FirstLife Blog

E-Doers: Life on Mission

Posted by Rachel Bell on

 

“Living your life on mission,” is a frequently used concept in Christian communities. What does it actually mean to live a missional life? Maybe hearing “missional life” makes you think of street evangelists. Or, maybe it makes you think of people who lean over and tell you the Gospel in the Starbucks line.

While both of those approaches to the missional life are good and merited in their own time, there is a group at First Baptist that practices another approach.

The E-Doers, a subset of Women on Mission (WOM), began about 15 years ago as a way to involve women – who didn’t want to or couldn’t come to meetings in person, but had access to email – in mission opportunities. Dianne Forry, who heads up most of WOM’s mission projects, simply emails everyone about each new opportunity. Most of their projects involve food, so the women then cook or bake on their own time, and bring the food into church on Sundays. No meetings necessary. Dianne then distributes the food to their respective places and projects.

“The E-Doers is just another way to involve people in a missions lifestyle,” says Dianne. “It helps you think about how you want to spend your time and your money and it gives you opportunities you might not have otherwise had to be involved in ministries.”

Their main projects include providing peanut butter for our Fish Food Pantry – a church-wide opportunity – baking cookies for guests at the Ronald McDonald house, delivering food through Mobile Meals, and providing dinner for Christian Women’s Job Core a Hand Up for Women.

Specifically, Dianne and her husband Gary, do a Mobile Meals route every third Thursday of the month. Mobile Meals is a volunteer-driven program that makes and delivers meals to people who are alone during the day – most of which have mobility issues or dementia. By extending a meal to a lonely person, Mobile Meals volunteers not only spread joy, but also ensure the clients’ safety.

Volunteer Coordinator Shelly Woodrick, attests to the importance of the volunteers in making the ministry work.

“The program is built for people who want to stay in their homes as long as they can,” she says. “If [the volunteers] don’t see them or get an answer [at the door], they call us and we start looking for them. Often times we find somebody has fallen, and sometimes it’s even a bit more serious than that. But the bottom line is, the volunteers are what make this ministry work.”

And, there are a lot of volunteers – 100 a day to be exact – who show up to go on 68 different meal routes throughout Knoxville and Knox County. Our E-Doers are just a few of many who take a small amount of time to make a big difference.

Dianne has been doing her Mobile Meals route for years and has built relationships with the clients.

“They know us by face and name,” she says. “And they know we’re going to be there within the month’s time. Very often, we invite the children in Mission Friends to participate. We’ll have them make holiday cards on Wednesday nights and sometimes covers for tin can vases that we fill with flowers and bring the clients. The people just love that.”

A simple meal can make a difference, as is seen in another E-Doers project – providing dinner once a month for Christian Women’s Job Core a Hand Up for Women. CWJC is a nonprofit organization that gives women who have been victims of circumstance or have made bad choices a second chance at a stable and successful life. Through classes and constant support, they help women get back on their feet.

Their weekly classes normally start around 5 pm, so different women from the E-Doers cook and bake different parts of the meal each month. Georgia Carter, who fondly refers to herself as the “dessert lady” has been consistently providing the dessert for a number of years. She enjoys working with the E-Doers because she and her husband, Marion, live in Maryville, so it’s convenient to not have to come in during the week for an extra meeting. She just checks her email and gets ideas on what do to.

“What I really enjoy doing in the morning is getting in the kitchen and baking, so I always have too many desserts around,” says Georgia. “I decided I will just have one job to do every month, and this is just another opportunity for me to do something that maybe brightens the day for a lot of people that are struggling.”

As you can see, the E-Doers take a very simple approach at living a mission lifestyle. Dianne sums it up concisely.

“What does a mission lifestyle look like? When you’re out and about, you keep your eyes and ears open to the needs in the community. If you find out about something you think you could participate in as an individual or within your church family, take the opportunity to share it.”

It can’t get much simpler than that. A missional life is keeping your eyes open to the needs of others

around you and filling those needs whenever possible. A missional lifestyle is being a people of faith, in the city, for the city.

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If you would like to know more about how to live a missional lifestyle, check out our service opportunities page. We have lots of ways for you to use your gifts and talents on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to impact this city for Christ. Or, send Arthur Clayton, the Mission Pastor, an email. He’d be glad to connect you to the right place.

 

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