In This Issue
Difficulties Connecting with Parents (pg. 2)
Spotlight on Missions (pg. 6)
Stand Firm: Warned for a Reason (pg. 3)
The Stray - Part 2 (pg. 5)
The Support Challenge Matrix (pg. 3)
In This Issue
Difficulties Connecting with Parents (pg. 2)
Spotlight on Missions (pg. 6)
Stand Firm: Warned for a Reason (pg. 3)
The Stray - Part 2 (pg. 5)
The Support Challenge Matrix (pg. 3)
Lifeword Global Partner Updates
By Holly Meriweather, Lead Writer
The Lifeword USA team and global partners from all over the world recently met on a Zoom call to share ministry updates and encourage each other. Representing Central America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa, these team members are not only media missionaries but also church planters, pastors and ministry leaders in their cultures.
• El Salvador — In El Salvador, church planter Valmori Zelaya produces Spanish language content heard worldwide and at the online radio station www.radiocentroamericana.net. Valmori has been recording 30-second video testimonies that are reaching people, which encourages him to continue producing them. In addition, writers have been producing blogs two to three times a week and working on mission:world magazine translations.
• Nepal — Nepalese speaker Sishir Rai is a missionary to India but also plants churches in Katmandu, where he lives and records his daily devotionals in Nepali. He says that many different dialects are spoken among college students, so the vision is to bring them to Christ, then disciple them to return to their people groups and share the gospel. Sishir and his father, who is a pastor and taxi driver, have the same multiplication vision to those drivers, who also speak multiple languages.
A brand new global partner in the region, Kishan is a native of India who has also been called to reach Nepal. He began using audio and video media two years ago and has begun online gospel teaching. Recently, God called him to move his family to an area of unreached people groups in Western Nepal where infrastructure is almost non-existent and travel is difficult. Both Sishir and Kishan come to our team as media partners through the ministry contacts of one of our local churches.
• Lebanon — To reach those who are “seekers,” Joe Costa has added WhatsApp to his social media tools. He and his media team first engage those seekers, then add them to a discussion group, which currently has eight members. They have a new social media series targeting agnostics that addresses controversial topics like women’s rights, answers theological questions and presents proof of the Bible’s inerrancy. Joe partners with like-minded ministries and trains them in social media ministry.
• Philippines — Although still recovering from his COVID hospitalization, Pastor Pete Etabag — along with his daughter, Ping — is continuing to manage video content and making sure it is uploaded to the cloud, Facebook and YouTube. He is unable to travel to the mountains, where most of the 42 community radio stations are located, but he still records evangelistic messages, teaches and trains students at BMA Bible college, produces Ilongo language content, records online tutorials for global partners and manages the online radio station.
• Romania — For global partner Bogdan Bilav, the current focus is on the gypsy brothers who are excited about a Bible in their language beginning with the New Testament, and have volunteered to handwrite the translation in notebooks. It will then be transferred to computers so a professor can correct it for grammar and sound theology. The final step will be to make it available in audio form for those who can’t read or write.
Please join us in praying for the following:
• That God will open the border between India and Nepal so missionary Sishir Rai can minister to the very poor Nati people group.
• That Bible college graduates, who speak a variety of languages, would be called to produce gospel media in their native tongues.
• For good progress on implementing the steps to complete this Bible translation in Romania.
We praise God because:
• Presently, Lifeword has a media gospel presentation in over 125 languages and we are pushing hard to be in at least 200 languages in the next five years. More people can hear and understand a Lifeword broadcast than in any time in our history!
• If present trends continue, over three million new viewers will experience the gospel through lifeword.org just this year.
Lifeword Sunday is October 24, and we pray your church is making plans to participate! You can register your church, order promotional items and download this year’s video at lifeword.org/lifeword-sunday. If you are registered, you will soon receive a media kit in your inbox with additional resources to help you promote the special day. If you need assistance in registration, ordering T-shirts or downloading the video, contact Lauren Crawley at (501) 329-6891 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can purchase a Lifeword Sunday T-shirt and show your support when you wear it on Oct. 24. Proceeds go to Lifeword’s work around the globe.
Board Seeks New BPH Director
By Justin Rhodes, Chairman • BPH Board of Trustees
At the last Baptist Publishing House (BPH) Trustee meeting, Dr. Charley Holmes recommended to the Board of Trustees that we begin the search process to fill the position of Executive Director of BPH. Dr. Holmes and his team have certainly done an excellent job in transitioning the ministry of publishing quality Bible study literature for our churches, and we could not say thank you enough to him for taking on this ministry. The time has come, however, for him to focus his full attention back to the BMAA Theological Seminary.
Those interested in this position, may send a resume to the BPH Board of Trustees, no later than Dec. 10, to email@example.com or Justin Rhodes, 18 Big Creek Church Rd., Soso, Miss. 39480.
Above all, we ask that you pray for the Board of Trustees as we walk through this process in preparation for the 2022 meeting of the BMA of America.
MOVING with Ministers and Staff
To view previous listings from this column, visit our website at
Brian Gunnels has resigned as Director of Operations at Antioch Baptist Church in Conway after serving for five years.
College View Baptist Church in Magnolia is seeking a full-time music and youth staff member. Contact Pastor Paul Bullock at (870) 234-1174 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friendship Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas is seeking a full-time pastor. Resume may be sent to email@example.com. Please enter Search Committee in the subject line. Also include a recent video of a sermon, on a DVD or by a website link. You may also mail the requested information to Friendship Baptist Church, 820 Pioneer Road, Mesquite, Texas 75149. For more information visit friendshipmesquite.org.
CBC Reports Highest Traditional Incoming Class for Fall 2021
Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 in higher education, Central Baptist College (CBC) saw one of its highest numbers of incoming traditional students. The institution reported a 13.5% increase in new traditional student population. This includes first-time entering students (freshman, transfer students, readmitted students and transient students). “Over the last 10 years, we’ve only seen this kind of increase a few times,” reports Ryan Johnson, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “Our Admissions team has worked very hard, along with the entire campus, to recruit and retain our students. We are very pleased that we surpassed a previous, pre-pandemic year, new student record high from 2018.”
With the traditional student increase, CBC also saw an increase in housing. This year, CBC saw a 23% increase in students living on campus. “Normally, we see a small increase in housing each year, but this year our numbers surpassed our expectations,” says Chris Mitchell, Dean of Students.
When asked about the increase in housing, CBC President Terry Kimbrow said, “Seeing more students living on campus is exactly what we love to see. Research has shown that residential living is vital to a student’s success. We hope adding this piece to their college experience will indeed help them succeed at CBC.”
The CBC Admissions team is already working toward 2022. CBC’s personal admissions officers are already attending recruiting events and hosting in-person tours. The first Stampede Preview Day of 2021 is scheduled for Oct 20. Prospective students can register for any of the four upcoming Stampede Preview Days at cbc.edu/visit.
The college is also accepting applications for their adult education program. With eight different enrollment periods, the PACE program is designed to fit any schedule. Students can begin the admission process for both programs by visiting cbc.edu/apply.
Bring Your Bible to School Day
By Kirsten Hochstetler, Senior Public Relations Specialist
Focus on the Family
Bring Your Bible to School Day is set for Thursday, Oct. 7 and registration is now open. On this day, students across the country will boldly celebrate their faith with the simple act of bringing their Bibles to school.
