By Mitch Green
Country Roads Baptist Church hosted the Kids Zone of the 2017 Steel on Wheels Car, Bike and Tractor Show in Lenox Iowa on August 12th. We provided pre-cut pinewood derby cars for each kid that signed up. The kids decorated their cars using Sharpies and then the children get to vote for Best of Show for their designs. Aat 1:30 PM, we raced the cars using the Boy Scouts’ track. Trophies were awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for speed, and Best of Show and two Honorable Mentions for design. What a great way to hang out, love on kids and sow the gospel in their hearts as we talk about winning the greatest prize of all – faith in Jesus. This year we had 59 kids design and race cars!
By Pastor Noel Gandy
In April, we celebrated one year of moving to Iowa. The first year of ministry here has been a whirlwind! We arrived in Iowa on April 24, 2016 and the wheels have been turning ever since. It has been with the wonderful help and support from many individuals, churches and our home association that the tasks the Lord has charged us with have been accomplished.
I’m thankful that we surrendered to the call to plant Christ Point Baptist Church here in Shenandoah. In studying Jonah, I have realized that God’s purpose was accomplished through Jonah in spite of him running from the Lord. I am thankful that it didn’t take being swallowed by a whale to get us to Iowa! This has truly been one of the best years of my life. Seeing God move in a supernatural way is a joy that cannot be explained!
Many know I injured my back in April. Through physical therapy, medication, and prayer I am almost fully recovered. Thank you to those who spent time praying for me. I’d also like to thank my parents for making the 1800 mile round trip to help my family while I was out of commission.
We celebrated our first Easter Sunday at Christ Point in April with 67 in attendance. It was an amazing service, one of the best I have ever attended!
In March and April, we began planning for summer outreach/missions. We worked with the town of Farragut to be allowed to share the Gospel there, so we placed a team from Calvary Baptist Church in Waynesboro, MS there to go door to door and have a family picnic in the park. Many more tasks are lined up to take place this summer as July and August are full of teams traveling to Shen to minister. These teams are: FBC Runnelstown, Evergreen Baptist Church, Liberty Baptist Church Waynesboro, Trinity First Baptist Church Beat Four, and Miller County Baptist Association Missouri. Some of the projects these teams will be participating in are: church building improvements and maintenance, Independence Day outreach, and Vacation Bible School.
During the spring, our church family studied Ephesians 6 and the Armor of God. We felt God was leading our church to offer this study to children. On May 24th, we began Kids Crusade: The Armor of God. For six weeks on Wednesday nights, we feed the children dinner, and have a service dedicated just to them including music, skits, funny videos, games, a lesson on a piece of the armor, and small group time. We average 25 children a week with this week being our last.
Would you please help us pray for our outreach opportunities on July 4th? We will be in the town parade promoting VBS, and we will be involved in many community events that day in hopes to share about Christ Point and the Gospel.
Thank you and until next time.
“For we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20
By Ryan Jorgenson, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel
God has done great work at Harvest Bible Chapel in the Grimes, IA area July 19-23 as they held their new VBS version called High Five. They saw attendance from last year nearly double with 110 kids attending and a record 54 adults and 6 teenagers volunteer! $786 was raised by the kids to send 2 Iowa youth to FCA Camp later this summer as a part of the week’s endeavors. Most importantly, 6 children made decisions to follow Jesus Christ for the first time!
Drawing local Dallas Center-Grimes High School football and soccer coaches as well as a former professional football player to help provide excellent coaching, the camp offered electives kids could choose from during the week: football, soccer, basketball, music and cooking. Harvest prays the children who came to Christ would grow deeper in their reconciled relationship with Jesus, believing kids’ faith would grow stronger than before and families of kids who attended who are considering spiritual matters will attend church services and God meet them where they’re at.
To learn more about Harvest Bible Chapel, visit harvestdesmoines.org
1. Actively Seeking the lost
2. Praying ceaselessly for those that are lost
3. Being careful with our words
4. Being BOLD
5. Being intentional with our connections
6. Using our time to serve
7. Finding the TRUE God of the Bible (not one created in our own image)
8. Being discipled by someone who is wise and grounded in the faith
9. Finding our own value in God
10. Loving EVERYONE with Gods love
11. Guarding our own hearts against our own emotions
12. Living for eternity (the moment we stop living for eternity, is the moment where we stop caring where people will spend it)
13. Living outside our comfort zones
By Jenny Calsyn, The Salt Company Coordinator, Cedar Rapids
With having students from 4 different colleges, one the most interesting things to work around is 4 different spring breaks. The four schools span over 3 weeks in March for spring break. It was awesome to see how our ministry wasn’t impacted too much by the breaks being spread out. When planning a spring break trip, we have to choose dates for one of the schools and hope for students from other schools that are still able to join.
