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January 22, 2010

Being missions minded

Local church holds missions conference

By Ben Lockridge

blockridge@themeridianstar.com



The earthquake in Haiti has turned a lot of people to those in need, but there are some who still feel like Americans should put forth more effort in aiding those in need.

Members of First Presbyterian Church here in Meridian hope to push others to do just that. The church is currently prepping for a missions conference to motivate and prepare others for missions work all over the world.

"We're trying to recapture our reason for being here as a church," said Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Rhett Payne. "We're here for the people that are here. It's so easy in church to get comfortable and take care of people inside, but it's very important to reach out to those outside of our church walls."

Payne says that they have this conference every two years.

"We have this to remind everyone that we are here for the mission of proclaiming the gospel around the world and not just here in Meridian," Payne said.

While it's a great thing to do missions work overseas, Payne also emphasizes that missions should start where we are now.

"We should reach out to the community. And a lot of churches are trying to do that, but we are trying to do it better than we have at this point," Payne said.

Some of the things that the church is doing differently is taking people on short-term mission trips to give them a taste of what missions is.

"If we were to take someone to Haiti right now with what's going on over there, that person would come back a changed person. The way you look at your world would be very different than it was," Payne explained.

The church started taking people on these quick mission trips a couple of years ago. They have been to Honduras so far.

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