Page 1

gathering the

of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina

September/October 2017 • Vol. 22 Issue 5 Bringing Baptists of North Carolina Together for Christ-Centered Ministry

Nurturing Healthy Congregations: Practices and Characteristics Read about Jersey Baptist Church on page 8


practice makes perfect?

by Larry Hovis, CBFNC Executive Coordinator

I took piano lessons from fourth grade through high school graduation. I was a mediocre pianist. Two things kept me from becoming a great or even good pianist: talent and practice. The second was a bigger problem than the first. I don’t possess natural musical talent. I can’t play by ear and my hands don’t move naturally to the right notes, but when I worked hard, I could play well. The problem was, I hated to practice. I was a lazy pianist. Because I failed to practice as much as I needed to, I never became a great pianist. When I stopped taking piano lessons, I stopped playing altogether. In his 2008 book, Outliers, Malcom Gladwell says, “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing that makes you good.” Jesus knew the importance of practice. In that well-loved passage we call The Great Commission, Jesus gives these instructions, Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20, The Message) What are the practices that lead to spiritual maturity? What are the practices that lead to Fit Churches? Personal Practices Another word for practice is “discipline.” Richard Foster popularized the idea of regular spiritual practice for the individual Christian in his book, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. In this contemporary classic, Foster outlines thirteen spiritual practices divided into three groups: • Inward – Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, Study • Outward – Simplicity, Solitude, Submission, Service • Corporate – Confession, Worship, Guidance, Celebration The regular practice of these disciplines, performed in a graceful, non-legalistic way, will lead to spiritual growth and greater spiritual health for the individual Christian. But what about the church? Will the practice of these

2 • The Gathering – September/October 2017

disciplines by the members of a church lead to the growth and health of the church? I believe the more individual church members practice classic spiritual disciplines, the more spiritually healthy the church will be. There are additional practices or factors that churches need to exhibit in order to be healthy. Congregational Practices In 1983, just five years after Foster’s book was published, Kennon Callahan produced Twelve Keys to an Effective Church, which provided a similar framework for healthy congregational practice. Callahan’s twelve keys are divided into two groups: • Relational – Specific, concrete missional objectives; Pastoral and lay visitation; Corporate, dynamic worship; Significant relational groups; Strong leadership resources; Streamlined structure and solid, participatory decision-making. • Functional – Several competent programs and activities; Open accessibility; High visibility; Adequate parking, land, and landscaping; Adequate space and facilities; Solid financial resources. Callahan states, Generally speaking, effective, successful churches have nine of these twelve central characteristics. Moreover, the majority of the nine are relational rather than functional. Tragically, too many churches have concentrated on the functional rather than the relational factors that contribute to mission and success (p. xii).

Current Practices of CBFNC Congregations I’m a firm believer in Foster’s disciplines and Callahan’s keys as spiritual aids to individual and congregational health. But what do they look like “on the ground” in the lives of people and churches of our Fellowship? This issue of The Gathering provides a few examples of the healthy practices of some of our Fellowship’s Christians and churches. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The word translated “perfect” is teleios, which means, “brought to its end, finished, complete.” It doesn’t mean sinless, but mature, having accomplished its purpose. To quote an old U.S. Army slogan, it means “being all you can be.” At this point in my life, I don’t have the time, energy, or effort necessary to practice piano and become proficient, much less “perfect.” But I am committed to devoting the time, energy, and effort to lead our Fellowship to engage in the practices that will enable us to be healthy, whole, and complete, achieving the purpose for which we were created and called.


As people of love—church people—we enjoy helping others. We like to identify needs and problem-solve. Whether engaging in a short-term mission trip or ministering in our community, we want to make a difference. Good things happen when we engage in ministry and missions, such as team building, feeling close to God, and making new friends. What if our helping is really hurting those we are trying to help? Could it be possible that we are weakening instead of empowering those we are assisting? Could we be taking away local jobs? How would things be different if we took to heart “Don’t do for others what they can do for themselves”? We can prevent this from happening if both the local leaders

o

helping ... not hurting

by Linda Jones, CBFNC Missions Coordinator

and the visiting team work together to identify the needs and mobilize capabilities, skills, and resources.

First identify the gifts, abilities, and skills of your ministry and mission team and the leaders in the community you are serving. Ask the leaders, “What are you good at doing?” “What worked well in the past?” “What are your dreams?”

Then ask, “How can we work together to meet those needs?” Together, you can discover the best plans, discern the best course of action, implement your strategy, and evaluate to determine any modifications as needed.

good missions partnership by Steve Timberlake, lay leader, Oxford, Oxford

The sanctuary, classrooms, and fellowship hall of Batts Chapel, Tarboro, found itself under four feet of water after Hurricane Matthew blew through in October 2016. This situation was all too familiar—Batts Chapel experienced similar flooding from Hurricane Floyd in September 1999, which some had termed the 500-year flood. In November, a group of men from Oxford, Oxford, worked for two days at Batts Chapel, removing wet sheetrock, insulation, damaged doors, furnishings, and bathroom fixtures. They met Deacon Frank Knight and other church members who offered sincere hospitality to our working team. Though they accomplished a great deal, there was much work to be done before Batts Chapel could return for worship, Bible study, and fellowship in their church which was founded in 1851. A group from Oxford returned in December to Tarboro/Princeville to do more tear-out work. While in the area, we called Frank and heard that the condition of the church was about the same as when we had left in November. Our group came home with a strong conviction that God had a job opening for us at Batts Chapel! We returned in January and began to install insulation and sheetrock. On subsequent trips, we replaced doors and trim work, and installed new flooring and fixtures in two bathrooms. In April, new carpet was installed in the sanctuary along with floor coverings for the vestibule. On each workday, men from Batts Chapel worked alongside us. Early on, we were thinking that when we reached this point, we would have met a nice goal and made a worthy contribution to Batts Chapel. Then we came to believe the Holy Spirit had a way and means for more work to be done. Others beyond Oxford have followed God’s call to offer assistance to Batts Chapel by providing building materials. Financial assistance came from CBFNC, NC General Baptists, Oxford Baptist Church, and Batts Chapel. The congregation of Batts Chapel have worked hard towards their church restoration. We have tried to be sensitive and follow their thoughts and plans. We grew with one another. Now as God leads, we are making plans to install more flooring, fixtures, and cabinets. We are grateful to be helping Batts Chapel in a small way toward restoration for worship and praise. Homecoming is scheduled for the last Sunday in August. We pray this will truly be a God-given homecoming. To God be the glory … great things He has done!

