MINDEN – Andy Partington received a little help as he shared the importance of missions.
Holding a puppet, Partington talked with more than 470 youngsters and their adult leaders about saying yes to Jesus.
“When you follow him amazing things happen,” said Partington, who serves as the children’s pastor at First Baptist Church in Minden. “We just have to choose to be obedient.”
Partington was the main speaker during the recent M-JAM, also known as Missions Jamboree.
The day-long event featured Louisiana and international missionaries and was held at two locations – Williams Boulevard Baptist Church in Kenner on March 14 and First Baptist Church in Minden on March 21.
The schedule was the same at both locations and allowed for youngsters in first through sixth grade and their leaders to attend M-JAM at the church closest to where they live. Attendance was 245 at Williams Boulevard Baptist and was 472 at First Baptist Minden
While Partington was the main speaker for the M-JAM in Minden, Maegan Bruce was the main speaker for the event at Williams Boulevard Baptist.
The event used challenging messages by Partington and Bruce, in addition to music by Chance Fussell and friends during the main celebration sessions to tell the missions story, engage those attending in missions and present the Gospel.
The conference theme was Following Jesus and the messages and breakout sessions incorporated as such based on M-JAM’s scripture basis, Mark 8:34 – Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
In his message, Partington reminded the youngsters that God gives others opportunities to obey His commands. When the biblical character Jonah stepped outside of God’s will, a big fish swallowed him.
However, just as God gave Jonah a second chance, He also gives us the same.
By not following God’s will, Christians miss out on three things, Partington said.
They are opportunities God gives us, connecting with others and God’s favor.
“He gives us opportunity to choose how we are going to act with our lives,” Partington told the youngsters. “You have a long life ahead of you.
“Following Jesus can be the scariest part of your life because He’ll lead you out of your comfort zone,” he said. “All you have to do is say yes to Him.”
“This is such an exciting time of year for children from all around the state to gather for one purpose-missions,” said Jess Archer, children/youth mission education strategist for Louisiana Baptists. “Seeing the excitement as children meet IMB missionaries, church planters, and hear about ministries right here in Louisiana makes this event so worthwhile. God is calling young hearts to Himself and we want to join Him at work.”
Next year’s M-Jam is scheduled for March 5 at Florida Boulevard Baptist Church in Baton Rouge and March 12 at Cedar Crest Baptist Church in West Monroe.
M-Jam is a Cooperative Program-funded event sponsored by the Louisiana Baptist Convention Women’s Missions and Ministry.