Current News – 9-30-2020

*From the States (pgs. 5-8)

*BMA of Arkansas Meeting Schedule (pg. 12)

*It Isn’t Too Late (pg. 1)

Has your church registered for Lifeword Sunday (Oct. 18)? Have you purchased LWS T-shirts and ordered bulletin inserts and/or posters? Have you planned a fundraising event? Do you have a team Lifeword leader in your church to do those things? If you haven’t, it’s not too late, and each one of them can be accomplished according to social distancing guidelines, even the fundraising part!

*2020 BMA Compensation Survey Results (pg. 1)

Dr. Steve Crawley – Ministers Resource Services and BMA America Information Services recently partnered to conduct the first BMA Salary and Benefits Survey. The purpose of the survey was to provide churches with benchmark data to inform and assist in the establishment and maintenance of viable compensation packages for their pastor and staff. As part of the study, state-specific comparisons were made between full-time senior pastors in the BMA to their counterparts in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) for churches of various sizes… A detailed analysis of the full survey is available at under the Resources tab. A small abstract of the results for Arkansas participants is as follows…

*Security Training (pg. 1)

If you plan on leading a VSM team, going on a BMMI trip or visiting a mission field in the near future, we encourage you to attend this upcoming security training on Nov. 9-10. BMA Missions is the sponsor, and you will be equipped in ways you didn’t even know were necessary for travel abroad. (The security company conducting the training is used by Missions for its required training of missionaries and Missions team members.)… To sign up, contact Eli Semedo on or before Oct. 26 by calling (501) 455-4977 or emailing

*Singleness — Biblical Instruction (pg. 1)

Dr. John M. Adams – There is Biblical advice on staying single and living the life without a marriage partner. Sometimes our cruel society makes the widowed person, the divorced person or the individual who has never married feel like an “oddity.” It may surprise some of the marrieds to know that it is God’s will for some not to be married. It is time for everyone to realize that there is nothing wrong with singleness. There are some benefits of remaining single. I have in mind those who have never married or those who have been married but are no longer.

CBC (pg. 2)

Memorial/Honor Gifts and CBC Sports

Still Called to Get Involved (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – The life of a student ministry worker is a crazy one especially during the midst of a pandemic. We love students and want to continue to find unique ways to connect with them, but we face a large number of roadblocks. Student ministry workers don’t have the same freedom and flexibility to visit campuses as they had in years past. In a recent conversation on the ASPN (Arkansas Student Pastor Network) Facebook group) the question was brought up of “How do we get involved on school campuses?” It is a great question because we are still called to get involved. Here are a few ways you can connect with students through their schools:

Gutter Balls (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – Growing up in a very military family meant living on bases here in the States and in the Philippines. As a dependent, there were three things you could always count on — a place to show movies, a place to roller skate and a place to bowl. Sometimes, they were even combined into one location when stationed on smaller remote bases, and we watched movies sitting on the floor where we would also roller skate. Larger bases had very nice facilities for all three, and we spent many evenings watching our parents bowl in different leagues.

Can Churches Endorse Candidates? (pg. 3)

Jody Brown and Steve Jordahl ( Guest Editorial) – Less than seven weeks before the 2020 presidential elections, the head of the Federal Election Commission is reminding people that it’s okay for churches and other religious organizations to endorse candidates. On Saturday, Sept. 12, FEC chair Trey Trainor appeared on a Church Militant podcast, reminding viewers that the “Johnson Amendment,” which forbids religious organizations from engaging in political activity, was rescinded by President Donald Trump his first week in office. “One of the first things he did when he came into office in 2017 was issue an executive order to the Department of the Treasury, telling them that they could no longer enforce that provision of the law and that religious organizations needed to be treated the same as every other organization,” Trainor explained.

