St. Joseph-area church makes God’s love known
Green Valley Baptist Church is walking the walk
By Bob Baysinger
August 12, 2003
ST. JOSEPH – David Mason says the month of August is going to be all about love at Green Valley Baptist Church in St. Joseph.
"I believe it is best for everybody to focus on one particular thing, and during the 30 days of August we’re going to be focusing on love," said Mason, who has pastored Green Valley the last five years.
The first two Sundays of August, Mason led his congregation to focus on God’s love and the nature of his love and our response to God’s love. The last three Sundays, the emphasis will switch to loving others.
"We will have foot washing in every service throughout the month," Mason said. "Anybody who doesn’t believe in this ought to throw their Bible away.
"We started with the staff washing the feet of the deacons and the deacons washing the feet of the congregation. We’re not requiring anybody to do it; we’re just making it available to do if they want to do it."
Another aspect of the campaign, Mason said, is to pass out wash rags to everybody in the church. The rags become a symbol of ministering to somebody in the church. When the church member completes the task of doing some kind of ministry – and they are asking them to do it to somebody they don’t know so well – they are to return the rag and lay it on the steps of the platform.
The returned rag is an indication the task has been completed.
"Along with learning to love our brothers and sisters," Mason said, "we are learning to develop a love for the lost. We will be taking one day to go out and show the community that God loves them.
"Right now, we’re looking at have 100 people setting up in twos on 50 street corners, waving signs that say "God Loves You."
Sunday morning attendance has grown to 375 at Mason’s church.
Green Valley has developed a reputation for its use of "servant evangelism." Using methods such as the distribution of free light bulbs, the church has been able to share Christ with many people in the northwest Missouri city.
The church now is working on a 14,560-square-foot addition to its complex. Mason said the church recently used Rick Warren’s "40 Days of Purpose" to focus on the purpose that God has for the church.
"During that campaign, we had more than 20 baptisms, started two new Sunday school classes and had a ton of other people join the church – all because we focused on that one thing," Mason said.