Your goals include empowering the local community and creating long-term relationships as well as meeting the needs. As the visiting team, you are no longer the outsider, the superior group, the “I know what’s good for you” team. Doing ministry and missions together in partnership builds relationships, creates leaders, brings about transformation, sensitizes us to have more compassion for suffering, and overall enables us to be more comfortable with diversity. God is already at work in the world! Let’s join God, continue doing good, loving all of God’s people, and nurturing our own healthy congregation. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!”

How can I help my church address mission and ministry in a more effective way? Are our ministry and mission endeavors what God has called the congregation to do? Helpful resources: Use CBF’s new resource, Maximizing Your Church’s Engagement, to evaluate your missions and ministry. Read together When Helping Hurts (Small Group 4 week curriculum on www.whenhelpinghurts.org). Order Pivot from the CBF store. It’s a great resource for short-term mission trips and local ministry. The Gathering – September/October 2017 • 3


Summary of individual

contributors

January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016

Thank you to the many generous individuals who give directly to the mission and ministry of CBFNC. While the bulk of our financial support comes from church budgets, individual gifts have become increasingly important to our organization. Your financial partnership is necessary for our ministry and that of our many ministry partners around our state. We are grateful for everyone who contributes to the mission of CBFNC. Please continue to give through your church, but also consider joining those listed below by making a contribution directly to CBFNC. This year we saw an increase of over 100 individual donors. For more information about how to support CBFNC financially, visit www.cbfnc.org/give. Every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference! Name

City/State

Robert Adams ....................... Boonville, NC Rennie & Sandy Adcock ....... Pfafftown, NC Sharon Altman ......................... Scranton, SC Drusilla Anderson .................. Nashville, TN Holly Andriaschko ................... Hanahan, SC Seth & Jennifer Asbill .............. Durham, NC J.D. & Margaret Baldree ............ Shelby, NC Glenn & Cathy Baldwin ........ Boonville, NC Marc Barber .................................. Apex, NC Wayne & Anita Bare .................. Garner, NC Emory Bass ....................... Huntersville, NC Nancy & John Baxley ........... Pfafftown, NC Jennifer Beitelshees ................ Seminole, FL Warren Bishop ..................... Goldsboro, NC Jimmy & Becky Blackley ........ Zebulon, NC Albert Blackmon ............................ Cary, NC Ken Boaz ............................. Yadkinville, NC Tom & Betty Bodkin ................. Raleigh, NC Jessica & Joshua Breazeale .... Greenville, NC Jim & Renee Bridges ..................... Cary, NC Ann Brinson ......................... High Point, NC Nancy & Douglas Broadway ......................... ...................................... Winston-Salem, NC Carol Brown ......................... Greenville, NC Kathy Brown ........................... Jefferson, NC Mary Brown .............................. Raleigh, NC Patti Bruce .......................... Mooresville, NC Martha & H.T. Bryson ........... Charlotte, NC Grace Bullard ......................... Asheboro, NC Roger & Carol Bullard ............... Wilson, NC Linden & Alice Burch .... Lake Junaluska, NC Karen Burnette ......................... Almond, NC Susan Burnette .......................... Raleigh, NC Brian Buros .................................. Plano, TX James Byrd ...................... Mount Gilead, NC Teresa Campbell ........................ Raleigh, NC Annie Carlton ........................ Richmond, VA T.S. Carter ................................ Zebulon, NC Tony & Susan Cartledge ............... Apex, NC Sylvia Cash ............................... Raleigh, NC Jack & Mary Lib Causey ........ Statesville, NC Ron & Shirley Cava ............. Henderson, NC Jane & Bob Caviness .... Winston-Salem, NC Nichole Cella ............................ Raleigh, NC Kenny & Trishia Chapman ... Cullowhee, NC Ka’thy & Russell Chappell ............................ ....................................... Winston-Salem, NC Jerry & Patsy Chiles .................. Raleigh, NC Debbie & Dan Christian ............ Valdese, NC 4 • The Gathering – September/October 2017

