*BMA of Arkansas Youth Department (pg. 3)
Tom Mitchell -I have been just thinking about the blessings that many young people have received over the years because our state association felt that they were important enough to have a ministry just for them. The need for fellowship in churches is of extreme importance. It draws believers closer to one another and enhances the desire to work together for the cause of Christ. Young people sometimes feel they are just along for the ride. They don’t feel included. But these young men and women must be included. The old adage that says the youth of the day are the church of tomorrow is limited in scope. If a teen has been saved, baptized and has become a member of the church, that young person is part of the church today! The BMA of Arkansas Youth Department was the vision of a layman, Harvey Hall. He saw a need, then set himself to meeting that need. I have long said that I have a two-word definition for ministry — meeting needs.Bro. Hall developed, for and through this association of churches, a ministry to youth.
*Finding Your Tribe (pg. 3)
Dan Carson – One of the more important things that we can do as student ministry workers is to have a “tribe.” We need a group of people who share a history and a heart for ministry. One of the great things about attending Central Baptist College back in the day was building relationships. Recently, I attended Homecoming 2020 at CBC. It was only my second homecoming since graduating in 1995. Now, I have been on the campus a number of times between 1995 and the present, but I didn’t see a great deal of value in coming back, and it was an expense that I didn’t really have the funding for. I regret not coming back. Why? Because my tribe was established when I was in college. These were men and women who shared a heart for ministry and simply wanted to change the world for Jesus. We still share that, but with a lot more gray hair. (Maybe that’s just me.)
*2nd Annual Youth Group Day Coming Soon (pg. 2)
Terry Kimbrow – Are you looking for a free event for your Youth Group? Join Central Baptist College on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 11 a.m. for our Annual Youth Group Day! We invite you to bring your youth group to campus to enjoy a free event for your youth of all ages. All you need to do is get your youth group to campus and we’ll do the rest! There will be group games and a free all you can eat lunch provided by CBC Dining Services. Then, you will get free admission to the basketball games so you can cheer on the Men’s and Women’s Mustang Basketball teams! The Lady Mustangs are doing well in conference play this year, and the Men’s Team is currently ranked first in the AMC Conference and 19th nationally in the NAIA. We pray that this day will be a blessing to you and your students! Thank you to the BMA of Arkansas Youth Department and James Greene & Associates for partnering with us again this year. You must RSVP for the event and space is very limited. Visit cbc.edu/stampede to register for the Annual Youth Group Day Event today! For questions please contact the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 329-6873. (Also see CBC Sports, pg. 2)
*Let’s Talk About Smart Phones! (pg. 8)
Anders Lee (via Mississippi Baptist) – Do you remember the TV show from the 90s “Saved by the Bell?” Zach Morris, who was one of the stars on the show, was the first teen on TV to use a cell phone. The popularity of Morris catapulted the idea that teens should have phones. Previously, television had only shown executives with cell phones. It took a while for cell phones to take off, but in today’s world teens have never known life without them! I’m jealous because I had to wait for my party line to clear off in order to make a simple phone call to a friend!
*Time for a “Radical Re-evaluation” of Youth Ministry (pg. 8)
Richard Ross • Baptist Press – This year, I am celebrating my 50th year focused on teenagers and the adults important to teenagers. What a blessing it has been for the Lord to give me this ministry focused on youth for my lifetime. Yet, after a half-century in this vital ministry, I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion a radical reevaluation is desperately needed if we wish to see more enduring faith in our youth after they become adults.
*Harness Social Media For God’s Glory (pg. 1)
Matt Henslee • Baptist Press —Social media can be an awesome tool, but it can also be a terrible temptation. It’s a mixed bag that gives people a platform to say whatever they want — the good, the bad and the ugly — whenever they want, with little to no consequence.I’ve made several friends on social media and have been encouraged by thousands of tweets and Facebook posts. There have been days, however, when I’ve been ready to delete every last one of my social media accounts.But I’ve determined every second God gives me is an opportunity to “make the most of the time” (Eph. 5:6). For this reason, I block the trolls, mute the troublemakers and am intentional and particular with what I decide to post.
Pray for the President (pg. 1)
The Late Jesse Spurlock (The Oklahoma Baptist) —A father was upset with his son for not showing initiative. He told him, “Son, when I was your age, I had a paper route and delivered papers all over town!” The boy said, “So what? When John Kennedy was your age, he was president of the United States.”February 17 has been designated as President’s Day. I originally thought they combined Abraham Lincoln and George Washington’s birthdays to honor both men on the one day, rather than Lincoln’s (12th) and George Washington’s (22nd). Now I think they wanted to combine it and give it a title that would honor all presidents, not just these two great men of faith. However, knowing our politicians, I think the whole thing was probably to be more politically correct. This way, the title would honor all presidents — the good ones, but also honor and not insult the less than illustrious presidents over the years. (And we have had several of those, especially in my lifetime).
Motivated By The Mission of God (pg. 1)
Holly Meriweather — You probably follow at least one or two on Facebook, and likely one of them has been to your church talking about what they do. Or maybe you’ve met one on a VSM or BMMI trip. American or national, our missionaries are motivated by God’s mission, which is one of the five core values of BMA Missions:Motivated by the Mission of God — The Mission of God, defined specifically as making God’s glory and love known to the nations. This aspect of the nature of God is expressed in the expansion of His kingdom (missions) to all peoples and is the primary motivational piece in all that we do.Our ChangeMaker missionaries, more than 550 strong, are the heart and soul of seven decades of work all over the world. BMA history proves that God’s mission has been the most important aspect of its associational work, which officially began in April of 1950.