But simple acts have a way of making a profound impact. Rosa Parks refused to give up a bus seat. Daniel continued to pray three times a day. And someday it might be said a child brought his or her Bible to school.
“This annual campaign empowers Christian students of all ages to speak God’s grace and truth into the culture around them, starting with two steps — bringing their Bibles to school and sharing what God’s Word means to them. It opens doors for students to talk to their friends about the gospel. It connects them with other believers in their school. And it allows them to celebrate their religious freedoms in the United States,” said Focus on the Family Program Manager Bret Eckelberry.
Last year, over 500,000 students participated in Bring Your Bible to School Day in over 50,000 U.S. schools. Each one a small act, but together, a bold statement made to a culture increasingly antagonistic toward the Christian worldview.
For more information and to sign up, visit focusonthefamily.com/bring-your-bible.
By Erik Holth
NAIA National Awards
• Kansas City, Mo., Sept. 15 — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced their award winners in the classroom on National Awards Day. CBC had 17 student-athletes earn NAIA Daktronics Scholar-Athlete recognition and seven teams earn scholar team awards for the 2020-21 Academic Year.
In order to be eligible for Daktronics NAIA Scholar Athlete, you have to be at least a junior in classification and have a GPA of 3.5 or better. For Scholar Team recognition, your entire team has to have posted a combined GPA of 3.0 or higher. The following athletes earned recognition: Kyle Collins, baseball; Cade Griffith, men’s cross country; Colton Ryan, men’s golf; Christian Richer, wrestling; Alyssa Estrada, softball; Katie Goike, softball; Baleigh Jackson, softball; Allison Seats, softball; Katie Gordon, softball; Skylar Lee, softball; Holly Allen, women’s basketball; Marcela Bueno, women’s soccer; Cayla Lee, women’s soccer; Jordan Moore, women’s soccer; Kelsie Moore, women’s soccer; Alizea Garza, volleyball; and Lena Srdanov, volleyball.
The seven teams that earned recognition were women’s soccer, men’s cross country, men’s track & field, softball, women’s track & field, women’s cross country and volleyball. Congratulations to these athletes and teams on their accomplishments last season!
• Blue Mountain, Miss., Sept. 7 — Opening their regular season on the road, CBC took on the Toppers of Blue Mountain College. CBC (0-1) did not hit the ball well, posting a hitting percentage of -.050 in a 3-0 loss to BMC (7-4) by scores of 18-25, 13-25, 10-25.
• Little Rock, Sept. 9 — Playing their second match in three days, CBC took on the Panthers of Philander Smith at Mims Gymnasium. CBC (0-2) won the first and 4th sets, but couldn’t capitalize on the 5th set, and fell 3-2 to PSC (7-3) by scores of 25-21, 15-25, 20-25, 25-19 & 12-15.
• Conway, Sept. 11 — Coming off a hard five-set loss to Philander Smith, CBC was on the floor of Reddin Fieldhouse for the first time this season, hosting the Bulldogs of Jarvis Christian. CBC (1-2) withstood a fight from JCC (0-9), losing just the third set in a 3-1 win by scores of 26-24, 25-17, 22-25 and 26-24.
• Paragould, Sept. 14 — Looking to carry some momentum from their first win, CBC was on the court at the Carter Activities Center for a match with Crowley’s Ridge College. The Mustangs (1-3) couldn’t get around 15 service errors, falling to the Pioneers (2-5) 3-2 by scores of 26-24, 21-25, 25-16, 18-25 & 12-15.
• Jackson, Tenn., Sept. 9 — Searching for their first win of the season, CBC was on the field at the University School of Jackson for a road meeting against the Lions of Freed-Hardeman. CBC (0-4), trailed by three at halftime, tied it quickly in the second half and lost on a goal inside the final three minutes to drop the match 4-3 to FHU (1-3).
• Pineville, La., Sept. 11 — Looking to carry some momentum from their near comeback on Sept. 9, CBC took on the Wildcats of Louisiana College on the road. CBC (0-5) could not get any offense going, as they were held to just one shot in a 4-0 defeat to LC (4-0).
• Muskogee, Okla., Sept. 14 — Erica Hawkins notched the 11th hat trick in women’s soccer history as CBC took on the Warriors of Bacone College. Hawkins was responsible for three of CBC (1-5)’s 12 goals in a 12-0 win over BC (0-6).
• Conway, Sept. 18 — Returning home after a three-game road trip, CBC hosted the Tigers of Central Christian College at Centennial Soccer Park. CBC (1-6) got a second half goal late, but it wasn’t enough, as CCC (7-0-1) scored twice in the first half to win 2-1.
• Oklahoma City, Okla., Sept. 7 — Playing for the first time in the 2021 fall season, CBC teed off at the Southwestern Christian University Fall Invitational. CBC shot a 383 in round one to place 14th out of 14 teams in the tournament.
• Oklahoma City, Okla., Sept. 8 — Keely Bulza shot a final round 85, matching her exact first round score, to finish with a two-round total of 170. As a team, CBC shot a 379 in the final round and a 762 overall to finish in 14th place at the Southwestern Christian Fall Invitational.
• Kennett, Mo., Sept. 13 — Playing their second tournament of the fall season, CBC teed off today at the Williams Baptist University Fall Invitational at the Kennett Country Club. CBC finished the first round in 6th place after shooting an opening round 372, 45 shots behind the leaders, Blue Mountain College.
• Kennett, Mo., Sept. 14 — Entering the final round of the Williams Baptist Fall Invitational at the Kennett Country Club in 4th place, Keeley Bulza led the CBC team on the final day of competition. Bulza, after shooting an opening round 83, closed with an 88 to finish with a 171 overall and in 9th place individually, while the team finished in 7th place, six shots behind sixth with an overall score of 754 after a final round 382.
• Oklahoma City, Okla., Sept. 7 — Teeing off the 2021 fall season, CBC was on the course at Lake Hefner Golf Club for the Southwestern Christian Fall Invitational. CBC shot a 36-hole score of 603, which put them in 8th place after two rounds, 36 shots behind leaders and hosts, Southwestern Christian.
• Oklahoma City, Okla., Sept. 8 — Looking to improve their position in the final round, CBC entered the last day of the Southwestern Christian University Fall Invitational at Lake Hefner Golf Club 36 strokes off the lead and in 8th place as a team. CBC couldn’t gain ground and shot a final round 303 to finish in 9th with a three-round score of 906, 74 shots behind the winners and hosts, Southwestern Christian.
• Kennett, Mo., Sept. 13 — Opening their second tournament of the fall, CBC was on the course at Kennett Country Club for the Williams Baptist University Fall Invitational. CBC shot an opening round 302 to tie for 5th place, 14 shots behind the co-leaders Missouri Baptist and Williams Baptist.
• Kennett, Mo., Sept. 14 — Entering the final round tied for 5th CBC was back on the course at the Kennett Country Club for the final round of the Williams Baptist University Fall Invitational. CBC followed their opening round 302 with a 304 in the second round to finish in 6th place with an overall score of 606, five shots behind Freed-Hardeman for 5th and 33 shots behind the winners and hosts, Williams Baptist.
• Jackson, Tenn., Sept. 9 — Heading to the road for just the second time this season, CBC took on the Lions of Freed-Hardeman at the University School of Jackson. CBC (0-5) fell behind 4-0 in the first half and lost 5-1 to FHU (3-1).
