The musical program will begin at 6 p.m. in the church worship center and will be followed by a reception with refreshments in the fellowship hall. Admission is free and the public is invited.
“The musical is a celebration of all missions and will recognize volunteers from previous missions,” said Schantz, associate pastor of music and worship. “It will also honor Chris, Katie, Abigail and Emma Claire Nalls, who are missionaries to Mozambique. The common thread of the musical is that each of us is called to be a missionary, whether as a volunteer or a career missionary.”
Schantz first saw the musical performed last summer at a conference he attended.
“Last August, when our staff was planning for this year, we came up with the idea of a focus on missions,” he said. “We decided to look at missions and ideas to involve our church family. This musical will be one of a series of things we’ve done this year. We knew that the Nalls would be coming home on furlough and we could recognize them at this event.”
Dr. Jimmy Gentry, senior pastor at Tabernacle, said missions have been an important part of the church throughout history.
“We’ve sent missions to Mexico and Panama in the last 15 to 20 years,” he said. “We’ve taken student groups to New Orleans and Mississippi.”
Gentry noted that the title of the musical comes from a biblical passage in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Gentry said the purpose of mission work was stated best by W. O. Carver of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who called it “a proclamation of the good news of the kingdom where it is still news.”
“Baptists historically have a mandate to go out into the world. We do this locally through programs like the Soup Kitchen and Helping Hands, and beyond our borders with student volunteers and with career missionaries like the Nalls in Mozambique,” Gentry said.
The word “mission” doesn’t appear in scriptures, but is taken from a word meaning “to be sent,” found throughout the scriptures.
“Christ wants people to be a blessing,” Gentry said. “It comes from our willingness to go.”
He said Tabernacle has partnerships with three mission groups which send missionaries out into the world: Baptist World Alliance, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Southern Baptist Convention.
The church does many missions on its own, such as taking its music mission of 40 people last year on a trip to Vermont. Schantz said another musical mission is in the planning stages now.
“Volunteer missions go at their own expense,” Gentry said. “They’re supplemented some by the church budget.”
He said the church currently has a volunteer missionary working with Muslims in France and a high school senior who will be going to Kenya through an inter-denominational program.,
The Nalls are career missionaries supported through the cooperative program of the Southern Baptist Convention and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Schantz said missionaries walk a fine line and have to understand the customs and rules of the lands where they’re working. They often aren’t allowed to “preach the gospel.”
However, he said an opening to sharing the word of God is provided when someone asks why you came.
“Once the question is asked, the door is open to explain why you’ve come and share the good news with them,” Schantz said. “Mission work allows us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Before you can tell them about Jesus, you have to show them Jesus.”
He said mission work is very important to carry religion beyond the walls of the church.
“It’s very easy for us to get caught up in the sheltered church culture,” Schantz said. “So we do things like the Soup Kitchen and encourage other people to do them.”
Chris and Katie Nalls are career missionaries working for the International Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. They were appointed in the fall of 2007 and left for Mozambique in July, 2009.
“Katie is the daughter of Daniel and Carol Jackson and grew up in our church,” Gentry said. “They live in Tete, the capital of a province. They have two children, Abigail, 4; and Emma Claire, 18 months, who was born in South Africa. This is the first time they’ve been back here on a stateside assignment. They’ll be living here in the community through February, before they return to Mozambique.”
He said while the Nalls are in Carrollton, they will be resting and visiting with family, but will also be speaking and preaching at various churches.
Mozambique is small country, about the size of Turkey, on the Indian Ocean in the southeastern part of Africa. It was once owned by Portugal and Portuguese is still the main language. Christians make up about 56 percent of the population; Muslims, 18 percent; and 7 percent with many other beliefs.
Sunday’s musical will directed by Schantz. The musical team will include Katy Ray, piano; Charlene Wiggins, keyboards; Glenn Kinard, drums; David Milford, bass guitar; and Kay Moon, percussion. Narrators will be Patti Pitts and Don Conner. The audiovisual crew will include Gary Bullock, Dave Mercier, Matt Barham, Ethan Barham, Gary Soloman and Debbie Mathis.
Choir presentations will include, “He Reigns,” with Schantz as soloist; “Into All the World,” with Renita Folds as soloist; “Use Me,” with Phil Wilkins and Phyllis Head; “We Don’t Fear the Darkness,” “The Cross Before Me,” and “To Hold a Hand,” featuring soloist Lynda Schantz.
The program will end with a recognition of missionary journeyers and a choir finale of “Song for the Nations.” Closing will include a flag processional.