Alarming Truth (pg. 2)
Larry Barker – Churches are under attack today! Finger-pointing has become an art, and the question of who we should blame comes up quite often. Some say we have been too hard on the church, while others say we have not been hard enough. Generations have begun to pick teams and square off against one another because some believe we are trying to change too much, while others believe we have not even begun to change as much as is needed. One church consultant said people are taking swings at the church like a low-hanging piñata on Cinco de Mayo. If you are not careful, you will focus on non-biblical issues far more than presenting the gospel clearly.
Obstreperous Friends (pg. 4)
Martha Brock – Don’t you like that word? Ob-strep-er-ous. If has a sound of grownups to it, doesn’t it? But in fact, it’s meaning is more common to children’s activity. Obstreperous means “to make a noise, to roar, to be loud or boisterous.” That sounds like a good game on the playground, but the truth is grown folks are obstreperous pretty often. There was something about my friend Jesus that caused people to be obstreperous. It seems every time He was around, there was a crowd and they were usually pretty loud. This particular day, Jesus had just healed two blind men. You can imagine the noise — some were rejoicing, and some were arguing about whether or not it was a miracle.
Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)
Senate Acquits Trump of Impeachment Charges; Congressman Files Ethics Complaint Against Pelosi; ABN Dissolved, Merged
Into SBC State Convention; Trump Adds Six More Nations to Travel Ban; School Says “No” To Inspirational Notes
Reaching Women for Christ (pg. 5)
Charlotte Johnson -February is the month that the Women’s Missionary Auxiliary promotes growth and enlistment to our ministry groups. God’s Word is filled with stories of how He has worked in and through the lives of women of all ages. These are great stories of women who were faithful in service. Many of these stories portray women of different ages learning from each other and growing in their faith. Remember Miriam, the big sister who watched over her little brother Moses hidden in the reeds along the Nile, yet she dared speak to the princess to protect him (Exod. 2:1-10)? Then there are the stories of relationships like Naomi and Ruth (the book of Ruth) or Elizabeth and Mary (Luke 1:39-56).
Outdated Arguments on Sex-Education? (pg. 5)
Jerry Cox – Earlier this week the Univ. of Arkansas’ Arkansas Traveler (www.uatrav.com) published an article about sex-education in the state. The article quoted college students who feel Arkansas should stop promoting abstinence sex-education and instead mandate comprehensive sex-education in its public schools. One person quoted in the article said the state’s position on sex-education is “archaic” and “fueled by misinformation.” Here’s the truth about sex-education in Arkansas: Policymakers in Arkansas worked to implement comprehensive sex-education in the 1980s and 1990s. These programs focused on teaching public school students about contraceptive use. During that time, Arkansas’ teen birth rate remained high, and teenagers were among those most likely to have an abortion…
Talk is Cheap: The High Price of Integrity (pg. 6)
James Merritt -When my boys were growing up, I taught them from an early age about the importance of integrity. I used to say to them, “Boys, remember whatever else is true about you, if you don’t have integrity, you have nothing.” Fast forward a few decades and I’ve just released a new book, Character Still Counts, which details the 12 traits and virtues that are central to having character. I purposefully put integrity as the very first chapter because I believe integrity is the foundation of character. If character were a deck of cards, integrity would be the trump card. If you were building a house of character, the foundation would be integrity. Integrity would be “the first man up.”
Don’t Break the Circuit (pg. 6)
George Reddin (via The Baptist Banner) — Electricity runs in a circuit from its source and back again. Along the way, it furnishes power for lights, appliances, heat, cooling and entertainment centers. To access that power, however, the switch must be “on” or the power bypasses that particular electrical product.Churches are, in some respects, like electrical circuits. Every member is a power conductor and a part of the circuit. The power comes from God, and we are channels only. But to receive the power, our switch must be “on.”
Pass the Salt (pg. 7)
Valarie Fish – A portion of a first century Roman soldiers’ pay would have been in salt cakes. These salt payments were called by the Latin term “salarium,” from which we get our English word salary. The phrase “worth his salt” sometimes refers to whether a person is worth his pay. Many people had a drawstring bag with salt crystals they carried, much like we would carry a coin purse. When the parties involved in a covenant negotiation sat down together to iron out the details of a treaty, they would do so over a meal. Depending on the type of covenant, different symbolism would be observed. In the case of a betrothal or marriage covenant, the meal would be provided in the home of the prospective bride where the groom and his father had come to work through the details of their union.
Who is Really Free?
Paul White (part 2 of 5) – Let’s take up where we left off last week. Paul and Silas have been accused of causing trouble. (Acts 16:22-24).So, the mob is stirred into an uproar as Paul and Silas have freed this girl from being possessed, and the magistrates decide to throw them in prison for stirring up trouble. I want us to notice two groups of people — one free; one captive. In the first group are Paul and Silas. These are good people, probably the best of people. They are sharing the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ and are freeing little girls from demon possession. They are doing what they are supposed to be doing; yet, in the midst of doing right, some really bad things come their way. They are falsely accused and lied about. They were stripped and humiliated in public. They were beaten, then they were dragged into prison, past the general population and into the maximum-security wing where their feet were placed in stocks. What a miserable place to be! Did I mention that they hadn’t done anything wrong?