We can’t believe Salt Company is done for the school year. It has been an amazing year where we got to see God do things we could never even imagine or do on our own. This month has included our last two Thursday night gatherings and our leadership team celebration.
For our last two nights of Salt, we were praying that God would continue to draw new people to the ministry even though it was the end of the semester. We had over our average attendance for both of those nights, which was so encouraging. In previous years we have seen the numbers take a big dip for the last couple nights, but God continued to draw people to the ministry. We are continually reminded that it’s not about the numbers, but about the lives that are being transformed, which is something only God can do. We just need to show up ready to preach the gospel and be used in whatever way he desires.
We also had our leaders celebration. It was great to celebrate all that God has done throughout these students who have given their time and talents this year to lead their peers closer to Jesus. We praised God for specific stories and for the students he has raised up to be on leadership this next year. We are still in awe that God has raised up the number of leaders we have been praying for that. That number is double what we had this year for leadership!
We will start our summer Salt Company gatherings next week and can’t wait to see whom God brings to be with us for that summer. It’s always great to join our students with those from other schools that are home for the summer.
Thanks so much for your support. We so appreciate it!
Crest Baptist Church is excited to announce the call of Neal McRae as Associate Pastor as of June 1. Pastor Chuck Spindler commented, “In the 50+ years of Crest’s ministry, this is the first time a second full-time staff member has served here. It is exciting to see how God has been moving and growing us to this point, and I believe that Neal will be an exceptional co-laborer.” McRae will become the Director of the Light Company that has a presence on the Southwestern Community College campus and work with the youth at Crest. “Through our interviews and visits with Neal, it was obvious that God has been directing us to a man who has the same passions that we have, and a heart to make disciples,” Spindler added.
McRae is a May graduate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft Worth, Texas, with a Master of Divinity (MDiv). He has had a broad exposure to ministry throughout his life and sensed a call to ministry while in high school as his family served on the mission field. While in college at New Mexico State University, he served as a youth ministry intern at Calvary Baptist in Las Cruces, New Mexico and in the Baptist Student Union at NMSU. During his seminary training, he was an active volunteer at Hope Church in Ft. Worth. Through these experiences, McRae has developed a heart for discipleship, following the Biblical model of multiplication. He has been married six years to Bethany, who is a native of New Mexico. She has a degree in education from New Mexico State University. “We’re excited about what God is doing in Creston and we can’t wait to be a part of it,” said McRae.
Neal is the son of Chris and Sue McRae, who serve alongside us through the Baptist Convention of Iowa.
Crest is: Committed to Christ; Connected to Each Other; Commissioned to Serve our Community and World
Pastor Paul Miller, Lead Pastor of Cornerstone Community Church of Chariton graduated on December 17, 2016 earning a Doctor of Ministry Degree with a specialization in expository preaching from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Miller earned his B.S degree in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Master of Divinity degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Miller’s doctoral project was entitled “Equipping Selected Leaders at Cornerstone Community Church, Chariton Iowa, with Essential Competencies to Lead Sermon-Based Small Groups.” Dr. Miller developed a workshop curriculum as the product of his research and then used the curriculum to equip selected small group leaders in a full-day workshop setting.
Dr. Miller and his wife Brandy have 5 children ages six to eighteen. God called his family to Iowa in 2013 after he had served as Student Pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church in Newborn, GA since 2002. Ed Gregory, Pastor / Church Support Staff for the BCI served as field mentor for Dr. Miller’s project. Dr. Miller gives all glory to Jesus Christ for his accomplishments and dedicated his project report to his family for their relentless encouragement from beginning to end. Sermon-based small groups are the norm for Cornerstone’s Life-Group Ministry providing a way for the faith family to answer 2 questions each week: i. What is God saying to me? ii. What am I going to do about it? For more information about sermon-based small group ministry, feel free to contact Pastor Paul at email@example.com. Please join BCI in congratulating Dr. Paul Miller.
At 10:02 every day, phone alarms are going off throughout the Candeo Church building. Luke 10:2 declares that “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” and that earnest prayers to the Lord of the harvest should be for laborers to send out into his harvest. One prayer that the Salt Company staff prayed all year was that God would raise up student leaders for the harvest on the University of Northern Iowa campus. In faith, the prayer was that God would increase the student leadership team from its 68 current leaders to over 100 leaders. Reaching that goal would mean an expansion of the leadership team by almost 45%.
The leadership process for new leaders involves an application and an interview conducted by members of the Salt Company staff. These interviews serve as an excellent opportunity to shepherd students and to celebrate evidence of God’s goodness and faithfulness in the last year, but also throughout their entire lives. This process, from start to finish, takes nearly a month. After 75 interviews and losing other leaders to graduation, internships, and student teaching, the final number of new leaders was 100.
At the final leaders meeting of the 2016-2017 school year on April 30, leaders sat in a room full of current leaders as well as new leaders for the 2017-2018 school year. Many of the veteran leaders could remember when a room that full was the entire Salt Company. In just four short years, a room that full is now just the leadership team. What a faithful and gracious God! To Him be the glory for the work He is doing in the Cedar Valley and beyond.
