Cooperative baptist fellowship | www.thefellowship.info
Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission
Spreading the Good News See pages 8-15 to learn about new church starts around the world.
Carla Wynn Daivs photo
Pastor Ma, who leads a lay leadership training center in Mianyang, China, has a passion for sharing the story of Jesus Christ. “China needs this Good News,” he said. Through CBF field personnel Bill and Michelle Cayard, the Fellowship partners with the training center to equip and empower new Christian leaders for rapidly growing churches.
Faith comes by hearing I love these words by the New Testament scholar, Luke Timothy Johnson: “To be a Christian in any significant sense of the term is to claim that God is fully present in the human Jesus in a manner and fullness not realized in any other creature. It is to claim the way of knowing called faith, with the willingness to imagine the world that is imagined by the Scripture.” If we are to make such claims and have such imagination it is essential for us to immerse ourselves in Scripture. To be a faithful and fruitful disciple of Jesus requires us to hear, read, study, memorize and meditate on Scripture.
In cooperation with a ministry based in Albuquerque, N.M., called Faith Comes by Hearing, CBF is encouraging Christians and churches to listen to the New Testament in concerted and collaborative ways next year. The ultimate goal of this program, “You’ve Got the Time: A Journey of Biblical Faithfulness,” is nothing less than personal and congregational transformation. Other results from attentive listening are engaged conversation, extensive reading, serious study, prayerful reflection and active obedience. In a recent conversation Paul Baxley, pastor of First Baptist Church, Henderson, N.C., voiced his convictions about this initiative. They were so powerful that I asked him to put them in writing.
The You’ve Got the Time initiative of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship gives congregations a significant opportunity for a new and powerful encounter with the Scriptures. We have become so accustomed to reading the Scriptures ourselves that we lose sight of the truth that most Christians through the centuries have not encountered the Bible on a printed page, but instead through the dynamic acts of public reading and hearing. So, as we hear the Scriptures read aloud in this new venture, we will stand with ancient Hebrews who heard the stories of Abraham and the words of the prophets. We will take our place next to the first Christians, who gathered in house churches and heard Paul’s letters and other texts read in the assembly. And we will also stand in solidarity with Christians around the world who still meet the Scriptures through hearing. As our Fellowship seeks greater engagement with the global church, it is important that we come to the Scriptures as they do. But, there is an even more profound opportunity available to us if we participate in You’ve Got the Time. Most of us were trained to read critically, and for us, reading has become an act by which we exert control. We interpret texts. We read selectively. We lead forth meaning from the passages (that, after all, is the literal meaning of “exegesis!”). We occupy the position of power and control in relation to the text. We are the interpreters through the way we read. Our culture has formed us to read in all of these ways, and none of them place us in a proper position relative to the Bible. Instead, when we hear the Scriptures read, we move closer to a more appropriate posture. When we hear, the Word comes to us from beyond us. When we hear with ears of faith, we open ourselves to all that the Spirit will say. When we hear the Scriptures spoken, the eyes of our hearts may be open to truths and emphases that do not claim us when we see them on a printed page. Ultimately, hearing Vol. 19, No. 4 moves us closer to a place of availability. Hearing moves us away from a posture of control relative executive Coordinator • Daniel Vestal to the text and toward a place of submission to the Word and the God who speaks to us through the Coordinator, Fellowship Advancement • Ben McDade words. Faith comes by hearing because too often in reading we seek to master the text; whereas in Editor • Lance Wallace hearing, we open ourselves to the possibility of being claimed by the God who speaks in the words. managing Editor • Patricia Heys In 2010, I will challenge my congregation to participate in You’ve Got the Time: A Journey Associate Editor • Carla Wynn Davis of Biblical Faithfulness. I hope you will do the same. I believe this is, indeed, an opportunity for Phone • (770) 220-1600 transformation of the Fellowship and all of our partner congregations! Fax • (770) 220-1685
E-Mail • email@example.com
Paul A. Baxley, First Baptist Church, Henderson, NC
Web Site • www.thefellowship.info
fellowship! is published 4 times a year in January, April, July and October by The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Inc., 2930 Flowers Road South, Ste 133, Atlanta, GA 30341. Periodicals postage paid at Atlanta, GA, and additional mailing offices. USPS #015-625 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to “fellowship!” Newsletter, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, 2930 Flowers Road South, Ste 133, Atlanta, GA 30341.
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I am praying for such transformation.
Daniel Vestal, CBF Executive Coordinator To learn more about You’ve Got the Time and ordering a free audio Bible, go to page 19 or www.thefellowship.info/ygtt.
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The Fellowship helps start churches & train leaders
Ideas for using this issue in small groups
Five Tips for promoting the CBF Offering for Global Missions
Carla Wynn Daivs photo
J.V. McKinney photo
17 18-19 20-21 21 23
Irmeth Richards leaves testimony of love
Resources for the Advent, Lenten seasons
Resources and events for college students
Q&A with CBF moderator Hal Bass
Make plans to attend the 2010 General Assembly
Check out the new version of the fellowship! magazine online. You can easily
flip the pages of the magazine and click on links throughout the issue. If you would like to switch your subscription from print to the online version, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
meet Lance Wallace As director of communications, Lance Wallace works to inform individuals and churches about opportunities to fulfill their God-given mission through Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Together with the communications staff, Wallace tells the compelling stories of Fellowship ministries and how people can learn more about, pray for, serve with or give to those ministries. The staff utilizes a variety of tools — the CBF Web site, social networking Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter, fellowship! magazine, Fellowship Weekly and other electronic newsletters, video clips online and in DVD format, brochures, posters and other media. Hometowns: Fort Worth, Texas, and Lake Wales, Fla. Education: Troy University in Troy, Ala., and Mercer University in Atlanta
Church: Parkway Baptist Church, Duluth, Ga. Interesting fact: “Several years before I came to work at CBF, I taught the CBF missions curriculum to a boys’ mission group at my church. The stories of our field personnel and their work touched me then, and I view it as a supreme privilege to be able to tell those stories now. “The Fellowship has such a compelling story to tell because it has such a compelling vision — being the presence of Christ. By telling the Fellowship story, I get to inform and inspire Christians and groups of Christians in churches to work toward that vision. Also, as a pastor’s son, I have a deep appreciation for the work of church staff members and a strong affinity for the local church. Working at CBF in this capacity allows me to serve the church, which I love, and use my gifts as a communicator. It’s a perfect match of my passion and gifts.”
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very five years, First Baptist Church of Pendleton, S.C. offers its pastor a 12-week study renewal leave, allowing time for study, rest and travel. This year, pastor Courtney Krueger and his family spent three weeks of that leave in Greece filling in for CBF field personnel Bob and Janice Newell, who were in the United States for a few months. In Athens, the Newell’s ministry is PORTA, a spiritual and cultural center for Albanian immigrants, who are a minority group heavily discriminated against in Greece. While serving in the city, Krueger was impressed with the coordinated efforts he experienced among multiple ministries. “There are lots of different groups in Athens ministering to marginalized
people, and it was neat to see all these groups in partnership together,” said Krueger. “Bob and Janice are trying to help [the Albanians] discover their worth in the eyes of God by showing them true friendship and unconditional love. That was our job while we were there. Basically we were hosts.” Courtney Krueger One of the ways in which Krueger developed friendships was through a discipleship group with three Albanian men, all of whom were new Christians. “They’d ask me a question, and we’d just dig into the Bible to find the answers. It really was wonderful,” he said.
