February 2010 Newsjournal of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware • www.baptistlifeonline.org
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: General Mission Board...................... 6 AssociationLIFE..................................8 Annie Armstrong Offering...............12 God’s Plan for Sharing (GPS)..........14 2009 Review.....................................20 BCM/D Chaplain Unit Leader and Chaplain Trainer Mike Hayden leads a dedication service for BCM/D’s new chaplain/crisis care unit. When BCM/D disaster relief teams are deployed, the unit will also be dispatched to provide spiritual counseling and support. (See page 11)
K, what’s next? Many of us are asking that question as we begin this new decade. I have encountered few people who are sad to see 2009 go. In fact, I cannot David Lee think of any right BCM/D Executive now! Most of us Director breathed a collective sigh of relief when that ball fell in New York City New’s Year Eve. I found an old file recently with notes from an address I made to a group doing “futuring.” In that presentation, I referenced research from sociologists steeped in generation studies who were suggesting that something dramatic would occur in 2010 that would reshape life as we know it. I hope they were a year off and what they were predicting actually occurred in the form of all the economic turmoil of 2009. That was
enough drama for me! How about you? Whatever the case, we approach 2010 with relief, concern and several question marks. We also as believers approach this new decade with our souls anchored in a savior who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Dallas Willard in his book, “Renovation of the Heart,” gives perspective. “God periodically moves upon his people and in their surrounding culture to achieve his everlasting purposes for that tiny stretch of cosmic time we call ‘human history.’ This usually happens in ways that no one but he could have planned or foreseen and in ways that lie far beyond our control or comprehension.” Willard continues, “We discover, usually after the fact, that a pervasive and powerful shift has occurred. It may happen to the individual, to the group, or to an entire culture. Old ways of doing things cease to be effective, though they may have been very powerful in the past. There arises a very real danger that we will set ourselves in opposition to what
God truly is doing now and aims to do in the future. Often we miss the opportunity to act with God in the now. We fail to find, quickly enough, new wineskins for the new wine.” Here is some food for thought. • No matter what happens God is still on his throne. • None of us knows exactly what will happen, but all of us can be assured that life is going to be characterized by dramatic change. We cannot reclaim yesterday. Today is a “new normal.” None of us can predict tomorrow. • God has not abandoned us. On the contrary, God is actively involved in what is taking place around us. He is always teaching, always molding, always speaking if we will listen. • Because of God’s faithfulness in the “old,” we should not fear the “new.” In fact, we should be vigilant, looking for his hand in what is taking place. • And if God is about to do a new thing, I certainly don’t want to miss it!
me professionally. Sometimes it just comes at you in waves and patterns that are not always in your control. But, nevertheless, I was wrong to let myself get into that position. I am pretty efficient most of the time juggling the complexity of what is my life. Most people who know me well tell me that I am multi-talented and very gifted in numerous disciplines. I recognize that. Often, though, I am my own worst enemy when it comes to prioritizing things. Part of my nature is to do it all and do it all with excellence. But the last several months even I got to the point of feeling like I was drowning. Frankly, I didn’t like the feeling. It made me commit to simplifying my entire life as I moved into 2010. So… I am in the process of slowing myself down. I have made the following commitments to myself which I hope will also be of help to you:
BCM/D February & March Events February 6 Children’s Seminar, 9:30-2:30 pm (ext. 233) 12-13 Collegiate Summer Missions Discovery Weekend, The Church at Warren Avenue (301-481-4861) 15-21 Focus on WMU (ext. 231) 20 Children’s Ministry Day (ext. 231) 27 VBS Expo/Celebration, The Church at Severn Run, 9:30 am - 2:30 pm. (ext. 233)
March 5-6 Uncharted 2010, Ogletown Church (ext. 261) 5-6 Women on Mission Retreat, Camp Wo-Me-To (ext. 231) 7-14 Annie Armstrong Week of Prayer (ext. 231)
In praise of rearview mirrors here’s a country song written by singer/ songwriter Mac Davis that goes “I thought happiness was Lubbock, Texas, in my rear view mirror…” Bob Simpson With apologies BCM/D Assoc. to Lubbock, I am Executive Director, glad to have the BaptistLIFE Editor 2009 finally in my rearview mirror. I broke most of the rules of “pacing one’s self” over the past 4-6 months. I admit it. I did what I have advised and even preached to others that they should never do. I worked at a frenetic pace and did not even take the usual time off to re-group. Admittedly, some of it was self-induced by my having taken on more “projects” in my life than I should have. Some of it was just unfortunate timing for
(1) I will try hard not to let myself get into that condition again. (2) I will take what I learned (and felt) and apply it directly to learning to say “no” more often in the future. (3) I will stay focused on resisting the professional “creep” of doing more and more beyond my capacity. (4) I will make time for re-fueling and re-freshing. I know my strengths and I know my limitations. This year I have learned that I just can’t do it all. But when I operate within my strengths, I am so much more effective both personally and as a minister. But now I need to stop staring in my rearview mirror and get focused forward once again. I don’t know whether any of this makes any sense. But I feel better having mused it over. 2010 is a fresh new canvas for me to see if I really learned my lesson. I’ll keep you posted!
12 African American Awareness Conference, BMRC, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (ext. 227) 12-13 Ministers Wives Retreat, DoubleTree Hotel, Annapolis, Friday 4 p.m.-Saturday 2 p.m. (ext. 211) 13 Regional VBS Celebration, First Church, Temple Hills, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (ext 233) 19-20 RA Congress, Middle River Church, Friday 6:30 p.m.-Saturday 3 p.m. (ext 215) 28 Language Music Celebration, Global Mission Church of Washington, 5 p.m. (ext. 222)
For detailed information, go to www.bcmd.org/calendar or call 1-800-466-5290 and dial the extension listed.
The people have a mind to work
hen I was a senior in high school I had to take trigonometry. I was pretty good in math, but a lazy student. I only did enough to get by. So throughByron Day out the year I did BCM/D President enough to maintain and Pastor of Emmanuel Church, a C average. By the time finals rolled Laurel, Md. around and everyone was looking forward to graduation, it dawned on me that if I blew this final I wouldn’t graduate. So I set my mind to work. In the evenings, I studied hard hour after hour. On the night before the exam, I wouldn’t take any calls from friends, didn’t play with my little brother, didn’t play with the dog, no TV, no radio, no stereo (the thing you listened to before IPods), just trigonometry, just cosine and tangents.
On a break as I was passing the television, my mother asked me to change the channel (we didn’t have a remote) and my response - what page. My family enjoyed a big laugh, but you see I had a mind to work. Well, I took the test and the day came to pick up our report cards my only concern was one course – trigonometry. I picked up my grades from my teacher who looked at me with this funny grin. He told me that I had received the highest grade on the exam (98 if you must know). I rejoiced greatly (actually a shouted YES!) this all because I had a mind to work. Recorded in Neh. 4:6 is the response of a people who were facing adversity, mockery and ridicule while engaged in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. The last phrase reveals that the people had a mind to work. I wonder what would happen if the saints of God would agree to work together for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom.
I wonder what would happen if we came together pooled our resources; spiritual, physical, and financial, in full submission to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I wonder what would happen if we laid aside our differences, cultural, economic, racial, and generational in order to fulfill the great commission and the great commandment of our Lord to love one another as He has loved us. Perhaps then we could labor sideby-side and experience together a mighty movement of God. (Sounds like a cooperative program.) According to the listing in chapter 3, the people worked together regardless of their differences and personal preferences. The goldsmiths, perfumers, women, political leaders, and priests all worked together to achieve a common goal of building a wall. I wonder what would happen if those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb had a mind to work together.
LATEST BCMD.E-QUIP.NET TRAINING RESOURCES AVAILABLE MOST RECENT ADDITIONS
• Infant Brain Development 1 & 2 • Changing from Children’s Ministry to Family Ministry • Teaching Teachers to Teach • Special Needs: Adaptive Teaching and Accommodations • Special Needs: Making Good Decisions for Children with Special Needs • Special Needs: Designing a Ministry for Children of All Abilities • How to Know if Church Planting is for You (Part 1)
Church Planting Mentoring Ministry to Children Music and Worship Pastors/Pastoral Staff Sharing Christ Single Adults Small Groups Technology WMU Resources
Vol. 94 No. 1 Serving Baptists since 1849 BaptistLIFE (ISSN 331-640) is published bimonthly except for January as a Cooperative Program ministry of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. BaptistLIFE 10255 Old Columbia Road Columbia, MD 21046-1716 (Phone) 800-466-5290 (Fax) 410-290-6627 Send address changes to: firstname.lastname@example.org BaptistLIFE Staff
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Ministering through marriage at Westminster Church By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent WESTMINSTER, Md.–Romance is in the air at Westminster Church. The church’s marriage ministry is blossoming in an amazing way. But it’s not cupid who’s making it happen, it’s the Holy Spirit. Five years ago, the church began a couples’ Sunday school class that took off from the start. “More folks came than we anticipated. The first week we had to go to two larger rooms,” Greg Miller said. Miller is pastor of contemporary music and marriage. Miller and his wife Terri, who teach the class, saw that couples were hungry to learn how to communicate, relate to one another during challenging times and keep their home lives stable. “Making friends with other couples was a real draw,” Terri Miller said. As couples shared, laughed and cried with one another, they began inviting friends. The class has more than doubled. Fifty-seven couples are registered for the class. About 25 couples attend weekly and others are teaching other classes. The Millers see the class as an evangelistic outreach. God is not always a priority for people, but usually their family is. As they participate in the studies, they hear God’s Word and see how Christian families handle day-today struggles. Several couples have gone on to become strong church leaders. Though the Sunday school class was the basic building block, the ministry also includes a mentoring program, marriage enrichment, pre-marriage education and
training, support for blended families and crisis intervention, though Greg Miller stresses that the ministry strives to prevent the crisis situations. The mentoring component pairs trained mature Christian couples with those newer in the faith. “They’re not there to stand as judges, but to be friends, to share their life experiences and, when necessary, to say, ‘its okay, hang in there, we’ve been through that, and here’s what worked for us,’” Miller explained. Marriage enrichment includes such activities as the Festival of Marriage, special emphasis marriage classes and other local events such as a family life marriage conference hosted by the church in partnership with the Marriage Resource Center of Carroll County (MRCCC), a faith based organization created to support marriage and to partner with churches to help them implement and grow marriage
ministries. The church has a strong relationship with the center. Westminster Senior Pastor Larry Steen was on the founding committee for the center and Greg Miller is now the chairman of the board. “It’s great just having a lot of these resources at our fingertips,” Greg Miller said. Miller works closely with Westminster’s family and children’s minister, Chris Grella. Miller said coordination with the family and children’s ministry is very important for making the marriage ministry successful. Young couples desperately want to be good parents. Grella will teach a series of classes next month about raising Godly children. Miller said the marriage ministry is exciting and desperately needed in the community. According to the MRCCC, from 1998 to 2002, 50.6 percent of all marriage in Carroll
County ended in divorce. “Our generation has let our children down,” MRCCC Assistant Director Amy Gilford said. Young couples just don’t have enough models of solid Christian marriages, she said. Gilford said Westminster is doing a wonderful job ministering to married couples. “We wish every church would have something like that,” she said. Greg and Terri have seen their own relationship strengthen as they minister together. “It’s important that we be good role models. We work hard to live out what we’re preaching,’” Greg said. “Of course, the couples know we’re not perfect. When we’re challenged we talk about how we’re working through what’s going on in our lives. That’s been beneficial.”