During one of our Monday Morning Prayer meetings, I had the opportunity to prayer with one of our students, Andrew. We prayed for different people in our lives who didn’t know Jesus. One of the people that he prayed for was Colby, who is another student at UNI. Andrew continued praying for Colby and kept bringing him to Salt Company during the second half of the Spring semester. During our second to last Salt Company, Matt Snyder preached on John 20 and God did an incredible work in Colby’s heart. That night Colby was saved and came to have a relationship with Jesus. Andrew quickly found me after the service to tell me the exciting news. Colby had a radiant look on his face as he had found hope and peace in Christ. To this day, Andrew still prays for Colby, but his prayers look different. Now Andrew is praying that Colby would grow deeper into his relationship with Jesus and that he would fight temptation this summer. It’s incredible how God is working in so many different ways here at Salt Company, and Colby’s story is just one of many that put God’s glory, power, and love on display.
Iowa Campers On Mission (COM) recently went to Calvary Baptist Church in Clinton, Iowa. We had nine Iowa COM members in attendance plus two couples from Missouri COM. This was the most Iowa members we have had in several years. Praise the Lord. We couldn’t have done all the work at this church without help from Missouri COM. A big THANK YOU to Missouri COM for lending a hand. Several new light fixtures were installed, a lot of painting to both the parsonage and the church, some soffit repair, and several other tasks. A special thank you to Rick (the good electrician) and Sarah Mott on their first road trip with Iowa COM. As usual, the food and fellowship were great. We also enjoyed games and the pastor’s musical leading during our devotional times. The pastor’s son also performed on the piano for everyone. The next rally will be September 11-15 but we have not committed to a location yet.
Iowa COM does repairs to churches. The church provides the material and allows us to park our campers at your church. Let us know if your church needs help. We enjoy serving the Lord and helping small churches. We possibly could do other dates if necessary. COM information can be found here. If you would like to help with Campers on Mission please contact Denny Davis @ 515-729-9983 or Bev Davis @ 515-729-9982 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to better reach our state for Christ, to help the hurting, and to provide more opportunities for service, the Baptist Convention of Iowa has established the Iowa Ministry Fund. In April, various ministries applied for the funds and in May our Foundation Committee selected the ministries.
The Iowa Ministry Fund recipients for this year are:
We not only want to provide funding for these ministry partners, we also would like to encourage our churches and church members to serve within these ministries. In the coming weeks, this newsletter will include descriptions of the ministries, contact information, and ways to volunteer with the ministry. Some of the ministries have arranged special open house events for BCI churches to get to know the ministries, their staff, their clients, and to discover service opportunities.
A typical contribution for each organization is $10,000. Our executive committee has decided to allocate 10% of our Cooperative Program funding beginning in 2017 and 50% of our Hyde Iowa Missions Offering to go to these organizations. Funding will be sent to ministries after our Hyde Missions Offering is collected in September. We intend to continue to allocate 50% of Cooperative Program Funds to national entities like the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, the six SBC seminaries, and the Ethics and Religious Life Commission.
We have also made it possible for churches and individuals to designate directly to this fund here.
The BCI Foundation Committee includes Mike Carlson (chairman), Don Ward, Joe Powers, Joyce Hardymon, and Becky Doubleday.
For more information on the Iowa Ministry fund, see article here.
By Geoff Safford, Pastor, New Heights Church, Indianola
Light Company is a local church ministry that works with a local church in a community with a small private college or local community college. The mission is to create a culture where students know, experience and enter into God’s Story.
To date, we have 3 churches that are involved with Light Company. New Heights Church in Indianola is the parent church of Light Company working with Simpson College. Crest Baptist in Creston works with Southwestern Community College and Paragon Church in Grinnell is working with Grinnell College. There are 185,000 students in 36 communities in Iowa that are open to this ministry. We have a lot of work to do!
Here are some of the highlights from Indianola:
We covet your prayers as we continue to minister to communities that have private colleges and community colleges. Most of these are smaller communities, and reaching students has to be a passion for that local church. Many of the colleges are private and have other religious backgrounds which make it difficult to be on campus. Please pray the Lord of the Harvest that he will send laborers to these fields that are ready for harvest!
BCI is excited to partner with NAMB to provide funding for student missionary positions in 2017. This program is designed to produce three objectives BCI shares with NAMB and our affiliated churches.
There is flexibility in the type of work the student missionary does with your church so long as those objectives are in clear focus. In the past, student missionaries have served in collegiate ministry, youth ministry, or in a variety of mission/outreach projects of local churches.
The ideal term of the student missionary is 2-6 months. Funding provided will depend on the length of term and matching support from the sponsoring church. The BCI and NAMB will provide $500-$1000 total for the position. Funding is dependent on the student missionary meeting the following requirements:
Sponsor churches are primarily responsible for recruiting and screening student missionary candidates. BCI can provide assistance as needed.
TIPS FOR COMPLETING BCI STUDENT MISSIONARY REQUEST FORM
The BCI Student Missionary Request Form must be completed in one session. In order to complete the request well, please be prepared to provide the following information through the form:
The deadline for requesting a student missionary position is July 1, 2017.
If you have any questions, contact Chase Abner – email@example.com.
Not just growing big churches, but multiplying...83% of Pastors Under Age 40 “Have a Future Vision to Plant/Launch” a New Church or New Site...Multisite and Single Site – What the Shifts Look Like | Leadership Network https://t.co/Ph4dhKBwqI
Baptist Press article on Baptist Convention of Iowa annual meeting: Iowa Baptists note church growth, increased giving https://t.co/aqndJSpNap
“Hitting the Mark: Tactical Precision for Generational Impact” 2018 Men’s Conference :: Baptist Convention of Iowa https://t.co/F2q6KL6xRt