nly three years in to life as a full-time minister Shannon Rutherford, minister to college students at University Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, La., is already actively involved in multiple aspects of the Fellowship movement. While in seminary at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Rutherford became involved with Current, a CBF network that connects young ministers, leaders and divinity students together for fellowship and missions opportunities. “I like that [Current] gives resources to young ministers and the camaraderie that develops as we figure out how to move from seminary to full-time ministry,” said Rutherford. “The retreats
build friendships and networks. It allows you to see how ministry looks for other young ministers,” said Rutherford. Presently, Rutherford is the chairperson of the Fellowship’s Current Leadership Team. In addition to her role with Current, Rutherford is the moderator-elect for CBF Louisiana and will begin her one-year term in 2010. “We have great Shannon Rutherford leadership, and I love how we’re reaching out to Louisiana. I’m excited about helping to think creatively about what we’re doing here and what more we can be doing to impact the communities in which we’re living,” she said.
ne week was all it took to get Lincoln Brown hooked. Brown, a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Camden, Ark., helped with a construction project during the All Church Challenge this year. CBF field personnel Ben and Leonora Newell coordinate the All Church Challenge, a missions blitz held July 19-24 in Phillips County, Ark. The Newell’s ministry is part of Together for Hope, the Fellowship’s rural poverty initiative in 20 of the poorest U.S. counties. Brown’s church has been attending the Challenge for the last four
years, but this was his first year serving. As the social action ministry leader at his church, this project was a perfect fit for the service-minded lay leader. “We help the most neglected people, show them they are a part of a body of people who care about them and just show them love,” said Brown. “The Bible tells us to go out, so that’s what I did. When we got back, we gave our testimony to the church, and I challenged them all to go back with us next year.”
eslie Limbaugh does whatever it takes to invite college students to attend worship on Sunday mornings, including offering transportation to and from the church. Ministering primarily with students from nearby Washington University and St. Louis University, Limbaugh believes that connecting students to a local church during their college career will help them transition more easily into church life and leadership after they graduate. Limbaugh, minister of students and communication at Third Baptist Church in St. Louis, Mo., served on CBF’s college ministry
task force, a group trying to discern how the local church can best connect with college students. “We want them to know that this church includes you,” Limbaugh said. “You can serve with us as we serve the community. CBF and local churches must keep thinking about the college students around them. If you put time and energy into ministering with undergraduates, you will raise up the next leaders of the church.”
To nominate someone to be featured in an upcoming Fellowship People, e-mail email@example.com. 4
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Why we give... e believe God has called us to make an impact both globally and locally, but so often we have to prioritize. Do we fund a Habitat house locally or go on a mission trip to South Africa? With micro enterprise loans, you can do both. You can make an impact globally by using your principal but still have the interest to come back to use locally. That is what is convincing our church.” Matt Cook Pastor, Second Baptist Church Little Rock, Ark.
att Cook saw nothing but a winwin situation when he learned about the CBF Foundation’s micro finance initiative and how he could use a fund already established to support the cause. Cook, the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark., and his wife, Allyson, had set up a fund through the CBF Foundation in 2004 in memory of their infant son, Micah Anderson Cook. The interest from that fund was directed toward children’s ministries in the developing world, while the principal has been invested through a traditional portfolio. When the Cooks learned about the CBF Foundation’s micro finance fund, they notified the Foundation that they would like some of the principal of Micah’s fund to be used for micro enterprise loans, which are small loans given to entrepreneurs in low-income countries. “This means that not only is the interest helping people who are poor but the principal is as well,” he said.
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Cook is now leading his congregation to invest some funds in micro finance as a way “to help poor people globally while helping our church and our community at the same time.” “The return on investment is similar to other conservative investments,” Cook said. “Why wouldn’t you do something that would benefit your church over the long haul and also benefit the poorest of the poor?”
CBF Foundation president Don Durham is working with Second Baptist Church to invest portions of the church’s funds in micro finance. The Foundation invests the funds in micro finance banks which then make short-term (six months to a year) loans of $50 to $1,500 to entrepreneurs in low-income countries who start or expand businesses and repay the loans with interest.
For more information about the micro finance initiative and how you or your church can be involved, contact Don Durham at (770) 220-1663 or firstname.lastname@example.org. fellowship!
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The time for you to pursue your calling could be now Affiliate program provides a way for you to make a difference as CBF missions field personnel
Are you eligible? Basic guidelines for becoming an Affiliate: • Active faith, “believer’s baptism,” and current church membership • A call from God to mission service and a lifestyle of actively sharing one’s faith with non-Christians • Good moral character and reputation • Demonstrates spiritual and emotional maturity and Baptist identity • Embraces CBF Global Mission’s organizational identity and philosophy of missions • Employment possibility in strategic location that will correspond with a service assignment from an existing field team.
• Married candidates need to have been married at least two years
Hurry — the selection process starts soon.
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Patricia Heys photo
• Experience and physical capability to meet the demands of the service assignment • Desire and capability to participate and contribute through as a member of a team of CBF field personnel, including attendance an annual meeting.
CBF helps you fulfill your mission As an affiliate, you are one of CBF’s longterm field personnel.. Your ministry is valuable and important to CBF. The affiliate program simplifies and streamlines the process of sending and being a missionary in the 21st century. You receive wellness and adminSteve Clark and Annette Ellard, left, use their video production skills in istrative support, and their ministry among the Karen people, who are resettling in the United States as refugees from Thailand. A large group of the Karen have settled you become part of an in Louisville, Ky., where Steve and Annette live and minister. existing team of field personnel that provide You will make a difference support, fellowship and ongoing education. You help discern your missions service Affiliates fund their mission assignments in assignment, which should align with CBF’s varying ways. Some remain in their current global missions priorities to minister to the jobs and minister part-time. Some provide most neglected and least evangelized. The their own funding. Others raise funding development process of assignments is dyfrom individuals and organizations. CBF namic, and you play a vital role. Check out provides guidance and advice on funding some of the meaningful ways and locations your missions calling. where you could serve: • Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist or Speech Pathologist, China • Minister to International Students through Churches, North Africa • Director of International Student Ministry Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana (in partnership with American Baptists) • Urban Ministry, Mexico City, Mexico • NGO Coordinator, Middle East • Coordinator for BSM Medical Teams and Local Congregational Mission Involvement Galveston, Texas • Together for Hope Coordinator/Catalyst Allendale, South Carolina Leah Crowley is one of the Fellowship’s affiliate • Advocate for the Invisible Poor, Urban field personnel, serving at Open House Ministries Areas USA in Homestead, Fla. CBF photo
CBF’s affiliate program was created with you in mind You, too, can be on mission with God. Just like technology has given accessibility to record your own music and make your own movies, so CBF is providing ways for you to serve God in an intentional and meaningful, long-term way. Being on mission for God doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a seminary degree or sell all your possessions and move to another country. The affiliate program gives you the opportunity to serve in the way God has called you, whether it’s around the world or in your own neighborhood. So wherever your calling takes you, you go in the encouragement and affirmation of the CBF community.
If you’re interested in serving as a CBF affiliate, you first participate in an online 10-week cohort, which begins in October. The cohort will lead you through a process of self-discernment and allow you to explore ways you can engage with CBF Global Missions. To learn more and apply online, visit www.thefellowship.info/Missions/Serve/AsYouGo. Deadline for applications is Oct. 11.
Dale Cross, left, talks with local Atlanta ministers about his role as chaplain and the services of FCS Urban Ministries.