• Pineville, La., Sept. 11 — Playing on the road for the second time in three days, CBC took on the Wildcats of Louisiana College this afternoon. CBC (0-6) trailed 3-2 at halftime, tied the game and lost on a golden goal in overtime, 4-3, to LC (4-0).
• Muskogee, Okla., Sept. 14 — CBC set a new record for the most goals scored in a match as they took on the Warriors of Bacone College on the road. CBC (1-6) scored 16 goals, including 10 in the first half, and cruised to a 16-0 win over BC (0-7).
• Conway, Sept. 18 — Coming off a record setting performance in Tuesday’s win at Bacone, CBC was back at Centennial Soccer Park for a meeting with Central Christian College. The Mustangs (2-6) waited until the 86th minute to score, but it was all they needed, beating the Tigers (3-5) 1-0 for their second consecutive win.
• Searcy, Sept. 17 — Competing for the second time in six days, CBC ran at the Steve Guymon Invitational, hosted by Harding University. CBC had three runners compete, two on the men’s side and one on the women’s side. In the women’s 5K, Ally Swaim ran a 26:48.5. In the men’s four-mile race, Robert Colvin and Josh Settle both competed, with Colvin running a 31:10.2 and Settle running a 38:53.3.
• Irving, Texas, Sept. 11 — Competing for the first time this season, CBC ran at the University of Dallas Invitational. Only two runners competed for CBC in the first meet. Robert Colvin ran the men’s meet and finished 17th with a time of 23:06.1 in the 3.11-meter event and Ally Swaim ran the women’s meet, finishing with a time of 26:28.9 in the same distance.
CBC Fine Arts Department
Planning For a Busy Fall
This summer, CBC Fine Arts welcomed Danielle Hodges as the director of Instrumental Music and Fine Arts Department chair. Since arriving at CBC, she and her department have been busy planning events for the students, staff and community. Mark your calendar and make plans to join us for some of these events:
• Sunday, Sept. 26 — CBC Band and Orchestra will be participating in a Worship & Praise Celebration at Central Baptist Church in Conway. The band and orchestra will be performing during both service times. Services will begin at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Songs on the agenda include: Death Arrested, Every Praise, Glorious Day, How Great is Our God and Praise Him.
• Tuesday, Oct. 19 — The annual hymn service has been set for Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 1:40 p.m. and 7 p.m. The hymn services are participatory worship services led by the worship choir and accompanied by piano, organ and various student instrumentalists. This year’s theme is “Hymns of Charles Wesley.” The service will be held in the Toland Chapel inside Cooper Complex.
• Thursday, Nov. 4 — CBC will be hosting the 72nd Annual BMA of Arkansas meeting. The CBC Singers will be entertaining guests on Thursday evening. The meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Burgess Auditorium inside Cooper Complex.
• Thursday, Nov. 30 — This year’s Christmas Concert is titled “Seasons of Gratitude” featuring all vocal and instrumental groups. The festival of music will include the band, jazz band, worship and chamber choir, singers and hand bells. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Burgess Auditorium inside Cooper Complex.
Do you know a student who might be interested in auditioning for the Fine Arts Department? Auditions will take place on the first Tuesday of each month. Dates include Oct. 5, Nov. 2, Dec. 7, Feb. 8, March 1 and April 15. To register for a time, contact Danielle Hodges at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calling all those with a love for CBC: if you enjoy singing, we have a neat event you will be interested in. Continuing with our chapel theme of Know Truth, we’re planning to host a virtual worship project. Details to sign up and record will be announced in the coming weeks. Watch social media and our website for more details.
For more information on our Fine Arts Department, including details on the department and upcoming events, check out cbc.edu/music.
Phone: (479) 790-7808
BMA of Arkansas Youth Department
1410 North Porter Rd. • Fayetteville, AR 72703
Difficulties Connecting With Parents
If you work with students, you are in family ministry. You may not have realized it when you signed up for this gig, but that is the simple truth. Students are an extension of the homes that they come out of. Some of those homes are great, spirit-led places where mom and dad invest in their children. However, other homes are not that at all. With that in mind, we must work at connecting with parents and families if we hope to impact our students.
According to Scripture, the parent is the primary disciplemaker in the home. We haven’t always believed that or lived that out in student ministry, but those of us in student ministry are finding that the students that have a faith that sticks are the students who come out of a home where the parents/guardians are actively pouring Jesus into their charges.
With that in mind, we must work at bridging any gaps that stand in the way of connecting with the parents in the home. To work past them, we must identify them. As student ministry workers, there are some common issues, or gaps, that can get in the way of connecting with the parents that we are supposed to be pouring into:
• There can be an Age Gap. Whether you are a volunteer or an employed student ministry worker, there is a high probability that you are younger than many of the parents you are trying to connect with, and unless you are my age, that age gap can get in the way. Not many 40-year-olds want a 20-something telling them how to raise and disciple their child. It takes a bit of maneuvering, as well as a wholehearted commitment to sharing principles found in God’s Word rather than our own opinions.
• There can be a Parental Gap. Similar to the Age Gap, there is a distinct possibility that the student ministry worker in your church has young or no children. Again, parents may not want the opinion of a young mom or dad with very few years of parenting under their belt. That Parental Gap can make it difficult to really connect with your students’ families. Chris Vines mentioned in our most recent podcast that if you find yourself in that place of having younger children, lean into the knowledge and experience that the parents of your youth can provide. Acknowledge the deficiencies you may have in experience, but never discount the importance of the Word that should guide us all as parents.
• There can be a Financial Gap. If you want to connect with the parents and families of your students, you will have to remember that, in many cases, those parents make more than you do, largely because of being in a different place in life. They are farther down the road than many that are in student ministry. Going out together for a meal may mean Outback for them and McDonalds for you. Clear communication and creative thinking can help you maneuver this gap.
• There can be a Vocational Gap. As student ministry workers (paid or unpaid), our world is a little different than the average 9 to 5’er. If we aren’t careful, we forget how different it is, and can make unreasonable demands on our students and their families. We can also do a poor job communicating with those outside of ministry. We have to work at it.
None of these gaps are impossible to overcome. The reality is that they are all realities, but by approaching our relationships with our parents and families with humility and love, we can work past the gaps and lay bridges toward great relationships. When we do that, we will create partnerships that will help our students grow spiritually. Let me also point out that all the work doesn’t have to be in the student ministry worker’s court. Parents and guardians, you can help bridge some of these gaps and love on those that are serving you and your children. Together, we can see our students become all that God desires.
Healthy Church Solutions
The Support Challenge Matrix
Are you spiritually healthy? Are you 100% spiritually healthy or 50%? You cannot expect those around you to be spiritually healthy if you are not healthy yourself.
On an airplane, you are told that if there is an emergency and oxygen is needed you should put your oxygen on first. Why? Because if you are not breathing you cannot help anyone else. If you are not breathing well spiritually you will not be able to help others to breathe spiritually, either. As a leader, you should strive to be 100% spiritually healthy so that you can lead your team and church toward spiritual health. Paul’s challenge was to follow him as he followed Christ.
A great step toward spiritual health is taking a hard look into the mirror of the Word of God. Do you value spiritual health? How much do you value it? If you truly value it, there will be evidence in your life of that value. If you value prayer, you do not just talk about prayer, you pray. If you value sharing the gospel, you do not just talk about how to share it, you share it regularly. This requires honest evaluation of where you are spiritually, relationally and structurally in your ministry and at your church. A big part of this journey begins when you are willing to honestly assess what type of leader you are.
