Bardstown, KY. He shares a few things they are doing to reach out to their community with the Gospel.
Q: What are some ways you intentionally plug in to your community?
A: We adopted the high school and middle school in our backyard. On Tuesdays I go to the middle school’s FCA with their favorite doughnuts and lead a devotion. On Thursdays I go the high school’s FCA.
Football – One of our students joined the team and let us know they were looking for help with providing pre-game meals. The pastor approved the budget and now we do a pre-game meal and a devotional for the team every Friday. The next year, the coach wanted us to be even more involved. In addition, we now do Popsicle Tuesdays after practice, showing them we that we love them and are present, even without a devotional requirement. Occasionally we will also get to their practices early and help. On Wednesdays, the football coach requested a Bible study for those who were willing to come to practice early. 10-15 students attend regularly. We have been going through a devotional by Tony Dungy on how to be godly men on and off the field.
We now have kids coming to church because they know who I am and know where the church is.
Q: How do the pre-game meals work?
A: We take the meal to the school and feed about 50 people. After we bring the supplies back to the church for clean up, we go back and support the teens at the game.
Q: What other doors have opened to you?
A: FCA gives out coach’s Bibles, which reaches the coaches and athletic trainers. The head football coach is a believer but also new to the school. He has me pray over both teams out on the field before the game.
Q: Did you initiate the FCA’s?
A: At the high school the cross-country coach and another youth pastor had already started, so we partnered with them.
The middle school had absolutely nothing, but the principal goes to our church and we had started an occasional Bible Study. This past year a teacher become the FCA representative for the school and they also bring in other community members to speak.
Q: These open doors seem to be making it more comfortable for those in your community to come to your church…
A: It is awesome to see that if a visitor does not know anyone else in the church, they know me, and I can introduce them to others in the church.
Q: What are you doing to encourage your students to have gospel conversations with their friends?
A: Our students wanted to share the gospel but did not know how. We did the Cause Circle curriculum and challenged our students to come up with a goal for the number of gospel conversations we could have as a group. After averaging the suggestions, our goal came to 250 gospel conversations. We also “pause for the cause,” taking time during our Sunday service to share about the gospel conversations we had that week. Our students’ stories are encouraging, and after only a month and a half we have already had over 20 gospel conversations. To show their impact, we made a display case to hold ping pong balls with the names of those they shared the gospel with.
At camp, Kyle Gray trained our students in The Gospel in Six Words presentation. The kids were ready and God arranged for us to be ready for them.
Then we did a series on living the Christian life. Through Paul’s life in Philippians we answered the question, “After these kids get saved, what does that look like at school, work or on the field?”
Since we started having gospel conversations our attendance has grown from 30 to 50 and is growing. New people come every week and we have had a handful of salvations on our Sunday nights. God is moving because we made it a priority to share the gospel.
Q: Have any students shared a time where their gospel conversations went poorly?
A: A new believer lost an atheist friend after he shared the gospel with him. While it was hard, it also reaffirmed that this was what God called him to do and that he would keep sharing the gospel with his friend. The good, bad and the ugly does happen. The students understand that we are planting seeds and that the next steps are inviting their friends to church and sharing the gospel again. We celebrate the struggles because of the students’ faithfulness.
After our students share their gospel conversation stories, we pray for those they shared the gospel with. We also ask the students to share the names of those they need to share the gospel with that week, and we pray for that opportunity to happen. We talk to God about people before we talk to people about God.
Creek Cast is our podcast based on the Word of Life Quiet Time. Our students’ parents were doing the Word of Life Quiet Time with their kids but were not really understanding it. Catering to our community’s average commute with a daily podcast of 15 minutes, the children’s pastor and I share what we got out of our Quiet Time that day. It keeps us accountable for our quiet time and shows our church that we are all learning together.
Creek Cast – podcast title
Facebook – Marques Pauley
Twitter – @PastorMarquesto.