Whether it is reading a book, taking a walk around the neighborhood, or visiting with friends and family, Alan Tyson and Dale Cross have many similarities. Both are family-oriented, seminary-trained ministers and friends to the church. But, both share a unique path in ministry as workplace chaplains and share fellowship with a larger community of chaplains endorsed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF). Across the United States and abroad there is an increasing segment of corporate and community life that is providing workplace chaplaincy as a benefit to its employees. While chaplaincy is nothing new for agencies such as hospitals and prisons, it is just now emerging within business circles. At FCS (Family Consultation Services) Urban Ministries in Atlanta, Ga., Dale Cross serves as a chaplain for more than 50 staff members and volunteers. FCS Urban Ministries is a Christian community development organization that partners with declining inner-city neighborhoods to bring about social, economic and spiritual rebirth. As a chaplain, Cross provides prayer gatherings, Scripture reflections and crisis and grief counseling, and he consults with all program leaders regarding ways to strengthen the faith and spiritual dimensions of all that FCS is doing. Alan Tyson has recently retired as the director of chaplains of Tyson Foods. He began work with Tyson in 2000. Tyson Foods developed core values in 2001 that included these statements: “We strive to be a faith friendly company, and we strive to honor God in
Workplace chaplains provide care in variety of settings
our dealing with our stakeholders, customers and team members.” Tyson worked with more than 120 chaplains who serve in the food production plants and offices of Tyson Foods, Inc. These chaplains are there to listen to, encourage and sometimes pray with some of the more than 104,000 team members employed by the company. The goal of the chaplaincy program is to provide a ministry of availability and to help team members with personal concerns and issues, such as the loss of a loved one, illness, marital and family concerns, or financial problems. The chaplaincy program of CBF offers endorsement to chaplains — an official declaration by the Fellowship that a person is in good standing as a minister. The endorsement by a faith group is often required for a chaplain to be employed. Although
this is an official endorsement, it is also a relationship of care and support by the CBF community to pray for, encourage and support the chaplains in their work. This October, children using SparkTM, the Fellowship’s missional formation resource for children, will be studying workplace chaplaincy in order to understand why listening to others is important and how they can help others by listening and caring for them. Children will be engaged in learning through games, cultural experiences, food tastings, and a mission project. Poverty Relief and Education
A Listening Ear
Teamwork in China
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For more information about SparkTM or CBF’s other missional formation resources, visit www.missionseducation.org.
Pray that other companies might see the benefits of offering spiritual support to employees through a chaplain and will follow the model of FCS Urban Ministries and Tyson Foods Inc. Pray for Dale Cross as he seeks to recruit community chaplains in urban neighborhoods that are being revitalized. Chaplains will help create peaceful communities in which transformation and wholeness can occur. Pastoral Care Week, celebrated October 25-31, gives opportunities for organizations and institutions of all kinds to recognize the spiritual caregivers in their midst and the ministry that the caregivers provide. Pray for the more than 600 pastoral counselors and chaplains endorsed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship who serve across the United States. For names of specific pastoral counselors, go online to www.thefellowship.info/pray. fellowship!
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GTheod’s work in China Gospel is spreading; the Church is growing; and CBF field personnel are living out their passion as God is changing hearts and lives in China.
In Jiangyou, the city’s only church building crumbled as the earth shook on May 12, 2008, in a 7.9 magnitude earthquake. But in the weeks and months that followed, the congregation’s spirit would not be shaken. They set up a tent and moved pews on top of the rubble so they could continue to worship. Because then, more than f e l l o w each s h i p other, ! f a l lthe 2 0church 09 ever, people and a word of hope. 8 | needed
It’s December and cloudy like it is most days of the year. The church building’s concrete walls make it nearly as cold inside as it is outside. But the temperature doesn’t stop people from coming to a mid-week prayer service. They sing, read the Bible and pray. A few of them are like Elder Zhang — old enough to remember a time in China when none of this was possible. Christianity had been in China for centuries, but in the 1960s, China’s Cultural Revolution began and, like many colleges and universities, churches were ordered closed by the Communist party. Religious life was essentially banned. An underground, secret church movement continued as Chinese Christians faced persecution, discrimination or even imprisonment. After the Cultural Revolution was repudiated by Communist Party Leader Deng Xioap-
Carla Wynn Davis photos
t first glance, there isn’t much to this particular hillside high in the mountains of central China. A thin layer of trash is pasted into the muddy terrain, and a handful of local squatters have grown patches of crops on the parts of the slope that aren’t so steep. There’s nothing to indicate this plot of land is special — until Elder Zhang arrives. As the leader of the city church in Bazhong, China, Elder Zhang is a busy man. With a cell phone to his ear, he speaks with wisdom and authority, like he’d been there, done that. And at 71, he probably had. But when he reaches the bottom of this unassuming hillside, he brings the phone from his ear, drops his hands into his jacket pockets and just looks at the land. He stands taller and raises his gaze higher, suggesting there’s something more to this hill. For years this land has been prayed for and dreamed of by a congregation thousands strong and growing everyday. And one day, despite the poverty of this region, this hillside will be home to a new building for Bazhong Church, a thriving congregation that just 20 years ago was only a handful of believers. Now, there are more than 20,000 throughout the region, plus 16 registered churches and even more “meeting points” that will eventually become official churches. In this small, isolated region, God has moved and, if you ask Elder Zhang, shows no sign of stopping.
In the remote northeastern mountains of China’s Sichuan province, Elder Zhang has seen God moving for decades. Since he re-opened one church in the 1980s after China’s Cultural Revolution, the gospel has reached more than 20,000 people in that city and its surrounding villages.
ing in 1977, the government gradually began to allow churches to resume meeting as long as they were registered with the government. Elder Zhang re-opened Bazhong Church in 1988. Too old to go to seminary, he began calling out young people from the congregation to study to become pastors. Today, three of those pastors serve at Bazhong Church. The work is hard, and the pastors sometimes feel ill-equipped to meet the needs of a growing number of people. That’s where
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel Bill and Michelle Cayard help. For the more than 200,000 believers and more than 700 churches in Sichuan province, there are only 200 seminary-trained leaders. “The church is growing much faster than leaders are being produced to staff these churches,” Bill said. The Cayards come alongside these Christian leaders, empowering them with education, encouragement and resources to continue
sharing the Gospel and growing churches. Based in the city of Chengdu, the Cayards partner with local Christian organization Hua Mei, where they teach English classes to local seminary students and seek ways the Fellowship can assist congregations. Because the churches are registered with the government, it’s legal for the Cayards to work with and support local Christians, by providing Bibles or a monthly salary subsidy to pastors whose congregations are too poor to pay a livable wage. fellowship!
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In Chengdu, the Cayards have even been part of starting a church, which quickly doubled in size under the leadership of a young husband and wife, who serve as co-pastors. “Less than half a percent of the population in Sichuan province are Christian, and one of the most exciting things about living here is to see the growth in the church and the passion that the people have for sharing the gospel,” Michelle said.
Shaken but standing firm Churches in Sichuan province faced their biggest challenge yet on May 12, 2008. Like many others living in central China, Richard Cai, who directs Hua Mei, remembers
that day well. In just a few short minutes, life changed for millions as a 7.9 magnitude earthquake shook Sichuan province, eventually killing more than 85,000 people. “At that moment during the shaking everybody was full of fear and didn’t know what was happening,” Cai said. “They asked a lot of question about why this happened. After everything came back to normal, Christians realized we cannot just ask questions, we need to work — to start helping.” And so they did. Organizations like Hua Mei and the Fellowship provided critical relief supplies — food, blankets and other necessities. Churches like the one in Jiangyou continued ministering even though most of
their church building collapsed. They set up a tent on top of the rubble and kept going. “As a result, non-Christians understood for the first time that Christianity was a religion that cared about people — about their physical needs, their health, whether they were cold at night or without a place to sleep,” Bill said.