Are you a leader worth following? Are you a leader others enjoy and want to follow more than they feel like they have to follow? In The 110x Leader by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram, they utilize The Support-Challenge Matrix to help us become healthier leaders. The four quadrants help us determine which disposition we lead from — Liberate, Dominate, Protect or Abdicate. They state, “The art of leadership then, is the appropriate calibration of support and challenge at a specific moment, in a specific context for a specific person.” Where would your team place you on the matrix, and what kind of leader do they see you as?
All too often in leadership, we begin to challenge before we ever consider how we will support those we challenge and train them in what we have challenged them to do. A great question to ask those you lead is, “What can I do to help you be successful?” Jeremie and Steve say, “To become a person worth following it is vital that you first establish support with those you lead before you challenge them.” Great leaders always begin with support. Support is equal to equipping and training them properly. It is not enough to only challenge people about what to do without explaining how to do it and showing them.
One method of leadership development is referred to as MAWL (Model/Assist/Watch/Launch). You need to model it through demonstration, assist them by helping them model it for others, withdraw by watching the one you trained demonstrate it themselves and then leave it to the one you have poured your support into to launch out on their own as you focus on helping others. Your job, as a leader, is to help them reach their highest potential by discipling, training and providing those you lead with the resources they need to accomplish what you have challenged them to accomplish. The journey involves discovering, developing and deploying those you lead.
Once your support level is where it needs to be, you can then begin challenging them to accomplish what they never believed was possible. Listen to what Jesus said to His followers in John 14:12: “The one who believes in Me will do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these.” Jesus discovered, developed and deployed His disciples; then we have the book of Acts, where the church grew exponentially. A leader worth following is someone who desires those they lead to accomplish even greater works then them. You support and challenge them to even greater influence and impact.
What kind of leader are you? Would the word “liberate” describe how you lead? This leader gives high support and high challenge and creates a culture of empowerment and opportunity. Jeremie and Steve state, “To liberate means to fight for the highest possible good for those you lead.” Maybe you are described better by the word “dominating” because you give high challenge but low support. You are good at expecting a lot, but are very lacking in providing the resources needed for your team to succeed. Sometimes we are setting people up for failure by building a culture of fear and manipulation.
Then there are the protectors, who are high support but very low challenge. You never want to offend, and you cannot stand the idea of anyone ever being upset with you. If you are not careful, you will build a culture of entitlement and mistrust. Instead of challenging those on your team that you have supported, you will simply go around them and ask someone else to accomplish the goal.
The last quadrant is low support and low challenge, and is referred to as those who abdicate. This creates a culture of apathy and low expectation. You succumb to the status quo, and the team is just going through the motions.
Remember, before you can support others you must first support yourself. In other words, put your oxygen mask on first, then help those around you with theirs!
P.O. Box 878 • Conway, Ark. 72033-0878
(501) 455-4977 • email@example.com
Larry barker, Director of Operations North America
BMA of America Missions Department
healthychurchpodcast.com • healthychurchsolutions.org
Stand Firm & Live Epic
Helping you navigate such a time as this.
By Jake McCandless
firstname.lastname@example.org • standfirmministries.com
Warned for a Reason
I’ve been writing and speaking on the topic of standing firm for several years, and many have been supportive; but, as you can imagine, I’ve faced pushback. You may have some pushback for me, but before you send that email, please hear me out.
First, I completely agree with the criticism toward Stand Firm on behalf of the Great Commission (making disciples and reaching the lost). Sharing the good news is the most important issue the church should be focused on. By no means is the topic of standing firm and facing challenges to our faith even on par with sharing the gospel, but I think we could agree that the message of perseverance should be included in the mix of overall teaching. I ultimately believe it’s our wholehearted commitment to the Great Commission that ultimately helps us stand firm.
Second, the most prevailing pushback has been, “Jake, yes many are leaving the church, and many seem to be turning away from the faith, but that’s just what the Bible says is going to happen. It’s just part of it. Jesus said there would be both wheat and tares in the church.”
Again, this pushback is biblical, for Scripture states in many places there will be those who will not truly believe nor will persevere. This is seen in the Parable of the Soils — it’s reality that some who seem to profess Christ will have that gospel seed not take root, burn up, be snatched away by the evil one or be choked out by the world. As mentioned, there will be wheat and tares in the church at the end of the age harvest. There are those who will have done seemingly great things in the name of the Lord who will hear, “Depart from me I never knew you.” There are those who wimp out as John Mark did in his journey with Paul, those who shipwreck their faith as Paul mentioned, those who love the world too much like Demas and others who are in danger of having their opportunity to be a lampstand of hope removed because they’ve fallen from their first love, hold to the teaching of Balaam, tolerate the woman Jezebel, have dead deeds or have become lukewarm.
The Bible teaches that there will be those who turn away and are at a minimum found unfaithful; but I believe there doesn’t have to be the number of faith casualties that occur. These verses on turning away aren’t simply declarations, they’re warnings. By their nature, warnings express that some may be spared if they heed that warning. Through the power of Christ expressed in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we can be found faithful. We can stand firm — that’s the reason we’re warned!
Jake is available for revivals and preaching — learn more at standfirmministries.com.
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Should Christians Be Judgmental?
By Scott Attebery
A recent quote in a local magazine caught my attention. A spokesman for a secular organization critiqued a Christian for speaking his convictions, but that’s not the part that caught my eye. What stood out to me were the additional comments made by the organization’s spokesman, in which she said (paraphrase), “the convictions this man has spoken are judgmental, which is a direct contradiction to Christianity.”
Okay, so here are a few quick thoughts:
• It’s strange to think a non-Christian has the wisdom to define what is and isn’t “Christian.”
• To state that something is or isn’t “Christian” is a judgment.
• While certain “judging” is warned against in Scripture, there is plenty of admonition to “judge” and make “judgments” (but that’s a different subject).
The whole issue heightened my awareness that the world is not leaving Christianity alone. Instead, many non-believers are trying to redefine the message of Christ’s gospel.
What’s worse is that many who claim to be “Christians” buy into false teaching and begin to propagate a false gospel. Whether or not it is because of their lack of knowledge, lack of conversion or desire for worldliness (or a combination of all three), believers are called to be on guard against false gospels.
Paul wrote to the Galatians: I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:6-10 ESV).
Wow, that’s some pretty strong language Paul is using. The call to guard against “other gospels” is crucial to the Christian life. The best way to be on guard against false gospels is to know the real gospel. The more your life revolves around the gospel, the more aware you will be of errors in false teachings.
Further, you must never allow your faith to go into “cruise control” where you cease to test ideas and teachings. One of the most dangerous things a Christian can do is to stop thinking. Test everything you read and hear against Scripture. Ask whether the teaching exalts Christ and reflects the gospel accurately.
Don’t be tempted to think, “I’m saved; that’s all that matters, so I’ll leave the deep thinking to scholars.” Every message you hear has the power to impact your heart. Proverbs 4:23 states: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
So when it comes to filtering incoming messages, good judgment is a must! (scottattebery.com/christian-living/when-judging-is-good)
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Pro-Lifers Working to Place PRC Next to PP Facilities
“Pro-lifers in Arkansas are working to place pregnancy resource centers (PRC) next door to both of Arkansas’ Planned Parenthood (PP) facilities,” said Jerry Cox, president of Arkansas’ Family Council. In an email, Toni Blackwell (the 40 Days for Life coordinator in Little Rock) reports that Caring Hearts Pregnancy Center is working to convert a dentist office into a pregnancy center next door to Planned Parenthood’s Little Rock abortion facility. She says that mothers soon will be able to go to that location for free ultrasounds and resources that can help them choose options besides abortion.
