By Peter Meier | June 15, 2019
We spent last weekend with friends in Minnesota’s Lake Country. We have a deal. I preach at Breezy Point Chapel on Sunday, and they provide us with a wonderful weekend of relaxation, conversation, boating, biking, and delicious meals at their beautiful home on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes.
Jim and Bobbie have a ministry passion. In their retirement, they have become great advocates for and partners in A Christian Ministry in the National Parks (ACMNP). What a deal! They get to spend three winter months in the US Virgin Islands with an ACMNP ministry team who shares Jesus where they live, work, and serve. Not bad for a retirement gig!
Nearly everyone could do this, or something like it. ACMNP is one way, a wonderful way to live and work at a seasonal job which pays you, while you get to share your faith through relational ministry.
I was impressed with what I learned. ACMNP provides ministry and leadership development opportunities for individuals who are called to live, work, and serve in a national or state park. Ministry Team members make a positive impact on their park community through relational ministry, care for creation, and by providing worship for vacationers. ACMNP is represented in over 40 parks in the United States and Canada, and works to “embody and extend the ministry of Jesus Christ through worship, service, and development of Christian Leaders.”
Of course, this is not the only way to do ministry where you live, work, and serve. I’ve written about being Summertime Missionaries in the past. You can find that post here. However, something like ACMNP actually provides you with a full-time seasonal job working in the hospitality industry earning an income while engaging in relational ministry with your peers! It makes such good sense, doesn’t it?
This is possible to do in many summer jobs. Some spend their summers working at Christian camps or programs run by Christian schools and churches. If you want to enjoy the National Parks, and want to do ministry – here you go! It’s a great opportunity for students preparing for Christian ministries. This type of ministry also has a global reach, as 25-35% of seasonal park employees are internationals.
Vacationers can get in on it too. If you’re planning a trip to one of our stunning National Parks or a State Park or Forest this summer, consider attending an ACMNP worship service with your family. Spend some time after the service talking with and ministering to the volunteers who lead the service. Take them out for lunch and listen to their stories. You’ll all be blessed.
This is one of many ways for followers of Jesus to engage with others, to share Jesus’ love and Gospel message where we live, work, and play. How about you? What special or unique ways might you do that this summer? Who can you invite to join you?
Mission Moments is the e-newsletter sent by the Center for U.S. Missions to bring information and encouragement to all who desire to share God's great love in Jesus Christ with others. Permission is given to copy this article for distribution within your congregation or organization. Please credit the author and the Center for United States Missions. For more information contact the Center at (952)-221-0362, or visit our website: www.c4usm.org
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