It was the worst of times…it was the best of times use our church to see people won to Christ, grow in their walks and ultimately planting more churches and furthering the kingdom, who was I to ew Beginnings Church and stand in the way? Ministries, the church I had I repented that night of my selfbeen so deeply involved with ishness. both physically and emotionally since The two church leadership teams its conception eight years ago, was met. It was an amazing time struggling. The Pasadena, of discovery as we found that Md., church had always both churches were simidrawn a modest crowd, but lar. After several months of attendance had dwindled prayer, questioning and soul down to less than 30 every searching, New Beginnings Sunday. Finances were tight. voted to become Streetlite Then, in March, came Pasadena, a satellite of what we thought might Streetlite Christian Fellowbe the knockout blow: our ship based in Federal Hill. founder and pastor, John God had been preparLovelady, made the hearting both churches for this breaking announcement that merger, showing himself the Lord had called him to in so many ways—laying it minister in a church in Floron Brian’s heart to begin a ida. John was bi-vocational church in Pasadena, bringing but had invested countless us together at the banquet, hours and measureless enBob Smith (on right), campus pastor of Streetlite Christian Fellowship and even preparing the praise ergy into the church. Pasadena, leads the multisite church on Mountain Road. Brian Zimmerman, band at New Beginnings Despite the dedication, senior pastor, delivers the weekly sermon via DVD. Sermons are recorded thelast year for changes that however, the church had previous week at the Fort Avenue site. we didn’t know were coming. fallen into a rut. We had Our praise band included barely enough to pay John a proached me and told me that he was myself, playing flute, a guitar player part-time salary. With the economy and two vocalists. Last December, I failing, we knew we would have noth- talking to Dallas about looking for a satellite site in Pasadena. Dallas told began teaching myself keyboard and ing to pay a new pastor. We could one of our vocalists, Karl Philhower, him, “You’ve got to talk to Sharon just eek out the rent. We gave our began teaching himself bass guitar. Mager.” wonderful pulpit supply pastors very By January, we were both playing So Brian and I talked while in small love offerings. new instruments. We were amazed a buffet line (as the true Southern Our tiny leadership team strugand we laughed about it then, not Baptists we were) and after hearing gled trying to keep up with adminknowing God was preparing us. Bob about New Beginnings, Brian said, istrative tasks, keeping the congreSmith, now the campus pastor, as“Your leadership people need to get gation informed, the pulpit filled sumed the lead role, and Karl played with mine.” and the ministries going. Continual bass and back-up vocals. I had mixed feelings. I thought, meetings were wearing us out. We The church was revamped with “Oh no, here we go, losing our idenwere fortunate that we didn’t have tity, our coziness and becoming one of fresh paint, lighting and other renobickering or division. vations. It’s not the same. I knew it those ‘new’ churches with a different The options were clear and wouldn’t be. New Beginnings aren’t leadership style. “ daunting: we could move to a less easy but sometimes they’re necesWhen Johnny Hunt preached expensive location, meet at another sary. that night I had the inescapable feelchurch at a different time, become a Throughout the transition, I held ing that the Holy Spirit was speaking new church plant, or close the doors. on to one of my favorite verses from directly to me. Hunt told listeners I knew that merging with another Jer. 29:11, “For I know the plans I that it’s not about what we want— church was an option, but one I have for you,” declares the LORD, God gives the orders and we follow. personally did not favor and spoke “plans to prosper you and not to And I realized that I was selfagainst because I didn’t like losing harm you, plans to give you hope ish, not wanting change because our autonomy. and a future” (NIV). it wouldn’t be comfortable. If God As a correspondent for BapIn other words, when it’s the wants to use a merger, or satellite, tistLIFE, I attended a luncheon worst of times, God still has the best or any other vehicle, it’s His church during Southern Baptist President and if this was the way He wanted to of times in store for us. Johnny Hunt’s visit to Baltimore. By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent
There, Dallas Bumgarner, now campus pastor of Grace Place, Dundalk, asked me how New Beginnings was doing. I shared with him about our difficulties. Later that evening, Brian Zimmerman, pastor of Streetlite Christian Fellowship, Federal Hill, ap-
How to become a Christian God’s Initiative: God sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross, paying the penalty for your sins, and promised “everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. Our Response: Admit...that you need to be rightly related to God. Understand that you are a sinner. Pride keeps us from doing some of the most important things in life. Without God’s intervention, your sin will ultimately lead to death and eternal separation from God. “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard” Romans 3:23. Repent...from your sin and turn to God accepting by faith His gift of salvation. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23. Believe...that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, makes it possible for you to have a relationship with God. “This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” 1 John 4:10. Confess...your sin to God. If you want to make this choice now, you can express that desire to God in a prayer similar to this one: “Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus shed his blood, died and rose again to take the punishment for my sin. I accept your offer of forgiveness and eternal life. I thank you for what you have done for me, and I give you my life from this day forward.” Express...your faith publicly. Share it with a Christian friend or a pastor. You will want to become involved in a local church where you can grow in your knowledge of Christ. If you choose a Baptist church, you will be encouraged to be baptised as a public expression of your faith. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Anyone who believes in Him will not be disappointed” Romans 10:9,11. Scripture from the New Living Translation
David Lee declares 2010 as ‘Year of Relationships’ at December General Mission Board meeting Executive Director’s Report BCM/D Executive Director David Lee reiterated the BCM/D’s COLUMBIA, Md.—Baptist mission statement, to intentionally Convention of Maryland/Delaware assist in starting and strengthening (BCM/D) Executive Director David congregations so that together we Lee proclaimed 2010 as the “Year of can accomplish the Great CommisRelationships” at the Dec. 8 Gension as given to us in Matt. 28:19-20 eral Mission Board (GMB) meeting and in Acts 1:8. at the Baptist Mission Resource “I report to you today that we Center. remain on mission and that we have Bob Simpson, BCM/D associate seen significant progress in all five executive director, led GMB memareas of our strategy during 2009,” bers in singing Christmas carols. Lee said, referring to the five straLee and Byron Day, BCM/D presitegic initiatives: Church Multiplicadent, welcomed members. Kerry tion; Church Services, Leadership Hinton, on behalf of the nominating Development and Support; Acts 1:8 committee introduced David SandMissions Involvement and Resource vick, pastor of First English Church, Development. Frostburg, as the new president of Lee reflected on 2009. He said it the General Mission Board. was a “near record” year in church Sandvick reminisced about multiplication. He reported another Christmas in 1965. He was sevensuccessful year of partnering with years old. The family had an electhe North American Mission Board, tric train set that ran around the LifeWay Christian Resources, SBC Christmas tree. Sandvick fondly seminaries and local associations recalled laying by the tree watching to provide human and financial the train and playing with a little resources to enable the convention to Santa and some impact the area for elves. Jesus. In addition, “I believe in 2009, BCM/D that was the time staff provided some I grasped what level of service to Christmas was all at least 80 perabout,” Sandvick cent of affiliated said. He began churches. understanding that “All of this has Christmas was taken place during about giving. a time of signifiEach GMB cant economic chalmember brings diflenges,” Lee told ferent gifts, skills members. and abilities to lay Lee said at the feet of Jesus BCM/D is successand say God this is ful in its mission by yours in whatever giving priority to way and however On behalf of the nomimating committee, Kerry things that matter you can use this. Hinton presented the nominations and intro- most. He expressed That’s why we’re duced David Sandvick, pastor of First English thankfulness to here, Sandvick Church, Frostburg, as the new president of the partnering churchsaid. He told GMB General Mission Board. es who have continmembers that ued their faithful he thinks of the investments in the BCM/D as a Christmas tree and un- cooperative mission effort. He said derneath are 500 churches. We have he knows some churches are givthe ability to run that train around ing sacrificially. Lee noted also that and make a difference, he said. some larger churches that don’t need By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent
as many BCM/D resources continue to give to provide the infrastructure to help smaller membership churches accomplish their missions. “It is such a wonderful thing to see that partnership at work,” Lee commented. He told members that he recently received an email from Vicki Stewart, collegiate evangelism missionary at Morgan State University Stewart reported that in one of her small groups eight of her students prayed to invite Jesus into their lives. “Your church was a part of that,” Lee said, referring to Cooperative Program (CP) giving. Regarding open staff positions, Lee reported that there are potential candidates for the adult and student evangelism position and for the Naval Academy position; several names have surfaced in a preliminary search to fill a position as associate missionary for ministry evangelism to work closely with Ellen Udovich. There is a new position available for a missionary for African-American Church Planting and evangelism. These positions are North American Mission Boardrelated and/or partially funded. Other open positions include a vacancy left by Conrad Burch in the area of planned giving. A recommendation for a person to fill this
vacancy is forthcoming. There is also a one-day contract position to assist Rolando Castro in the language missions area. The church ministers relations position is on hold due to budget constraints. Lee said those responsibilities are being handled internally. Regarding the upcoming sale of a portion of the Baptist Mission Resource Center, Lee said there is a signed contract and closing is planned for early 2010. Meanwhile, renovations are ongoing in and around the center. “Pray for our staff as we seek to make the necessary transitions and live with the dust,” Lee said, adding with a smile, when we say pardon our dust we mean it.” “The next time you visit us we trust you will find everything bright and clean and in use for the work of God’s kingdom,” Lee said. Looking ahead, Lee said, “We continue our focus on the need of our urban areas within Maryland/ Delaware. The Strategic Focus City/ Embrace Baltimore effort is officially completed. We will continue to work with the Baltimore Association in ministry to the churches in the Greater Baltimore Area. We will also continue to work alongside Baptist Family and Children’s Services, Continued on page 7
Continued from page 6 Open Door Community Development Corporation and other Baltimore partners in seeking to meet the growing need in that city. We now shift our attention and additional resources to Embrace Wilmington,” he said. “I stood here one year ago and declared 2009 ‘A Year of Listening.’ I stated that we wanted to hear your heart concerning where we are and where we need to go as Maryland/ Delaware Baptists. We have listened. We have heard many things, but what you shouted out to us was your desire for a greater emphasis and focus on our building relationships.” Lee said 2010 will be the “Year of Relationships” and the BCM/D emphasis will be on full mobilization of ministry staff across the Maryland/Delaware area with assignments to expand direct connect with our churches and church leaders. There will also be an emphasis on BCM/D churches partnering with one another. “My dream would be that each BCM/D church would have a sister congregation to which they are connected at the heart,” Lee said. He told members he envisions churches praying for each other, doing things together, pulpit swapping and other ministry partnering. “I will take the lead in making our priority spending time with you, helping you to accomplish the mission God has given to you,” Lee told members. We are known as people of the Book, but the next thing we’re known for is partnering together in missions, Lee said. “2009 is almost history. We will soon ring in 2010 with all of its challenges, uncertainties and opportunities. God has proven to us in the past that he will guide us and meet our needs. I have no reason to doubt him now. With that said, I challenge all of us to move forward with boldness and faith seizing what may be one of the greatest moments we have known to share the gospel of hope. A Savior is born, and His name is Jesus.” John Boulet, pastor of Hockessin Church, asked Lee about BCM/D’s response to discussions about the
Great Commission Resurgence that is being discussed throughout the SBC. Lee said it is premature at this point to respond, that the convention will take a wait-and-see approach. Financial Report Lee gave the financial report for Tom Stolle, BCM/D chief financial officer. Lee reported that for the ten months ending Oct. 31, 2009, total Cooperative Program (CP) receipts of $3,682,695 trailed last year by $183,217 or 4.7 percent. It is anticipated that for the year ending Dec. 31, 2009, CP giving could trail the approved 2009 budgeted receipts of $4,600,000 by approximately $200,000. Lee said that in spite of the shortfall, operating expenses have been lower and the BCM/D staff has been diligently monitoring ministry costs with a goal of maintaining a very high level of ministry. Additionally, compensation costs have been lower than budgeted due to a number of vacancies that have not been filled in 2009. Due largely to the effect of reduced expenses, BCM/D operations show a positive bottom line of $55,107.50 for the ten months ended Oct. 31, 2009. Current state missions expenditures are funded by last year’s offering receipts of $203,850.54. There is $38,973.85 remaining unexpended dollars through Oct. 31, 2009. Lee said the convention is in a good “ready cash” position. Invoices are paid in full and on time. As of Oct. 31, the operating bank balance was $967,988.80. Strategy Teams Reports Ellen Udovich, BCM/D missionary for direct ministries, lay mobilization, ministry evangelism and senior adults, reported for the Acts 1:8 team. “We are the team that helps you get up and go,” Udovich said. Going, she continued, could be across the street, across town, across the country, to Wilmington and to other parts of the country and around the world. The team can help target unreached people groups, do needs assessments, help with prayer walks and disaster relief preparation.