Joyce & Mitch Christmas ... Wilmington, NC Max & Owanna Clayton ....... Matthews, NC Austin & Betty Connors ........... Raleigh, NC Carolyn Cook ............................. Denver, NC Carlene Cooke ..................... Centreville, MD Richard Coram ...................... Reidsville, NC Gail & Dutch Coulter .... Hendersonville, NC Toni Cox .................................... Raleigh, NC Jack & Linda Crissman ......... Boonville, NC Jim Cross .................................... Oxford, NC Mary Cunningham .................... Candler, NC Gary & Roberta Cyrus .............. Raleigh, NC Barbara Dallas ............................... Eden, NC Jayne & Wes Davis ............ Wilmington, NC Laura & Kenny Davis .................... Troy, VA Lou & Carl Dawson .................. Raleigh, NC Dan & Mary Carol Day ........ Fort Worth, TX Peggy Debnam ......................... Zebulon, NC Carolyn & Roy DeBrand ....... Henderson, NC Danielle Delgado ................... Charlotte, NC Linda Denney ...................... Mount Airy, NC Michael Dersherbinin ......... Wilmington, NC Thomas Didier ....................... Arlington, VA Kyle Dilday ............................... Raleigh, NC Karen Dillinger ................. Wake Forest, NC Millie & Daniel Doherty ...... Orange City, FL Kathy Driver ............................. Raleigh, NC Frances Dunn ................ Winston-Salem, NC Patricia Dunn ....................... Greenville, NC Theresa Early ................. West Jefferson, NC John Eaton ..................... Winston-Salem, NC Mark & Elizabeth Edwards .... Nashville, NC Regina Edwards .................. Greensboro, NC Tom & Phyllis Ehardt .............. Houston, TX Susan & Matt Ellington ........... Zebulon, NC Judith Elliott .................. Mechanicsville, VA Ernest Estep ............................... Denver, NC Robert & Patsy Everhart ....... Clemmons, NC Aurlbrio Fennell ............................ Waco, TX Edith Fensom ................ Mechanicsville, VA Charles Fiese ........................ Brunswick, GA Joan Fiese ............................. Brunswick, GA Sue Fitzgerald ............... Winston-Salem, NC Elizabeth Fralin ..................... Richmond, VA Jeff & Melinda Frederick .... Lumberton, NC Woodrow Freeze ...................... Durham, NC Denise Gainey .................... Fayetteville, NC Cristina Galletta ....... Village of Lakewood, IL Roger & Deidra Gilbert ........ Mount Airy, NC

W.E. Graham ............................. Raleigh, NC Suzanne Grapel ....................... Inverness, FL Ruth Anne & Irvin Grigg .... Kernersville, NC Jennifer & Andy Hale .............. Clayton, NC Doug Hammack ........................ Raleigh, NC Carol Harden ............................... Jupiter, FL Harry & Melody Harden ... Pigeon Forge, TN Tommy & Pat Hardin ... Winston-Salem, NC Christine & Allen Harker .... Winterville, NC Brian & Ashley Harrington ... Martinsville, VA Suzanne Harris & Alton Chewning ................ ............................................. Chapel Hill, NC Bill & Cathy Hartsell ............. Charlotte, NC Debra Harwood ...................... Calabash, NC Todd Hassell ....................... Willowbrook, IL Dave & Vanessa Hawes ........ Lumberton, NC Ashley Hays .............................. Raleigh, NC Dennis & Betsy Herman ........... Raleigh, NC James Hernandez ..................... Florence, SC Natalie Herrmann ...................... Raleigh, NC Ryan Newson & Rebecca Hewitt-Newson .... ....................................................Raleigh, NC Wayne Hill ........................ Wake Forest, NC Marie Hill .................... Roanoke Rapids, NC Rachel & Garin Hill ............ Forest City, NC Brenda Hipp ...................... Thomasville, NC Linda & Michael Hodge ... Holly Springs, NC Burke Holland ................ Fuquay Varina, NC Christy Holland ........................ Clayton, NC Don & Jo Ann Horton .............. Zebulon, NC Marion & Donald Horton .... Knightdale, NC Larry & Kim Hovis ............... Pfafftown, NC Henry Howell ............................. Garner, NC Scott Hudgins & Mary Foskett ...................... ....................................... Winston-Salem, NC David & Jane Hull ..................... Bishop, GA John Huneycutt ....................... Advance, NC Rebecca Husband-Maynard & Mark Maynard ............................................. Thurmond, NC Gerry & Vicki Hutchinson ............................. ...................................... Stone Mountain, GA Holly Ivel & Matthew Smith .... Raleigh, NC Nancy & Franklin Ivey ........ Statesville, NC Ray Jackson ....................... Mooresville, NC Rebecca Jacobs ............ Winston-Salem, NC Robert & Elaine Jeffcoat .......... Durham, NC Nicole Jernigan ..................... Knoxville, TN Mike & Brenda Johnson ..... Hope Mills, NC Robert & Cathy Johnson ....... Burlington, NC