We went through the Engage Global program in Minneapolis this month. Students from Kirkwood and Cornell were able to join as it aligned with their spring break. We had 7 students join us! We were excited about this for our first trip. Six of the students were guys and there was one girl. It has been fun to see guys step up this year in lots of areas on the ministry. We had the chance to get to know these students a lot better while also process what they were learning. The organization is awesome as they lead us through what God’s heart is for all people and then give us opportunities to learn about other cultures and even visit their communities and places of worship. It’s a very eye-opening experience.
This Spring, a Salt student brought a Muslim background exchange student with him on a Thursday night. He seemed to have a good time, but we weren’t sure what he’d think of Christ-centered worship and preaching. He came the next week and brought a friend with him.
A couple of weeks later he joined our Spring Break trip to Minneapolis where we learned about God’s heart for the world, especially unreached and unengaged people groups. We visited a Somali mall, a Hindu temple, and a Hmong market, all while talking through how the Gospel is good news to different religions and worldviews. On the way back from Minneapolis, I asked him what he learned on the trip, especially about Christians. He said he was so happy to have spent time with us, and he was amazed that we would spend time praying for people we have never met, especially praying that they hear the good news.
He is coming to connection group and showing up to Salt early every week. We’re praying God uses this year he spends in Cedar Rapids will change his eternity.
We are excited to see what God does in the lives of the students that went on this trip. They got to hear about how the bible is one story and about God’s plan to redeem the whole world.
Thanks so much for your support. Please be praying for us as we begin leadership interviews in April. We are praying for 22 leaders in the Fall!
By Shannon Ness, The Salt Company Coordinator
This Month, Veritas Church baptized 19 people and 18 of them were students. For many of the students, God used either another student from The Salt Company or a specific night of Salt to plant a seed of truth in their lives. Here’s a testimony from one Salt student whose life has been changed by God this year:
“I had grown up in a Catholic Church and school system. While I had been learning the facts and following the rules through my senior year in high school, I put my hope in all the wrong things–friends, relationships, and sports. By doing this, I fell into some very dark years of anxiety, loneliness, and loss of passion for all the things I used to love. By the time, I finished my semester of college, I considered myself genuinely unrepairable and unlovable, especially by God who I thought I was not good enough for.
During my first semester of college at The University of Iowa, I was going to Salt weekly because some of my teammates had gotten me to go with them, It was a lot less traditional than what I had grown up on, but I was drawn to the people in Salt because of how passionate they were.
One night at Salt, we were asked to envision a place that resembles no other. In this place we are walking alone. Then, someone joins you and you are walking towards the same goal. All of a sudden there are many more people, walking down this path to the same place as you. They understand you and you understand you, because you are surrounded by an amazing community of people. Then you are alone again, but before you is this great light–God, and you realize that you FINALLY feel at Home.
This story helped me understand the hope of a home with God who loves you with no end and with abounding grace. All I could think was…THIS is what I have been searching for! All the false hope I had was in the wrong things that can not even begin to compare to the longing I have now to be reunited with a my Creator and my Father.
Since that night at Salt, I have felt overwhelmed by the fact that I am unconditionally loved by God. I now see God working in too many “coincidental” ways to be explained by anything but the fact that He is the one true God. I know that He is a God who loves me and I want to be someone who glorifies Him because His love changed my life.”
By Jason K. Allen, President, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
The Cooperative Program ought not be a sacred cow, but it is close to one for me. Begun by Southern Baptists nearly a century ago, it has proven to be a most effective and enduring way to support our collective ministry and mission work. I often visit with leaders of other evangelical denominations who are envious of the Cooperative Program. And they should be; there is nothing like it in American Protestantism.
I was reared in a Southern Baptist church, so I grew up with a general awareness of the Cooperative Program. But it was not until I sensed God’s call to ministry that I became fully aware — and fully appreciative — of the Cooperative Program.
As a seminary student, I was astounded by how affordable my seminary training was compared to other evangelical seminaries. While a student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I learned more intimately how the Cooperative Program worked, felt how much it helped me, and saw it impact the world by providing for our missionaries. It was during this time that I became a true believer.