Udovich reported that there is a new chaplain crisis trailer for disaster relief use. The trailer is stocked with Bibles, Jesus videos and other materials. She said disaster relief volunteers are excited that chap-
Mitch Dowell Executive Director of Embrace Wilmington
lains are going to be with them. Randy Millwood, BCM/D missionary for missional church leadership, e-quip.net, small groups, seminary extensions and spiritual formation, reported for the Leadership Development team. Millwood said the team had been doing an evaluation project and raw data is coming in from 100 participants. He referenced “ShepherdNet,” small groups of pastoral team members and pastors who meet four times a year for fellowship and collaborative learning. Millwood said group members gather for meals, read books and share. “It’s an exciting new strategy,” he said, adding, iron really does sharpen iron. David Jackson, BCM/D missionary for church multiplication, reported for the Church Multiplication team. Jackson said church multiplication is on track to have the best year since 2006. “It has been a banner year, especially for Korean work,” Jackson said. Jackson commended Robert Kim, BCM/D missionary for language churches,
Asian coordinator, church planting and evangelism, for fine work. At the end of November there were 31 new works started in the convention—25 plants and six multisite congregations. These include African, Anglo-American, Asian, Indian, Burmese, Filipino, Haitian, Hispanic and Korean. Jackson said a significant key to having a healthy new church family is having a healthy church planter family. In 2010 the team is planning to proactively provide preventive care for church planters to strengthen marriages and their families to keep them healthy and growing. Church planters will also be provided legal assistance to deal with issues such as non-profit status, incorporation, and immigration. Jackson reported that there is a special need for African American churches. None were started in 2009. To facilitate that planting effort, the Antioch Institute will kick off in 2010. The institute was formed in conjunction with Embrace Baltimore to enlist, equip, cultivate and send out African American church planters. Bob Simpson submitted a written report for the Church Services team. Simpson encouraged attendance at 2010 Horizon’s leadership conference in July. The Horizon 2010 conference will change in 2011, being held in various locations throughout Maryland and Delaware. “Next year it will serve as the launching pad to introduce regional Horizons throughout the two states. These conferences will be smaller versions of the Horizons you have known,” Simpson explained. The change is being made to bring the smaller conferences to a closer proximity to church leaders thus enabling more to attend. Tom Stolle, in a written report for the Resource Development team, reported that the committee will continue to focus on a strategy of Cooperative Program and planned giving promotion and education. “It is imperative that we continue to educate our churches about the value and purpose of the Cooperative Program,” Stolle wrote. The team is seeking new creative ways Continued on page 10
Page 8 Arundel Association
Glen Burnie Church called Robert Rudman as their new senior pastor. Rudman is from Cleveland, Ohio. He has served churches in Virginia, Florida and South Carolina. Rudman attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and earned degrees in pastoral studies and evangelism and church growth. His wife, Mary, is a registered nurse working at Baltimore Washington Medical Center. Lake Shore Church, Pasadena, hosted homeless visitors in December as part of the Arundel house of Hope Winter Relief program. Members treated their guests to meals, haircuts, music programs and companionship in addition to a comfortable place to sleep for the night. When another church couldn’t fulfill their obligation, Lake Shore stepped in and hosted their guests for another weekend. It turned out to be the weekend of Dec.18 when Pasadena received close to 20 inches of snow. Fortunately, the guests arrived before the storm hit. Instead of leaving in the morning, they stayed at the church, grateful to be able to sleep in where it was warm and cozy. Baltimore Association
Members of Streetlite Christian Fellowship, Federal Hill, and its campuses participated in a 21-day “Daniel’s Fast,” to observe the spiritual discipline of fasting, with an emphasis on prayer. Reisterstown Church is in the midst of an “Experiencing God” study using the new updated materials with additional testimony and illustrations now available. Colonial Church, Randallstown, and Baltimore County Government officials partnered to host a Martin Luther King Celebration Day at the church on Jan. 15. Special speakers included Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, Superintendent of Baltimore City Schools, Joe Hairston, and Delegate Adrienne Jones. Robert Anderson, senior pastor of Colonial Church, offered a commencement and closing prayer and a time of spiritual reflection.
The event also included the announcement of the fifth annual “Content of Character” honorees. In conjunction with Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the Baltimore County Office of Fair Practices and Community Affairs sponsors the award program, honoring a man, woman, boy and girl, who have made significant contributions to their communities. One of the honorees was Colonial member, Shakera Kyle. The 17-yearold New Town High School student has made all state choir for three years, all county choir for four years and the Baltimore High School Honors Jazz choir for one year, participated in the American Music Aboard European Gold Tour choir singing in five countries, and is very active in her school government. Shakera was recently accepted to Syracuse University where she will study architecture. Blue Ridge Association Blue Ridge Fellowship Church, Middletown, will have a Purim Party this month. Children will dress in Esther and Mordecai costumes. As the story of Esther is read, listeners will use noise makers and cheer as Mordecai and Esther are mentioned and they’ll boo and hiss when Haman’s name is read. Church members will bring traditional Hamantashen filled triangular pastries. In addition to celebrating Purim, the church has had Passover meals and Hanukkah celebrations, learning about and celebrating Christianity’s Jewish heritage. Delaware Association Delaware The Delaware Association sponsored its annual medical mission trip to Moldova on Oct 25-Nov. 7. Team members were Mal and Mary Utleye and Jesse Pratt, Hockessin Church; Gayle Clifton, pastor of Upper Seneca Church; Ricky and Barbara Matney, Greensboro Church, and Robert Johnson, Bethany Church. Mal Utleye said the goal of the annual trip is to draw non-believers to the clinics so the team could minister to them both spiritually and physically. Utleye said many believers gave up their clinic appointments
for those who were unchurched. One thousand five hundred seventy-six people from 39 villages came to the clinics. Approximately 47 percent were unbelievers. The $12,000 for medicine was provided by churches and friends from across the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D), and from Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Several Ukrainian and Russian churches contributed this year. Donations for medical supplies for the 2010 Moldova trip can be sent to: Delaware Association, 967 North State St., Dover, DE 19901. Checks should be made payable to: Delaware Baptist Association and designated for the Moldova/Ukraine medicine. Every year, Lewes Police Department hosts an annual “Lewes Night Out,” in conjunction with the national night out campaign to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, and to strengthen community partnership and spirit. Other community groups are invited to participate, including Seaside Church, Lewes. Eastern Association Eastern Eastern Association churches have been meeting together weekly at Immanuel Church, Salisbury, on Sunday nights. Each week, a different church brings the music, gives an update on what’s happening in their church, and the pastor of the guest church for the week gives the sermon. Faith Fellowship, Cambridge, sponsored a mission trip to the Operation Christmas Child distribution center in Charlotte, NC, to pack shoeboxes filled with gifts for shipment to children throughout the world. Twelve members of the congregation, joined by 32 others from 13 different churches in Maryland and Delaware, departed Dec. 1 and returned Dec. 4. Randall T. Blackmon, pastor of Faith Fellowship accompanied the group. Plans are being made for a return trip in December 2010. For information, contact Shirley Kailianu at (800) 877-5026 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Three representatives from Grace Church, Seaford,–Mike Wilt, April Alvino and Martin
February 2010 Chavez–along with members of four other churches recently returned from a mission trip to Nicaragua. Goals for this trip were to repair and paint a baptismal pool, structural and landscaping work, and purchasing new desks for a school. The team was able to complete all their projects with the exception of the student desks. In addition to the work that was accomplished, the team participated in a 6th grade graduation, an Anniversary celebration service, and socialized with the children and people of Nicaragua, sharing the good news of Christ. Ocean City Church Pastor Terry Davis retired in December after serving the church for 31 years. Davis’ son, Sean, is succeeding him. Ocean City Church pastor, Terry Davis, retired in December after serving the church for 31 years. Davis’ son, Sean, is succeeding him. Mid-Maryland Association Mid-Maryland About 300 people representing at least 70 churches attend Community Bible Study (CBS) at Westminster Church every Wednesday morning. Larry Steen, pastor of Westminster Church said it’s exciting to see that many people coming in on a weekday. A spin-off group started in Eldersburg and Steen said that’s now growing like crazy. “I like to think its doing our part to minister to the entire church community in Westminster. God has really blessed this. People are hungry for an in-depth Bible study.” Steen said that though the study is not sponsored by Westminster Church, several Westminster Church members are involved and people have joined the church as a result of coming to the study. The Church at Covenant Park, Ellicott City, had a couple’s spaghetti and game night fellowship recently. Montgomery Association
Seven Locks Church, Potomac, will sponsor a women’s conference on Mar. 13 featuring counselor, writer, wife and mother,
February 2010 Tasha Levert. Levert is the author of “Stories of Hope for the Sleep Deprived.” The cost is $30. Potomac Association
Hughesville Church held a sports banquet last month, where Charles Alsheimer, field editor for “Deer and Deer Hunting” magazine, was the guest speaker. Potomac Heights Church, Indian Head, had a women’s waffle brunch. Prince George’s Association
First Church, Laurel, recognized senior pastor, Stanley Beall’s, tenth anniversary as pastor of the church. Bob Ryerson, chairman of the personnel committee presented Beall a plaque and a love offering by the congregation. Susquehanna Association
The women’s ministry of Oak Grove Church, Bel Air, hosted “A Day of Beauty.” Ladies came and brought their friends for a time of pampering. The women received a massage and had their hair styled and make up applied while listening to jazz, snacking on finger foods and chocolates and sipping tea. Afterwards, Shannon McFerren, leader of the women’s ministry, took digital photos of the ladies. McFerren, after retouching the photos, emailed the photos to the women. A local restaurant donated free dinner coupons, so the “prettied” up women could go home and ask their husbands and boyfriends to take them to dinner. McFerren said the free pampering was for the ladies in the church to invite their friends to a non“churchy” event. While there, the ladies received information about other upcoming women’s ministry events. McFerren said the event was her first “act of kindness” outreach since recently becoming the head of the women’s ministry. Men recently had their own “man day,” shooting hoops, doing target practice and eating barbecue.