Frances Jones ............................ Raleigh, NC Gary Jones .............................. Hillsboro, OR Kelly Jones ......................... Wilmington, NC David & Elizabeth Jordan ... Huntersville, NC Rick & Susan Jordan ............ Lewisville, NC Sheila Jordan & Jerry Washington ................. .......................................... Sunset Beach, NC William Judd ............................. Raleigh, NC Andy & Amy Jung ............... Albemarle, NC Joan Kennedy ............................ Canton, MA Clement Key ...................... Mooresville, NC Bill & Jane Kibler ..................... Raleigh, NC Wanda & Dan Kidd .............. Cullowhee, NC Edith & Harold Knight .......... Stoneville, NC Ray Kohring .............................. Raleigh, NC Betty Kruppa ......................... Longwood, FL Joseph & Meade Lamb ..... Elizabeth City, NC Sara & Stuart Lamkin ........... Louisburg, NC Mable Laney .................. Lawrenceville, GA Scott Lang .................... Winston-Salem, NC Luanne Lasnier .............................. Cary, NC Bill & Crystal Leathers .. Winston-Salem, NC Eileen LeBlanc .......................... Raleigh, NC Judy LeCroy .......................... Lexington, NC Holly & J.K. Lee ...................... Zebulon, NC Mary Ann Leete ................ Simpsonville, SC Phillip Lingafelf ...................... Roanoke, VA Glenna Lingafelt ......................... Gretna, VA Stephen & Lee Loftis ... Winston-Salem, NC Lisa & Will Love ...................... Canton, NC Earline Mann ................................. Elon, NC Jim & Dianne Martin .................... Todd, NC Jeff & Rebecca Mathis ................. Sylva, NC Rick & Carolyn Matthews ............................. ....................................... Winston-Salem, NC Gail & Larry McAlister ................................. ....................................... Winston-Salem, NC Josh McGee & Emily Hull McGee ................ ....................................... Winston-Salem, NC Anna McLamb .......................... Raleigh, NC Statia McNeese ....................... Niceville, FL Gene & Jean Millsaps ........ Mooresville, NC Jane Mitchell ............................ Zebulon, NC David Moore ...................... Greensboro, NC Leslie Moore ...................... Chapel Hill, NC James & Margaret Morgan ... Cornelius, NC Melissa & Bradley Morgan ....... Wendell, NC Stephanie Morris ........................ Athens, OH Mamie Murphy ............ Winston-Salem, NC Jane & Jerry Myers .............. Albemarle, NC Alvin Newsome ........... Winston-Salem, NC Adam Nix .................................. Raleigh, NC Gail O’Day & Thomas Frank ........................ ....................................... Winston-Salem, NC Wayne Oakes ............................. Angier, NC Julia Ann Odom .................. Saint Pauls, NC Bill & Cindy Owen ........... Cross Plains, TN Lynn & Hugh Parker ...... Winston-Salem, NC Phyllis & Ed Parkerson ...... Greensboro, NC Ben Peery .............................. Richmond, VA Jason Perry ............................. Dillsboro, NC John Pfefferle .................. Pisgah Forest, NC Lana Phillips ........................ Bronxville, NY Carson & Betty Pittman ....... State Road, NC Julia Pittman .......................... Dade City, FL Jason Poindexter ................ Greensboro, NC

Richard & Elaine Poindexter ......................... ....................................... Winston-Salem, NC Tammy Poindexter ................ East Bend, NC Dixie Porter ............................... Raleigh, NC Lawrence & Heather Powers ......................... ..........................................Holly Springs, NC Calvin Price ........................... Pfafftown, NC Clara Privott .................... Rocky Mount, NC Bo & Gail Prosser ...................... Tucker, GA L.S. & Janna Pye ........................ Dalton, GA Mike & Bobbie Queen ....... Wilmington, NC Elena Ramos .......................... Charlotte, NC Donnie & Ann Ramsey ....... Weaverville, NC Doris Rauch ............................... Milford, NJ Kim & Robby Ray ................. Charlotte, NC Paul & Anne Raybon ................ Candler, NC Lynn Reed & Eileen Campbell-Reed ............. ................................................. Nashville, TN Laurie Robbins ....................... Charlotte, NC Charity Roberson .................. Richmond, VA Matthew Roberts ....................... Marion, NC Paul Rogers .......................... Tabor City, NC Monica Rollins ......................... Edenton, NC Richard Rosendahl ........ Mechanicsville, VA Diane Rourke ..................... Wynantskill, NY Robert & Anita Rourke ... Mechanicsville, VA Jonathan Rozier ................... Kensington, NH Jo Ann Russ ............................. Hickory, NC James Rust ........................... Alexandria, VA Kevin & Lynn Rust ............. Greenwood, SC Lisa & Kenneth Rust ........... Lumberton, NC Karen & Gary Sain ............. Taylorsville, NC Katrina Salter-Wood & Patrick Wood ............ ...........................................Hawkinsville, GA Janet Salyer ............................ Nashville, TN Salem Willing Workers .............. Denver, NC Carmen & Carroll Sasser ............................... ....................................... Winston-Salem, NC Tiffany Seaford ................... Mocksville, NC Laura Senter .............................. Everett, WA Martha & Fred Senter ........... Hallsboro, NC Joann & MiltonSewell ........ Mount Airy, NC Shirley Shelburne .................. Lillington, NC Ora Leigh & Grady Shore ....... Boonville, NC Ray & Virginia Sigmon ........... Catawba, NC Michael & Sandra Simmons ........ Coats, NC Martha & Wilbert Simmons ... Charlotte, NC Susan Singleton ..................... Woodstock, IL Dina & Roger Sit ................ Chapel Hill, NC Henry & Carol Skinner .............. Wilson, NC Linda Skipper ............................. Dacula, GA Amanda Smith ......................... Lowgap, NC Bobbye Smith ..................... Yadkinville, NC Charlotte & Roy Smith ... Winston-Salem, NC Christine Smith ........................ Clayton, NC Clyde & Laura Smith ................ Raleigh, NC Irmhild Smith ........................ Millington, NJ Layne & Dianne Smith ... Hendersonville, NC Mary Caitlin Smith ........................ Cary, NC Shirley Smith .............................. Trinity, NC Corinne Sneller .................... Burnsville, NC Sallie Sparks .............................. Henrico, VA Tony & Becky Spencer ........ Forest City, NC Susan Stanley ...................... Greensboro, NC Doris Stocks ......................... High Point, NC Mary Lois & Chuck Strickland .. Dobson, NC