Learning from each other Ask a Chinese pastor why the gospel is spreading so rapidly and they won’t talk about the country’s increasing religious tolerance, large population or other cultural factors. The answer is simple — Christians are sharing the Good News that has changed their lives.
Carla Wynn Davis photos
The Cayards are part of a growing church start for young professionals living in Chengdu. Bill teaches a Sunday school class, which allows new Christians to practice English and learn from the Bible at the same time.
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Bill and Michelle Cayard are from Houston, Texas, where they met while studying at the University of Houston. After 15 years working in construction and consulting, they became CBF field personnel in 2003.
The Cayards teach English to seminary students in Chengdu. Not only does this improve the skills and capacity of the future ministers, but “we get a chance to build a relationship with them, a bond that will keep for years to come,” Michelle said.
Pastor Wang leads Nanchong Church, where more than 3,000 worship and nearly 80 were baptized last Easter. In this congregation like in others, CBF partner churches have come and been engaged, whether it’s a group of U.S. pastors leading seminars for local Christian leaders or a mission team helping develop ministries for children and youth. “We’re coming alongside the Chinese church. We have something to give to each other that makes us both better and stronger,” said Steve Wells, pastor of South Main Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. South Main, the Cayards’ home church, has sent several teams of church members to China to see the ministry firsthand. And though Mary Corban hasn’t been on one of
those teams, she can spot transformation in her church when she sees it. “In our willingness to support [the ministry], we have felt there was a broader message — that we weren’t just a small community church. We had worldwide reach,” she said. “We could reach all the way to China, and China could reach back to us.”
Embracing the world These stories, ministries and relationships are all made possible through individuals and churches that give to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which funds the Cayards’ ministry and many others throughout the world. “We recognize on a daily basis if it
weren’t for CBF and the partner churches that we could not be here doing what we do,” Michelle said. “I want to take this opportunity to thank all the churches and individuals who give to the CBF Offering. It’s because of the Offering that we’re able to live here and do the work that we do and reach out to people with the gospel.” And that’s important work — something that can change hearts and lives. “There are a lot of people here that don’t even know the name Jesus,” Bill said. “And so it’s a wonderful opportunity that God has given in this time in history to help Chinese Christians share the Good News.” By Carla Wynn Davis, CBF Communications
Support the work of the Cayards in China by giving to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which funds their salaries, living and ministry expenses. This year’s Offering goal is $6.1 million, the funding essential to keeping CBF field personnel in the field. To give, use the envelope included in this issue or go to www.thefellowship.info/give. fellowship!
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Spreading the good
Starting new churches in the United The Well at Billings Billings, Montana
n 2005, youth minister Ryan Tucker first felt God’s call to plant a church for people who don’t like church. Two years later, he attended a weeklong church start boot camp on a scholarship from CBF and began planning a dramatic move. Tucker felt drawn to one of the least churched states in America — Montana. “Traditional church models are an abject failure out here,” said Tucker, a native of Tennessee. “Only 11 percent of people in Montana associate themselves with a denomination or faith.” Fighting culture shock and the sense that in his new home, ministry was not as easily definable as it had been, Tucker and his wife, Courtney, pressed on with support from the Fellowship. The number of people attending their Bible study grew to 12, then, diminished to six. In May, despite the decrease in numbers, The Well at Billings was formally established. Now, 20 people comprise the core group, and 35-40 show up weekly for worship. Defining church as “not a place, but a
body of people,” The Well at Billings espouses non-traditional Christian tenets, avoiding the use of “churchy” words, forgoing the responsibility of owning or leasing a building so that more money can be invested in missions, and refusing to rule anything out because of “the way it might look.” As a case in point, The Well at Billings holds Sunday evening “gatherings” at a microbrewery warehouse downtown, bearing witness to the belief that though people may look at outward things, God looks at the heart. Committed to helping and serving people, the church shares 50 percent of its resources with its missional partners and seeks to address the needs of the most neglected in the local community through service projects.
Olive Branch, a Baptist Faith Community Olive Branch, Mississippi
my and Andy Wilson and their three children had helped start Trinity Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn. But now, as school teachers in nearby Olive Branch, Miss., they
wanted to be part of a congregation in their own community that valued CBF partnership. Willing to help start another church, the Wilsons talked with leaders from CBF of Mississippi and Tennessee CBF. They connected with neighbors Maxine Moseley and Carolyn Wray, who also were seeking a CBFfriendly church in the Olive Branch area. And they began talking with the two state organizations and Trinity Baptist about sponsoring the new church. Enlisting the help of Chuck and Martha Strong, who moved to Olive Branch as church planters, the group gained additional support from First and Second Baptist Churches in Memphis. Olive Branch Fellowship, a Baptist Faith Community, held its first worship service in March 2005. Today, the church has about 40 members, with 25-35 in attendance on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. The congregation meets in a free-standing building that is part of a local shopping center. “One aspect of our church that all our members seem to appreciate is our willingness to have open, thoughtful discussions of questions about the Bible, the church and
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Top photo courtesy of Jim Shackelford; Photo right courtesy Palmetto Baptist
Photo courtesy Ryan Tucker
One of the service projects of The Well includes building houses with the local Habitat for Humanity.
Church members Sally Shackelford and Martha Strong, left, serve cups of water to visiting kindergarteners on a walking tour of Old Towne Olive Branch.
God that allows us to agree to disagree when needed but always to approach our study with commitment to explore the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives,” Martha Strong said.
Palmetto Missionary Baptist Church Conway, South Carolina
heryl Adamson was in her 50s and happy with her life as a hospice chaplain in Conway, S.C. One day, while driving home from work, she saw a sign on a wooden post:
“Future home of Jamestown Baptist Church.” If Jamestown Baptist Church — primarily a white congregation in a community that had become mostly populated with working class African Americans — was moving, what did God intend for the left-behind church building? Adamson knew the answer, “God was calling me to the site.” Three years later, on October 1, 2006, Palmetto Missionary Baptist Church was formally established. Today, the core group of 35 people continue their mid-week meetings at Jamestown Baptist, but because the Jamestown congregation has not yet moved, the church holds worship services in another local church, St. Paul’s Episcopal. Adamson finds the situation freeing. “We’re virtually a church without walls. Because of [the other churches’] generosity, we can serve the community with our resources. Servant evangelism is our major focus.” Thanks to a $25,000 CBF “It’s Time” grant, volunteers from Palmetto Missionary Baptist now run an after-school music and arts academy for 134 children at a local elementary school. The culturally-enriching program
Palmetto Baptist is reaching out to its community through a music and arts academy for local children.
includes character education learning through African drumming and dancing. Volunteers hope to add a guitar lab this year.
Iglesia Bautista Jesús el Buen Pastor Hoover, Alabama
n December 2006, AlabamaCBF named Jorge Camacho pastor of Iglesia Bautista Jesús el Buen Pastor, a new church start which would seek to serve the growing number of Hispanics in the Birmingham, Ala., area. The first services were held in June 2007 in the living room of the apartment where Camacho, and his wife, Maria Pueblo, lived. Two couples joined them for the first service, and after three months, the congregation had grown to 12. They rented a community clubhouse, but in less than a year the church outgrew that space. CBF and AlabamaCBF have provided support to the church start. Local CBF partner churches Riverchase Baptist, Vestavia Hills Baptist and Shades Crest Baptist churches have as well. Today, the congregation of 65 holds Bible study and worship service on Sunday and has a Wednesday prayer service. Camacho hopes to start a Friday night service soon to accommodate those who cannot attend at other times. Members come from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico. During the past two years, the church has baptized 22 people and is now sponsoring a new church start in Clanton, Ala. — Iglesia Bautist Neuvo Vida. “Even though many of our members are out of work right now, I think they are very happy,” said Camacho, a bi-vocational pastor. “Our people are very strong. We work together with the same faith and I think that is something that will make the church stronger as we move forward, no matter how hard it is.”