In Northwest Arkansas, Loving Choices Pregnancy Centers is working to acquire a location next door to the new Planned Parenthood facility in Rogers. Planned Parenthood’s Rogers facility opened Sept. 14. According KHBS/KHOG, the facility will not perform abortions right away, but intends to be licensed as an abortion facility by the end of this year.
In the meantime, Planned Parenthood’s website indicates the facility will offer abortion referrals — meaning it’s important for pro-lifers to be available to minister to women outside that facility. (familycouncil.org)
SCOTUS to Hear Important
The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) just set a date for a major abortion case that could overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion once again. The hearing on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health is scheduled for Dec. 1 at the Supreme Court, The Hill reports. Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said she is looking forward to the opportunity to convince the court that there is no constitutional right to abortion and Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
In Roe and later Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court prohibited states from banning abortions before an unborn baby is viable. As a result, the U.S. is one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In legal filings, Fitch urged the high court to end this erroneous precedent allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again.
The case centers around a 2018 Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and the question of “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortion are unconstitutional.” The lone Mississippi abortion facility, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and the Center for Reproductive Rights are suing to block the law.
On Sept. 20, the high court announced that the Dec. 1 hearing will be held in-person. The session will be closed to the public, but a live audio feed will be available for anyone who wants to listen. The Supreme Court typically releases its rulings on major cases in late June. Pro-life leaders celebrated the opportunity to restore protections to unborn babies after nearly 50 years of legalized abortion on demand.
Since the Supreme Court ruled on Roe in 1973, almost 63 million unborn babies and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of mothers have been killed in legal abortions. (lifenews.com)
At Least 14 Christians
Killed in Nigeria
Militant groups have killed at least 14 Christians, including an evangelical pastor, in southern Kaduna since Sept. 11 and have kidnapped a Catholic priest, the Premium Times of Nigeria reported. The macheted and gunshot body of Silas Yakubu Ali, senior pastor of the Evangelical Church Winning All in the Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, was found Sept. 12 after he failed to attend worship. He had been ambushed after his motorcycle ran out of fuel near Asha-Awuce about a third of a mile from his home.
The killings also include two youths who were attacked while working on a farm in Zangon Kataf, and at least 11 people, including two pregnant women, killed in an attack on Apyizhime Jim Village, The Daily Post reported Sept. 13. Ten of those killed in Apyizhime Village were members of a church Ali oversaw, and one was Catholic, Christian Solidary Worldwide (CSW) said. Benson Yakusak, a priest at St. Matthews Catholic Church Achuna-Sarki, also in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, was kidnapped by armed militants, CSW reported.
Religious leaders and others have lamented ongoing violence in Nigeria, describing the country as under a national emergency. The majority Christian area of southern Kaduna is considered an epicenter of kidnappings and attacks, despite a high security presence. Professor Chidi Odinkalu, former chair of the Nigeria Human Rights Commission, tweeted Sept. 13 that despite the military and security presence, “entire communities are being liquidated, displaced, (and) destroyed.”
CSW referenced an analysis by Murtala A. Rufa’l, a lecturer at Usman Danfodiyo University in Sokoto, indicating that 120 armed gangs as large as 2,000 members each operate in Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi and Niger states, empowered by at least 500 AK-47 rifles. Since 2011, militants have killed more than 12,000 people, destroyed 120 villages, displaced at least 50,000 villagers and stolen more than 250,000 heads of livestock in Zamfara state alone, Rufa’l said.
The International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, an independent non-profit that advocates for societal freedom regardless of religion, said in July that 3,462 Christians had been hacked to death by Nigerian Jihadists in a 200-day span. In addition, 3,000 Christians had been abducted and 300 churches attacked.
Boko Haram, terrorists aligned with the Islamic State, are suspected of making plans to join other terrorists already fighting in southern Kaduna, the Nigeria Security and Civilian Defense Corps said Sept. 8. In its 2021 World Watch List, Open Doors USA ranked Nigeria as 10th among the top 50 countries where it is most dangerous for Christians. More Christians are killed there for their faith than in any other country, Open Doors has said. (baptistpress.com)
The Stray (Part 2)
The empty feeling inside was a constant companion and the pursuit of anything to sustain him a relentless circle. He did not remember a time he had not been hungry. The easiest place to find food was in the cans outside houses. If you pushed enough to tip one over, you could find all kinds of treasures. He learned to be quick before someone heard the noise and came to investigate. The people would speak harshly and throw things if you stayed too long.
On more than one occasion, he had felt the sharp sting of a pellet gun on his hindquarters. He knew others who had been shot with more lethal ammunition and did not return to the daily hunt for food.
He stopped to rest and was startled by the man coming out to his truck in the driveway. Instinctively, the hair on his neck stood up and the guttural rumbling started. Usually, this kept most unsuspecting people away long enough for him to figure out where he would go next.
“It’s alright boy, I’m not going to hurt you. But you really shouldn’t be growling at me in my own yard.” The tone of voice was soft and easy. He moved away on his own and slipped around the corner.
He heard water splashing into a bucket and peeked back around the corner. The man turned off the water and drove away, leaving the bucket sitting there by the brick wall. The coolness gave him some relief from the harsh morning sun. Maybe he would hang around and find some shade.
Every day, the man would fill the bucket before he left for work. In the afternoon, he would bring out a bowl of brown pellets and leave them next to the water. Then he would move away and go about his business, always using a calm voice.
There was another person in the house who talked differently, almost like a song and when he heard her voice it made him feel happy. She called him a good boy and let him nuzzle her hand. She said he had pretty, blue eyes and started calling him Sinatra, whatever that meant.
After a while, the man came out and put a collar around his neck. He had seen others with this kind of accessory. It meant that he belonged! Someone was willing to give him a name and make him a part of their family. No more roaming and no more hunger. The man opened the gate to the backyard, and he walked inside. Within these walls there was a bed with shelter, a place for food and water that was renewed every day and lots of room to run. No one would ever throw things at him or shoot at him. He didn’t have to fear reckless drivers or people who would hurt him or take advantage of him. This yard was perfect! And every day the man would play with him, and the woman would come talk to him and love on him and he had a place to belong.
So why did he feel the draw to leave? There was nothing outside this fence but hunger, hurt and danger, but something inside of him wanted to get away.
One day, he escaped through the partially closed gate. He roamed and ran the neighborhood, exploring all the places he had not seen in a while. Nothing about those old places were comforting at all and a scary looking man had even tried to catch him, but he managed to slip out of his collar and run. When he felt the familiar rumble in his stomach, he started back where he knew there would be food.
The man saw him coming and opened the gate.
He became quite skilled at escaping the fenced-in yard, and the man would open the gate and let him back in every time. He did not understand why the man and his mate would keep letting him back in every time he ran away. He did not deserve their affection. Maybe the next time he left, he wouldn’t come back. So he didn’t.
Deuteronomy 30 describes it best and you should read the whole chapter, but since I only have room for one verse here, how about verse 19: “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses; therefore, choose life…”
Gable, Former Ark. Missionary, Dies
Garland Gable, 95 of Conway, passed away Sept. 14. He was a member of Central Baptist Church in Conway.