Your Association... Western Western Association LaVale Church hosted about 400 boys from Juvenile Service’s Greenridge Youth Center for a Christmas party in December. The boys enjoyed a spaghetti dinner and magic show by church member Darla Lewis. They also had a great time singing Christmas carols, especially the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” ObituaryObituary Whitney Dale Grimley died on Dec.1 after a lengthy illness. Services were held at Cresthill Church, Bowie. Grimley was well known in the convention, serving as associate and senior pastor in many Prince George’s churches including Berywn, Clinton, Central and Greenbelt. He was also named honorary pastor of Cresthill Church where he served until his death. Grimley loved serving in churches, singing in choirs and helping where needed. He recently began a “Sam’s Club” – senior adult ministry at Cresthill. He also led the church through a constitution and by-laws revision and a long-term visioning process. “He was very active. If he could get to church, he was there,” Kay Grimley, Dale’s sister said. Grimley also served the Prince George’s Association as moderator, vice-moderator and mega focus leader. “As director of missions, I could always count on his support and honest evaluations as we planned together. Dale had the unique ability to deal with the fine details. He loved constitutions, by-laws and policy manuals and people,” Ron Rogers, former PGA director of missions wrote in an email about his friend. Grimley enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. Dale Grimley is survived by his wife, Diana, and his children: Wendi Haselberger, Benjamin Grimley and Staci Grimley. He is also survived by his brother Edward and sisters Linda Herrara, Peggy Ahmay, Donna Kauffman and Kay Grimley and grandchildren: Hailey, Kortni, Ashlei, Emili and Erin Haselberger.
Slaughter to speak at VBS Expo at The Church at Severn Run By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.—Now’s the time to shine up those cowboy boots, sign up and mosey on over to The Church at Severn Run for this year’s big VBS expo on Feb. 27. Jeff Slaughter, who writes the LifeWay VBS songs and teaches them on the videos, will be the special guest. He’ll lead worship and teach leaders this year’s super high energy songs. June Holland, BCM/D VBS missionary, said the expo is handson training for all aspects of VBS including music, Bible lessons for pre-school through adults, snacks, missions, crafts and recreation. “It’s very informal, fun and very hands-on,” Holland said of the expo. Leaders make the crafts and snacks,
learn the music, how to best utilize the material, unique ways to promote VBS and follow-up afterwards and ways to lead children to Christ. Holland said there is a real emphasis on discipleship this year and training will include helping churches to not only bring kids in and help them make a decision to follow Jesus, but to help them understand their new faith and to grow. Throughout the day there will be drawings for VBS goodies, including an inflatable horse. A LifeWay bookstore will be set up and churches can place their VBS orders at that time. The expo is free and includes lunch, but registration is required. For more information and to register, see www.bcmd.org.
2010 VBS training schedule Feb. 27 The Church at Severn Run, Severn, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m
April 15 Valley Baptist Church, Baltimore, 6:30-8:45 p.m.
March 6 Temple Hills Baptist Church, Temple Hills, 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
April 24 Georgia Ave Baptist Church, Wheaton, 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
March 26 First Southern Baptist Church, Dover, 5:30-8:45 p.m
April 27 Calvary Baptist Church, Bel Air, 6:30-8:45 p.m.
April 4 First English Church, Frostburg, 6-8:45 p.m.
May 1 Trinity Church, Waldorf, 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Lou Redd, Howard County Senior Idol, is witness for Christ addition to his win, reported how as a young man he rode a streetcar to Catonsville Church where he was mentored by Godly Christian men and how God called Redd to sing at the age of 45, though he had no formal training. The newspaper also told how Redd ministers to churches throughout the state. Since the contest, Redd has been receiving more offers to perform.
He’s been asked to sing the national anthem on Jan. 19 for a United Seniors of Maryland rally at St. John’s College in Annapolis. He’s also been asked to be part of a gospel extravaganza and has been invited to sing at senior centers throughout Howard County. Redd is excited about the win and the opportunities. He enjoys ministering, especially to seniors, and sees this as an opportunity to expand that ministry. The 75-year-old senior saint ministers with the Mid-Maryland Association, helping churches develop, maintain and expand their senior ministries. He calls seniors today the “encore generation,” with plenty left to give. “You don’t sit down and retire, that’s not Biblical,” he said. Redd encourages seniors to get out and use their talents to minister and volunteer. “He’s an ‘idol’ but he’s not idle,” Stahly quipped.
to promote CP. One of those was the “I’m a CP” commercial shown at the 2009 annual meeting in November. Stolle reported that videos and photos are also being gathered on the website to continue to “tell the story.” In addition, alternative methods for planned giving are being presented in an effort to expand the program resulting in more committed dollars to Baptist causes.
good per child, then they “shopped” for presents—toys churches have donated. Two-hundred and four people showed up at the Crisfield store, Gerstmyer said. He told members he was especially touched to hear from Lyn O’Berry, pastor of The Church on Warren Avenue, about running out of toys, and families still giving their one dollar bills to help others in the future.
Embrace Wilmington an office at the church and has provided telephone and Internet access and a small house behind the church for Dowell to live in temporarily. Phil Graves, owner/designer of Out of the Mud Multimedia, is providing a free website for Embrace Wilmington. In addition, the Cleveland Association gave Embrace Wilmington a good news wagon, providing supplies for block parties and other special outreach events.
Agency Report Robert Gerstmyer, executive director of Baptist Family & Children’s Services (BFCS), said he was very thankful for donations BFCS received to help with back-toschool stores. Many children were able to have a good start to the school year as a result of the funds, he said. Gerstmyer told members about the Christmas stores churches were hosting in partnership with BFCS. Those who came paid $1 or a canned
Other Business Mitch Dowell, Embrace Wilmington executive director, reported that Delaware is different from Baltimore, but the Embrace initiative will operate using the same seven principles that Embrace Baltimore did with an emphasis on church starting and strengthening, evangelizing the city and impacting the community by sharing the gospel. Dowell said God is moving and providing. Bethany Church offered
Remarks by BCM/D President BCM/D President Byron Day, re-elected to the position at the 2009 annual meeting in November, said he is thankful for another year to serve. Day said that while he sat in a barber’s chair before the GMB meeting, he heard people talking about bad news – kidnapping, people shooting others at a party, people being stomped to death. “What a wicked world we live
in,” said Day. “We may be isolated because we hang out with church folks. We forget what’s really happening. It reminded me that Christmas is about hope. There’s a hope for everyone who has sinned and falls short of the glory of God to experience new life in Christ.” “I’ve always wanted to see God,” Day said. Living in the projects as a young child, he said he spent a lot of time looking at the stars looking for God. “I just wanted to see God… to know!” Day read from Revelation 21. “The Bible tells me that there is a promise that I will see him face to face. I can’t wait for that. It’s okay if it happens today, even in the next couple of minutes,” Byron said. “The Savior has come. He’s come! Unto you this day. Go see Him. That message is still true today. “Maryland, Delaware, the USA and around the world are still waiting to hear. We’ve got to keep on going. Our work is not finished until He comes back.”
By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.—Mid Maryland senior adult consultant Lou Redd sang Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love” at the Howard County senior idol contest and brought down the house. Three hundred of the 407 guests voted for Redd. “His voice was perfect for the song. They loved him. He was fabulous. Lou won in a landslide victory,” Vicki Stahly said. Stahly is the assistant director of the Ellicott City senior center. Redd moved to the state level competition on Jan. 22 at Howard Community College’s Smith Theater. Stahly explained that the contest, sponsored this year by the Howard County Department of Aging, included participants from nine counties. Auditions were held in October. Redd’s neighbors in Parkview Retirement Community contacted
Stahly and told her to recruit Redd to audition. “That’s how I met Lou,” Stahly said. “The residents were crazy about him and they called him ‘preacher.’ “The first time he sang I thought, he’s going to take it all. He has such charisma and magnetism.” Redd said the opportunity has been fun, but has also been an opportunity to be a witness. A Howard County seniors’ newspaper interviewed Redd and in
Lee declares 2010 as ‘Year of Relationships’ Continued from page 7
BCM/D disaster relief leaders dedicate new chaplain/crisis trailer By Sharon Mager BCM/D Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.—When disaster strikes, Southern Baptist volunteers are on the scene manning feeding units, doing “mud-outs,” repairing roofs, using chain saws to cut through debris, doing laundry, helping with communication needs and an assortment of other tasks. Baptist Convention of Maryland/ Delaware (BCM/D) disaster relief units have an exciting new component—a chaplain/crisis care unit. Now, when a disaster relief team is deployed, the unit goes too, providing spiritual support and counseling so desperately needed in times of crisis. “This will allow for crisis intervention related to disasters both locally and nationally. Having the unit at the site will provide opportunities to evangelize and will open doors for us to share the gospel,” Mike Hayden said. Hayden is BCM/D’s chaplain unit leader and chaplain trainer. BCM/D disaster relief missionary Ellen Udovich said having chaplains onsite will be a huge asset to the disaster relief teams and that workers are excited at having that resource. In addition to disaster relief support, the new unit has the additional benefit of being available for churches to use for community outreaches such as block parties, health fairs and other events. Hayden said using the unit at these types of ministries is a great opportunity to let the community know Christians care for them and are here to listen to them. “Each of us needs to look for ways to reach out to our community. What better way than to let the community know we are here to listen to them and to meet their needs,” Hayden said. The unit, a large trailer, has a central area that can accommodate several people for counseling or be used as a waiting area. It also has two small rooms that can be used for counseling or offices and it’s equipped with a DVD/VCR player, Christian videos, Bibles and crisis materials. The unit is designed
to be a self-contained base for the chaplains. In addition to radios and communication equipment, there is a small restroom and convertible sleeping space. Depending upon the situation, the trailer might be a temporary crisis care site where people can seek assistance. In other cases, the chaplains might walk through the community, staying in touch with the base and each other by way of radio. The Baltimore Association (BBA) owned the trailer for ten years. It was once utilized for logistics, but had fallen into disuse. George Blevins, director for disaster relief ministry for the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and for the BBA, considered selling the trailer, but after a discussion with Hayden, the two men got the vision for the new ministry, prayed about the possibilities and felt God leading them to go forward. Hayden led a devotional time and dedication prayer for the unit during the annual BCM/D fall disaster relief training. Volunteer disaster relief workers, many newly trained, laid hands on the trailer as Hayden prayed, asking God’s blessing and direction in the use of the unit.
Hayden said pastors and lay leaders can serve as volunteer chaplains. He plans to begin enrolling for training beginning this month. The trailer now resides at Middle River Church and is available for church use. For more
information about using the trailer call George Blevins (443) 271-4004. For information about chaplain training call Mike Hayden, (443) 966-3995. For general disaster relief information, call Ellen Udovich, (443) 250-2555.
WATCH TOUCHING LIVES! with DR. JAMES MERRITT
Sundays at 8:30am EST over The Trinity Broadcasting Network (DIRECT TV Ch. 372) Sundays at 8:30pm EST over The Church Channel (DIRECT TV Ch. 371) (Consult local cable affiliates in your area for channel allocations) Hope and Encouragement for Life! Dr. James Merritt is the Senior Pastor of Cross Pointe, The Church at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. His uncompromising preaching and leadership have brought phenomenal growth to the church where thousands attend each week. He is a past-President of the Southern Baptist Convention and is a noted author and speaker. He and his wife Teresa have been married for thirty years and have three sons; James, Jr.,
Jonathan and Joshua. The Merritts reside in Dacula, GA. Dr. Merritt is the speaker for Touching Lives which reaches millions around the world every week. His ability to apply Biblical principles to the problems and concerns of everyday life has made Touching Lives one of the most popular and respected broadcast ministries across the nation and around the world.
