MMO supports vital resort ministry
October 4, 2005
One day Jesus saw two brothers, Peter and Andrew, washing their nets by the Sea of Galilee and He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” A good portion of Jesus’ ministry was focused around the Sea of Galilee. Not only did He go where the lost people were, but they also came to hear Him preach and teach about the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
I guess you could say that Jesus is our example for resort ministry. For many years Missouri Baptists have been engaged in resort ministries. Missouri Baptists have cooperated together to minister in Branson, Lake Stockton, Roaring River, Meramac River and Lake of the Ozarks. Missouri Baptists have distributed bottles of water containing the plan of salvation on the label, they have given out thousands and thousands of tracts, they have made one-on-one visits, they have taught Backyard Bible Clubs, they have held Vacation Bible Schools, and they have preached thousands of sermons. Many youth groups have participated in these ministry opportunities and many for the first time have been introduced to missions with a hands-on-experience. Many of these youth groups have worked in Branson and help in the Girls and Boys Clubs.
In each of the ministry settings the needs are different. Some ministries are active all week while others are only able to minister on the weekend. Yet, through the years in many diverse ways many people have come to know Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Others, who have strayed in their walk with Christ, have found a renewed relationship with Him because of the resort ministry.
Although much has taken place and lives have been changed, there is much yet to do. For example, the Lake of the Ozarks sees 4.5 million visitors each year. The Chamber of Commerce expects to see this number of visitors continue to climb. Not all of these visitors are lost, but the majority of them do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
What a great opportunity God has given Missouri Baptists. God has given us the opportunity to give the Good News to people who are searching for meaning and purpose in life. We need to develop new ministries and provide more ministry assistance to the local associations and churches. We need to train and equip more laborers for the harvest that God wants to give Missouri Baptists from the resorts. We need to plant some unique churches that minister in special ways to lake and resort visitors.
Not only is there an increased need for ministry around the Lake of the Ozarks, but there is a need all across the state. Missouri has some 81 state parks, 22,000 miles of streams, 450 classified lakes and other unique resort settings. Opportunities for ministry abound. Missouri Baptists need to look up and see the harvest that is before us through resort ministry!
Together Missouri Baptists can do what local churches and associations cannot do because of limited resources. Together through the Missouri Missions Offering (MMO) we can make the Gospel good news to those individuals who are looking for meaning and purpose in life and who are in need of a Savior. Come on, Missouri Baptists, join together through the Missouri Missions Offering and let’s go fishing with Jesus!