Cooperative baptist fellowship | www.thefellowship.info
Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission
J.V. McKinney photo
Each summer at the All Church Challenge, a two-week missions blitz that brings CBF partner churches to Phillips County, Arkansas, one of the countryâ€™s poorest counties, children have the opportunity to participate in camps, swim clinics and art workshops. Learn more about Together for Hope, CBFâ€™s rural poverty initiative, on pages 10-16.
Together for Hope
Do you believe God still calls missionaries? I do. I believe in the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, and I believe that God calls some people to fill a strategic role as cross-cultural and incarnational ministers. At CBF, we refer to these called individuals as “field personnel.” And when we appoint them, we affirm their calling and send them out as Christ’s representatives. But lately, fewer and fewer have been sent. It’s not that God has stopped calling or that the need for missionaries has gone away. It’s that the CBF Offering for Global Missions — the primary funding source for this part of God’s work around the world — has plateaued. There are several reasons for this plateau; some I understand and some I don’t. Maybe it’s changing economic conditions. Maybe it’s that individuals and churches are investing their mission dollars in other ways. Maybe some are giving to projects and field personnel in which they are personally involved. Maybe some have lost confidence in cooperative mission efforts and others don’t give to any ministry where they can’t see immediate results. I have always believed in an “abundance mentality” when it comes to ministry support, i.e. “God’s work done in God’s way will not lack God’s supply.” Yet I also believe in planning, collaboration and strategic thinking in ministry support. For these reasons, CBF has set some priorities for its shared mission. We focus on the most neglected, those who are least evangelized and most marginalized. We are committed to biblically-based global missions and to a biblical vision of justice. We partner within the Baptist World Alliance and the ecumenical Christian family to proclaim the gospel. And we serve local churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission. As the sole source of support for many of our field personnel, the annual CBF Offering for Global Missions is vital to making these priorities a reality. The larger the Offering, the more field missionaries we can support. In recent years we have had to reduce the number of field missionaries we can send because of a plateaued offering. Thankfully others have stepped forward to become CBF field personnel bringing their own support with them. For this we are deeply grateful. We are also grateful for the significant anonymous gifts that have funded a number of our field personnel. And I am most grateful that we have not had to bring home any field personnel because of plateaued giving. But now the time has come for the CBF family to pray even more earnestly and give even more generously so that we can not only sustain the field missionaries we have but send even more. Here’s why I give to the Offering: First, I give to the CBF Offering for Global Missions because it is just that ... an offering to God, an expression of my Christian discipleship and financial stewardship. For me this is even more than a donation, a contribution or a fulfillment of a pledge. This offering is an act of worVol. 20, No. 1 ship and a response to a conviction to be part of fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. Second, I give to the CBF Offering for Global Missions because it is global in scope. The executive Coordinator • Daniel Vestal impact of this Offering is beyond one specific place or one local need. Its reach is bold because Coordinator, Fellowship Advancement • Ben McDade the missionaries it sends and supports are all around the world ministering to and with multiple Editor • Lance Wallace peoples in many places. managing Editor • Patricia Heys Third, I give to the CBF Offering for Global Missions because it is a missions offering. Every penAssociate Editor • Carla Wynn Davis ny provides salary and support for individuals who cross cultural, language, geographical and racial Phone • (770) 220-1600 barriers to be the presence of Christ. They intentionally and purposely go to difficult and dangerous Fax • (770) 220-1685 places to invest themselves among people as representatives, servants and ministers of Christ. E-Mail • firstname.lastname@example.org Yes, I believe God still calls missionaries, and if you do too, will you please join me in making Web Site • www.thefellowship.info a gracious, even a sacrificial gift to the CBF Offering for Global Missions? 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.
Daniel Vestal, CBF Executive Coordinator To give to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, use the envelope included in this issue of fellowship! or go to www.thefellowship.info/give.