GPS: Reach every person in North America by 2020 By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent COLUMBIA, Md.—It’s an audacious goal. Simply put: in North America, every believer sharing and every person hearing by 2020. Last summer, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) unveiled its ambitious National Evangelism Initiative “God’s Plan for Sharing” (GPS), a ten-year plan to fulfill the Great Commission in North America by 2020. Beginning in 2006, a number of believers in the Southern Baptist Convention studied what it would take to see the Great Commission fulfilled in this lifetime. NAMB developed a series of listening groups from various constituents, including several from Maryland and Delaware, explained Ellen Udovich, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s (BCM/D) team strategist for Acts 1:8 missions involvement. She explained that pastors, church staff and lay leaders from various ethnic and urban, suburban and rural environments joined WMU leaders, seminary professors and leaders from state conventions and local associations, who gathered together to help NAMB answer the question, “What would help churches the most?” What amazed Udovich the most was that each of the constituents were asking for the same thing—a way to teach people to pray, to be equipped, to share about Christ and to follow-up on new believers. “People were all using different words for each of these topics, but there was so much similarity in what they were saying,” she said. What emerged was an idea of a compass with four figurative directions: praying, engaging (now changed to equipping), sowing and harvesting. As discussions continued, someone expressed that some may not understand what a compass is, but they would know what a GPS (Global Positioning System) is. Subsequently, the idea for GPS (God’s Plan for Sharing) was birthed. “It was perfect. You have to
tell the GPS where you want to go. The GPS just helps you figure out how to get there,” shared Udovich. “[The national plan] is meant to be a guide, not telling people what they have to do, but basic instructions and suggestions on how to do what churches already wanted to do.” With its overarching goal to reach all of North America with the gospel, GPS efforts are divided into five recommended campaigns, including “Across North America” (2010); “Reaching Across America” (2012); “Serving Across North America” (2014); “Sharing Across North America” (2016); “Starting Something Across North America” (2018); and “Celebrating Across North America” (2020). John Brittain, director of missions at the Arundel Association in Maryland, who assisted in developing the GPS strategy on the national level, is aligning his associational goals for the upcoming years to match these recommended biannual campaigns. Brittain explained that the goal for the first effort, “Across North America,” is to reach every home in the United States, Canada, and their territories with a gospel distribution, as well as an invitation to attend a local congregation for an evangelistic Easter service, which this year falls on April 4, 2010. This campaign is comprised of four steps: • A three-week targeted media saturation (TV, radio, billboards, newspapers) prior to Easter; • Participating churches prayerwalking their communities; • Participating churches saturating their communities with a clear door-hanger bag containing the gospel (a “Find It Here” tract), a church brochure, and an invitation to Easter services; • Participating churches will conduct a five-week follow-up process. “The material, resources and media campaign will assist churches in accomplishing this goal,” Brit-
tain said, pointing to www.gps2020. net, which provides suggestions and ideas for churches for prayerwalking, handing out material and preparing individual churches for new guests. Richard Logsdon, director of missions at the Potomac Association, feels that the “Find It Here” TV and radio spots in the campaign are very well done. “The videos can be sent out through social networking. I think they can be a great evangelistic tool
to use over and over again after the campaign for any church or personal evangelistic effort,” he said. To assist churches, NAMB purchased matching “Find It Here” printed materials in large bulk, realizing cost-savings for local churches. Churches interested in purchasing banners, door-hangers and tracts that match the advertisements can do so through their local association. The materials and advertisements in the “Find It Here” campaign direct people to www. findithere.com where they can find hope in Christ as well as answers to their questions and a list of Southern Baptist churches within five miles of their zip code. Participants will be given a toll-free telephone number where they talk to a live person about any questions they may have. Trained telephone encourag-
ers handle these calls by listening, counseling, praying and matching callers with covenant churches who have agreed to provide follow-up. To initiate the process, either to register as a Covenant Church or to be trained as a Telephone Encourager, contact NAMB at www.erconline.net (See “Are you a covenant church with the Evangelism Response Center?” on page 15). Logsdon is excited about the simplicity of the large-scale effort. So far, 10 churches in his association are planning to participate in the effort. “What drew me to the emphasis was it was a easy way churches could get their members out into their communities to see and meet their neighbors. It is an eye-opening experience for many of our church members and leaders to actually drive or walk the streets of their community,” he said, noting that placing the door hangers on each house is a good first step for church members to reach out to their neighbors. “I like that it gets us praying specifically for the lost and unchurched by street, house number and in many cases by person’s name,” he said. To assist in the prayerwalking effort, each of the associations in Maryland and Delaware have licensing for a mapping software, which can assist churches in keeping track of what streets they have prayerwalked. Udovich noted that churches in smaller communities can opt to prayerwalk in larger urban areas, such as Wilmington, Del., where there are fewer Southern Baptist churches. “We can’t share with the whole world, but we can share the gospel with our community and with our block. And if all the churches are focused on their communities, then we can reach the big goal,” she said. To learn more, contact your local director of missions or visit online at www.gps2020.net. (See “10 steps for implementing GPS” on page 14).
Live with Urgency
Live Urgency Share with God’s Transforming Power Romans 1:16 Share God’s Transforming Power
A Gift to Annie $1
Ten witnessing tracts
Bible study leadership materials for children’s on-site weekly Bible lesson
Gas gift card for GED student to attend class and mentoring session in a ministry meeting
Sports Bible for athletes at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs
Provides food for a Family Movie Night outreach in an apartment community
Reusable promotional signs advertising a multihousing church plant
Summer camp scholarship for an unchurched child to attend camp for the first time
Food, materials, and promotion needed to conduct a Christmas program in a manufactured home community
Week of Prayer for
North American Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering
National Goal: $70 Million Our Church Goal:
Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® a registered trademark of WMU®. is a registered trademark ofisWMU®.
10 steps for implementing GPS By Chip Arnhart & Jerry Pipes ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)— As Southern Baptists prepare to implement “God’s Plan for Sharing (GPS): Across North America” in the coming months, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) offers 10 steps toward reaching the goal.
1. Pray. Mobilize your church to
pray for all lost people in your community and your church’s efforts to reach them.
2. Determine your territory.
Determine which homes your church will touch through prayer and the “Find It Here” Gospel distribution. Check with your association to identify other participating churches so as not to overlap efforts.
3. Order “Across North America” materials. The first
item you’ll need is the Pastor/ Church Preparation Guide. You can download this for free at gps2020. net or order a copy for a small fee by calling (866) 407-6262. You’ll also need to order plastic bags and Find It Here Gospel drop-in pieces from your association or state convention. Find contact information at gps2020.net. Be sure to order enough for each home in your territory. You can also order church promotional items such as stand-up banners, outdoor banners, postcard invitations, bulletin inserts and many other items from Outreach, Inc., at Outreach.com by searching for “Find It Here.”
4. Update your church’s profile. Visit sbc.net and view your
church’s listing, and if necessary, correct your church’s information. Churches can make changes to their online information anytime using their 7-digit SBC ID# (the same number used for the Annual Church Profile) by going to churchsearch. net. Be sure the address listed is your physical address and not a P.O. Box. Those looking for church homes during this campaign will be sent to this website to find churches in their area. If a state convention has a
larger number of churches to update (say, more than 25), each convention can send the changes in an Access database format and this information will be made current within the Find A Church/Church Search database. To download an Access database template that includes all the required fields, go to cdb.sbc.net. If you choose to send an Access, you will need to fill in the complete information for that church, not just the information that changed. Information provided through this Access database will replace the current online listing.
5. Become an ERC Covenant Church. (See article on page 15)
The information from individuals contacting the Evangelism Response Center is sent to Covenant Churches for follow-up. If your church is equipped and registered as a Covenant Church, then the contact information of people accepting Christ in your area will come to you. For more information about Covenant Churches call (770) 410-6383 or email email@example.com.
6. Provide your congregation with evangelism training. The
Across North America campaign is an opportunity to equip your congregation to share the Gospel. Visit gps2020.net for ideas and materials to help you equip your church in evangelism.
Mar. 27 distributing clear bags containing a “Find It Here” Gospel drop-in piece and an invitation to your Easter services to each home in your territory. d. Participating churches conducting a five-week follow-up process after Easter.
7. Prepare your church for company. Easter Sunday will be a
9. Make Easter Sunday, April 4, special. Because of your prayers
day when many people come and visit for the first time. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Be sure this isn’t their last time visiting by preparing to welcome and incorporate visitors into your activities and services.
and hands-on work to distribute the Gospel, many lost people will be at your Easter Sunday services. Take full advantage of this time by clearly presenting the Gospel and providing an opportunity for people to respond.
8. Keep it simple. Adding extra steps to this tested process only weakens the campaign. Across North America consists of four simple steps: a. A three-week targeted media saturation taking place Mar. 20 through April 11 (TV, radio, billboards, newspapers, etc.). b. Participating churches prayerwalking their communities on the weekend of Mar. 20. c. Participating churches on
10. Celebrate what God has done. Host a baptism celebration,
reflect with thanksgiving on the changed lives, praise God for the number of believers trained and rejoice about the revival experienced in your community. Let God continue this transformation in your heart, your church and your community.
Chip Arnhart is resource coordinator for NAMB’s spiritual awakening team, and Jerry Pipes is the team leader.
Are you a covenant church with the Evangelism Response Center? By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent ALPHARETTA, Ga.— Are you looking for another way to connect with people outside of your church? Southern Baptist churches throughout Maryland and Delaware have the opportunity to followup on calls made to the Evangelism Response Center (ERC), a ministry of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention. The ERC is an exciting tool for sharing the gospel and praying with people all over North America using the telephone and Internet. Respondents contact the ERC by phone and Internet after seeing toll-free numbers and Internet addresses on TV ads and programs, radio ads and programs, print ads and articles, billboards and so forth. The most recently publicized address is the website, www.findithere.com, which is a part of NAMB’s newest initiative, God’s Plan for Sharing (GPS). The work of the ERC is not complete when a person prays to receive Christ. Many callers leave their name and address so that NAMB can put them in contact with a local church. These local churches are called “Covenant Churches,” who provide continuing ministry to respondents in their own community. NAMB expects the following from these covenant churches:
A Southern Baptist Church
Because the ERC is a part of the NAMB, NAMB can refer only to churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. This isn’t meant to reflect on the evangelistic zeal or Christian integrity of other
churches. It is simply a recognition that this is the way NAMB can be accountable to the churches who support us.
A desire to receive information about responsive people in your area
The ERC will send you the name, address, telephone number, and basic information about the decision made on the telephone for respondents within approximately a six-mile radius of your ZIP code. There is absolutely no charge to you to receive this information; your only cost is the cost you incur in providing the follow-up ministry.
A commitment to provide immediate follow-up NAMB has discovered that when a person makes a decision for Christ, he needs a follow-up contact within 72 hours. Otherwise the likelihood of that person getting in-
volved in a local church and growing to spiritual maturity drops dramatically. For that reason they ask Covenant Churches to commit to an initial contact within three days of receiving a referral. That contact may be no more than a telephone
call, even with a voicemail message left if necessary, just to say, “We’re so pleased to know of your decision to follow Jesus. We’re here to help.”
A willingness to offer continuing ministry as appropriate
Sometimes all that’s needed is that first contact. Even though the caller gave follow-up information, he may already have a relationship with a church and will need only a brief prayer of encouragement from you. Sometimes you will have the opportunity to help the caller understand her decision more completely and even lead other family members to receive Christ, then to see these new believers come into your church family and mature in Christ. You determine what kind of continuing ministry is appropriate.
An agreement to report to the ERC The only required report is an initial response within two weeks, just to let us know you have made contact, or perhaps that you haven’t been able to make contact but are continuing to try. NAMB just wants to know you have received the referral and have accepted responsibility for this follow-up. Of course, they also encourage you to let them know when you’ve had the privilege of seeing that person come into your church family and begin the growth process.
A unique feature of this ministry is that it uses at home volunteers rather than gathering volunteers in a phone center to respond to calls. This enables NAMB to provide twenty-four hour outreach to individuals seeking spiritual encouragement. Although some very sophisticated technology supports the telephone function of the ERC, the technological knowledge needed to log on to receive ERC call from home is really quite simple. Telephone Encourager’s simply call a toll-free number when they get ready to log on, enter a PIN number and password, which is assigned to them, and simply take calls until they are ready to log off. A two-hour training session is mandatory for all Telephone and Internet Encouragers. Many training opportunities are provided. In addition to the two-hour training course, an endorsement from your pastor is required before you may serve as an ERC Encourager. To initiate the process, either to register as a Covenant Church or to be trained as a Telephone Encourager, contact NAMB at www. erconline.net and fill out the online form found under “Get Involved.”