To learn more about the Fellowship’s role in starting and growing new churches in the United States, go to www.thefellowship.info/churchstarts. fellowship!
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Spreading the good news House church provides Romany place to worship
n Natasha and Tibi’s crowded living room in a small village in Hungary, Romany people gather to hear about Christ and celebrate their beliefs through music and worship. Most Romany churches meet in believers’ homes because they have little or no money to support building a traditional church. The couple decided to start a church in their home after attending an outreach event nearby led by CBF field personnel Ralph andTammy Stocks. “They accepted Christ into their lives that very weekend,” Ralph said. “They immediately invited us to come to their village and
to meet in their home so their friends and family would have the same opportunity to hear about a God who loves the Romany.” The home quickly became the focal point for a new church start, and Natasha and Tibi have continued to lead the church and hold worship several times a week. More than 25 people have been baptized in the nearby Tisza River since the church began. “We crowded into their living room/ dining room/kitchen and soon a number of choruses rang through their neighborhood,” said Tammy. “Tibi and Natasha became the natural leaders for the house group.”
The Stocks have assisted with funding to build an extension on the home, so that the church can continue to expand, and also connected the couple with a pastor from Ralph Stocks, left, speaks at Natasha’s and Tibi’s wedding Budapest, who in Hungary. provides encouragement and mentoring.
Village church rebuilds, grows after cyclone
hen tropical cyclone Sidr hit the southwestern coast of India in 2007, it destroyed all the homes in Chinna Mithuru — a small village of about 120 families. In addition to leveling the villagers’ homes, the cyclone demolished the small, thatched shed in which Pastor Emmanuel, his wife Mizpa, and half a dozen families met for worship each week. On the day that Emmanuel and his church members gathered to clear the debris in the spot where their church had stood, Emmanuel remembers saying, “The Lord will give us a new and permanent church.” Around lunchtime, the small group of believers knelt down to pray. They asked God to use each one of them individually and collectively as “salt” and “light” in their community. Emmanuel reached out for help to the Bethel Bible Training Center at Annojiguda, where he had received pastoral training and met Sam Bandela, one of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s field personnel. When Bandela heard of the village’s needs, he responded by administering CBF emergency relief funds to help the cyclone victims. Bandela visited the village to distribute
serve | 14
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50 pounds of rice, clean drinking water, blankets, dresses for both men and women, school supplies for the children, cash for emergency use and Bibles. While Bandela visited with him, Pastor Emmanuel asked for Bandela’s help in reconstructing their worship space. “You have met our physical needs,” Emmanuel said. “All are not Christians [in the village], but some are. Can you help us build a permanent church?” Bandela agreed to join with the pastor in prayer over the matter. About a month
later, Pastor Emmanuel received word from Bandela that he had secured funds to help build a new and permanent church in Chinna Mithuru. “They couldn’t believe it, but they were all saying, ‘Out of total destruction came something brand new to the entire community,’” said Bandela. Today, about 50-60 people worship every Sunday in Chinna Mithuru’s new church. “God’s people, especially in India, need a decent place to worship the Living God,” said Bandela.
After a cyclone destroyed the village of Chinna Mithuru, CBF emergency relief funds provided villagers with rice, clean drinking water, blankets and funds to rebuild their church.
To learn how you can be involved in spreading the Good News around the world through short-term missions opportunities, contact Chris Boltin at email@example.com or (800) 352-8741.
fellowship! Small Groups How to use this page
This page is provided for adult small groups that want to emphasize missional engagement. It is built around a 90-minute time-frame. Feel free to adapt it to your local context. This session plan can be used once a month during adult Sunday School, on a Wednesday evening, or in a mission group or other small group session.
Before the Session: 1. Have available four pieces of chart paper. Label each sheet with the headings “Church,” “The Early Church,” “Our Church,” and “New Churches.” Have markers ready.
Cooperative baptiSt fellowShip | www.thefellowShip.info
During the Session: 1. Divide the group into three small groups (or do the exercise as a whole, depending on your group size). 2. Ask Group 1 to consider the following question and list answers on chart paper under the heading “Church”: • In your experience, what are the non-negotiable elements of church? If you were to start a church, what would be essential to your being church? 3. Have Group 2 read Acts 2:41-47 together and list on the chart paper under “The Early Church” those elements that the early church considered essential to their being church. Note that the earliest Christians were converted Jews. 4. Group 3 will take copies of your church’s bulletin or newsletter and list under “Our Church” those elements that your church considers essential to being church. 5. Convene small groups and have them report to larger group. 6. Distribute copies of fellowship! and divide the stories or portions of stories among group participants to read. On the sheet labeled “New Churches,” have the group list those elements that emerge as essential to these new churches being church. As the convener, add to the list from your research before the session. 7. Take time to compare chart papers and make observations. What is similar? Different? 8. Consider the following questions in your analysis: • Why is sacred space so important to the church? Why can having no physical building be freeing for American churches? • For most of the last two centuries, the church in the West and the United States has seen herself as the world’s teacher …
Spreading the Good News See pages 8-15 to learn about new church starts around the world.
pastor Ma, who leads a lay leadership training center in Mianyang, China, has a passion for sharing the story of Jesus Christ. “China needs this Good news,” he said. through Cbf field personnel bill and Michelle Cayard, the fellowship partners with the training center to equip and empower new Christian leaders for rapidly growing churches.
Carla Wynn Daivs photo
4. Visit www.thefellowship.info and click on “Videos” in the righthand sidebar. View “Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Hispanic Initiative.” Locate online the churches and ministries referenced in this issue of fellowship! • www.thewellatbillings.org • www.olivebranchfellowship.org • www.palmettomissionarybaptistchurch.org • www.cbfinchina.org
Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission
2. Have copies of your church’s bulletin or newsletter available. 3. Have multiple copies of fellowship! available for group members.
in a season of declining CBF church attendance in the U.S., what does the global church of India, Hungary, and China have to teach the U.S. church? In times of economic decline, how can the church become creative in the ways in which we minister? During these times, are you able to claim the Indian pastor’s Godperspective on life: “out of destruction came something brand new”? Can those in your community truly say based on the witness of your church that Christianity is a religion that cares about people? How can your church multiply to reach others who may be far from God and/or far from the traditional church? How can established churches move beyond seeing new churches as competition and bless them to reach those that the established church is not reaching? When does cynicism creep in and cause you to doubt that God can and does grow the church — even in America?
9. As you close your time together, ask group members to quiet themselves and enter into a period of prayer and examen. Lead the group individually to consider the following questions: • When have you allowed the enthusiasm of following Jesus to lead you to do something bold? • How are you experiencing God’s call to share faith with someone else who needs to hear that they too are loved? • When have you opened your home or “extended” your home in order to make room for others to know the love and joy of Christ? • Close with prayer for your church, her leaders, and community, as well as those churches and leaders featured in fellowship! After the Session: Join the conversation on church starting on CBF’s blog at www.thefellowship.info/blog. Or become a part of an online community around church starting at fellowshipportal.ning.com/groups under “Church Starting/Faith Sharing.” fellowship!
