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10-year-old advances SBC ministry day

NASHVILLE (BP) — Zak McCullar was 9 years old when he knocked on a stranger’s door in Black Mountain, N.C., eager to tell her about Jesus.

“I said we’re from Walker County in Alabama and we’re with Oteen Baptist Church and we want to invite you to church, and if there’s any questions ask me.”

The trip was just a month after McCullar had stood among 9,000 messengers and guests at the Southern Baptist Convention 2018 Annual Meeting in Dallas, reading his motion to add a Children’s Ministry Day to the SBC official calendar of events.

With his motion referred to the SBC Executive Committee for consideration, McCullar promoted his cause to the EC during its closing plenary session Tuesday (Feb. 19) in Nashville.

“I think children’s ministry workers should be thanked by this day,” said McCullar, now 10. “And I want children to be recognized for the work we do to share Christ, even though we are young.”

McCullar, a member of First Baptist Church in Carbon Hill, Ala., told the EC of his family mission trip to Black Mountain, N.C., organized through the Walker Baptist Association in Jasper, Ala. On mission, he helped Oteen Baptist Church in Asheville evangelize nearby neighborhoods.

“Even though we kids could have enjoyed VBS (Vacation Bible School) at the church,” McCullar said, “instead most of us children went visiting the homes of Asheville to invite people to church. One of the church members who is 9 years old even chased down joggers to invite them to church. I hope you will pass my motion.”

The EC answered McCullar’s request, voting to recommend to 2019 SBC messengers in Birmingham, Ala., the addition of Children’s Ministry Day to the SBC calendar annually on the third Sunday in July through 2023.

McCullar traveled to Nashville with his parents, pastor Scott and Suzanne McCullar, and siblings Mackenzie and Nik.

Having accepted Christ at age 5, and having been baptized on Easter Sunday in 2016, the young McCullar expressed to Baptist Press a zeal for Jesus.

“He’s a very important part of my life,” he said. “Every time there’s an opportunity for me to go to church I take it.”

The 2018 mission trip was his first.

“I loved visiting the houses,” he said of the mission trip. “If they were home, we would invite them to church and try to tell them about the Gospel.”

Everyone should know Jesus, Zak told BP.

“Jesus died for you on the cross, and He loves you, and He wants you to learn more about Him, and He wants you to be with Him someday in heaven,” is how Zak shares the Gospel. “If they don’t know about Christ, how are they going to go to church and go to heaven? And how are they going to help tell other people about Christ?”

While he’s a pastor’s son, his father Scott said the move to add a children’s ministry day to the SBC calendar was all Zak’s idea. A homeschooled fifth grader, Zak himself wrote the 2018 motion and the speech he delivered in Nashville.

Last June in Dallas, Zak “looked at the (2018) Book of Reports, and he was looking through it, studying it. And he got to the calendar of activities,” pastor McCullar recounted to BP, “and he said Daddy there’s no Children’s Ministry Day. I said sure there is. And he said, ‘Daddy, there’s not one.'”

Zak asked whether he could make a motion to add the date to the calendar. His parents helped him research how motions are submitted. Zak filled out the form, got in line and waited his turn.

“He got in line and I just bit my fingernails,” his father said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen. But he did fantastic. But it was all him…. We just let him do it.”

Zak hopes the calendar addition will not only encourage youth ministry leaders, but also inspire children to share the Gospel.

“I would like them to know,” Zak told BP, “you’re never too young to be an evangelist.”