Five Tips for listening to the Bible Through Together for Hope, CBF’s rural poverty initiative, the presence of Christ is changing lives
10-16 17 18-19 20-21
Ideas for using this issue in small groups Resources for preparing for a summer mission trip How churches can invest in youth and college students
CBF Calendar Outer Obstacles and Inner Resistance to the Life of Prayer January 18-20 Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House, Dallas, Texas Spiritual formation author Jeanie Miley is the featured faculty at this retreat for ministers. The retreat will be led by CBF Congregational Formation staff Rick Bennett and Bo Prosser. Register online: www.thefellowship.info/retreats Interim Ministry for Today’s Church January 25-27 CBF Resource Center, Atlanta, Ga. An introduction course designed to meet the needs of interim pastors. Information: www.healthychurch.org New Church Starts Retreat February 4-6 Winston-Salem, N.C. A retreat for new church starters, veteran church starters and those considering a church starting vocation. Information: Contact David King, email@example.com CBF Coordinating Council February 18-19 First Baptist Church, Decatur, Ga. CBF Council on Endorsement February 19-20 Atlanta, Ga. Materials for new applicants to be reviewed at this meeting are due January 15. Send information to: George Pickle, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Crystal Ham, email@example.com
ChurchWorks Conference February 22-25 Nashville, Tenn. For Christian educators and young leaders. Register: www.thefellowship.info/churchworks Student.Go Deadline March 1 The application deadline to serve with Student.Go, the Fellowship’s missions program for college and graduate students, during the summer semester is March 1. The application deadline for the fall semester is April 15. Applicants are required to attend orientation May 26-29. Information: www.studentdotgo.org
CBF of Missouri General Assembly April 16-17 University Heights Baptist Church, Springfield, Mo. Information: www.cbfmo.org CBF of Florida Gathering April 23-24 Location TBD Information: www.floridacbf.org CBF of Arkansas Spring event April 23-24 Helena, Ark. Information: www.cbfar.org CBFSC General Assembly April 23-24 Pelham Road Baptist Church, Greenville, S.C. Information: www.cbfofsc.org
CBF Virginia General Assembly March 11-12 First Baptist Church, Virginia Beach, Va. Brian D. McLaren — author, speaker, pastor and networker among innovative Christian leaders, thinkers and activists — will join us via Skype. Information: www.cbfva.org
Kentucky Baptist Fellowship Spring Gathering April 23-24 Stanford Baptist Church, Stanford, Ky. Information: www.kybf.org
CBFNC General Assembly March 19-20 First Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C. Information: www.cbfnc.org
Tennessee CBF Spring event April 23-24 Second Baptist Church, Memphis, Tenn. Information: www.tncbf.org
Global Missions Cohort Deadline March 29 If you are interested in serving as one of CBF’s field personnel, register for a 10-week cohort this spring (April 5-June 13). The cohort is the first of the threepart application process. Register: www.thefellowship.info/candidateform
CBF General Assembly June 23-26 Charlotte, N.C. Information: www.thefellowship.info/Assembly
Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation: Spirituality and the Modern Prophet April 11-16 Ignatius House Retreat Center, Atlanta, Ga. Register online: www.thefellowship.info/retreats
General Assembly provides
abundance of opportunities for you to learn
The CBF General Assembly isn’t just an event; it’s a resource, offering multiple opportunities for learning and formation that will help you and your church’s leadership fulfill its God-given mission. New this year is the Essentials Conference, a two-day event for church leaders. The conference will offer practical sessions that are sure to help you in your church leadership role. Choose a topic that
interests you and gain practical learning from four 75-minute learning sessions. There are two learning sessions on Friday, June 25 and two sessions on Saturday, June 26. Workshops covering a variety of ministry-related topics will be offered on Friday afternoon for those not registered for the Essentials Conference. Other special training events include a
Leadership Institute with Alan Roxburgh, a noted author and speaker on the missional life; Loving Your Muslim Neighbor, which educates and equips Christians and churches to minister among Muslims; age-specific assemblies for children, youth and college students; and Discover Your Passion, an opportunity for you to learn about and connect with specific global ministries you care about.
Evening speakers at General Assembly
Register early. Space is limited $25 per person, or register by March 1 for only $20 per person Topic sessions: • Essential Pastoral Care Skills for Deacons and Other Lay Ministers • Essentials for a Developing a Practice of Evangelism • Every Member a Minister: Essentials for Finding Your Place in Ministry • Essentials for Becoming a Very Good Adult Teacher • Essentials for Becoming a Very Good Children’s Leader • Finding Your Next Minister: Essentials for Conducting Your Next Search Process • Essentials for Becoming a Very Good Youth Leader • Essentials for Developing a Collegiate Ministry • Growing Generosity Now: Essentials for Creating a Culture of Stewardship in Your Church • Essentials for Discerning Your Congregations Future: Questions Every Congregation Needs to Ask • Essentials for Emerging Congregational Leaders • Shepherding the Church Staff: Help, I’m on the Personnel Committee! • Essentials for Leading Deacons in Missional Ministry • Essentials for Sunday School and Small Group Growth
Mark your calendar and register today! 4
Bill Leonard will speak during Thursday evening worship Bill Leonard is the founding dean of Wake University School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he also serves as professor of church history. Author of some 15 books and more than 400 articles, Leonard is a frequent commentator on religion and Baptist life.