Considering the multi-site option
he last five years have seen the emergence of a new phenomenon in church methodology, known commonly as the “multisite church.” Defined simply as David Jackson “one church in more BCM/D Missionary than one location,” for Church the multisite church is really a variation Multiplication on a methodology begun almost 40 or so years ago under the name “satellite church.” While that emphasis never really “caught on,” the modern movement has quickly gained steam and has ardent supporters throughout North America, including here in Maryland/Delaware. Last year alone, the Baptist Convention of Maryland/ Delaware saw more multisite congregations start than in the rest of the decade combined. The goal of the multisite strategy is to reach unreached people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. This, of course, is also the objective of all outreach/evangelism efforts and the goal of church planting, too. So is multisite an evangelism strategy? Almost all would agree it can be (and probably should be), since the multisite—a congrega-
tion of the church now meeting elsewhere—is (hopefully) seeking to reach those apart from Christ with the Gospel message. Is multisite a church planting strategy? Some of its advocates suggest this, and eventually over the life of the multisite congregation, I suspect that it will be in many instances. Most, though, see it as a church growth strategy “by extension;” that is, it grows the church not in the same place, but by moving to new locations in order to do so (i.e., thus it “extends” out into the world to share the Good News). Regardless, many churches should consider this option, especially those who: • Have a desire to reach lost people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ • Are seeking to grow in order to maximize their impact on a lost and dying world • Have many members who commute from great distances to their facilities • Are landlocked and can’t build where they are OR can’t afford to go into a building project…yet • Are considering closing the doors because they are unsure they can continue in the future If any (or all) of these characteristics describe your church and you are mulling the multisite option,
Could Europe and the 2010 PASSION PLAY be in your FUTURE?
then ask yourself the following: 1. Is our church willing to meet in separate locations in order to reach more people for Jesus? This may mean locating your multisite in a more distant community where a number of your members currently live. By doing so they will have the ability to reach their friends and neighbors more effectively, since the new location will be in their own community (a place where unchurched people are more likely to attend and get involved). 2. Is our church willing to consider a merger with a struggling church, through which the struggling church becomes a multisite congregation of our stronger, healthier church? Such a decision could keep the more feeble church from dying, but only you and the church will be able to determine “at what cost” this merger could potentially take place. 3. Is our church considering a future relocation for ministry to another town or community? If so, starting a multisite congregation in that community may serve as a bridge to the future, a future in which you are able ultimately down the road to make the multisite become the beachhead to a new permanent location, while the former site you leave behind remains as a
multisite congregation. 4. Is our church willing to share its resources (people and funds), in order to make a greater impact for the Kingdom? While multisite options usually don’t cost as much as church planting in terms of money, it may require a larger investment of people resources… at least at first. Churches that go this route have many options on the “preaching strategies” employed, but all require adequate volunteers to assist in the other areas of ministry for the congregation, as well. The multisite option for churches offers greater flexibility at lower costs for those who are willing to go this route. Moreover, it affords any church a quicker return on their investment and more control over the congregation than church planting. If these things are important to your outreach and extension strategies, perhaps multisite is for you. We on the BCM/D Church Multiplication Team stand ready to assist you in seeing God’s dream become reality.
For more information about multisite churches, contact David Jackson, missionary for church multiplication, at (410) 977-9867 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former BCM/D director of missions, Rev. Jimmy Jackson, and present BCM/D missionary, Dr. David Jackson, will be leading a tour group in September 2010, that will include visits to Vienna, Prague, Berlin and the world renowned Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany. Enrollment is now open. If interested in viewing a brochure of this trip, please send a request by email to: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (240) 888-5786 or (410) 977-9867
Haiti relief assessment underway after 7.0 quake By IMB Staff Southern Baptists are mobilizing to assess disaster relief needs after the largest earthquake in more than 200 years rocked Haiti the evening of Jan. 12. The initial Southern Baptist disaster relief effort will be led by Florida Baptists, who have had ministry relationships in Haiti for more than 20 years and currently have six staff members who live and work in the country, said Jim Brown, U.S. director for Baptist Global Response, a Southern Baptist relief and development organization. The International Mission Board (IMB) does not have long-term personnel stationed in the country. Initial funding for the relief effort will be provided by the IMB’s disaster relief fund. You can contribute to the relief effort at gobgr.org. The North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) disaster relief office is organizing an emergency consultation with state disaster relief directors to coordinate response
to the catastrophe, Brown said. Disaster relief teams in Mississippi and Kentucky are on standby for immediate response. An assessment team is being organized by Baptist Global Response, IMB, NAMB and state convention disaster relief directors to enter the country as soon as possible, Brown said. They will work with Haitian Baptists to identify immediate needs that must be addressed and will draft mid- and long-term plans for an ongoing relief effort. The 7.0 magnitude tremor hit 10 miles from the center of Port-auPrince, a city of 3 million people, at around 5 p.m. Jan. 12, according to news reports. One source said the quake could be felt more than 200 miles away. The earthquake triggered a tsunami watch for Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. Multiple strong aftershocks con-
tinued to rock the country after the initial tremor, said David Brown, who with his wife, Jo, directs BGR work in the Americas. Reports from inside the country indicate infrastructure and many buildings suffered catastrophic damage. The main airport is closed; power and communications are down and security is a serious concern. Specialized search and rescue teams and military units from several countries are being rushed into Haiti to help
secure the situation and begin relief efforts. Apart from donating to the disaster relief effort via gobgr.org, you can help greatly by joining in focused prayer for Haiti’s 9 million people, more than 80 percent of whom live below the poverty line, said David Brown. “Please pray for us as we assess and monitor the situation in Haiti after the 7.0 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks this evening,” Brown said. “The initial information indicates 2 million people in Port-au-Prince are directly affected. Please pray for victims and their families. Pray for wisdom as responses are initiated.” The situation in Haiti is very fluid and additional information will continue to flow in on a daily basis, Brown said. Updates will be released as new information becomes available.
“Dear Counselor” with CentrePointe Counseling, Inc.
“How do I handle e-mail communication from my church?” Dear Counselor: I get lots of e-mail communication now from my church and even forwarded e-mails from my pastor. How do you handle the situation of e-mail communication? Sometimes I would like to hear a voice. –Needing a Voice Dear Needing a Voice: You raise an important question that brings up the subject of what some are now calling the “Digital Divide.” In the digital divide, there are “digital natives” who are comfortable in doing all of their communication by e-mail, text-messages, social networks and the like. They have grown up with computers and cell phones and their primary form of communication is digital. “Digital immigrants” are on the other side
of the digital divide. They grew up with telephones and written forms of communication and are trying to learn this new digital language, but it is like their second language, not their first. It sounds like you would be a digital immigrant who is learning digital communication as a second language. I am also in that category. Younger pastors and newer church plants communicate almost entirely by digital means today. There are many advantages to the digital form of communication such as the following: it is cost effective; it is “green;” it is fast; it allows for “on-line” discussions and updates; it is a way of reaching new people in social networks. There are also some potential liabilities of digital communication such as the following: it is a new
and powerful way to send gossip; there is a great chance for miscommunication on “hot topics;” people often fail to pause before they hit the “send” button and either send something they wish they had not sent, or send something to the wrong person; there is the impersonal forwarding of meaningless material to everyone in one’s mailbox; there is a greater difficulty of communicating closely and intimately (spoken as a digital immigrant you must remember!). It is important for churches to take time to discuss what they would consider proper etiquette with church digital communication (what some would call “netiquette”). Digital natives and digital immigrants need to discuss and agree upon church policy. And, since 92 percent of human communication is
non-verbal through voice tone, bodylanguage, eye-contact, etc., I would recommend that whether one is a digital native or immigrant to save a special place for personal contact and face-to-face communication. –Tom Rodgerson Send your questions by e-mail to email@example.com. CentrePointe has offices in the following locations: Bel Air, Canton, Catonsville, Charles Village, Clarksburg (Germantown), Columbia, Crofton, Dunkirk, Eldersburg, Federal Hill, Frederick, Glen Burnie, Hughesville, Lanham, Laurel, Lutherville, Mechanicsville, Middle River, Odenton, Parkville, Port Deposit, Rockville, Severn, Silver Spring, Waldorf, Westminster. (410) 882-1988 or (800) 491-5369
Church partnership advances God’s Kingdom By Shannon Baker BCM/D National Correspondent SYKESVILLE, Md.—It’s a church partnership made in heaven—the inner city New Christian Bible Church in northwest Baltimore and the suburban Friendship Church in Sykesville, Md. The partnership began three years ago through a pre-Embrace Baltimore effort to partner city churches with suburban churches for greater impact for the kingdom. At a retreat sponsored by the Baptist Convention of Maryland/ Delaware (BCM/D) at Skycroft Conference Center, BCM/D Executive Director David Lee shared his vision for connecting churches together to prepare the way for a Strategic Focus City effort by the North American Mission Board (NAMB). Friendship Church’s senior pastor, Mark Massey, heard Lee’s vision and came back to his church “really enthused,” shared John Hevey, associate pastor at Friendship Church. At the time, John Faris, former director of finance at the BCM/D and a member at Friendship, shared about potential church partners with Friendship Church leaders.