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for promoting the CBF Offering for Global Missions in your church By Lance Wallace You are a vitally important piece to God’s mission in the world. When you promote the CBF Offering in your congregation, you are helping change the lives of people you may never meet. You are working alongside CBF field personnel who minister around the world. You are helping make a real difference. The CBF Offering financially supports field personnel by providing their ministry expenses, salaries and benefits. These field personnel spread the gospel among those who haven’t heard, meet physical needs among the most neglected and serve the local church by providing ways church members can participate in lifechanging ministry. Without the Offering, there are CBF field personnel The Offering is who would be unable to serve. The Offering not “over and is not “over and above” the CBF above” the CBF Global Global Missions Missions budget; it is the PRIMARY way field budget; it is the personnel are funded. This year’s national PRIMARY way field personnel goal is $6.1 million. The focus of this are funded. year’s offering is supporting churches in This year’s national goal is China and addressing poverty in Arkansas. $6.1 million. Since 2004, Bill and Michelle Cayard have worked with Chinese churches, helping congregations grow and assisting Christian leaders with ongoing training and other support. Since 2002, Ben and Leonora Newell have worked to address poverty in HelenaWest Helena, Ark., empowering residents to catch a community vision and work toward it. Here are a few ways you can share these stories and promote the offering at your church. Many promotional materials are available online at www.thefellowship.info/ogm. If you would like to order the offering leader’s guide, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make use of your church newsletters
Include the CBF Offering in your existing newsletter, print and/or e-mail. You can download CBF Offering logos from www.thefellowship.info/ogm to use as clip art. If someone in your church is familiar with CBF missions, ask them to write a short reflection story. You can also use the text directly from the Web site.
Show missions videos in as many settings as possible
The Offering DVD contains eight video segments about ministries the Offering supports. These videos are also available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/cbfvideo. Use a different video in each worship service for several weeks. Order extra free copies for Sunday school classes, small groups or Wednesday night Bible studies. Suggest to leaders that they pick a video to show during their class or meeting time.
Decorate your church’s walls and bulletin boards
Four, full-color posters related to the offering are available and can add life and interest to your church’s walls, bulletin boards, meeting rooms, fellowship hall or other high-traffic
areas in your church building. Leave them posted throughout your church’s campaign, plus a couple weeks before so church members know the promotion campaign is approaching. Remember, you can order additional sets to spread throughout the church.
Download the CBF Offering logo from www.thefellowship.info/ogm and include it in the bulletin announcements along with a brief description of the CBF Offering and your church’s giving goal. Include regular updates about your church’s progress toward the goal. You can also use CBF Offering full-color bulletin inserts and place them in the bulletin. There are four unique bulletin inserts that can be ordered for free.
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Worship can move people to act
Arrange a meeting with the pastor, individual or committee that plans worship services. Introduce all the free worship aids available online, including litanies, dramas, missions moments, Powerpoint presentations, videos and children’s sermons. Talk about what is realistic to include in your regular worship services and commit to integrate at least one promotional resource. Schedule a CBF missions speaker by contacting our speaker’s bureau, face2face at email@example.com.
embr ace the world : suppo rting churc hes in china n the remote northea stern mountains of China’s Sichuan Zhang has seen God moving for province, Elder decades. Since in the 1980s after he re-opened one China’s Cultura church l Revolution, the than 20,000 people gospel has reached in that city and its surrounding more creates challeng villages. But rapid es, too. There isn’t growth enough space pastors. And there to worship. There isn’t enough training aren’t enough to develop new Cooperative Baptist ministries. In Fellowship is coming these ways the and enabling them alongside Chinese to continue sharing churches, equippi ng Christ’s love.
E m b r ac E
t h E Wo r l d : addrEss i n g P ov E r ty in arka nsas elena isn’t the place it used to be. Once prospering and community is now growing, the among the poorest areas in the United doesn’t stop long-tim States. But that e residents from 2002, the Coopera hoping for better tive Baptist Fellowsh days ahead. Since ip has serving, building come alongside relationships and this community — praying, encouraging resident s that all things are possible.
the world : suppo rting
churc hes in china n May 12, 2008, much of the world learned of China’s the first time. Sichuan provinc At 2:28 p.m. the e for earth began to three minutes shake, and in the a 7.9 magnitude subsequent buildings toppled earthquake changed , houses crumble lives forever. High-ri d, schools collapse lost their lives. se d, and nearly 85,000 In the quake’s painful people aftermath, the responded by Cooperative Baptist equipping and helping Chinese Fellowship churches minister among their own.
How to promo te the
E m b r ac E
t h E Wo r l d : addrEss i n g P ov E r ty in arka nsas eyond the poverty in this rural Arkansa s county is the this community hope that keeps going. In the local children there can be better, brighter is a future — one . But the children that it themselves. have to see it, And following believe in it, dream the example of children, the Cooper Christ, who welcom ative Baptist Fellowsh ed and encoura ged of this commu ip is coming alongsid nity find its way. e to help the future
Lance Wallace serves as CBF’s director of communications. For additional suggestions, visit www.thefellowship.info/ogm. Have more questions about promoting the Offering in your church? Contact Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 352-8741 for ways you can help your church increase its missions giving. 16
Capitalize on your order of worship
(800) 3 52- 8741
www.the fellowsh ip.info
Daily testimony of love By Jennifer Graham CBF Foundation Vice President
uring the first week in my new position with the CBF Foundation, Daniel Vestal stopped by my office and said he was looking forward to introducing me to Irmeth Richards, one of his good friends. “She is an amazing woman of conviction and compassion and very committed to the CBF mission,” he said.
The next week, I called and invited her to be my guest at the Open House for the new CBF Resource Center in Atlanta. She was so excited! As I loaded her walker into my car the morning of the open house, I worried that at age 87 the visit might be too much for her. When we arrived, I ask if she would like to take the tour or go find a good seat for the program. She wanted to take the tour and she took time to peek in every office and meet every staff person. With great pride, she told me about attending the very first Fellowship meeting in Atlanta in 1990 and of her deep passion for CBF field personnel and missions. She was committed to the future of CBF and proud to be one of the first to establish a Charitable Remainder Trust with the CBF Foundation. Irmeth wanted to ensure that the missions she loved would continue even after her death. Irmeth Richards was a delight to be around. Even at 87 years of age she was always ready for the next event. We set up a lunch date, but because of her busy schedule it took me several weeks to get on her calendar. Her daughter, Nancy, told me Irmeth stayed busy volunteering. “My mother has always been drawn to people in need and to her church family,” she said. During our visits, Irmeth loved to tell me stories about her family. She was born in the small town of Richland, Ga., and
grew up with a deep love for nature and God’s wonderful creation. She attended Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C., and graduated from Peabody Teachers College in Nashville, Tenn. It was while attending Druid Hills Baptist Church in Atlanta that she met her husband of more than 50 years, William (Bill) Richards. Bill and Irmeth had two children Nancy and Billy. Irmeth was blessed with twin granddaughters a little over seven years ago. They were the delight of her life. She loved all children and taught Sunday school in the churches she attended. Irmeth died suddenly on April 4, 2009. I am grieving because I will miss getting to know her better. Her vibrant spirit was an inspiration to me. Her family and long time friends miss her wit, her spirit and her love. “She was such an intelligent woman, so inquisitive, she never stopped learning,” said Liz Pearson, her friend and the associate pastor of Braircliff Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Irmeth attended. “Irmeth believed that love should not be words only, but must be expressed through actions.” Author and minister Fredrick Buechner said, “In God’s holy flirtation with the world, God occasionally drops a handkerchief. These handkerchiefs are called saints.” In the Fellowship community there are many wonderful people like Irmeth Richards who touch my life with their daily testimony of love. The gift that she has made to CBF will enable ministry to continue far beyond her time as a saint on earth.