Lauren Winner will speak during Friday evening worship Lauren Winner is an author and assistant professor of Christian spirituality at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C. She has written three books — Girl Meets God, Mudhouse Sabbath and Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity.
Registration for General Assembly is free and can be completed online at www.thefellowship.info/assembly. The Essentials Conference, child care and age-specific assemblies, and some other training events require additional registration and a fee. Online registration for these events will be available beginning in January. Learn more at www.thefellowship.info/assembly.
We live in a very noisy world, constantly being exposed to the clamor of everyday life. Even in the quiet moments, our minds quickly fill with thoughts that vie for our attention. Silent, or contemplative prayer, is a form of communion with God that has existed for centuries. Silent prayer does not involve speaking or even listening to God. It is about resting in God’s presence; for when we are truly at rest in the comfort and security of
Prayer Calendar (CH) = Chaplain (FP) = Field Personnel (PC) = Pastoral Counselor (FPC) = Child of Field Personnel (PLT) = Church Planter (GMP) = Global Missions Partner
January 1 Sam Bandela, Atlanta, GA (FP) 1 Dave Harding, 1991, Orlando, FL (FPC) 1 Jae S. Kim, New Zealand (GMP) 2 Gabriella Newell, 2002, Helena, AR (FPC) 2 Tammy Stocks, Hungary (FP) 2 Jack Younts, Blythewood, SC (CH) 3 Christopher Bowers, Powhatan, VA (PC) 3 Bill McCann, Madisonville, KY (CH) 3 Meilyn Norman, 2001, Four Oaks, NC (FPC) 5 Richard Durham, Mount Pleasant, NC (CH) 5 Charles Kirby, Hendersonville, NC (CH) 5 Kevin Lynch, Spartanburg, SC (PC) 5 Calvin McIver, Sacramento, CA (CH) 5 Linda Serino, Memphis, TN (CH) 6 Larry Hardin, Topeka, KS (CH) 7 Denny Spear, Dunwoody, GA (CH) 7 Matthew Van Hook, Fort Riley, KS (CH) 8 Rachel Hill, Burlington, NC (CH) 8 Mee K. Lee, Philippines (GMP) 9 Bill Cayard, China (FP) 9 Paul Hamilton, Orangeburg, SC (CH) 9 Patrick Moses, Mansfield, TX (PLT) 9 Jonathan Myrick, 1994, Kenya (FPC) 10 Melody Harrell, East Africa (FP) 10 Kenny Sherin, Columbia, MO (FP) 11 Chris Carson, Ft. Bragg, NC (CH) 11 Ed Waldrop, Augusta, GA (CH) 12 Neil Cochran, Greenville, SC (CH) 12 Larry Connelly, Decatur, GA (CH) 13 Jeffrey Cantrell, Bruceville, TX (CH) 13 Dianne McNary, Slovakia (FP) 13 George Pickle, Marietta, GA (CH) 14 Randy McDaniel, Floyd, VA (PLT) 15 Keith Ethridge, Yorktown, VA (CH) 15 John Foxworth, Fort Knox, KY (CH) 15 Dae J. Kim, Asia (GMP) 16 Eliza, 1996, Asia (FPC) 16 Fran Graham, Asheville, NC (FP) 16 Merrie Grace Harding, 1995, Orlando, FL (FPC) 16 Jerry Hendrix, Abilene, TX (PLT) 16 David Hormenoo, Durham, NC (CH) 16 Mary Lynn Lewis, San Antonio, TX (CH) 16 Michelle Smith, Fayetteville, NC (CH) 16 Jessica Togba-Doya, 2002, Liberia (FPC)
another’s company, there is no need to fill the space that silence creates with idle words. In the months ahead, as you pray for the people listed on the calendar, open your prayers with a period devoted to silence before the Lord. Spend time basking in the presence of the divine and resting within the comfort of unconditional love. It is only after such moment of stillness that we are prepared to carry out the responsibility