They discovered that New Embrace Baltimore. The two explained Hevey, who has played Christian Bible Church was fairly church’s choirs have sung in each golf with Hardnett, using that time close to them. It was also the neighother’s churches; the pastors have to learn about each other’s churches borhood where Hevey grew up. swapped pulpits; and families. After mutual interviews, both and the two con“We have churches agreed to a three-year gregations have enreceived a lot of “We have received a lot of covenant, committing to assist each joyed church picnics encouragement and a lot of resources encouragement and other as the Lord led them. Their a lot of resources together. from our partnership with Friendship from our partnerfirst effort together was to paint They have Church,” said Steve Hardnett, senior ship with FriendPimlico Elementary School, an inner even participated city school in much need of repair. in mission trips pastor of New Christian Bible Church. ship Church,” said Since that time, the two churchSteve Hardnett, together in Missises have ministered alongside each senior pastor of sippi, where they other at Baltimore’s Helping Up New Christian Bible Church. have done hurricane relief work, Mission (a residential recovery cen“Our partnership has allowed and in Puebla, Mexico. In February, ter for men in Baltimore) and at a us to expand further than we would Hardnett will travel with Massey to downtown Baltimore have ever on our own. We’re thankPuebla to work with homeless shelter (forful for our friendship,” he added. a Mexican churchmerly called Oasis) Hardnett says he feels “right at planting pastor. “Our partnership has given us where they have led home” whenever he visits Friend“It’s a great opBible studies and ship’s church campus. “They feel some great friends,” explained portunity for three like family,” he said. otherwise served. long-term church John Hevey, associate pastor of Though they have officially Friendship planters to talk Friendship Church. “It’s not just shop,” Hevey said. completed their partnership, both helped reconstruct about the work. It’s about the churches can’t imagine not being New Christian Bible On a personal partners. They have agreed to conChurch’s fellowship level, the pastors relationships that we develop tinue, expectant that God will do hall, enlarging the and their wives have when we work together.” space to meet their enjoyed fellowship to- greater things in their midst. “Our partnership has given us growing need. gether, encouraging some great friends,” shared Hevey. Friendship each other as leaders also assisted New Christian Bible “It’s not just about the work. It’s in the churches. Church in Upward Sports Camps, “We meet regularly to ask ques- about the relationships that we develop when we work together.” and other outreach events through tions and encourage each other,”
Partners: Friendship Church, Sykesville, and New Christian Bible Church
And God sent the alligator
ast fall I was part of an event in Kissimmee, Fla. Nothing was going as planned. The Power Point presentation worked on the trial runs prior to general sessions, but refused to work during general sessions. Conference leaders were delayed at airports; others were sick; lunch was delivered late, well…you get the idea. In the midst of it all, I was to be the last keynote speaker on Saturday morning. By Friday afternoon, I was not even sure I would be alive by Saturday morning. The stress was building and I knew it was critical to find some time alone with God. Instead of going to dinner with the crowd, I chose to stay behind and look for a quiet place to pray. I found my quiet place outside in a grassy area behind a Piggly Wiggly grocery store. It was there I sat on the grass and poured my heart out to God. My plea was, “God please remove the distractions and stresses from my thoughts.” It was about then I caught a glimpse of something moving in the water that had collected in a ditch. “Was that an alligator?” Almost stopping in mid-sentence, the conversation with God ended. There just a few feet away was an alligator. He turned his head and looked right into my eyes. My mind was racing. “Do you stare back at an alligator? Do you look away? Do you run? Do you sit still? Do you yell for help?” I had no idea what to do should the alligator decide to do more than stare at me. All I knew for sure was that he had very sharp teeth that had potential to remove my shoeless feet from my body. We stared at each other for several seconds (seemed liked several hours). Without taking his eyes off me he turned his body and started moving in closer. He stopped continuing to stare. Then he moved yet a little closer. He stopped again still staring into my eyes. And then for no reason he turned and went on his way. All I could do was laugh out loud and thank God for sending an alligator my direction. You see God had just removed all the distractions and stresses
I could think about was the from my thoughts! An alalligator. God had already ligator was not what I had answered my prayer. And I in mind when I asked God praised Him with a very joyto refocus my thoughts. As ful heart. a matter of fact an alligator How do I know the alwas nowhere in my thoughts. ligator was from God? When I was thinking in lines of I returned to the church, God sending a passage of I mentioned my alligator scripture to mind, or the sighting to the pastor. He memory of His presence, but Gayla Parker said, “Gayla, I have been at no, God sent the alligator. WMU Executive this church for 24 years and And I might add that it was quite effective. Director/WMU,SBC I have never seen an alligaBefore that prayer time Missions Innovator tor this far inland. Are you sure it was an alligator?” Oh began, I was totally stressed Specialist and physically and mentally Missionary for Mis- yes, I was sure. I had just exhausted. My heart and sions Education/ spent several minutes eye to eye with my very special mind were not where they Customization alligator friend. needed to be when I stood It has been some months as a speaker in less than 24 since that trip to Kissimmee and hours. One glimpse of an alligator there have been other stressful changed everything. It was immemoments. Whenever they come, I diate. It was complete. When the think about the alligator and how alligator left, my mind never went God answered my prayer in a way back to the stresses of the event. All
that I could never have dreamed or imagined. Eph. 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine….” Gideon experienced it when he went to war with a few hundred men. Joseph experienced it when being sold into slavery led him to a place of leadership. And I experienced it when God sent an alligator instead of a Bible verse. The year 2010 is well underway. My goals and plans are in place. But should the year turn out to look differently than I planned, I will praise God for His work that always exceeds mine. And I will remember the alligator.
For more information about mission education, contact Gayla Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the Date!! Women’s Retreat March 5-6, 2010 Camp Wo-Me-To 1200 Knopp Road Jarrettsville, MD Featuring Karla Dornacher
Is the fast paced busyness of daily life stealing your joy? Learn to slow down and savor some moments of joy in the ordinary moments of everyday
...The joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10
Also featuring Joyce Mitchell, author of Soul Spa
Multitaskers, achievers, helpers—women leaders rarely say no to a new challenge. One element of their lives often overlooked or undervalued, is self-care. Yet the way women nurture their own vitality has a dramatic impact on their effectiveness, including in relationships.
This event is sponsored by WMU of MD/DE
and the Cooperative Program
For more information, contact Gail Noda at 800-466-5290 x218 or email@example.com
2009 Review: Hope, change & more of the same By Will Hall Executive Editor of Baptist Press. NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—A number of stories grabbed national headlines for at least a brief time in the year that now was: – The deaths of political icon Ted Kennedy and pop superstar Michael Jackson elicited heartfelt tributes as well as harsh critiques. – Likewise, the country’s collective conscience was disturbed to learn about Tiger Woods’ adultery. – Even the swine flu burst into public awareness, but despite dire predictions from the federal government and the United Nations, the epidemic did not rise to the severity of the seasonal flu viruses of 2008. However, 2009 will not be remembered for the merely tantalizing, or sensational, or even for a deeply emotional moment, but for the promises of enduring hope and change ... and unfortunately for the frustrating realities of “more of the same.” Miraculous Beginning Shortly into 2009, The “Miracle on the Hudson” gave the nation an emotional surge of hope when on Jan. 15, US Airways Captain Chesley Sullenberger piloted his powerless aircraft to an emergency landing on the river, saving the lives of all 155 onboard after losing both engines to bird strikes seconds after takeoff. An American First The lifted national spirit was a fitting precursor to the historic inauguration of the first African American president of the United States which took place five days later. Hope was the word of the day or at least the politically correct response as liberals and conservatives alike wrote and spoke reverently of the promise in the Declaration of Independence fulfilled in Barack Obama: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Whatever the true feelings of the political pundits, when all
was said and done, it seemed most Americans were sincerely moved by the symbolism of how far we have come in race relations in the U.S. represented in Obama’s election by a white majority electorate. Foreign Aid or Global Offensive? However, the political peace was short-lived. Only three days later Obama overturned the Mexico City Policy, an executive order -- originally signed in 1984 and active under presidents Reagan, Bush the elder and “W” -- that previously prohibited U.S. family planning funds from going to foreign non-governmental organizations that perform abortions or “actively promote” abortion as a method of family planning in other countries. The policy had not reduced funding for family planning, but only had restricted money from going to any group that included abortion as part of its “family planning” services. The policy also had allowed referrals for abortion in cases of rape, incest or where the mother’s life would be endangered if the unborn child were carried to term and for treatments of injuries caused by legal or illegal abortions. Obama supporters claimed the president’s move will save women from injury and death due to “back alley” abortions. Critics countered that U.S. taxpayer funds will be used to promote human rights violations in countries with coercive abortion policies or forced sterilization programs. Ironically, in the end, the policy change has the potential to result in the U.S. causing more deaths worldwide from “family planning” (increased abortions) than the number of deaths that have resulted from the simultaneous wars being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. War & Peace Casualties in Iraq had declined considerably through the summer, but climbed again when U.S. troops began to pull back and be replaced by Iraqi forces in anticipation of a total withdrawal of U.S. forces in 2010. The surge in bombings in December will not delay the planned pullout, and as yet has not caused
postponement of national elections scheduled for March. Only time will tell if the hard-earned peace will endure without a U.S. military presence and its promise of protection. Meanwhile, 30,000 additional troops are headed to Afghanistan to combat increased terrorism by al-Qaida and the Taliban in that country and Pakistan. The extra forces are part of President Obama’s revamped strategy for the region. But even with more boots on the ground, it might be too little too late to create security and then transfer responsibility to Afghanistan forces by the president’s pullout date of July 2011. On Dec. 7, the nation’s highestranking military officer painted a bleak picture for 1,000 Marines at Camp Lejeune, telling them terrorism has surged in Afghanistan and casualties will rise next year as additional U.S. troops enter the fray. “We are not winning, which means we are losing,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, adding, “the message traffic out there to recruits keeps getting better and more keep coming.” “That’s why we need the 30,000 and particularly, and you are the lead on this, getting in there this year, over the next 12 months, almost in lightning bolt fashion.” Economic Malaise The U.S. recession continued unabated despite bailouts for such financial sector giants as Goldman Sachs, as well as intervention for two of the Big Three automakers. Ford Motor Company was the lone automaker to decline Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) money, and it managed to emerge from the crisis without resorting to the same kind of bankruptcy protection invoked by General Motors and Chrysler. Moreover, the economic stimulus package has yet to show promise of delivering on Obama’s promise of 3.5 million jobs. Unemployment jumped from 9.4 percent in September to 10.2 percent in October, marking only the second time since WWII that the rate has passed 10 percent. November saw it
edge downward to 10 percent, but the outlook for the January 2010 report of December’s rate is mixed, with many economists describing the state of the economy as a “jobless” recovery. Indeed, the actual joblessness in America is perhaps more severe than the official numbers claim. Economists argue whether the number of people who have given up looking for work and thus not counted in the unemployment numbers has skewed the accuracy of the rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the severity of the situation can be seen in the precipitous drop in federal tax revenues. As of the end of the fiscal year in September, individual income tax receipts were down about 20 percent from the year before. At this point 7 million jobs would have to be created to reverse the losses of the current crisis and another 100,000 new jobs added per month to account for workers just entering the labor force. Health Care Malignancy First the House and then the Senate passed health care legislation intended to “fix” the nation’s health care system, some say is broken because of lack of coverage for 35 million Americans and 10 million illegal immigrants, and because of skyrocketing costs that strain family budgets and imperil the viability of small and large businesses alike. While a public option (governmentrun program) seems no longer a hill to die on in the current legislative battle, certainly for some politicians and activists, a state-run program like that of Canada or Cuba seems to be the end game to ensure equality in what they feel is a health right. Others counter that 85 percent of Americans are satisfied with their coverage and the needed fixes are: to enroll the 15 million uninsured who are eligible in programs like State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Medicare and Medicaid; to create incentives to draw into private insurance plans about 15 million uninsured young adults who currently opt out largely Continued on page 21
because they feel health insurance is an unneeded expense; to pass tort reform to reduce costs from extra tests ordered by doctors to protect against malpractice suits; to provide portability as a means to address denial for pre-existing conditions when workers have to switch insurers due to job changes; and to address the illegal immigrant situation separately through a combination of paths to citizenship and enforcement of immigration laws. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the debate has not been the different possibilities for reform, but the lack of integrity and the corrupted values that have been exposed. Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu showed her initial “holdout” of her vote had little to do with her need to consider details (some still not written) of the plan and everything to do with the estimated $300 million inserted as a set aside for Louisiana by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in his proposed bill (Landrieu subsequently hosted a New Orleans fundraiser for the embattled Reid who faces the very real threat of an ouster by voters in his native Nevada). Even pro-life stalwart Sen. Ben Nelson from Nebraska compromised his stance against pro-abortion language in the bill in order to secure $100 million in set asides for his state. Whatever personal capital Landrieu and Nelson obtained might be lost in 2012 when both face fallout from angry electorates that overwhelmingly (about two-thirds in both states) oppose the proposed health care reform. The so-called “Louisiana Purchase” and “Nebraska Kickback” are pretty good evidence of politics as usual despite a wholesale change in the House, Senate and White House that transpired in 2006 in combination with 2008.
zero for those who claim man-made greenhouse gases are causing global warming. The e-mails, which date back as far as 13 years, appear to show scientists withholding data which disputes their global warming theories. One of the exchanges mentions a “trick” to “hide the decline” in global temperatures. CRC scientists claim statements have been taken out of context. Skeptics counter that the e-mails reveal a systematic effort to squelch data which shows there is no global warming and that man is not the culprit of climate change. The Copenhagen conference ended with an official accord crafted basically by the U.S., Brazil, South Africa, India and China -- that although passed by the larger body was less than agreeable with Britain which usually is a strong U.S. ally. Like the health care debate in the U.S., “progress” in negotiations came with a price -- a $100 billion a year fund “to address the climate change needs of developing countries.” Even as the conference concluded, another scandal broke when Russian scientists declared that the Hadley Center for Climate Change at the British Meteorological Office in Exeter, Devon, England, had tampered with Russian temperature data. This latest revelation is particularly damaging to advocates of manmade global warming theories, because the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) depend on Hadley for the Russian data. Manmade global warming theorists had pointed to NOAA and NASA as “independent” sources to verify the work done by East Anglia’s Climate Research Center (which is at the center of a fraud controversy). The corrupted Russian temperature data has contaminated all four research centers’ work.