Fire Safety in the Church Kitchen (pg. 3)

Unless you’re running a commercial kitchen, chances are the answer to “who’s cooking in the ministry kitchen” often is home cooks in the form of ministry volunteers and organizers of facility rentals. On average, home cooks cause 470 home cooking fires per day in the U.S. and $1.2 billion in direct property damage. For religious and funeral properties, cooking equipment caused 30% of all fires from 2007-2011. While those are scary stats, home cooks help to further your mission — the food they prepare and serve are integral parts of sharing, fellowship, fundraising and good works. Training, written and oral safety instructions, and regular maintenance help mitigate the risk of an injury-causing or property-destroying accident.

Spotlight on Missions (pg. 4)

Michael & Laura Strong, Minneapolis, Minn; Bryan & Pam Risner, Romania

Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)

Executive Order Protects Babies Who Survive Abortions; Methodist Logo May Change Because it’s “Insensitive;” Can’t Meet In Homes Either; Abortions Called “COVID’s Silver Lining”

Builders Return to Ark. Church (pg. 9)

Nelda Malone – The Master’s Builders returned to work at New Liberty Baptist Church in Emmet on Sept. 14. This job was originally scheduled for May but, because of COVID-19, it was postponed. New Liberty had torn down their old building, which housed their sanctuary, and had poured the slab for their new 86×44/3,800 sq. ft. building. They really needed our help, and there were 12 Master’s Builders from 5 states ready to start the build.

A Maligned Profession (pg. 9)

Martha Brock – Sales, salesman, shyster — never was a profession so maligned as this one. It must be a cloud of wrong thinking, sent from our enemy, that brings an image of a fast talker in a loud suit to mind when the profession of sales is discussed. I know that is wrong thinking because the two greatest salesmen that ever lived were neither fast talking nor snappy dressers. The first and most successful salesman in the world was my friend, Jesus. He sold a philosophy to the world that is completely against the basic instincts of every one of us. He did it without a college education, without writing a single book, even without a car. Well, you’ll buy Jesus as the best salesman in the world, but who can guess the second best salesman the world has ever known? His name was Saul of Tarsus, later called Paul.

It’s How You Finish (pg. 10)

Jeff Swart – Juan grew up on the island nation of Puerto Rico, the son of a foreman who worked on a sugar cane plantation. His family of eight lived in a three-room shack with a dirt floor and no plumbing. At the age of six, Juan went to work plowing cane fields with oxen for eight hours a day for a salary of $1 a day. At the age of seven, Juan took a job at a local golf course spotting balls for golfers. Juan fell in love with the game of golf and dreamed of playing and earning enough money to purchase a bicycle. Juan’s first golf club was made out of a guava limb and a piece of pipe. For a ball, he hammered an empty tin can into a round sphere. Then, he dug two small holes in the ground and hit the “ball” back and forth between the holes, again and again, until he became proficient.

Divided by Two or United By One?

Eric Black, Baptist Standard, guest editorial – Will we be pulled apart by people outside us, or will we be held together by the one who unites us? In most Christian writing, “one” in the preceding question would be capitalized to make clear the One mentioned is the one true God and Lord. I intentionally left the pronoun uncapitalized hoping to spur more thinking about the question. While I’m explaining the question: An answer requires addressing at least some of the implied questions. The more important implied questions are: What people? Who is “outside us?” Who is “the one?” What does it mean to be united?

Contending for the Ancient Faith (pg. 11)

Paul White – (Jude 1:3). As an introduction of our study, we cannot do better than to define the terms of which the text is composed. “By faith,” it is clear we are to understand the doctrines of the gospel, the great principles of Christian belief. “By contending” is meant a firm striving for those doctrines and principles against the enemies of the cross and the watering down of God’s Word. “By saints” are meant the sincere and holy disciples of Christ Himself. The duty or responsibility specified is that of the church earnestly upholding and maintaining the great doctrines and principles of the gospel. That was necessary in Jude’s day and has been all down through the ages to this very day. (Jude 1:4). (Also see Missions Special Emphasis report on pg. 11)

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