17 Latha Bandela, Atlanta, GA (FP) 17 Donna Manning, Fort Worth, TX (CH) 17 Glenn Norris, Sherwood, AR (CH) 17 Neal Sasser, Suffolk, VA (CH) 18 Jeanell Cox, Smithfield, NC (CH) 19 Kaelah-Joy Acker, 2008, Uganda (FPC) 19 Jackie Ward, Goshen, KY (CH) 20 Marcia Binkley, Uniontown, OH (FP) 20 Marshall Gupton, Smyrna, TN (CH) 20 Kevin Morgan, Crestview, FL (CH) 20 Paul Tolbert, Clayton, NC (CH) 21 Jim King, Fort Belvoir, VA (CH) 23 Richard Atkinson, Bastrop, TX (CH) 25 ________, New Jersey (FP) 25 Scott Houser, Southern Africa (FP) 25 Kyong Kim, Asia (GMP) 25 Cynthia Levesque, China (FP) 25 Christopher Nagel, Houston, TX (CH) 26 Sandy Hale, Lebanon, NH (CH) 27 Darrell Bare, Boone, NC (CH) 27 Ben Sandford, Camp Lejeune, NC (CH) 27 Eric Smith, San Antonio, TX (CH) 28 Chuck Ahlemann, Des Moines, IA (CH) 29 Darryl Jefferson, Charlotte, NC (CH) 30 Hal Ritter, Waco, TX (PC) 31 Rebecca Andrews, Irving, TX (CH) 31 John Manuel, Asia (CH) 31 Ed Richardson, Spring Lake, NC (CH) 31 Paul Smith, Waynesboro, MS (CH)
February 1 Susan Collins, Stone Mountain, GA (CH) 1 Carrie Dean, Atlanta, GA (PLT) 1 Yong J. Hur, Philippines (GMP) 2 Joe Alverson, Nicholasville, KY (CH) 2 John R. Fogarty, Freeport, FL (PLT) 2 Jaisis Orea, 2002, China (FPC) 2 Terry Tatro, Louisville, KY (CH) 3 Richard Dayringer, Grove, OK (CH) 3 William Elliott, Bakersfield, CA (CH) 3 Philip Whisnand, Seattle, WA (FP) 4 Thelma Chambers-Young, Ok City, OK (CH) 5 Arley Hughes, Saint Mary’s, GA (CH) 6 Jong B. Jeon, Asia (GMP) 8 John Boyles, Lynchburg, VA (CH) 8 Biju Chacko, Durham, NC (CH) 9 Nathan Cooper, Greenville, SC (CH) 9 Joe Lentz, Erie, PA (CH) 9 Elizabeth Milazzotto, Louisville, KY (PC) 9 Willie Smith, Fredericksburg, VA (CH) 10 Karen Estle, Speedway, IN (CH) 10 Hae Kim, daughter, Philippines (GMP) 10 James Rentz, Spartanburg, SC (PC) 10 Sam Southard, Naples, FL (PC) 10 Cynthia Thomas, Houston, TX (CH)
that comes with being children of God. Excerpt taken from Prayers of the People, this year’s prayer guide. To order your copy visit the CBF Store online or call (888) 801-4223.
11 Lauralee Estes, Northport, AL (PC) 11 Ann Miller, Arlington, TX (CH) 11 Will Runyon, Maryville, TN (CH) 11 Robert Stevenson, Ft. Knox, KY (CH) 11 Derrick Togba-Doya, 2001, Liberia (FPC) 12 Mera Corlett, Louisville, KY (CH) 12 Louisa Houser, 2004, Southern Africa (FPC) 13 Dianne Swaim, North Little Rock, AR (CH) 14 Roger Bolton, Conyers, GA (PC) 14 Iris Dickerson, Chester, SC (CH) 14 Charla Littell, Burlington, NC (CH) 15 Mi H. Lee, Central Asia (GMP) 15 Taliaferro Williamson, Decatur, GA (CH) 17 Nancy James, Haiti (FP) 17 Ryan Wagers, Bridgeport, WV (CH) 18 Edward Fleming, Lexington, NC (CH) 18 Jean Pruett, Matthews, NC (CH) 19 Keri Spears, Miami, FL (FP) 20 Timothy Doremus, Mt. Washington, KY (PLT) 20 Amanda Ducksworth, Columbus, MS (CH/PLT) 20 Younsoo Park, Fort Bragg, NC (CH) 21 ________, son, North Africa (FPC) 21 Rebecca Church, Louisville, KY (CH) 21 Linda McComb, Clinton, MS (CH) 21 Jeffery Thompson, Gainesville, GA (CH) 22 Kathy Oldfield, Maricopa, AZ (CH) 23 Gene Murdock, India (FP) 25 Lindell Anderson, Fort Worth, TX (CH) 25 Kwang J. Choi, Asia (GMP) 25 Richard Foster, Lynchburg, VA (CH) 26 Rodney Craggs, Franklin, IN (CH) 27 Lori Myrick, Kenya (FP)