Robert Stump ........................ Lexington, NC Jim & Marion Summerville ........................... .............................................. Chapel Hill, NC Tracie Sutton ............................... Griffin, GA Donnie Tacy ............................. Advance, NC Jennifer & Bob Talley ........ Wake Forest, NC Ralph & Virginia Taylor ...... Chapel Hill, NC Neil Thaggard ..................... Greensboro, NC Dorothy Thomason ................... Raleigh, NC Beth & Tommy Thompson ... Greenville, NC Jerry & Audry Thompson ... Greensboro, NC Phillip & Carolyn Tillman ... Burlington, NC Vickie & Kerry Traynum ........ Charlotte, NC Johnny Treece ....................... Albemarle, NC Daryl & Dawn Trexler ........ Wilmington, NC Kristen Tucker ......................... Charlotte, NC Dustin Tuttle ............................. Raleigh, NC Dot & Robert Tyson ............. Wadesboro, NC Robin & Kay Vann ................. Boonville, NC Tim Vaughn ............................. Columbia, SC Donald & Mary Lynn Vestal ... Boonville, NC Laura Anne Vick ....................... Raleigh, NC Carol Wadley ............................. Vestavia, AL Wagner Agape Foundation ............................. ...........................................McLeansville, NC Wake Forest University BSU ......................... ........................................Winston-Salem, NC Ann Wall ................................... Raleigh, NC Jean Wall ................................. Memphis, TN Matthew Wall .......................... Charlotte, NC Cornelia Wallace ................. Fayetteville, NC Susan Ward ............................... Durham, NC Carey & Fern Washburn ........... Kinston, NC Diane Washburn ..................... Kingsport, TN Thomas Watson ........................... Griffin, GA Linda Wayne ............................ Advance, NC Mary Scott & D.L. Webster ...... Durham, NC Nancy West ........................... Blairsville, GA Western NC Baptist Network ... Asheville, NC Elaine White ......................... Cullowhee, NC Nancy Whitlock ................... Lake Placid, FL Creely Wilson ........................... Franklin, TN David & Ann Wilson .............. Maryville, TN Rachel Wilson ............................. Garner, NC Wanda Wilson .................... Weaverville, NC Bill & Kathy Wilson ............ Clemmons, NC Linda Winslow ..................... Jamestown, NC James Wright ............................... Lenoir, NC Joyce Wyatt ........................ Wake Forest, NC Marc & Kim Wyatt ................... Raleigh, NC Ray & Melba Wyche ............. Whiteville, NC Betty & Richard Wynne ............ Raleigh, NC Bert & Tiffany Young .................................... ....................................North Wilkesboro, NC Sally Young ............................. Charlotte, NC NC Baptist Foundation Endowment Fund Blanche Wall & William A. Brown Mary W. Brown Hannah & Frank D. Hills H. Manly Hocutt Lynn Camp Odom Elizabeth Simmons The Estate of Hilda Wilson

The Gathering – September/October 2017 • 5


Differences of opinion abound on almost every topic, but I would wager that 95-100% of Christians in America will agree we are living in uncharted, challenging, and difficult times. The Church in America does not have the same place or significance it formerly did, even for many still within the church. In the so-called “Bible Belt,” congregations are forced to make difficult decisions. Do we change to accommodate the changes that are happening to us? How should we change? ... and must we change? Many are discovering there is great pain and resistance to change, and more are looking in all directions for ways to fix “the problem” and return to those glory days. Our time is strangely reminiscent of the Israelites in the 8th century BC. The Psalmist laments, “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.” While in captivity they remembered the glory days of the Davidic kings, the Temple that Solomon built, and the prosperity and security the nation enjoyed for generations. “There on the poplars we hung our harps. How can we sing the Lord’s song while in a foreign land?” We recognize their pain in our own pain. Like us, these displaced believers were anxious about the souls of their children and their children’s children, as well as their own souls. Twenty years ago the Reverend Larry Williams, former campus minister at Meredith College and Pastor at Louisburg Baptist Church, launched the Pastor as Spiritual Guide Program, first with the assistance of Reverend Ted Purcell and then for many years with Sister Joanna Walsh, fcj, a Spiritual Director at Duke Divinity School. At that time, the program focused primarily on the soul of the pastors amid the expectations and demands of congregational ministry. What was less clear then is readily apparent today. Now twenty years later, the focus must include the soul of congregations and the broader community. Father Thomas Moore has suggested, “The great malady implicated in all our troubles and affecting us individually and socially is the ‘loss of soul.’” The concern of ancient Israel and our present day concern about our souls is not misplaced. The great social maladies of our time, e.g. the addictions, obsessions, violence, greed, and loss of meaning, reflect the neglected care of our souls. So many of our emotional complaints, such as emptiness, vague depression, disillusionment about relationships, unfocused longings and restlessness, obsession for material things, and excessive yearning for personal fulfillment, all reflect our “loss of soul” and our lack of soulfulness. Our pain reminds us that within all, a soul lies somewhere between understanding and mystery. The soul is more than mind or body. As another observed long ago, the soul holds our minds and bodies, our ideas, life, and inner world together. The evidence is compelling. We “who are called the people of God” are living in strange and uncertain times. Many good people in many congregations are looking for a quick fix, for ways to restore former things. Hear the word of the Lord, “Forget the former things, do not cling to the past.” “Remember Me!” The hope and heart of the Pastor as Spiritual Guide Program is to remember and welcome “The Presence” of Christ Jesus who has taken up residence within our souls, who is with us and beyond us “working for by David Whiteman good in all things.” Beginning September 2017 through May 2018, a new group of pastors will meet monthly in a retreat setting to rest and nourish our souls in a communal setting through prayer, Bible readings, stillness, worship, discussion, and the practice of ancient Christian disciplines. As we journey, our focus will also be on the souls of others for whom we have been given care, and for the larger community of humanity. Specifically, we will pray, think, and talk deeply about those common tasks of ministry, such as worship, leadership, soul care, discipleship, Christian decision-making and group discernment, evangelism, and social justice, and for spiritual direction in how we might invite others to experience God. The pastoral work of soul care is a lot like gardening. We prepare and participate in the seeding and tending of souls, we cultivate and train souls for growth, and we also wait and pray for fruitful lives. This is daily/yearly/life-long work that is never finished. Our souls are never made perfect but always becoming. The pastoral and congregational focus must be on more than sole survival or maintaining our traditions and institutions. The faith of Israel was born in large measure through pain and struggle. The Babylonian-Persia Exile became the most formative and transformative faith experience they had ever known. If you listen, you will hear an echo from the prophets in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They helped prepare the way of the Lord. Isaiah declares, “Forget the former things, Behold I am doing a new thing.” Captive as we are to the cultures of our day and exiled from the former days, there is yet Good News: I am doing a new thing. Here is hope for anxious hearts and souls. The Lord is at work for good. The word of the Lord endures. Learn more at www.psgprogram.org or e-mail David Whiteman at dwhiteman46@gmail.com. A few spaces are still available for the upcoming retreat series at St. Francis Springs in Stoneville.