Climate Confusion During December, world representatives convened in Copenhagen to craft a global warming treaty amid a growing controversy about hacked e-mails published on the Internet incriminating scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Center (CRC) which is ground
Religion in the News A couple of events spoke strongly to devotees and detractors in 2009. Calvinists feted the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birthday and the systematic theology that bears his name, while non-Calvinists used the occasion to point out his personal flaws and question Calvinists’ interpretations of Scripture.
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Likewise the 400th anniversary of the “first” Baptist church in Europe created a theological stir among Anabaptists (“freewill”), Particular Baptists (Calvinists) and successionists (“first century” Baptists who see their heritage linking directly to the time of the Apostles), each claiming the “birthright” of Baptists. The popularity of these different positions changes from generation to generation, in large part rising and falling in relation to the cycle of leadership (and the reflection of their respective beliefs) in seminaries and religious institutions. However, there was an event of more lasting consequence for the larger Christian body in 2009 -- the formation of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). Conservative members have been battling leaders in the Episcopal Church to stop the ordination of practicing homosexuals, and the denomination has suffered a number of losses the past several years with the defections of around 400 individual churches and at least one entire diocese, all of which aligned with the Anglican Communion through conservative bishops in Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Uganda and Kenya. The establishment of an alternative body to represent North American Anglicans signals a crippling injury to the Episcopal Church and not just sporadic hemorrhaging like past years. The Southern Baptist Convention There were some significant sidebars in Southern Baptist life in 2009, including a series of wakeup calls about prostate cancer and a referendum of sorts at the SBC annual meeting about a non-SBC pastor. – SBC President Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., announced Nov. 23 he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo initial treatment in January. Hunt was the third SBC leader this year to disclose a prostate cancer diagnosis, following O.S. Hawkins in August and Jack Graham in June. Hawkins is president of GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Graham, a former SBC president, is pastor of the Dallasarea Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.
Page 21 – Five of 31 motions in Louisville directly or indirectly related to the controversial Mark Driscoll, a pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., and founder of the Acts 29 church planting network which allows only for Reformed (Calvinist) beliefs. The motions addressed the sale of his books; entity use of him as a speaker; and SBC employees’ relationships with him – because Driscoll is “known for publicly exhibiting unregenerate behavior ... such as cursing and sexual vulgarity, immorality” and he promotes “consumption” and “production of alcohol.” However, the biggest story line leading up to the June convention was the Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) Declaration, a statement of 10 axioms unveiled by Hunt, but which was based on 12 axioms developed by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin. There was support and controversy. Akin’s statement called state conventions “bloated and inefficient bureaucracies with red tape a mile long” and also raised the specter of changing how Cooperative Program giving was defined, asking whether the giving channel “fairly and accurately reflects the gifts many Southern Baptist churches are making to the work of our denomination.” Hunt’s declaration did not mention Akin’s question about the CP, and his response to input from around the convention was to soften language about state conventions when he crafted his final version of the declaration. In the end, the declaration was not offered for a vote, but messengers overwhelmingly approved a motion by R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, that authorized Hunt to appoint a task force to study how Southern Baptists can work “more faithfully and effectively together in serving Christ through the Great Commission,” with Mohler saying the task force was “not an effort to reinvent the Southern Baptist Convention.” The Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) has held a number of meetings already and
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2009 Review: Hope, change & more of the same Continued from page 21 has announced it will release a report in February to the SBC Executive Committee. News about the GCRTF was crowded off the front pages of state papers only by a succession of news about changes in leadership at the North American Mission Board, the International Mission Board and the Executive Committee. In August Geoff Hammond, then president of NAMB, resigned under pressure from trustees only three months after being described by the trustee chairman as having “a steady, efficient and effective hand,” and having “consistently sounded the clarion call that North America is a mission field” and leading NAMB “with a Christ-like attitude that I have had the privilege to witness firsthand.” Trustees elected Hammond to his post in March 2007. NAMB has a 2010 budget of $126 million to support its mission work in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In September Jerry Rankin, IMB president since 1993, announced his intention to retire July 31, 2010. The IMB has a 2010 bud-
get of $317.6 million to support its mission work overseas. Later in the month SBC Executive Committee President Morris H. Chapman announced he would retire Sept. 30, 2010. Chapman served as SBC president for two terms before taking leadership of the SBC EC in 1992. The Executive Committee has a $6 million budget to support its ministry assignments and administers $3.14 million for SBC expenses such as conducting the annual meeting and the work of standing committees and special committees. All three entities have formed search committees to identify a new chief executive for each of their respective ministries. Looking Ahead There are some easy “picks” when guessing what possible story lines might develop in 2010: – Every year there seems to be another public figure, whether politician, sports legend or television talk show host, who hasn’t learned the horrible lessons from the previous year’s scandal makers. – Technology is expanding so
rapidly that scientific breakthroughs like finding water on the moon are a possibility every year. – The fervor of jihadists guarantees headlines about some sort of terrorism for 2010. – Politicking will be at a peak with a likely spirited grab by Republicans for seats in the U.S. House and Senate ... and an equally determined defense by Democrats. But what Americans will be looking for in the new year are headlines that indicate real progress toward or actual achievement of the promises of hope and change they anticipated in 2009 -- economic improvement; peace at home and improving security in Afghanistan and Iraq; integrity and high character from public officials ... to name a few. Likewise, evangelicals will be looking for promising signs, but hopefully not so much of the world – although a good economy would aid Christians and non-Christians alike. Instead, these times should remind believers that true hope is anchored in Jesus Christ. Southern Baptists will be anticipating details about proposed
R. Albert Moehler, Jr., appointed Schaeffer Chair at World Journalism Institute NEW YORK—R. Albert Mohler, Jr., has been appointed to the Francis Schaeffer Chair of Cultural Apologetics at the World Journalism Institute at The King’s College in New York City. Dr. Mohler is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and hosts The Albert Mohler Program, a daily nationwide radio show devoted to engaging contemporary culture with his Biblebased beliefs. He also writes a popular blog. Mohler received a B.A. from Samford University. He holds a
Master of Divinity degree and the Doctor of Philosophy from Southern Seminary. He has pursued additional study at Oxford University (England). Christianity Today recognized Mohler as a leader among American evangelicals and Time called him the “reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S.” Mohler has contributed to several books including Here We Stand: A Call From Confessing Evangelicals and The Coming Evangelical Crisis. He served as General Editor of The Gods of the Age or the God of the Ages: Essays
by Carl F. H. Henry. Dr. Henry was the first closing dinner speaker for WJI in 1999. As the holder of the Francis Schaeffer chair, Dr. Mohler will give a series of lectures to the World Journalism Institute students at its multi-week course on convergence journalism in May in New York. This will be the second series of lectures by Dr. Mohler to WJI students. The World Journalism Institute’s mission is to recruit, equip, place and encourage Christian journalists in the mainstream newsrooms of first America and then the world. To that end, WJI offers courses, conferences, internship funding, and monographs on the intersection of Christianity and journalism. For more information or to apply for the course, go to www.worldji.com.
changes from the GCR Task Force, and waiting expectantly for the names of who will be leading three of their most important institutions. But perhaps even more so, they will be looking for continuity ... in the cooperation that has long defined the work and the fellowship of the churches who ARE the Southern Baptist Convention.
Church compensation survey now online By GuideStone PR staff DALLAS (BP)–The 2010 SBC Church Compensation Survey, a joint effort of Baptist state conventions, LifeWay Christian Resources and GuideStone Financial Resources, is now online. All Southern Baptist church employees are encouraged to participate in the survey of pay and benefits of ministers and other staff, which can be accessed through April 30 at www.LifeWay.com/compensationsurvey. Results will be released in June. Utilizing the survey data, church administrators, personnel and finance committees and minister search teams can compare their own church’s salary and benefits with similar churches across the country. For staff at churches without Internet access, a paper copy of the survey may be obtained by contacting their state convention office. Answers to the survey are kept confidential and are not reported individually. The survey takes, on average, less than 10 minutes to complete. In addition to salary and benefit information, participants in the survey will need to have their church’s average weekly worship or Bible study attendance, resident membership and annual budget. LifeWay and GuideStone are pooling resources to provide the online survey, compile the data and offer an online reporting tool for users to access the results.
Waking up to the American dream By Tim Durkin Baptist Family & Children’s Services
sk any group of Americans what exactly comprises the American Dream and you’re likely to hear a variety of answers. But, if you boil those answers down to their essence, you might just find a common theme of freedom, prosperity and security. The decade past may have taken the glow off of the American Dream for most of this country’s people. But, curiously enough, the American Dream is not just the property of Americans. Worldwide, especially in some of the globe’s most troubled countries, hundreds of millions of men and women lay heads on pillows each night and dream in American. In the fall of 2009, Baptist Family began working with a group of African refugees living in the BelairEdison neighborhood of Baltimore City. Nine large families (totaling around 60 people) were relocated from camps in the Congo by an international nonprofit organization called the International Rescue Committee. These men, women, and children came to America to escape crushing poverty and illness. A rolling conflict called “Africa’s World War” has devastated massive swaths of the Congo and Rwanda and left millions homeless. Even refugee camps have become targets, and hundreds of thousands of people have been killed or left homeless a second time after military strikes. Those whose camps survive intact face food and water shortages and a lack of basic sanitation. In the middle of this nightmare, the power of the American Dream is undeniable. And a very few people are given a chance to make the dream a reality in their lives. Baltimore’s refugees live in neatly kept apartments and row homes. IRC provides their housing for eight months while they begin to acclimate to their new country.
The refugees speak Swahili and some French (a leftover of French colonial involvement in the Congo). They immediately reached out to Salem Gospel Ministries, a BCM/D church that has a strong French-speaking African population. Salem Gospel Ministries began to minister to and advocate for the refugees, who needed significant help in adjusting to a new way of life. The parents and children, while well housed and out of immediate danger, needed major amounts of material assistance. Clothing and shoes were in short supply, and Baltimore’s cold weather months were coming on. Baptist Family donors and friends from University Church saw to it that the refugees would not suffer the winter’s cold. The children were enrolled full-time at a Baltimore City public school with limited “English As A Second Language” resources. So Baptist Family staff and other volunteers began after-school English language classes for the refugee children. Bright and energetic, the children have taken to their studies and are making great progress with the language and culture of their new homeland. Lessons begin with a scripture verse, and the refugees’ spiritual wellbeing is taken very seriously. Some are Christians and others not, but all are shown the compassionate love of Christ. Adults are also learning a new language through English classes held after Sunday services at Salem Gospel Ministries. Salem meets regularly at Patterson Park Church in Baltimore. Along with the great opportunity they have been offered, the adults face a great challenge: adjusting to a new language and culture and finding gainful employment in the
current economy. Their rescue from the Congo comes at a bit of a price. They are expected to work to repay transportation costs for their family’s flight to America. For some of these large families-with as many as eight children--this debt is large and looming. Their needs are great, indeed,
and the country they have left behind is the home of many painful memories. But the men and women afforded their own chance at the American Dream are working hard to heal their families’ trauma and to make a new start in what must still be called the Land of Opportunity.
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