Junior Jackson: The church needs more outreach activities
ORACABESSA, St Mary:
According to a member of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in St Mary, the development of custom-made ministerial activities that are designed to target an individual's specific needs is essential if Christians are to successfully continue spreading the word of God.
Junior Jackson, who is a member of the Youth Mass Choir at the SDA Church in Oracabessa, St Mary, is confident that the local community would benefit greatly from this type of service but believes too few Christians understand the relevance of such a mission.
Speaking with Family and Religion last week, he said: "If I had one wish, what I would ask is for more individuals in the Church to see it as a necessity to do more outreach programmes on a personal level and to also minister on a more one-to-one basis.
"It's not that the Church doesn't have this as an agenda, but not everybody sees it as a necessity. I just wish everybody would catch the vision because that kind of outreach allows people in society and the community to basically see the church for what it really is about: kindness and trying to do what Jesus did; go out there and meet with people on their level.
"When people see the Church actually cares for their individual needs as how Jesus would have cared for people's needs, I believe they will eventually come to see more of what the Church has to offer, and that's not just from a spiritual perspective, but also from a social perspective."
Jackson, 34, believes that the reluctance of some followers to accept and emulate Jesus' outreach model may stem from the fact that many are still heavily influenced by secular ideologies and principals.
He explained: "I've been a Christian for 15 years, and for me, becoming a Christian wasn't anything social. It was more about trying to follow what the Bible taught.
"I was the type of person who used to party, and that type of thing, but I saw where the Church had something better to offer, Christ, and I needed something better at the time, so when it was introduced to me, I jumped on it, and the rest is history.
"But for many people who are actually in the Church, perhaps 60 per cent of them came in as a result of baptism, and perhaps the way society moulded their minds is still a part of their psyche and how they think.
"Because of this, it actually takes a while to forget what society would have taught them and learn what the Church has to teach, and it's only when that happens that you will actually see the vision. I just wish that process would take place more speedily."