care of souls

6 • The Gathering – September/October 2017


best [young

adult] ministry practices

by Wanda Kidd, CBFNC Collegiate Engagement Coordinator

In talking with young adults about their relationship to church, there are a few consistent themes they continue to voice. What young adults want us to know: n We

are not the future of the Church. We are the Church right now.

n We

are well-educated, trained, and passionate about issues that are important to Christ. Put us to work.

n Many

of us do not know “Church Language,” so do not assume we know what you are talking about when you advertise VBS, say something can be found in the vestibule, or start a sentence with, “We all know that ….” We don’t know, but we want to.

n We

would love to know people who have been through life experiences that could help us make better decisions about things like marriage, money, or simply how to use some power tools.

These are aspects of ministry that many of us do not even think about because we have been in church all of our lives and assume that we have all had the same life experiences. That is less and less true. A graduate student told me that by the time his father was his age, he was married, had two children, and was elected a deacon. He looked at me and said, “Do you know what my church asked me to do? Say the offertory prayer on College Sunday. I want to do more.”

Here are some things we need to do to create Best Practices in reaching young adults: First, we need to Assess what our church is gifted to do. Does our church welcome people to do missions with us? Are we a church that serves the community in a way that others can join in? Do we invite people to join us in Bible study or small groups? Ask friends and neighbors who go to other churches what they think of when they think of our church. We are often unaware of how others perceive our role in the community. Second, reaching out to any group takes being Intentional. They have a multitude of other places to be on any given Sunday. Just opening the doors and assuming they will come or even know what is happening in our church is no longer a reality. It is important that there be a person who Advocates for ministry that would include young adults in our planning — offering things like childcare, meetings at a time of the day and week that would work best, and making sure that someone continually asks, “How is this going to reach young adults?” Then when they do come, Engage with them. Speak to them, ask them to sit at your table at a meal. Tell them you are glad they came. Do not complain about young people to the young people who do come. It will make them defensive and unwilling to invite their friends.

Invest in ways to reach young adults. I do not mean just monetarily. Look at ways that we allow people to contribute to the church. Ask them what is important to them and then help them think about those issues in Christ-like terms. Things like parenting, being a good spouse, how to budget their money, and many other daily issues are encumbering their lives and they need solid advice. Of course, you would need a relationship with them for them to trust you with their joy and pain. That is best accomplished when you serve side-by-side in the kitchen, the clothes closet, time in the nursery, or on a mission trip. In addition to simply welcoming them, we need to Equip them to understand what is expected of them in any given task. If we want them to serve, lead, or even be a good member, they need to know the rules. Every church system is different and has specific expectations. Do not be frustrated at their failure to know our church’s idiosyncrasies if no one told them. That feels like sabotage and does not build a healthy community.

Empower them to lead or partner within the congregation. Branch out when thinking about people who have expertise in things like money management, fitness, social work, or ministry to special-needs children and their families. Many young people have up-to-date training in a variety of the areas where our people are struggling. Empower them to serve. Ministry to young adults is at a crossroads. Invite them to join us in serving Christ. The church has many needs. Young people are a wealth of energy, knowledge, and desire to make a difference. Invite them to join us and experience what happens.

The Gathering – September/October 2017 • 7


it takes a year

by Martha Kearse, Associate Minister, St. John’s, Charlotte

In any system, change is difficult. Very few people like change; systems and institutions like it even less. Good theology, however, recognizes the role of change in a life of faith. What is creation except change? What is transformation (such as a mustard seed becoming a tree that birds can nest in) except change? What is resurrection from death except change? Despite the constant challenge in scripture to make changes in our lives and in our world, the Church has been consistently resistant to change. In my life as a minister, I have seen countless churches torn apart by change. In a recent CBFNC Annual Gathering workshop, we created a list of topics that we knew to have been divisive in churches. The topics ranged from building projects to personnel issues; from the placement of flags to gender identity; from the type of music in worship to the type of bread used for communion. Like other systems, churches struggle with change. There are things church leaders can do to help their churches be prepared to handle healthy, productive, and inevitable change. Create a theology of change.

Offer a sermon series about the people who embrace change in their lives (Abraham, Sarah, Gideon, David, Ruth, Mary, Simon Peter, and Paul, to name a few). Lead a Sunday School series exploring the themes of change (or transformation, if you prefer) in Jesus’ teachings. Have a Wednesday night series focusing on your own church history. Where have you changed in the past? How did it go? Where was God in your change? Help connect the people of the church to a theology which reminds them that God can be in change, that growth involves change (and often, death), and that to be “born again” is to embrace a policy of change in one’s own life. Teaching the people of the church that change is a normal part of the process of a life of faith, with sound theology behind it, helps reduce their anxiety over the basic idea of change. If change becomes normal, people do not have to adjust to the idea of change—only to the change itself.

