Santa Fe River Baptist Association
Association Ministries Local Ministries Our Churches Are Doing through Our Association Vicki Lawrence, Church and Community Ministries Director Alachua County Fair Ministry Each year we host a booth at the Alachua County Fair to share the gospel and to make the community aware of our member churches. Volunteers from our churches use a variety of ways to share Christ. We also minister to fair workers who are away from home and family for most of the year. We have provided free haircuts, Bible studies, household items and toiletries they requested, Bibles, devotional books, and Sunday morning worship services. Mobile Dental Clinic One week each year we host the Florida Baptist Convention's Mobile Dental Clinic. Volunteer dentists from the community and support personnel from our churches staff the clinic. About fifty patients are treated annually at a savings to them of at least $7500! In addition to these ministries, we inform our churches about local needs, help them work together in ministry, and provide ministry training.
Santa Fe River Baptist Association   Helping churches become effective partners with God for his Kingdom
Serving North Central Florida Since 1857
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Our Churches’ Ministries Ministries Our Churches Are Doing in Our Community Our Survey of Church Ministries From February to August of 2012 Vicki Lawrence, our Church and Community Ministries Director, and Wayne Harvey, our Director of Missions, visited each of our pastors to interview them and learn what their churches are doing in local ministry. We wanted this information because it helps us: Be aware of the different ways our churches are ministering locally. Plan future ministry training events. We usually conduct at least two such events a year, focusing on different types of ministry and providing speakers who are involved in ministry. This information helps us learn which types of ministry are most popular and the interviews with our pastors reveal their interests in future types of ministry areas in which they might become involved. Get churches together that are doing similar kinds of ministry. In the past few years Vicki has helped several churches create ministry networks, allowing them to complement one another and to do more together than they could do alone. Know what resources our churches need to do some forms of ministry and to provide some of those resources. Help some churches to become involved in new forms of ministry they haven't tried. Several of our churches are doing ministries now that they have never done before because Vicki was aware of people needs, made those churches aware of them, and the churches responded by becoming involved in ministry.

Why Do Christians Minister to People Who Can’t Repay Them?

One question that ministering Christians often hear is, “Why are you doing this?” When Christians offer benevolence, teach someone how to read, provide medical care, tutor a child, or help someone find a job and receive no payment for their services, their ministry seems odd to those unfamiliar with their motivation. Our motivation is simple and clear: To become more like Jesus. When you read about Jesus in the gospels, you see him healing the sick and  blind, feeding thousands of hungry people, and giving meaning to people who were lost and ungrounded. He never asked for compensation but, instead, gave freely of himself, even to strangers. When he ministered to people, he also made a spiritual statement by saying, “Your sins are forgiven” or Come, follow me.” Jesus’ ministry always had a spiritual element. When he healed or blessed someone, he also appealed for that person to follow him and come closer to personal fellowship with God through him. He not only provided a model for ministry but taught us how and to whom we must minister and why. In Matthew 25, Jesus said, “35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” When his followers asked him how they had so ministered to him, he replied, “40 Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” So, when Christians minister to people, even strangers, two things happen: (1) those to whom we minister become our “brothers and sisters” because they are Jesus’ “brothers and sisters” and (2) we minister to Christ. To be partners in ministry with Christ is sufficient reward in itself, making any physical or monetary compensation trivial in comparison. We minister in order to please God and to bless people for his glory. Ministry with God as our partner is an end in itself. Even though the people to whom we minister might never visit our churches, we trust that God will bless our ministry and bring the spiritual results he seeks in bringing people into personal fellowship with him. May he be glorified through our ministry!
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