August 18, 1999

Offering helps Texas laypeople
discover God's calling

___By Ken Camp
___Texas Baptist Communications
___KARNACK--Through the "LifeCall" process, nearly one-third of the folks attending Karnack Baptist Church discovered where God had been calling them.
___Pastor Layton Rogers challenged his church, which averages about 50 in attendance, to go through an inductive Bible study designed to help each person discover his or her God-given passion for ministry.
___Fifteen members of the rural East Texas congregation stayed after Sunday evening worship services to complete the six-week study, the first step in the LifeCall journey.
___The church ministries department of the Baptist General Convention of Texas developed LifeCall to help laity discover their calling, equip them for service, nurture them togethersmand enable them to share their faith through life-touching ministries.
___Texas Baptists support the LifeCall journey through their gifts to the Mary Hill Davis Offering for Texas Missions.
___"I'm sold on it. The thing I like is that this isn't something else added on. I just consider it to be something we should be doing as a church anyway," Rogers said.
___In the case of Karnack Baptist Church, LifeCall helped laity not only discover new ministry opportunities, but also gain new enthusiasm for existing ministries. Church members started seeing these ministries as callings from God rather than as burdensome duties.
___"It opened avenues for restored commitment," Rogers said.
___One example was Soda Lake Baptist Association's resort ministry to campers at nearby Caddo Lake State Park.
___Karnack Baptist Church already was coordinating Sunday morning worship services at an outdoor amphitheater near the canoe rental shop at Caddo Lake and supplying some materials for the associational project.
___But after LifeCall, some members found a renewed sense of purpose in the resort ministry. They started exploring ways to expand Saturday evening visitation at the campgrounds and develop new outreach opportunities at the park.
___Several students at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall who attend Karnack Baptist joined in the LifeCall journey. Some began making plans to expand a modest afternoon tutoring ministry for elementary and high school students when school starts again.
___One unexpected development of LifeCall was that Karnack Baptist Church licensed two ETBU students to ministry.
___"They had been looking for their vocational calling," Rogers said. "This helped them find their niche."


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