Moved by Compassion: A Heart for World Missions
What is Impact?
Impact is service.
Impact is fun.
Impact changes lives.
Four years, four cities, 1,425 volunteers, thousands of lives affected, 47 salvation decisions...
A Greater Impact
by Ken Akers
Free Will Baptists made history in Birmingham, Alabama, July 15, 2006, when more than 400 people from eight states braved 100-degree temperatures and sweltering humidity to turn the focus of the annual Free Will Baptist convention outward.
Excitement grew as news about the one-day evangelistic campaign dubbed “Impact Birmingham” trickled back to the convention. “I just think it is amazing to see Free Will Baptists come together for something like this!” said participant Tina Brewer. “No matter what happens during the rest of the convention, we will always remember Birmingham for what happened today!”
As the Impact program nears its fifth year, Tina’s statement has proven to be prophetic. From Birmingham to Little Rock (AR) and Charleston (WV) to Cincinnati (OH), Impact has left its mark on each convention city.
In four years, 1,425 volunteers have reached out to these cities through door-to-door evangelism and kindness evangelism (children’s fun fairs, neighborhood block parties, painting inner-city housing, feeding the hungry, and much more). Others carried out service projects for local churches by painting, pressure washing, clearing brush, cleaning carpets, and planting flowerbeds. In 2007, a team in Arkansas even built a storage barn in one day!
Mike Cox, pastor of the Forestdale FWB Church in Birmingham, summed up the effects of Impact on his church. “We are very grateful for this program. It was a rare opportunity to have nearly 200 workers do more in six hours than our church could do in months. They accomplished more than I dreamed.”
Yet with all that Impact has accomplished, one statistic stands above all others. In four years, 47 people have accepted Christ as Savior!
As the convention turns its attention toward Oklahoma City in 2010, a significant change will affect Impact. Although Master’s Men has always worked hand in hand with the program, this year—for the first time—the department will organize and coordinate the day from start to finish.
“We are excited about the opportunity, and we invite everyone to join us as we work together to impact the people of Oklahoma City,” said Ken Akers, Master’s Men director. “This is a great opportunity for families to minister together before convention activities get too busy.”
Starting at 9:00 a.m., July 17, volunteers for Impact OKC will partner with local churches to canvass nearby neighborhoods, sharing the gospel and inviting people to visit. In addition, a variety of service projects will be available.
About the Writer: Ken Akers is the director of Free Will Baptist Master's Men. Learn more about Impact OKC at www.fwbmastersmen.org.