To learn more about the CBF Foundation or setting up an endowment, go online to www.cbff.org or contact Jennifer Graham at (800) 352-8741 or email@example.com.
Being delivered this fall CBF partner churches will be receiving in the mail this November a
minister have never been so diverse. Well-Being and Excellence in Ministry is intended to begin or continue
copy of Well-Being and Excellence in Ministry: A Practical Resource for
the conversation between the staff ministers of
Ministers and Caring Congregations. This free resource, provided by the
a church and the congregation so that each can
Fellowship’s Initiative for Ministerial Excellence, is written for ministers and
contribute to the health of the other and together
congregations as they seek health and excellence in ministry.
they may discover the call of God.
In a time when as many as five generations and their wide-ranging perspectives populate today’s congregations, the expectations of the
To learn more contact Steve Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 352-8741.
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This Advent season ...
… Give a gift that makes a difference
Impress your friends and family this holiday season
… Share the journey together
… Celebrate international ministries
This Advent season help families in your congre-
As your church collects offerings for missions this
by giving a gift that will change lives. Instead of shopping
gation share together the meaningful journey to the
Christmas season, learn about, celebrate and give to the
for a traditional gift, consider purchasing from CBF’s
manger. God’s Most Generous Gift: An Advent De-
ministry of CBF field personnel Bill and Michele Cayard,
Gift Catalog, which has dozens of ministry projects as
votional, a weekly-themed family devotional resource, is
who serve in China, through the CBF Offering for
gift options. You can support a ministry for as little as
designed as a spirally-bound, standing flip-book, featuring
a couple of dollars, and CBF will send your loved one a
devotionals for both adults and children. Each week’s
special note describing the gift you purchased in their
devotionals focus on one aspect of Advent: hope, peace,
700 churches in Sichuan province of China, there are
name. It might be tuition for a seminary student in China,
joy and love. Special pages include instructions for creat-
only 200 seminary-trained leaders. Churches are growing
a pig for an agriculture project in Thailand, water well in
ing an Advent wreath and other ideas for a meaningful
much faster than leaders are being trained. The Cayards
Ethiopia or bus ticket for a Roma family to attend church.
Advent experience, as well as encouragement related to
come alongside these Christian leaders, empowering
the CBF Offering for Global Missions.
them with education, encouragement and resources to
Your gift can be given in memory, for a birthday or anniversary, or for any holiday or special
Order resources now for delivery by November 15
occasion during the year. Begin shopping today at
and distribution on the first Sunday of Advent (November
www.thefellowship.info/giftcatalog or call (800) 352-
30) by calling the CBF Store at (800) 801-4223 or by
8741 to order to a copy.
For the more than 200,000 believers and more than
continue sharing the gospel and growing churches. This year’s goal for the CBF Offering for Global Missions is $6.1 million. To learn more and access promotional and worship resources for the Christmas season, go to
embrac e the w orld: s u
e m b r a c e
t h e
w o r l d :
s u p p o r t i n g
Sharing love, sharing hope National Goal: $6.1 million
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Jesus said to them aga 0920P00 6
in “As the Father has
sent me, so I send you
.” John 20:21
www.thefellow ship.info/giv e
“China n this goo news”
c h u r c h e s
c h i n a
This Lenten season...
… Listen to the Bible on audio MP3
… Celebrate U.S.-based ministries
Join the churches of the Cooperative Baptist Fellow-
As your church raises money for missions this Easter
with and not for. It’s part of sharing the gospel not only
ship in listening to the Bible during Lent or another 40-
season, learn about, celebrate and give to the ministry
day period in 2010. Through the
of CBF field personnel Ben and Leonora Newell, who
You’ve Got the Time initiative,
serve in Helena-West Helena, Ark., through the CBF
primary funding for CBF field personnel ministries around
CBF is able to provide free audio
Offering for Global Missions.
the world. To learn more and access promotional and
Bibles to everyone in a Fellow-
The soil in the Mississippi Delta is rich; most of the
ship partner church who com-
people living there are not. In fact, the county where
mits to listening to God’s word.
the Newells serve is one of the poorest in the United
The Fellowship is engaging in
States. And that’s
this project so that together,
why the Newells are
we will be more deeply formed in
there. For years they’ve
Christlikeness and better able to
come alongside the
fulfill our vision of being the pres-
community — doing
with words but with hands and feet. The CBF Offering of Global Missions provides the
worship resources, go to www.thefellowship.info/ogm.
e m b r a c e
t h e
Learn more by calling (800) 545-6552 or go to www.thefellowship.info/ygtt.
e m b r a c e
a d d r e s s i n g
p o v e r t y
a r k a n s a s
ence of Christ in the world.
upport ing chu rches i n china
w o r l d :
investing in th e future t h e
w o r l d :
a d d r e s s i n g
p o v e r t y
a r k a n s a s
Jesus said to them aga
in “As the Father has
National Goal: $6.1 million in “As the Father has sent me, so I send you .” John 20:2
National Goal: $6.1 milli
sent me, so I send you
.” John 20:21 ww w.thefellow
Jesus said to them aga 0920P00 2
www.thefellow ship.info/giv e
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College students: You can ma Spend a summer doing missions If you’re a student who takes seriously God’s mandate of doing justice and mercy, who believes in holistic ministry and wants to practice Christ’s instruction to care for the hungry, sick, homeless and imprisoned, then Student.Go might be just the missions service opportunity for you. For a summer or semester students serve at a CBF ministry site or alongside CBF field personnel, gaining hands-on experience in ministry. Students are provided with room and board, local transportation at the ministry site, orientation and travel to orientation, and a $1,000 stipend. Some positions may require fundraising. Deadline for spring 2010 applications is Nov. 1. Deadline for summer 2010 applications is March 1. Deadline for fall 2010 semester applications is April 15. Summer and fall applicants must be available to attend orientation May 26-29, 2010. Learn more and download the application at www.studentdotgo.org.
Online registration available now for collegiate conference
a special conference for
college and graduate students Dec. 29, 2009 - Jan. 2, 2010 First Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga.
Faith. Hope. Love. Now.
In a global climate of need, change, conflict and disparity — these three things remain — and the world needs them … now. Come to engage in honest dialogue and discussion, to ask hard questions, consider new answers and open yourself to God’s leading your life. Come stretch your worldview, worship in different ways, hear and be heard and really listen to God. Attend the 2009 Antiphony event and you just might walk away changed forever.
meals, hotel lodging, programming, parties, t-shirt and an unforgetable New Year’s Eve gala.
Sam Davidson Speaker for Dec. 31
An all-inclusive $249 pays for everything — all
Ruth Perkins Lee Speaker for Dec. 29
f e Don’t l l o w s h miss i p ! f a lAntiphony. l 2009
Amy and John Wiles Worship Leaders
Mike Young Speaker for Dec. 30
Julie Pennington-Russell Speaker for Jan. 1
www.thefellowship.info/antiphony to learn more or register.
ake a difference this summer Spend a summer serving in a CBF partner church It’s true. Some college students do more than go to church. They want to serve in one. And through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s collegiate congregational internship program, they will have that opportunity. Beginning this summer and continuing through 2012, the Fellowship will facilitate opportunities for up to 100 college students each summer to serve as interns in CBF partner churches. These 10-week full-time internships will help students who are exploring a call to congregational ministry. Through a Lilly Endowment grant, CBF provides the student with a stipend, a week of orientation and education, ongoing coaching and debriefing at the end of the experience. The host church provides the student with an overview of the church’s ministry, mentoring, housing and living expenses, and church-related travel and ministry expenses. Churches interested in hosting a student and students interested in the internship can begin to apply online now at www.thefellowship.info/collegeinternship. Applications must be completed by Feb. 15, 2010.
