Every turning point has a starting point.
In the resources provided to promote the 2023 Dixie Jackson (DJ) Arkansas Missions Offering are four stories centered around pivotal turning points. At the genesis of each one is a faithful God who uses His faithful people to turn lives around.
“When you give to the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering the cooperative efforts of Arkansas Baptists to impact lostness in our state are multiplied exponentially,” said Dr. Sam Roberts, who serves as the Missions Team leader for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC).
Last year, Arkansas Baptists gave $1.824 million to state missions, funding efforts like Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief, Connect Missions Weekend, Prison Initiative and Christian Women’s Job Corps. These are the four ministries highlighted in the 2023 Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering materials, which are available here. They represent four lives that were changed for the better and are only a fraction of the missional work taking place.
In promotion of the annual offering and week of prayer, a cohesive theme is utilized to highlight what God is doing statewide.
“This year, we wanted to focus on those who have been directly impacted by the Dixie Jackson ministries. We wanted to show how these ministries help people encounter Jesus and how this encounter can change the direction of their lives,” said Travis McCormick, a member of the ABSC Missions Team, who also serves as DJ Project Coordinator.
With this goal, the team selected “Turning Points” as a theme.
“The story of the woman at the well was a perfect fit to illustrate this,” McCormick said. “The woman’s experience with Jesus was a ‘turning point’ so much so that she left her water jar, the very reason she had come to the well in the first place and went back to town to tell everyone about Jesus.”
Thus, DJ Lesson Plans and other resources centered around John 4:13-14, 28-29 – “Jesus said, ‘Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water. I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.’…Then the woman left her water jar, went into town and told the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”
Though this sacred encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well took place centuries ago, Jesus is still meeting people in the same way. He finds hearts searching for fulfillment in all the wrong things and changes them for the better. He stands at a crossroads and prompts those who believe in Him to turn the other way, the right way.
Arkansas Baptists have played a part in countless of these turning points thanks to their giving.
“Missionary C.T. Studd said, ‘The light that shines farthest shines brightest nearest home.’ Arkansas is our home. Lostness in Arkansas is not only our responsibility, but an ever-present opportunity to make a lasting Kingdom impact. The greater the cooperation among Arkansas Baptists, the greater the impact on lostness in our state. Together, we can make a substantial Kingdom impact in Arkansas,” Roberts said.
Arkansas Baptist have done this through record giving the last several years.
Next week, Arkansas Baptists are invited to pray and give during the annual Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering & Week of Prayer. From Sept. 10-17, Arkansas Baptists will receive daily emails with prayer prompts for DJ ministries.
Churches are also encouraged to share this year’s DJ stories with their congregations, by playing one or more of the provided DJ videos on Sunday morning.
“I hope and pray that you will take time to watch the videos and hear their stories. Each story is powerful as you get to personally hear from each person involved as they share how God used your gifts to Dixie Jackson to help them encounter Jesus and to bring about turning points in their lives,” McCormick said.
These videos are available for download at absc.org/dj, where Arkansas Baptists can also sign up for the DJ Week of Prayer emails and learn more about how God is using this offering to transform lives.
“I have seen first-hand the power of cooperative missions as Arkansas Baptists work together to reach our state for Jesus. There are so many good things happening and yet many people still don’t participate,” McCormick said. “My goal is to help more people know about the needs as well as the opportunities available to meet those needs.”
Every dollar given to the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering helps resource and mobilize Arkansas Baptists to serve and reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Thank you, Arkansas Baptists, for your faithful giving,” McCormick said. “Thank you for praying and for going. Please join us in getting the word out and sharing with your friends and your church family all that God is doing and how they can get involved.”