Nathan Gunter, Lansing First Southern Baptist Church pastor, said following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ isn't merely a Sunday exercise — it's a way of life.

Nathan Gunter, Lansing First Southern Baptist Church pastor, said following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ isn't merely a Sunday exercise — it's a way of life.
The church's upcoming campaign, Engage 2014, is designed to reinforce Christ's teachings and make a positive contribution to the community.
The pastor tells the Leavenworth Times more in this Q5.

1. Nathan, what is Engage 2014 and why did Lansing First Southern Baptist Church decide to begin this program?
"Engage 2014 is a week-long emphasis designed for our congregation to live out our Christian faith by serving in the community and building real relationships with our neighbors. We recognize that Jesus clearly commanded us as his followers to 'go' to our neighbors, both to share the news that He is Lord and to demonstrate the difference He has made in each of our lives. Engage is a unique opportunity for us to carry this message to our own community."

2. Can you describe the events planned for the week?
"Engage has three major parts to it: 1. a Vacation Bible School that will be hosted at our church in the evenings from Sunday, July 27 to Thursday, July 31; 2. a two-day mission and service project blitz on Aug. 1-2 to be carried out at various locations around Lansing and Leavenworth; and 3. a Community Celebration on Saturday evening, Aug. 2, at our church that features live music, great food, and a relaxed atmosphere to bring your family and meet our church family."

3. The array of events offer many valuable services for community members. How did the church decide on these particular services?
"Vacation Bible School and Community Celebration have been staple events for our church for several years, but they have always been separate events. This year, we decided to bring them together and mix in the service projects to help us really emphasize our intention to be a part of the city we live in and to get to know our neighbors in a meaningful way.
"The mission projects have been an especially exciting part of the planning process, as we have had several different members suggest ideas that are specifically designed to serve people in a practical way in the places they live, shop, and play every day."

4. How many members of the church will be offering helping hands during Engage 2014 and are participants excited about being able to help out their fellow community members?
"We have had an amazing response from our church members getting on board with this ministry already. We have over 50 different volunteers signed up to serve in various roles, including very young children up to our most seasoned adults.
"We will have our teams out and around the city in blue shirts all day on Friday and Saturday, and I have no doubt that anyone who drops by to see us will find an enthusiastic bunch of people."

5. What do you hope that children who attend the church will learn from this generous, humanitarian week of giving?
"Our children and youth are true spark plugs in our church. They bring a tremendous level of joy and energy to everything they do, so I believe that the adults will be learning as much from them as they do from us.
"But, our hope is that our children will see clearly that following Jesus is not just a Sunday morning activity. He changes everything about who we are every day, and we want them to see that clearly in the lives of our whole church family. At the same time, we want to instill an others-focused attitude in everyone in our church, both adults and children. Engage 2014 is a first great step for us to begin looking outside of ourselves to serve and to love in the place God has planted us."