Some college students do more than go to church.
They want to serve in one.
Is God calling you to vocational ministry? If so, seminary might be your next step The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has a commitment to support and nurture young Baptists, including those who feel led to pursue a seminary education. More than 2,000 Baptist students are now preparing for ministry at one of the 15 seminaries, theology schools or Baptist studies programs in CBF’s network of ministry partnerships: • Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky. • Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Richmond, Va. • Baptist University of the Américas, San Antonio, Texas • Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas • Campbell University Divinity School, Buies Creek, N.C. • Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. • Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Shawnee, Kan. • Duke Divinity School, Durham, N.C. • George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Waco, Texas • International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague, Czech Republic • Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas • Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C. • M. Christopher White School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs, N.C. • McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, Atlanta, Ga. • Wake Forest University Divinity School, Winston-Salem, N.C. Learn more about these schools, the CBF Scholars program and more opportunities for students at www.thefellowship.info/students. fellowship!
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Hal Bass CBF moderator
our state and regional affiliates and my colleagues on the Coordinating Council to know that they are loved and appreciated. I want to get our supportive congregations and individuals more directly engaged in our missions and ministries. I also view my role as that of a facilitator. I want to do all I can to make our organizational and governing structures operate in a productive fashion that enables us to be the presence of Christ in a needy At the 2009 General Assembly, Hal Bass provided a report on the Fellowship’s world. Finally, I see myself involvement in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. as an accommodator, seeking to make sure that the various interests and perspectives present within our Hal Bass is a professor of political science fellowship can be advanced in a coherent and cohesive at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, manner.
Ark. He currently serves as the Fellowship’s moderator, presiding over the Coordinating
Council and General Assembly. Bass and his wife, Mitzi, are members of First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia. How did you become involved with CBF? I’ve been a Baptist all my life. I went to Baylor as an undergraduate, and I have been teaching at Ouachita since 1976. I identified with the moderate element within the Southern Baptist Convention during the 1980s. My father and I attended the 1990 meeting in Atlanta that led to the formation of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in 1991, and we came away encouraged and enthused. I immediately became active at the state level in Arkansas. I had the opportunity to represent Arkansas on the national Coordinating Council in the mid-1990s. From the outset, I perceived the people, missions and ministries of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that I encountered at both the state and national levels, along with the commitment to traditional Baptist principles and values, to be well worth the investment of my efforts.
How do you view the role of moderator? I see my role primarily as that of an encourager. As such, my Biblical role model is Barnabas. I want the employees of our Atlanta office, our field personnel,
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What would you like to see the Coordinating Council focus on in the coming year? I anticipate this year will see us responding and adjusting to the reorganization and expansion of our work. We have traditionally assigned each member to an initiative team: congregational formation, global missions, advancement and administration, with the latter subdivided into three committees, finance, legal and personnel. Now, we are also placing members on new collaborative endeavors reflecting the strategic priorities that emerged from our recently-completed discerning process: honoring race, gender, and generations; interacting with the world community; and engaging missionally. These collaboratives will integrate the efforts of the initiative teams. We anticipate that this restructuring will enable each member to continue to experience and develop expertise in a specific aspect of our CBF missions and ministries, while more clearly connecting it with the broader array. I want us to maintain momentum for our efforts to advance the Millennium Development Goals by directly engaging congregations and individuals. We will also address the by-law requirement that our by-laws be reviewed every five years, and progress in our efforts to develop covenants framing the relationships between our state affiliates and the national organization.
Why are you excited about the future of the Fellowship movement? I’m very excited about the emergence of a new generation of leaders and supporters of the Fellowship movement. I’ve been on college campuses for most of my life, and one lesson I’ve learned is to always bet on the future. I have been very encouraged by the visibility of young people in our midst, be it on our staff, our coordinating councils, or in attendance at our recent general assemblies. I think that we have organized ourselves in a fashion to be effective in our 21st century environment. Moreover, we have positioned in that organizational structure an extraordinary group of people whose energy, enthusiasm and expertise are serving the cause of Christ exceedingly well. In turn, they are engaging our congregations in pursuit of our missions and ministries, as well as responding to congregational initiatives. One such example is our development of resources for congregations to use as we pursue the Millennium Development Goals that seek to alleviate extreme poverty and its assorted impacts around the world.
What are some of the challenges the Fellowship faces in the near future? Let me say up front that I consider every challenge to be an opportunity for advancement. The most obvious and immediate challenge pertains to finances, in light of the recession we are currently experiencing. We are certainly not alone in facing this problem. We must develop ways and means to generate the revenues necessary not only to meet the expenses we have committed to in our current budget, but also to expand our capacity to respond to the enormous needs we encounter throughout the world. Another challenge we face relates to our Baptist identity. We are currently celebrating 400 years of Baptist witness, at a time when denominational loyalties appear to be declining. It is our responsibility to proclaim and carry on an authentic Baptist message, keeping it alive for future generations in a manner that connects us with the broader body of believers in Christ. Our younger leaders, clergy and laity alike, will play key roles here. A third challenge addresses interactions among our national organization and our state and regional affiliates. Our CBF movement embraces the national body, our affiliates and supportive congregations and individuals. We want to complement and affirm each other in responsibly deploying our shared financial and personnel resources. Again, I see all these challenges as opportunities to move forward the missions and ministries of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and I am confident that we will do so.
Be part of developing and encouraging the future of the Fellowship movement by serving a two-year term on the national CBF Coordinating Council. Council members are nominated by state and regional CBF organizations. Go to www.thefellowship.info/stateandregions to contact your local organization and learn more about serving.
Tired of living in your own little world? Community awaits.
CBF General Assembly | June 24-25, 2010 | Charlotte, N.C.
And so we are ... community
You are part of something bigger than you — part of a movement of people who want to be the presence of Christ in the world. At the Fellowship’s General Assembly, you meet people like you, and you become part of the Fellowship family. The 20th annual Assembly is June 24-25, 2010, in Charlotte, N.C. Come for you. Come for the people you’ll meet. Come for the sense of togetherness. Come to connect. Learn more and register for free at www.thefellowship.info/assembly. fellowship!
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Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 2930 Flowers Road South, Suite 133 Atlanta, GA 30341 www.thefellowship.info • (800) 352-8741
CHURCH WORKS! CONFER ENCE
Make plans to attend this conference for Christian educators and young leaders. Whether you serve in a traditional church setting or create aspects of church in non-traditional settings, come for a time of fellowship, renewal, networking and learning. This event is sponsored by Current, CBF’s network for young leaders, and the CBF Congregational Formation initiative. The annual True Survivor conference and Current retreat have combined for this exciting new event.
Featured speakers Diana Butler Bass Scholar, speaker and author of seven books, including her newest book A People’s History of Christianity Dave Odom Executive vice president of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity and founder of the Center for Congregational Health
$425 All-inclusive registration includes lodging for three nights at the Scarritt Bennett Center, lunches and dinners and the program fee. $125 Registration includes some meals and the program fee. Students enrolled at a CBF partner schools are eligible to receive a $75 discount on registration. Additional lodging is available at nearby hotels. Go online to learn about group rates. To register, go online to www.thefellowship.info/churchworks.
February 22-25, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn. The conference will be held at the Scarritt Bennett Center.