“Romans,” answered the little girl to the man who handed her a sack lunch from the tailgate of his truck.
The man was Pastor Ken Warfield, and his church, Fork Baptist Church in Scottsburg, VA, was passing out lunches at an apartment complex on behalf of the county, whose usual distribution team was quarantined due to COVID exposure.
The little girl was answering Warfield’s question about what she read in the Bible he had given her the day before.
“And what did you read in Romans?” Pastor Warfield continued.
“If thou shalt call on the name of the Lord thou shall be saved!” Her answer astonished the few adults standing around.
“Did you do that?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said as she took the lunch. Pastor Warfield prayed for her, and she turned to walk back to her apartment.
Simple, right? Almost too simple. If it really is that simple, why don’t helping ministries lead to more spiritual conversions? From March 2020 until February 2021, approximately 48 people were baptized through the ministry of Fork Baptist Church. Forty of those were upon recent conversions. Many were from connections the church made through various helping ministries and projects.
During his five years as pastor at Fork, Warfield has identified a few keys to seeing the church’s helping ministries flourish and seeing a tangible Gospel impact as a result:
The first key he identifies is prayer. «We need to pray over the people and the ministries,» Pastor Warfield explained, being sure to emphasize people and ministries. Prayer sounds like an obvious step, but it is often overlooked.
Teaching people to do the work of the ministry is the second key. Pastors need to stop trying to do too much of the ministry themselves. «If we do it all, nobody will step up. Be patient. Help people find and use their gift,» he advised.
A third key is to see every helping opportunity as a Gospel-sharing opportunity. «I don’t want to do anything that is just a good work!» Warfield exclaimed.
Finally, his encouragement to fellow pastors and Christians is to be intentional—whether it is reading this article, doing your quiet time, or running a helping ministry, be intentional and don’t just go through the motions.
Pray intentionally. Enlist others intentionally. Include the Gospel intentionally. These are the keys to giving your helping ministries a greater Gospel impact.