Follow Your Passions into Missions
What are you passionate about? What are your gifts and talents? Have you thought about ways you can use these gifts to glorify God on the mission field?
It seems I have had a love for missions and a desire to be involved in giving, going and praying for missions all my life. Another big passion of mine is worship and music. For years, it seemed my passion for worship and my passion for missions had never really intersected. Then in 2002, everything changed.
I never will forget that day when I received a call from Mark Abernathy of NC Baptist Men, asking me about taking our church’s worship band to a country called Malaysia to lead around 100 missionary families in worship for their week-long annual gathering. They had asked for a strong focus on worship. It seemed like the perfect assignment for me – converging my love for missions, my desire to encourage missionaries, and my passion for worship. I didn’t even know where Malaysia was located!
The next thing that happened has radically changed my life. The contact in Malaysia that I was to work with, suggested I and my team stay an additional week and help the churches in Malaysia and Singapore improve their worship by offering worship conferences. I had no clue what to do with that. I had led worship for years, but certainly had no idea how to teach others how to do this. Think about it: doing something – whether is it is riding a bike, throwing a football, skating, or playing an instrument—is one thing, but teaching others how to acquire the skill is a totally different creature.
I accepted the assignment, and God began to stretch me and teach me, and little did I know, prepare me for some amazing things to come (more on that later).
I pulled a team together from my church that year (Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville, NC), and we flew to Malaysia. We led the week of worship with the missionaries, and that was truly a blessing. Many of these families had not worshipped in English for a long time. They were hungry for our times together, and we were blessed beyond measure. Then we ventured out to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore to lead worship conferences in those cities. The people were hungry for help, and we thoroughly enjoyed our work there. Our worshipASIA missions began that year.
Soon, we were getting more requests to come and train worship teams in Malaysia and Singapore, our team returned three years later and went to many additional cities in Malaysia to lead worship conferences. We also added an evangelistic outreach choral festival in Kuala Lumpur that reached over 1,000 people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ utilizing a choir of over 100 people made up of people from several churches. God was continuing to work in my life and develop me as worship conference leader and help me revise the curriculum to use in teaching others to be worship leaders.
My contact in Malaysia began to talk with me about coming to his country for a summer to work with churches and help them in their worship. He proposed I take two months, live in Kuala Lumpur, and work with churches in that region, training worship teams, leading conferences, and so on. My church granted me a missions sabbatical, and before I knew it, I was on my way to live in Kuala Lumpur. God stretched me and grew me again that summer.
My work in that part of the world has continued to this day as we have offered many worship conferences, worship concerts, evangelistic outreach events, instrumental training, drama conferences, and more under the worshipASIA banner. I have taken teams into Malaysia, Singapore, and two closed countries seven times in these 12 years.
All those years, God was preparing me for a work He would later call me to in North Carolina – what I do today–working with 4,300 NC Baptist Churches to help them improve their worship. Today I am doing in NC what I have been doing in Asia for many years. It is amazing to see how God prepares us for the tasks He has for us in the future. When we allow Him to use our passions for His glory, He will mold us and shape us.
How about you? What gifts and talents has God given you that can be used in missions around the world. When your passions align in God’s service, you will find great joy and fulfillment. And as you allow God to use you in various missions opportunities, you might be surprised to see how He is molding and shaping you for something ahead in your life.
Little did I know all God had in store for me when I received that call from NC Baptist Men in 2002. I am thankful for all God has done in my life as I have followed His leading.
Here are some of our worshipASIA teams from past years: