Current News – 3-18-2020

BMAA National Meeting Cancelled (pg. 1)

Jeff Swart -We the officers of the Baptist Missionary Association of America, in consultation with the department and agency directors, the Coordinating Council, and the national meeting production team, have cancelled the 2020 BMA of America national meeting. The reasons for this historic decision are based on several lines of reasoning. On Sunday, March 15, the CDC strongly recommended that groups of 50 or more be cancelled for the next 60 days. The city of Dallas, sister city to Waxahachie where our meeting was to be held, passed a city ordinance prohibiting gatherings of 500 or more. We feel that, as believers, we need to lead the way in submitting to the authority of our governmental agencies in non-faith matters.

Coronavirus & Missionaries (pg. 1)

Holly Meriweather -Coronavirus has caused concern, panic, even terror all over the world. Although “social distancing” is recommended, there are stories of compassion like the young lady who shopped for an elderly couple terrified to enter a grocery store and the man who gave $100 tips at restaurants in his city. It’s a chance for Christians to do what they do — meet people’s needs, both physical and spiritual, something our missionaries do instinctively.Executive Director John David Smith says, “Early on (in this crisis) some of our missionaries could have gotten out, but they chose to stay because they would have lost all credibility when they returned. They put themselves in greater levels of risk for the cause of Christ. It’s what the missionary spirit is all about.”

Five Ways Your Church Can Respond to COVID-19 (pg. 1)

Don Pucik • Baptist Press – (Editor Spriggs’ Note: The following article was pulled from the Southern Baptist Convention News Service website. I believe the information could also benefit our BMA churches.)As the coronavirus disease spreads around the globe, thousands of deaths have forced decision-makers to cancel sporting events, restrict international travel and discourage common social interactions. Individuals are being asked to self -quarantine. Financial markets are in disarray. Daily lives are being disrupted. For the elderly and others with weakened immune systems, the virus is more than an inconvenience: it is a deadly threat. Churches are also affected. Meeting for worship, Bible study and fellowship, Christian congregations often represent the largest weekly gatherings in their communities. Church members sit near one another. They shake hands. They hug. They share meals. However, those routine interactions can easily facilitate disease transmission from one person to another.

COVID-19 Update (pg. 1)

Terry Kimbrow – Central Baptist College students will complete the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester’s instruction of all academic programs through online modality upon return from Spring Break on March 30th. At this time, this is not a campus shutdown. The campus will remain closed as scheduled for the Spring Break holiday from the close of business hours on Friday, March 20 through Monday, March 30 when the campus will reopen for normal business hours. “Based on the most recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit the number of people in gatherings to less than 10 people, the Central Baptist College Executive Leadership Team made the difficult decision to suspend face-to-face course instruction and all campus-wide activities for the remainder of the semester, including weekly chapel services,” said Central Baptist College President Terry Kimbrow. “We did our best to make this decision in a timely fashion to give students as much time as possible to make plans in advance of spring break.”

Helping Our Students During Stressful Times (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – It is clear that everyone is thinking about COVID-19. It has impacted sports, our universities, and now has impacted our public schools. It is important that we serve our students and their families in God-honoring ways during this time. They need to see hope and love come from us. How do we fight our own tendencies to become fearful and be light for our students? We must focus on three things:

The Price of Leadership (pg. 2)

Dr. Allen Tilley (via Baptist Progress) – Not counting politicians, no one receives more criticism than pastors. One of my vacation joys is visiting another church and not having to worry about the temperature of the building, if the service started or ended on time or if a word was misspelled in the bulletin. Although my church isn’t critical, most pastors are more thin-skinned than they admit. The truth is, we don’t like criticism. To keep from pretending criticism doesn’t exist or that it doesn’t hurt, let me share some steps for dealing with criticism:

Navigating Crisis (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – The plethora of opinions on this present declared Coronavirus pandemic is vastly different and the pendulum swings to both extremes. Here are some thoughts for you to consider as we strive to approach this biblically and with wisdom. The Bible must establish our moral baseline because it is the divine standard. Yes, the Bible is our guideline and the Holy Spirit is our guide. The Scriptures do not reveal to us the logistics of individual decisions that involve the when, how and where. That is the job of the Holy Spirit.

Why Be a Baptist? (pg. 3)

Tom Mitchell – In this article, I want to call attention to the mission and ministries of New Testament churches. Baptist churches, and in particular BMA of Arkansas churches, exist to carry out Christ’s commission, in obedience to His command. Our prime mission as the Lord’s churches is to evangelize our communities by preaching, teaching and utilizing spiritual gifts in touching the lives of those who are unsaved. The task Jesus assigned was to make disciples. While BMA of Arkansas (and America) churches should fervently support the work of international missions, our first responsibility is to lead those in our local communities to a faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

Spotlight on Missions (pg. 4)

Michael & Laura Strong, Minneapolis, Minn.

Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)

COVID19 and “The Power of Prayer;” Youth: The Answer To Empty Pews; NY Allows Minors To Switch BC Gender

Master’s Builders go Back to Camp! (pg. 5)

Nelda Malone -The Master’s Builders began their 2020 work year with their annual visit to Daniel Springs Baptist Encampment in Gary, Texas. Camp Director Jason Prewitt had several projects planned for the Builders to work on. Projects included tearing down the old pool pump house and building a new one, building an 18’x24’ staff recreation and multi-purpose room, building a guard shack for the entrance gate and building a human foosball court. This was Job #165 for The Master’s Builders. We had 17 Master’s Builders who came to work and divided up into groups to complete each project. We also enjoyed having a youth group from Farley Street Baptist Church in Waxahachie, Texas who spent part of their Spring Break helping clean up around the camp.

JTC is Serving in Tennessee

Just the Crumbs has their kitchen and shower trailer set up on-site in the Nashville, Tenn. area and began feeding victims and volunteers on Monday, March 16. Donations are still needed, but because of the state of our economy,  it may become difficult to get the needed foods. Your prayers are appreciated. Donations can be sent by PayPal (justthecrumbs21@gmail. com); or to BMAA Missions, P.O. Box 878, Conway, Ark. 72033; or to Just The Crumbs, 10 Wagon Trail, Sumrall, Miss. 39482.

Personality Profile (pg. 5)

Missionary Candidate Tyler (Emily) Brantley, South America

Ballot Measures (pg. 6)

Larry Page – As of March 11, there may be up to 18 measures on the November 2020 general election ballot that Arkansas voters will be asked to approve or reject. Realistically, it is not very likely that all of these initiatives will be successfully qualified for the ballot. Some will undoubtedly fall short of getting the necessary number of signatures of registered voters on petitions as required by law to secure a place on the ballot.

Wow What a Week! (pg. 7)

Paul White – The Advisory Committee and I traveled to visit our missionaries this week. It was a blessing to be in these guys field of labor and to hear them speak from their hearts. We also visited with Johnny Shew, who has come to us from the Bridge Baptist Church in Mountain Home with a desire to plant a church in the town of Flippin (between Mountain Home and Harrison). We have been working with Johnny for the past seven months. Monday, the Advisory Committee voted to recommend him as a bi-vocational missionary to work in the Flippin area. As everyone knows by now, it would be unwise to call a Missionary Committee meeting with regard to the current virus protocol. So he will be presented at the next called meeting of that committee, whenever that might be. Please remember to pray for all of our men as they strive to serve us through serving the Lord.

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