Do your identity work. Ask the people of

the church to explore the important questions: Who are we? Who have we been? What do we want? What are we, currently, actually doing? What would we like to do? What are our goals?

Identify the Babies and the Bathwater. What are the things we still value and need to protect? Who are the most vulnerable people in this process and how can we protect or prepare them for this change? How can we make this process a gentle one, which takes the time to constantly evaluate the effect it is having on the people and the system?

Respect the process.

Any significant change will take time. Some people will leave because of the change. Period. Be prepared. Some people will stay but will never like the change. Always be able to speak to the issue that the change seeks to address, and to return to process.

8 • The Gathering – September/October 2017

Get buy-in. Start small. Unofficial. Work within your

systems. Be transparent. “Our Missions Team is working on ways to improve our communications between the Missions Team and our members! Share your ideas with someone on our Team today!” Prevent conspiracy theories by including as many people as possible in the process. “We are offering three open meetings on X Topic this summer!” Visit classes and small groups to update them. Factions are easily countered with inclusion. By the time any change gets voted on, the people of the church should be weary of the amount of information they have been given on the topic.

Evaluate. Evaluate. Evaluate. Evaluate the problem.

Evaluate possible solutions. Take the pulse of the congregation on the proposed solution. Have your research ready when questions are raised. After launching the program, have an evaluation process in place, so that one year later you can tell whether it is working, and report results.

Create rituals of adoption and rituals of retirement. For example, when the library dies (as most of

the church libraries across America inevitably will), how will you honor the people who have kept it going? How will you bring new life to that space? How will you invite new people to own space in the church?

As the change is implemented:

value people; value process; bring goals forward; fight fear with information; listen and respond (even if it means changing the change); invite people to pray; and invoke sound theology around the change as often as possible. The world is changing every day in the 21st century. As we invite people into a theology of change, we have the added advantage of being able to comfort them with a theology of stability—a God who likes change, and whose nature never changes.


The journey through my vocational calling has been As a church, we are responding appropriately. Conversation intentional. My desire to follow Jesus Christ and allow his as a church to be intentional with our ministry has led us to existence to permeate my life has developed prayerful proactive begin four new theme-based Sunday school classes for all ages. discernment. God provides the necessary time and space for We are going to begin the AWANA ministry for our children me to discern how to minister to and with the local church. starting January 2018, which will be led by numerous children’s At times I experience great clarity with many details while leaders and our new family minister, Megan Hager. We also have other times I see only a single minute detail to guide me as a completed training for the Stephen Ministry which will begin faithful follower. Fall 2018. We believe this program of care is vital for our church Many minute details created great clarity and led me to hear and community. the call to pastor at Jersey, Lexington, in January 2016. My We have experienced prayerful intentionality through wife, Lauren, and I were open to see that God was guiding an our Wednesday evening church-wide ministries. When I first imminent transition for our family during 2015. That healthy began my pastorate, Wednesday evenings were composed of a vulnerability merged with an openness from Jersey as they sparsely attended prayer meeting and Bible study. Last summer, healthily searched for a new we revisioned. Wednesday pastor. evenings now begin with My wife says, “The a meal, a Bible study, and health of a church is in part then a church-wide local determined by how intentional mission project on the first the people are concerning and second Wednesday of the ministries of the church, each month. On the third making sure they are current and fourth Wednesday, and contextual.” Jersey’s children and youth mission by Matt Riggsbee, Senior Pastor, Jersey, Lexington intentional interim period, led groups meet. Our mission by Don Durham, was a time project team coordinates of healthy, honest reflection on with local organizations for the past while focusing on the these mission project nights. future through the Holy Spirit’s guidance. This time allowed the We have worked with the local pregnancy center, assisted living church to concisely understand its own values and consolidate centers, senior centers, schools, local fire and EMS stations, the them so the church’s priorities were also clearly understood. local prison, hospital, and Operation Christmas Child. Prayer, conversation, persistence, and faith helped the church The church members are enthusiastic. Andie Smith says, trust that God was providing a vision for the future which would “It is exciting to see all the age groups involved in missions on be different than ever before. Wednesday evenings.” Tim Trantham adds, “The movement [from Pastor Search Committee member Becky Myers said, “(My) the church] is what excites me.” The church ministering together main prayer and request was that, while the church was searching with and to our community provides the foundation that allows us for the person God wanted to be our pastor, he/she would be a to faithfully embrace the transitions. Spirit-filled servant.” I agree with David Penninger who says, “Continued prayer I try to be sensitive and respond appropriately to the Holy will be one of the largest needs as we move into the future [in a Spirit. Jersey is comprised of believers who live the same way. healthy manner].”

guidance from

the holy spirit

The Gathering – September/October 2017 • 9


CBFNC Honorary and Memorial Gifts

CBFNC Financial Report

Collegiate Ministry Fund in honor of Chris and Sandra Canipe’s 50th Anniversary Lee and Hilary Canipe

June 2017 Contributions Undesignated: $109,521 Designated: $194,347

Collegiate Ministry Fund in memory of Jim Wayne Margie and Ron White, Black Mountain Sara and Tom Sears, Greensboro Roy and Hilda Holder, Liberty

July 2017 Contributions Undesignated: $98,745 Designated: $159,306 April 2017 - March 2018 Monthly Undesignated Goal: $110,269

Ministers on the Move Our encouragement and support go to the following ministers who have recently moved:

Donate to CBFNC today! www.cbfnc.org/give

Mary Apicella to Providence, Henderson, as Pastor Paul Burgess to Winter Park, Wilmington, as Pastor Allison Farrah to First, Hamlet, as Pastor Michael Furr to First, Boone, as Associate Pastor and Minister with Youth