Then, as a pastor, the two churches I had the privilege of leading gave 14 percent and 10 percent of their undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program. When the first church grew exponentially, we flirted with cutting our CP giving to hire additional staff. But we held firm. The second church, conversely, had to trim its budget on a couple of occasions. Cutting CP would have been the easier way to balance the budget, but we held firm then as well. I had come to value the Cooperative Program enough that I advocated against cutting it. Thankfully, in both churches, the CP won out and we kept our giving at its high levels.
Now, as a seminary president, I lead an institution that benefits daily from the Cooperative Program. Without it, we would be forced to double tuition on our students. Such a move would plunge the enrollment and bring immediate and long-term financial hardship on our students. In the world of theological education, the six SBC seminaries stand as grand anomalies in size, support and overall strength. The Cooperative Program is essential to this vitality.
Though the Cooperative Program has been proving itself since 1925, we cannot take it for granted. We neglect it, or minimize it, to our own peril. Without a robust CP, our work as a whole will suffer. With a robust CP, our collective ministry and mission can more flourish. That is why we must work in our generation to strengthen the Cooperative Program.
Consider these three observations to that end:
First, like our denomination as a whole, the Cooperative Program is best led by pastors. The uptick in Cooperative Program giving in recent years is a direct result of past SBC President Ronnie Floyd’s efforts to this end. He, in concert with Executive Committee President Frank S. Page, strategically worked with pastors, encouraging them to strengthen their CP giving. Thankfully, current SBC President Steve Gaines has continued this emphasis. Perhaps no single factor will determine the strength of the CP in the years ahead than how much our pastors believe in and advocate for the CP.
Second, those of us who serve in CP-supported entities must constantly give SBC churches good reason to support us. This is true at every level of denominational life: local, state and national. We exist to serve the churches; they do not exist to serve us. We need to ensure that our churches continually see the benefits of their entities working for them. As our churches find in us skillful, faithful and responsive service, surely we will find from them sufficient support to do our work.
Third, all of us must be careful how we posture and speak of Cooperative Program giving. If a church is evaluating or trimming their CP support, let’s not cajole, pressure or shame them. That is not a winning strategy. My assessment is not a pragmatic or political calculation. It is a biblical and theological one. Christ promised to build His church, not our denomination. Let’s clean up our vocabulary, and use words like “please” and “thank you,” and shelve words like “should” and “must.” The Southern Baptist Convention entities and our state convention partners serve the churches, not the other way around. As we serve them, they will support us.
Southern Baptists’ persistent generosity through the Cooperative Program is one sign of God’s continued hand on our work. In denominational circles, it is a modern miracle. Let’s continue to celebrate and strengthen our collective work; through the missions and ministries of the SBC, we have together impacted the world.
For resources related to the Cooperative Program, go to sbc.net/cp
This column first appeared at Jason K. Allen’s website, www.jasonkallen.com. Jason K. Allen is president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.
By Tanner Battles,
by Diana Davis
Playing in her yard, little Paula loved hearing the music at the church next door. She often peeked through the fence to watch happy people going inside. One day, a woman noticed her behind the fence and asked, “Do you want to go to church with us?” It was the happiest day of her childhood! Paula’s entire family came to know Jesus as Savior because of that invitation.
Is it possible for someone to live within walking distance, but never be influenced by your church for Christ? Look outside. Is there a neighborhood, apartment complex or business? Do homeless people or professionals or school kids pass by?
Here’s a challenge for your small group, ministry team or church. Choose a block of homes or apartments near your church, then make a plan to know and invite each person who lives there. Try a few of these simple ideas to get started:
Last Sunday in our small group, Suzie was excitedly telling about the senior care center being constructed next to our church property. “Some folks there won’t know Jesus,” she exclaimed. “We’ve got to do something!” There’s our mission field. Will we just smile and wave as we drive to church, or will we invite them to know Jesus?
That child who peeked through the fence grew up to be an awesome servant of God and a friend of mine. I’m so glad someone walked next door and invited her to meet Jesus.
As you exit your church on Sunday, look all around. Ask God to open your eyes to see people who need Him.
“He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few.’”
Live intentional each day, each conversation, each heartbeat. "And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert!” Mark 13:37
Why should busy ministry staff take time away from ministry to attend the retreat??? Check out the retreat video below for a few good reasons!
Pastors and ministry staff can register at https://t.co/dwx4fNSksM before April 5.
How to host or attend PRISCILLA SHIRER SIMULCAST, A global Bible-teaching event with Priscilla Shirer, April 28, 2018, 8:00am Central - LifeWay https://t.co/Hs8SXZIm7e