Bro. Gable attended Beebe Schools and Central Baptist College. He surrendered to the ministry in 1957 and was an Arkansas state missionary for 27 years. During this time, he built church buildings and served as pastor and interim pastor for several churches, including: Bethel in Cabot, Colony South in Fort Smith, Commerce Road in Pine Bluff, Sardis Road in Mabelvale and Pointer Trail in Van Buren. For several years, he also helped Van Anderson construct church buildings.
He was a combat war veteran in World War II, serving in Europe in the 69th Infantry Division, and was the recipient of several medals — the Bronze Star, Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar, WWII Victory Medal and others.
Survivors include: his wife of 74 years, Martha Pettigrew Gable; two sons, Wes Gable and Jeff (Kim) Gable; one sister, Judy Gordan and one grandson.
Graveside services were held Sept. 17 at Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens under the direction of Smith Westbrook Funeral Home (smithfamilycares.com/westbrook).
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Dr. John M. Adams
Morality and Purity
“The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but the words of the pure are pleasant words” (Prov. 15:26).
Let us remind ourselves that the purity we seek can never be our own achievement. There is a strange paradox here — only the pure in heart shall see God; only those who see God shall be pure in heart. Morality stems from purity!
Without self-discipline and the leadership of the Holy Spirit there can be no divine deliverance. For the attainment of that Christian purity, from the indulgence of the flesh:
• Read no books and see no movies which inflame desire. If the book you have innocently purchased is doing that, throw it away. If a movie is the offender, get up and leave the place.
• Indulge in no stories nor listen to any that have uncleanness or ugly sexual preference. Turn away from the company where these are the vogue.
• Avoid anything that lowers your inhibitions, especially alcohol and drugs.
• Set a watch at the door of your eyes. Lusting often begins by looking.
• Let your thoughts dwell on what to do and be, rather than running into temptation.
• Keep your mind occupied with Christ and the pattern He has given us.
Who could hope for fellowship with God if he were living an unchaste life? Purity is a discipline of the more abundant life with Christ. It means freedom from anything foreign to the essential Christian character. A pure person is one in whom is nothing alien to the character which was God’s intention for him.
Purity of Heart (Matt. 15:8-20)
Purity of the heart means getting rid of everything that is unlovely or unloving, everything that is unjust, contentious, wrathful, uncharitable, resentful, fearful, snobbish, opinionated, prejudiced, arrogant, sluggish, sectarian, racial, fanatical and unreal. Purity’s single motive is to please God from the heart.
Purity of Thought (Matt. 6:22-24)
Banish wayward thoughts that would occupy the mind. As Albert Edward Day puts it, “Do not pasture your sheep just anywhere.” Avoid the company, the conversation, the thoughts, the pictures, the movies, the readings which stimulate such ungodlike ambitions.
Purity of Intentions (Matt. 5:8)
Take away from your prayer time and time of meditation in the Word some thought or purpose to help sanctify the rest of the day. Several times a day, during each day, pause and close your eyes and let your mind rest upon God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
Instead of throwing up our hands in despair or throwing away our hunger for God in reversion to some lesser idol, seek Him intently. We need to seek God for 10 years, 20 years and for all our life.
If you will make the purity of God your earnest quest, the God of Morality will give Himself to you in fullness.
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Bryan & Pam Risner • Romania
The group of teens and kiddos in the picture above are extra special to me. One young man was experiencing the forest for the first time in this photo. He could not believe that God created a place like this, the forest! Nineteen students are experiencing a new life in Jesus, and one student’s spiritual eyes are opened like never before — Lindsey accepted Christ at camp this year! She had thought she was saved when she was 7, but Friday night at camp, she gave her life to the Lord — and she knows without a doubt that Heaven is her home. She said, “Wow! This is what it is like to know for sure that you are going to Heaven!
Wow! That seems to be my (Pam’s) word here lately. So much has happened:
• Since April, Bryan and I have each completed four classes of the PACE Program at CBC, and we are currently in our fifth class.
• In July, Melody turned 16 and Bryan and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.
• The kids have completed their 10th grade year, enjoyed a jam-packed summer and started their 11th grade year.
• We enjoyed a visit from Bryan’s parents, Candra returned from America and we enjoyed a visit from my mom, brother and niece.
• We moved six hours from Santandrei to Ghimbav to begin a new church plant.
• We had an amazing church camp with Daniel Bagosi and surrounding village churches.
• We also had a blessed prayer retreat with the Martinez family and Sara.
• This month we will be traveling to Hungary, where Bryan will teach an evangelism class to their college students.
• Santandrei (Roma) Ministry Update — How do I describe this ministry? God is faithful about sums it up! We have experienced highs and lows, often in the same few hours. We are thankful for a smooth transition from Bryan to Marius. We are in contact weekly, and will make a visit in December. The team there sends us a weekly update with photos. We miss the community, but are excited to see how God blesses under Marius’s leadership. The children are meeting weekly for a time of songs, Bible stories and games. They love the Bible songs! This past week they were introduced to puppets for the Bible story.
Marius has been making house visits the past few months. He is now meeting with individuals on Sundays for a Bible study. They are studying the 10 Commandments.
Please continue to pray for this ministry. Working with the Roma (Gypsy) people is often hard and frustrating with little visible results. But God! Jesus died for these
people, too! Pray for Marius to have wisdom and much endurance. Pray for Lavi. Teaching these kids is like bathing 30 cats at a time!
• Brasov Ministry Update — We (as well as Candra) are settled into our new homes in Ghimbav. It was a long hard few weeks of packing, hauling and unpacking our home and Candra’s duplex, but we are settling in nicely and working hard to get to know the locals. The first of September, we had a prayer retreat with our whole Brasov team.
We spent some intentional time learning about the Brasov area, praying for the city, learning about each other and praying for each other. Each Wednesday one of our team members host the whole team for supper and a time of prayer. Every other Thursday the ladies/guys meet. We are using Thursdays as Grow Groups to study Scripture and encourage each other and will soon invite the people we have built new relationships with into these groups. Please continue to pray for us as we intentionally shop, eat and do life with the local people of Ghimbav and Brasov. (email@example.com / risnersinromania.com).
Church Camp SOS 2021
Brasov Ministry Team — Martinez Family, Risner Family, Candra and Sara.
Prospect, Jonesboro, Sept. 26, 10 am; Crimson Sealed Trio (special music); Randy Lingenfelter (message); potluck lunch; Mike Book, pastor.
10th Anniversary, Celebration, Haskell, Oct. 10, 9:30 a.m.; Darrin Smith (message); lunch provided; Allan Eakin, pastor.
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Planning a Low-Risk, Festive Fall Event
Last year (Fall 2020), we curated information on how to host fall events with measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. While the addition of vaccines over the past nine months have made an impact on the illness, some communities are seeing surges in positive cases and hospitalizations as we head into autumn.
If you are planning fall activities for your church or school, here are a few things to keep an eye on:
• The CDC recently shared guidance that, in general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings. However, in communities where there is a high number of COVID-19 cases, the CDC recommends wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact to others who are not fully vaccinated.
• Vaccines currently are only available for ages 12 and older, so younger children are still vulnerable to the disease and the Delta variant. Note: To stay up to date on CDC guidance for gatherings, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/index.
• In addition to reviewing CDC guidance, know your community and state’s public safety measures and recommendations regarding masking and vaccinations for public gatherings.