Coordinators’ Visits June - July 2017 Bethlehem, Youngsville Calvary, Mount Airy First, Asheville

Trey Gilliam to First, Ahoskie, as Pastor

First, Greensboro

Dane Jackson to Providence, Charlotte, as Minister with Students and Their Families

First, Lumberton

Amy Grizzle Kane to First, Greensboro, as Associate Pastor: Missions and Community

First, Mount Airy

Gary Long to Summit, Webster, as Pastor

First, Mebane

First, North Wilkesboro First, Raleigh First, Winston-Salem

Asher Panton to Immanuel, Greenville, as Pastor

Iglesia Bautista La Roca, Raleigh

Mariah Richardson to First, Forest City, as Minister of Youth

Iglesia Bautista Roca Fuerte, Pittsboro Jersey, Lexington

Jim Skotthy to First, Lexington, as Business Administrator Meagan Smith to First, Lexington, as Associate Pastor Jonathon Waits to First, Oakboro, as Pastor When you make a move or know of someone who has changed places of ministry, let us know by e-mailing us at cbfnc@cbfnc.org. For assistance to search committees and ministers seeking vocational discernment, visit our reference and referral page on our website at www.cbfnc.org or call (336) 759-3456 or (888) 822-1944. 10 • The Gathering – September/October 2017

Lindley Park, Greensboro McGill, Concord Pritchard, Charlotte The Memorial, Greenville Together in Christ International, Charlotte Winter Park, Wilmington CBFNC ministry coordinators are available to visit your church to speak, preach, teach, consult, lead, and minister. Contact the CBFNC office for more information.


cbfnc updates CBFNC calls Seth Hix as Minister and Church Relations Coordinator On June 1, 2017, Seth Hix joined the CBFNC staff in a newly established part-time position that focuses primarily on CBFNC’s reference and referral ministry but also includes a new focus on the churches and lay leaders of our Fellowship. Seth is familiar to many within CBFNC, having served as a student intern during his final two years at Wake Forest Divinity School. In the first year, he conducted a comprehensive research project with congregational leaders. The information gained from that project informed the CBFNC Ministry Discernment process and will help us better serve churches as they seek to fulfill their God-given mission. In the second year, he worked under CBFNC Executive Coordinator, Larry Hovis, to manage the work of the Ministerial Transitions Team. In that role, he showed a strong aptitude for and interest in helping churches and ministers in transition. Hovis stated, “Seth has already proven himself to be an invaluable member of the CBFNC ministry team. He has a wealth of local church ministry experience, a love for church leaders (clergy and laity), the respect of our ministerial transitions team, and a unique gift set that will propel CBFNC into the bright future envisioned by our 20th Anniversary Vision process and our subsequent ministry discernment work.” Before coming to Wake Forest Divinity School to earn his Master of Divinity, Seth served as minister of music in several churches, most recently Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington, KY, the largest CBF church in Kentucky. In addition to his Master of Divinity degree from Wake Forest, he holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Samford University in Birmingham, AL. Seth is married to Genelle, a Registered Dietician. They have two elementary school children.

CBFNC moves offices In late spring of this year, CBFNC moved its offices from North Point Blvd., where we had been located since 2000, to 2640 Reynolda Road. The new location brings several advantages: • Reynolda Road is easier to find for those traveling from out of town. • For the first time in our history, we have a sign outside our office building. • It is a more attractive setting. • This location allows us to save about 40% on our rent. As CBFNC Executive Coordinator Larry Hovis explains, “Our new office is not only more attractive, easier to find, and more economical, but it better suits our personality as a Fellowship and supports the ministry priorities we have identified as we move into the future.” CBFNC extends special thanks to those who spent many hours packing, unpacking, and helping with the move. These include Stephen Loftis, member of College Park, Winston-Salem, CBFNC staff, and their families. There will be an open house on Sunday, October 1, from 1-3pm. All are invited. If you can’t come then, please drop by when you are in Winston-Salem.

Empowering laity in meaningful ministry Join CBFNC for Leadership Training for Deacons: Saturday, September 23, 2017, at The Memorial, Greenville Saturday, September 30, 2017, at Trinity, Raleigh Explore what’s involved in BEING an agent of transformation IN, THROUGH, and AS church. What’s involved in reframing church function around hope, healing, reconciliation, restoration in a 21st century world? How might deacons lead the way? For information and registration, visit www.cbfnc.org/deacontraining. The Gathering – September/October 2017 • 11


NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID WINSTON-SALEM PERMIT NO. 162

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina Bringing Baptists of North Carolina Together for Christ-Centered Ministry 2640 Reynolda Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106

888-822-1944 www.cbfnc.org

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Upcoming Events Youth Beach Retreat September 15-17, 2017 Caswell

Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel Pastor’s retreat October 14, 2017

Elevating Preaching September 18, 2017 Gardner-Webb School of Divinity

Children’s Mission Days October 28, 2017 - First, Boone November 4, 2017 - Oakmont, Greenville November 11, 2017 - Zebulon, Zebulon

Deacon Training Workshops September 23, 2017 - The Memorial, Greenville September 30, 2017 - Trinity, Raleigh Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel Men’s Camp September 22-23, 2017 Companerismo Cristiano Emanuel Training for Youth September 30, 2017 CBFNC Open House October 1, 2017 Winston-Salem

2018 Youth Choir Festival March 9-10, 2018 Wingate University 2018 CBFNC Annual Gathering March 15-17, 2018 Knollwood, Winston-Salem

CBFNC has a new home! Be sure to update our address: 2640 Reynolda Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106 (336) 759-3456

CBFNC September/October 2017