DUBLIN — A missions effort originally intended to last the summer has signs of further life, says Darren Talley.
“We’re wanting to get more engaged in the community and thinking missionally,” explains Talley, senior pastor of Jefferson Street Baptist Church. “So, we developed the JSBC Summer of Service to share the love of Christ.”
There were four points to the program, he explained.
- Engage all church members in missional service through the summer months.
- Minister to the growing number of homebound members.
- Serve the community through various missions and service projects.
- Make much of Jesus, with 1 Cor. 10:31 and Col 3:17 as the focus.
Point number four encompasses the purpose of Summer of Service, notes Talley. “This isn’t for our own glory, but as unto the Lord. It’s for His glory.”
He admits that results have been hit-and-miss, with adjustments made along the way. For example, the church hosted an initial attempt at offering free minor bicycle repairs. However, only a couple of bikes were dropped off. They tried again at a public park with enough bicycles brought to keep them busy the whole afternoon, Talley says.
“We did about every bit of bike repair we could in our skill set. We pumped and patched tires, straightened out sprockets, and fixed chains. One chain was so twisted around we had to take it apart and put it back together.”
Another part of Summer of Service was visiting homebound members. JSBC members visited others unable to attend church due to injury, age, or illness. Begun at the start of summer, Talley points to it as setting a tone for the outreach.
“People took responsibility for someone and made it a point to visit them and remind them they were part of the Jefferson Street Baptist family,” he explains.
One outreach has been a bona fide hit with givers and receivers. Due to the church’s location, it’s proving to be quite the door-opener.
“After our Vacation Bible School we wanted to continue to reach the downtown area,” Talley says. “Some ladies thought of baking cookies and delivering them to businesses near JSBC. We ended up taking more than 800 cookies to others. The ladies delivering them said it was a great success and begged to do it again.”
JSBC secretary Pam Davidson joined those making deliveries. Subsequently, Talley didn’t get to take part and instead covered phones. He did, however, take advantage of making himself available for product testing beforehand.
“We ended up delivering several hundred more on a second trip,” states Talley. “Plans are to continue this each month. In a couple of weeks we’ll be taking cookies to local first responders.”
To make a difference
Stubbs Park sits just a few blocks from Jefferson Street Baptist. It’s an area, Talley says, that has a bad reputation and one people tend to stay away from. In other words, it’s the kind of place to which he sees churches needing to connect. Next week he’s meeting with a community group to discuss ways to revitalize the area.
“When we were fixing bicycles, people would ask us why we would do something like that for free. It opened up a chance for us to explain the gospel and the free gift offered through Christ. We’re hoping to return soon.”