Doing What You CAN Do

It’s often easy to give ourselves permission slips to escape the Great Commission issued in Mark 16 simply because we’ve never sensed the call into full-time ministry or acknowledged the leading toward one of the five-fold ministries laid out in Ephesians 4. But as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are never exempt from the mandate to be “fishers of men” (Mark 1). Read more from this local church-attender in Oklahoma about what God is using her to do where she lives.

Being a semi-retired 64-year-old school teacher may seem to some too late to start a ministry, especially one that requires a lot of physical energy. However, ministry is all about what you can do, not what you can’t do.

Every Sunday my husband and I would travel by this apartment complex on our way to church and there were people of all ages walking around outside. My heart would go out to them and I would think “they should be in church like we are”. This happened Sunday after Sunday and I would feel guilty as I passed by! God was convicting me for not caring enough to do more than just wish they were in church.

BarbSmithBlog3I had gone on several missions trips to South Dakota to minister on the Pine Ridge Reservation and had really become sensitive to the needs of people and how they needed the Lord so badly. I wanted to share what God had done for me so they could experience His love. Surely they, too, could be changed. It quickly became a passion for me.

As I was sitting in church one Sunday, while our pastor was preaching, God placed a burden on my heart. I decided I was going to do something. So, I asked my brother if he would help me. We printed up fliers, I made some little candy sacks and we went to those apartments that I had been passing every Sunday. We began knocking on every door. I left fliers and candy if they weren’t home, prayed with them if they answered, and invited them to church.

Some of them didn’t even know where our church was.

One man was dying with cancer and gave his heart to God and one lady I met that first day is still coming to our church several months later!

We have been going to every apartment complex in town and have recently stayed with one complex for the past six months hosting cookouts, having services at the complex, and busing them to church and church activities. We have seen the group grow to two church van loads on Sundays! The board members, the pastor, and other workers from our local church are now involved. Also, the new converts are helping to witness at the apartments, as well.

BarbSmithBlog1It’s amazing the love God will give you for people if you just put forth a small effort to show them you care. And, oh the joy to see them getting to enjoy God’s presence as we have! That’s payment enough for me. When you pull up in a van and people are standing there, ready to get on board, you know all your effort and time was worth every minute.

So, I challenge you today–think about what you can do…not what you can’t!

People won’t come–unless you go!


Barbara Smith is a daughter, wife, mom, “MiMi” to four grandchildren, teacher, and lover of the lost. She faithfully serves at her home church of First Assembly of God in Sallisaw, OK.

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