One of the ways The Gideons International aims to win others to Jesus Christ is through sharing copies of God’s Word. Why? Because Gideons and their wives (called Auxiliary) know that God uses the living words contained in Scripture to bring people to the most significant realization of all time—Jesus Christ is the answer. Since 1908, God has opened doors for this Association to get free copies of His Word into people’s hands.
Honor the Savior By Sharing His Story
Birthday for Jesus, typically embraced at Christmastime, is a ministry opportunity that gives people a simple and fun way to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and provide for the sending of God’s Word across the globe. It’s a joy to come alongside local churches and experience the true gift of Christmas—the hope and eternal glory we have through the birth of Christ. This month, we are celebrating the gifts given through the 2020 Birthday for Jesus season, which will provide more than 73,000 Scriptures.
One church in middle Tennessee—First Baptist Church, Hendersonville—enthusiastically embraces this effort annually. Last year was the congregation’s third time to participate. Forming from an already strong partnership with The Gideons, the church’s senior pastor Dr. Bruce Chesser has long admired the work of The Gideons. He shares:
“I learned to love the Bible as a child. I learned it from Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Royal Ambassadors, church camp, and a myriad of other places. But the number one place where I learned to love the Bible was from my father, who was a Gideon. He believed that if we could get God’s Word into the hands of lost people, they would come to faith in Jesus Christ, and their lives would be better on the earth and for all eternity. From my earliest days as a pastor, I welcomed Gideons sharing in my congregation to keep our people informed and challenged to provide Bibles worldwide. I have led churches to stop purchasing flowers for funerals and, instead, make a contribution that will never fade away with the purchase of a Bible through a GideonCard. When the idea came along to have an emphasis at Christmas around the concept of a “Birthday for Jesus,” I was all for it. I am thankful that our church can focus on getting God’s Word into the hands of men, women, boys, and girls through the work of The Gideons International.”
For years, the congregation has hosted various Gideon meetings and functions. Twenty-six church members are Gideons and love the chance to promote Birthday for Jesus. But it is more than that, as this ministry opportunity is personal for many congregants. It’s endorsed in the church bulletin and announced before every worship service in December as a chance to donate a Bible in memory or in honor of someone that has been meaningful in their life. Cary, a local Gideon and the church’s primary contact for the program, says, “When I first heard of Birthday for Jesus as a Gideon, I immediately thought, ‘What a powerful way to honor my wife’s and my parents by sending God’s Word to someone who does not yet know Jesus.’ That was three years ago, and I praise God every day for the chance to help change lives for eternity! This is a ministry I’ll pray for, give to, and support for the rest of my life.’” Another church member named Gordan believes, “There is no better way during the giving season to honor your family or friends by spreading God’s Word around His World.”
“This is a ministry I’ll pray for, give to, and support for the rest of my life.” —Cary
Other church members like David and Judy know it is really about making a global Kingdom impact. They shared, “It was a privilege to be able to gift donations to Birthday for Jesus in honor of the ones we love. That in itself was special to us, but it helped my husband and me in taking the Word of God to many others across the nation and around the world.” Steve, another Gideon in the congregation, knows this special event also reaches across language barriers. “It brings me joy to help send the Word of God to people around the world in honor and memory of my family members. It excites me to know that when Scriptures go to individuals in other countries they will receive God’s Word in their own language.”
Partnering with Other Congregations for More Impact
Gina, an administrative assistant at the church, also loves the vision and purpose behind these efforts. “Offering our church family the opportunity to give the best gift possible, God’s Word, as a way to honor or remember loved ones is simply a no-brainer. The Gideons makes it easy and a blessing for everyone.”
“Offering our church family the opportunity to give the best gift possible, God’s Word, as a way to honor or remember loved ones is simply a no-brainer. The Gideons makes it easy and a blessing for everyone.” —Gina
In their first year of participating in Birthday for Jesus, the church congregation raised $9,000 for Scriptures. The next year, they raised $17,000. In late 2020, First Baptist Hendersonville joined efforts with six other local congregations and collectively raised over $34,000 for Scriptures to be sent worldwide. This total represents 6,976 Bibles or 27,904 Testaments that will go out all over the world.
You can make an eternal impact right now through Birthday for Jesus—simply visit BirthdayForJesus.org. To view a video which includes more success stories from last year’s Birthday for Jesus efforts, click HERE.
In the end, it’s all about the Jesus. As church member Randle puts it, “While churches and missionaries work faithfully to spread the Good News to those around them, God uses The Gideons to touch so many around the world through Birthday for Jesus.”