• If you decide to require or strongly encourage face coverings, please note that a costume mask should not replace a protective mask. A protective mask should never be worn over or under a costume mask as this could restrict breathing. To keep it festive, suggest to guests and volunteers that they may be able to decorate their protective masks or find one that coordinates with their costume.
• Remind guests and volunteers to stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days or are showing symptoms, whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated.
Making it Low Risk
Right now, gatherings that take place outdoors would be considered more low risk for spreading COVID-19 because of the constant supply of fresh air and the ability for people to spread out. Indoor activities, where it may be harder to social distance, would be considered more high risk. Offering low-risk activities that follow CDC recommendations may give your community a small taste of “normal.” With some creativity, your church or school could modify one or more of its autumn traditions.
Modifying a Trunk-or-Treat Event
Trunk-or-treats events offer an alternative to walking through neighborhoods, knocking on the doors of strangers. The idea is to decorate the trunks of various vehicles and distribute candy in a personalized and fun way. Children can go car to car, receive candy, and enjoy the themes and decorations. Trunk-or-treats also offer an opportunity to reach out to the community with the gospel and a positive message about your church or school.
Much like the drive-in worship services some churches offered in 2020, it’s important to provide adequate space between cars. This can be done by staggering occupied spaces in a parking lot or by making sure vehicles are at least six feet apart.
You’ll want to clearly designate and secure separate areas for the following:
• Decorated cars participating in the trunk-or-treat
• Parking for families who are bringing their kids
• An area for games, food or other activities
Note: If you are staging outdoor entertainment, here’s a tip to help with social distancing for seating: Instead of using a confined space like bleachers, ask participants to bring their own chairs so they can spread out across the lawn or parking lot. If your trunk-or-treat event includes hands-on activities, provide a hand-washing station for children and adults.
To prevent accidents that can happen when children mix with cars:
• Designate a time for people to decorate their cars in place before the event starts and a time to pull their cars out after the event ends. This minimizes car movement during the event.
• Remind participants to keep their cars turned off for the entire event.
• Ensure all children are a safe distance away before allowing cars to move.
• Watch for children darting into unsecured areas.
Considerations for Volunteers
Many volunteers will be necessary for the event to proceed smoothly. Consider how many you will need to do the following:
• Guide decorated vehicles to their spaces for the trunk-or-treat.
• Direct traffic in and out of your parking lot.
• Control the flow of participants.
• Promote social distancing.
• Instruct all volunteers how to distribute treats in a sanitary way.
• Allow only prepackaged treats to be given away.
• Require the use of hand sanitizer by people distributing treats.
• Hand out treats individually, rather than letting multiple children grab candy from a bowl.
• In the alternative, have volunteers space out treats on a table placed between themselves and the children or place treats in individual baggies for the children to take.
Safety Tips for Guests
• Have children follow a clearly marked, one-way path through the trunk-or-treat area.
• Siblings can stick together, but all other children should try to social distance, especially if they are not wearing protective masks.
• Require parental supervision for all children.
• Ask parents to inspect treats before children eat them.
• Urge everyone to respect the designated areas for treats and games to avoid accidents in the parking lot.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Once you have taken the time to manage all the potential risks you can identify, consider incorporating some of these ideas to ramp up the “fun” factor:
• Have a trunk decorating contest. See who can create the most elaborate (ugly/beautiful/you-name-it) vehicle. Award a prize to the winner.
• Announce a theme. Encourage people to dress in costumes and/or decorate their trunks in a way that matches the theme. Consider a traveling trophy, bragging rights or a photo gallery on social media.
• Reframe the games. Find a way to offer no-touch or low-touch games. Consider modifying the cake walk – a festival staple of days gone by. Place the numbered squares six feet apart, turn up the music, and get ready to give away some packaged fall cookies, sweets and treats. Or convert “musical chairs” into “freeze dance.” Instead of scrambling for seats when the music stops, every dancer holds a pose. Anyone who moves before the music restarts is out of the game, until you have a winner. There are many ways party games can be modified, just waiting to be explored.
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Local Associational Meetings Continue
Last Thursday, I had the privilege to speak at the Central Arkansas association, which met at Calvary in Whitehall. As stated before, it was good to visit friends and make new ones. Thank you, Central Arkansas Association, for all you do.
I received a call from one of our church’s pastors who came from a SBC church sharing that in his nearly two years of being in one of our associations, no one has contacted or visited with him. He said he had a desire to know more about the BMA, and I told him that I would be more than happy to travel to his location and visit with him. I did my best to apologize to him and I believe this is, to some degree, an area lacking in our local associations with no one person being at fault. May we, as associational churches, be sure to be conscious of new pastors as well as sister churches that we have not heard from for some time. A simple word of encouragement might be all they need.
Well, it was good to be back at the first church I ever pastored Sunday. Fairview in Jonesboro will always hold a special place in my heart. After all, it was Fairview who called a 37-year-old newly surrendered preacher with zero pastoral experience. It was there, that first ten and a half years with those gracious people, that prepared me for what God had in store for Vicki and me in the future. They loved us then, and they still do. I wish them the best.
Off to a Good Start
After organizing Aug. 28, Connection Point Baptist Church held their first official business meeting Sunday night. Much was discussed, a budget for the coming year was approved, trustees were elected, along with the church clerk, treasurer, teachers and so on. Please continue to pray for this new body. They will be petitioning the BMA of Arkansas for membership at our November meeting.
2021 State Missions Special Emphasis Goal - $50,000
Thank you all for supporting our missionaries through your donations to Special Emphasis.
Balance on Aug 31 $33,126.90:
Donations by Month:
Calvary, White Hall 1,905.00
Cornerstone, Arkadelphia 90.00
Crockett Bluff, DeWitt 500.00
Fairview, Blytheville * 100.00
Pocahontas, Pocahontas * 231.00
Tenth Street, Paragould * 100.00
Rebecca & Steven Smith 100.00
Sept. 1-15 Total $3,026.00
Balance on Sept. 15 $36,152.90
Previously given *
From Our Missionaries
The Mustard Seed, Cain: Jim Tolli
son writes, “The Lord blessed us with a great day. Our attendance is beginning to start back up, and we also had a returning visitor. Praise the Lord!
“I enjoyed meeting with the Advisory Committee this week, as well. They are a very encouraging group of Christian men. Their prayers and encouraging words are always very special.
“We have some families that are still facing some serious medical issues. One of our church families has a mother who has been on a ventilator for a long time. The doctors are doubtful concerning her recovery. We are still counting on the Great Physician to come through.
“One of the ladies with COVID went home but had a heart attack. She had a couple of stints put in and is still in ICU. The sister of one of our members, has a mass on both lungs. One of our visitors asked for prayer for a lifetime friend recovering from COVID. He also suffers from COPD.
“As we went through the prayer requests in the service, I realized how blessed I am. I thank God for my health and my family’s health.
“The mission is praying for revival to come down to us individually and to spread to your church, too. Thanks for your prayers and support.”
Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “I had an exam Monday morning, and the results were used to determine a treatment that should be administered as soon as possible. So I spent Tuesday through Friday hospitalized, receiving the treatment intravenously and observing any reaction. Happily, on Friday afternoon I was discharged. Now I must return monthly for two applications on the same day. We hope, in the Lord, that the treatment will be effective, and that I will regain my health.
