By Karen Pearce, Regional Reporter
SHREVEPORT – When Keith Payne left Broadmoor Baptist Church (BBC) to pastor his own congregation three-and-a-half years ago, he had a healthy model of church to follow.
But when he returned last year to become BBC’s part-time missions pastor, something dramatic had shifted.
In Pastor Chuck Pourciau’s words, they had become missionaries.
“When I came back it was just exploding – I was blown away at everything they were doing,” Payne said. “I just had no idea that there were so many places where we had missionaries and where we were getting involved. It had doubled, it seemed, since I had left three years before.”
In fact, it had more than doubled. They went from having around 200 people participating in part-time mission trips, to well over 500 as well as multiple local and regional mission partnerships. What happened?
“We used to call it Sunday school but realized that didn’t communicate to the modern mind what all it was – it communicated something that only happened on Sunday and something that’s school.” Pourciau said. “We finally just made up a word – B-groups. That’s the first letter of our churches name and what we’re saying is it helps you believe, belong and become.”
The first priority of every B-group when they initiate contact with a person is to see if they know the Lord – believe.
The second priority is to make sure they belong to small group in order to connect with other brothers and sisters in Christ, have accountability, and to grow in knowledge and in the Lord. The third thing is to become missionaries together.
“I think that’s a good strategy because those are the ones you’re connected with anyway,” Payne said. “Those are the people you’re living your life with and you’re already friends, already engaged with each other and missions is just another part of walking through life together as a faith family.”
It not only brings groups together but families. Pourciau is a trustee for the International Mission Board and realizing how many missionary kids (MKs) grow up and pursue missions as their calling inspired him. The church encourages families to go together on mission trips.
Last year one B-group took 75 people, from age seven to adult to New Orleans. They evangelized, knocked on doors, worked at festivals, did whatever was needed to share the Gospel.
One 7-year-old girl came back saying she preferred the trip to Disney World because “Disney is all about me, but New Orleans was all about Jesus,” Pourciau recounted.
“We’ve got children who are growing up doing this now and I’m hoping this model will have the same kind of impact in increasing the number of international and full-time missionaries coming from our church, because they grow up seeing it as normal,” he said.
There are 15-20 B-groups of all sizes and ages – from children to senior adults.
No one is exempt from the excitement or the responsibility to be involved.
It was the senior adults that really solidified this ministry approach a few years ago when they connected with missionaries in Lithuania and took a mission trip to help them.
Over the course of the trip one woman would send back updates to the staff and sign it with her name. Toward the end of the week she started signing them “your fellow missionaries.”
“When they got back I saw members of this church for longer than I’ve been alive completely transformed and have remained so because of the fact that they now see themselves as missionaries.” Pourciau said.
B-groups took off from there.
Now B-groups partner internationally with a dozen overseas missionaries, spanning five continents; regionally with New Orleans and Houston; and locally through seven venues that help students, immigrants, low-income families and those in crisis.
Each group is trained to undertake the partnerships they choose and taught how to share the Gospel effectively.
“We are training missionaries,” Pourciau said. “We try to make everything we do push towards enabling all our people to take part in the Great Commission at home and abroad. “
Pourciau has led the way in this effort, but all of the ministers and staff share his passion.
“What you see is that all of the ministers have a missions heart and a missions mind – it is just ingrained in the staff,” Payne said. “They all want to use their staff positions as a missionary position in what their doing.”
And Pourciau said that this BBC regeneration is not something that will fade away.
“I don’t see it as a wave anymore. Waves are generated my man and human motivation,” he said. “I see this as a biblical model that is perpetuated and the reason it’s working is because it’s biblical and that’s why it’s going to keep working until the Lord takes us home.”
To find out more about Broadmoor Baptist Church or to get involved in a B-group, visit their website at Broadmoor.tv