“Sunday we developed a cultural event, sharing information about the five countries represented in our congregation — El Salvador, Chile, Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala. These are countries that celebrate independence in September. The preaching dealt with the theme of true freedom, challenging us to be truly free. Of course, we ended the meeting by tasting typical food from each of the five countries.
“We are praying for revival in North Little Rock! Please join us in praying!”
Life Journey, Fort Smith: Darrin Smith writes, “We are excited to see our attendance beginning to pick up. There are several families we have reached, and they are being very faithful. We are seeing some first-time visitors each week. Our people have stepped up and are taking an active role in our Sunday morning worship.
“The van we picked up from one of our former missions has helped us reach several families. We have been averaging about nine van riders each service. I am thankful for Rodney, who has faithfully stepped up to keep this going.
“We have started talking about organizing as a church, but we’re not sure of the exact timeline. One of our members said it best, ‘Birth is natural. We will know when it is time. We just don’t want to rush it.’ That is true. It is good to be talking about this! Pray with us as we begin this process.”
Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “It has been a very busy week, full of good news. Monday, I was present in the Berean Group (cell) of Chenal. We had very good participation, with encouragement, everyone was present.
“Tuesday, a brother who drives a FedEx truck called me. For several months, he was inconsistent in attendance at church. He called to give me the good news that they had changed the route and that he would be attending every Sunday. It was a response to our prayers. That same Tuesday, the Advisory Committee of the Arkansas BMA visited us to see how the mission is doing. It was good to receive them and let them know what God is doing among us and receive their encouragement and prayers.
“Wednesday, we were in the Berean Group in Bryant. It was encouraging for them to be able to start again with a new study material.
“Thursday, we visited the Berean Group in Southwest Little Rock. Our visit was a surprise for them, but one of great enthusiasm.
“The First Hispanic Baptist Church of Edinburg, Texas was celebrating its 90th anniversary this Sunday. In my time in Texas, I was the associate pastor, and I was asked to preach on this important anniversary. Friday, we made a video with the sermon that would be broadcast on Sunday for them. During this time of pandemic their services are online. It was a blessing to know that I would be preaching in Edinburg, Texas and here in Little Rock. I saw the comments on the Edinburg FBC Facebook, and it was a blessing. Thank you for praying for us. To God be the glory!”
Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “What a busy week. My mom came to visit for a week. We had a great time with her, but we did eat too much.
“Monday, the Advisory Committee made their annual trip to all of the missions. They got to see the land where we plan to build our permanent church home, and then came to our rented building and interviewed me. I told them how things are going, what our plans are and how we are just trying to navigate COVID and do outreach and ministry and build a permanent home. This group of men not only advises the Missionary Committee and the State Missions Department and looks out for the BMA’s interests, they offer us, the missionaries, encouragement, support and true brotherly friendship and real help in our missions. That means so much to us, and we know we can depend on lifetime relationships with each of them. They all love my mom and invited her to supper with us. Again, we ate too much!
“We ended the week with a funeral for a dear saint, one who lived her faith and one of our charter members. We know, without a doubt, that now she is with Jesus. We will miss her terribly, but we rejoice for her.
“Thank you all for your prayers for us, and for our mission. God is answering them!”
Providence, Hope, Sept. 26-29, 6 p.m. Sun. (Jared Askew, evangelist); 7 p.m. Mon.-Wed. (Jake Vandenberg, evangelist); Casey Curtis, pastor.
Lemonwood, Pine Bluff, Oct. 8-10; 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 11 a.m. Sun.; concert 1 p.m. Sun.; Jamie Coulter, evangelist; Ronnie Johnson, pastor.
Fairview, Jonesboro, Oct. 10-13, 10:45 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. Sun.; 6:30 p.m. Mon.-Wed.; Paul Vincent, evangelist; Gary Henderson, pastor.
Crossroads, Warren, Oct. 18-20; 7 p.m.; Aaron Maxwell, evangelist; Sidney McGraw, pastor.
First, St. Charles, Nov. 3-5; 7 p.m.; Luke Watson, evangelist; The Walker Sisters, music; Wayne McLean, interim pastor.
Re:Charge Leader’s Oasis, Sept. 27-29; Doubletree Dallas Market Center, Dallas, Texas
Gospel Singing, Oct. 2, 6 p.m.; Church Quartet; no meal; Faustina, Hampton.
Cent. Ark. Dist. WMA, Oct. 9, 10 a.m.; North View, North Little Rock.
CBC Singers, Nov. 14, 10:30 a.m.; Chenal Valley, Little Rock.
National Senior Adult Conference, Nov. 15-17; Chateau on the Lake, Branson, Mo.
Opportunities For Service
First Baptist Church of Bald Knob is seeking a full-time pastor. For more information, contact Danny Barnes at (501) 724-4177.
Meadowside Baptist Church in Pittsburg, Kan. is seeking a full-time pastor. Contact Greg Hardister at (620) 704-6860.
West Race Baptist Church of Searcy, Ar is seeking a full time Youth/Children’s minister. Those interested in the position may email Pastor Chad Brandon at email@example.com to obtain a copy of the job description and a questionnaire.
Reports from the Churches
Brister, Emerson added six by letter and one by baptism since last report; Dr. Eric Goble, pastor.
Cathedral, Jonesboro welcomed two by letter; Ken Beavers, pastor.
Grace, Russellville gained 1 by baptism and 3 by letter; Roger Pearce, pastor.
Milligan Ridge, Manilla received two by statement; Mike Colvin, pastor.
Oak Grove, Jonesboro witnessed one by baptism; Wynndel King, pastor.
Trenton, Marvell rejoices over three by statement and two by baptism; Mike Shelley, pastor.
Worden, Bald Knob reports two by letter; Paul Bearfield, pastor.
Robert Austin Tims, 78 of Jonesboro, passed away Sept. 17. He was a member of Cathedral Baptist Church.
Mary Hellen Pruitt, 94 of Greenbrier, passed away Aug. 28. She was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church.
Robert “Bob” Zumwalt, 71 of Prescott, passed away Aug. 22. He was a member of Central Baptist Church.
South Arkansas — Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.; Pleasant Grove, El Dorado; Mike Seen.
Columbia — Sept. 26 at 4 p.m.; Antioch East, Magnolia; David Watkins.
Clark — Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.; Gum Springs, Arkadelphia; Kenneth Anderson
Mount Calvary — Oct. 2 at 9 a.m., Russell, Russell; Glen Shults.
Union — Oct. 3; 3:30 p.m. meeting; 6 p.m., worship service; Bodcaw#1, Bodcaw; Larry Byers.
Judson — Oct. 9 at 9 a.m.; Kingsland, Kingsland; Lance Hollis.
Central Ark. WMA – Oct. 9 at 10 a.m.; North View, NLR.
Greenbrier — Oct. 10; 3:30 p.m., Missionary Committee; 4 p.m., general session; 6 p.m., message; New Home, Quitman; Tony Crocker.
Harmony — Oct. 10 at 6 p.m.; Central, Ashdown; Don Emory.
Jonesboro — Oct. 16 at 10 a.m.; Cathedral, Jonesboro; Mitch Doss.
Arkansas Prairie — Oct. 22-23; 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday; Sunnyside, DeWitt; Robert Wade.
Howard — Oct. 23 at 9 a.m.; Immanuel, Nashville; Jarod Hendry.
Any active BMA military personnel is eligible to receive the Trumpet free. Please send their name, address or email address to P.O. Box 192208, Little Rock, Ark. 72219; or firstname.lastname@example.org.