March 1 Vicki Hollon, Louisville, KY (CH) 1 Brent Peery, Conroe, TX (CH) 2 Michael Patterson, Mililani, HI (CH) 2 Laurice Rogers, Louisville, KY (PC) 2 Glenn Williams, Louisville, KY (PC) 3 Emmanuel Aldape, 1990, India (FPC) 3 David Bosley, Vienna, VA (CH) 3 Carolyn Hicks, Belmont, NC (CH) 4 William Lemmond, Jefferson City, TN (CH) 4 Jane Martin, Emeritus (FP) 4 Kevin Traughber, Paducah, KY (CH) 5 Buddy Corbin, Asheville, NC (CH) 5 Donnie Marlar, Savannah, GA (CH) 6 Ronnie Adams, New York City, NY (FP) 6 Chad Hawkins, Pearland, TX (CH) 7 Duane Binkley, Uniontown, OH (FP) 7 Wade Rowatt, Louisville, KY (PC) 8 Isaac Pittman, 1999, Miami, FL (FPC)
9 Stuart Collier, Birmingham, AL (CH) 10 Dean Akers, Cibolo, TX (CH) 10 Joshua Ballew, 1992, China (FPC) 11 Julia Flores, Lynchburg, VA (CH) 11 Genene Nisbet, Louisville, KY (PC) 11 Beth Ogburn, Oklahoma City, OK (CH) 12 Melin, Asia (FP) 12 Kenneth Bentley, Carbon Hill, AL (CH) 12 Leah Crowley, Homestead, FL (FP) 12 Jameson Williams, Shelby, NC (CH) 14 Wayne Lanham, Forest, VA (CH) 15 Carita, Southeast Asia (FP) 15 Bonnie Brown, Owensboro, KY (CH) 15 Matthew Myrick, 1991, Kenya (FPC) 15 Mary van Rheenen, Europe (FP) 15 Fran Stuart, Deerfield Beach, FL (CH) 17 Mary Gessner, Madison, AL (PC) 17 Joel Sturtevant, Frankfort, KY (CH) 18 Dodie Huff-Fletcher, Louisville, KY (PC) 18 Denny Jones, Douglasville, GA (CH) 18 David Robinson, Newport News, VA (PC) 19 Jennifer Bordenet, Harlingen, TX (CH) 20 Cynthia Corey, Brunswick, GA (CH) 20 William Hemphill, Stone Mountain, GA (CH) 20 Tom Sanders, The Villages, FL (PLT) 21 Walter Jackson, Louisville, KY (PC) 21 Grace Kim, Asia (GMP) 21 Mina Lee, daughter, Russia (GMP) 21 Alan Melton, Waynesboro, VA (PC) 23 Andy Overmon, Mustang, OK (CH) 24 Edgar Berryman, Chicago, IL (CH) 24 Michael Gross, Lilburn, GA (CH) 24 Kevin Quiles, Canton, GA (CH) 24 Mark Spain, Canyon Lake, TX (CH) 24 Todd Walter, Inman, SC (CH) 25 Jade Acker, Uganda (FP) 25 Bryan Cottrell, Portales, NM (CH) 26 Dan Tucker, Mexico (FP) 27 Ron, Asia (FP) 27 David Gladson, Pendleton, SC (CH) 27 Amy Karricker, Great Falls, MT (CH) 27 Joshua Witt, Jefferson City, TN (CH) 28 Aaron Glenn, Los Angeles, CA (FP) 28 Lynda Schupp, Flower Mound, TX (CH) 28 Megan Whitley, 2002, Spain (FPC) 29 Phil McCarley, Charles Town, WV (CH) 30 ________, son, Middle East (FPC) 30 John Emmart, Stoughton, WI (CH) 30 Susan Rogerson, Winterville, NC (CH) 31 Ji Chang, daughter, Asia (GMP) 31 Dale Cross, Lawrenceville, GA (CH) 31 William Davidson, Montgomery, AL (CH) 31 Tim Madison, Carterville, IL (CH)
“By giving, you are helping us meet immediate needs and provide relief during times of distress. Your gifts to this project are not so much about the sheep, job training or food distribution, but about the relationships built through these activities. Your gifts allow us to be the presence of Christ to many, and through your prayers you join alongside us in this ministry.”
— Joel and Tiffne Whitley, CBF Field Personnel, Spain
Spain Migration Crisis and Relief Project
Through the Spain Migration Crisis and Relief Project, the gifts of Fellowship Baptists enable the Whitleys to provide opportunities for immigrants to start a small business. It’s one of the many projects CBF field personnel facilitate in order to serve some of the world’s most neglected people. These gifts can be found and Help a refugee in crisis purchased through the Thousands of Africans migrate northward each year in hopes of finding annual CBF Gift Catalog. a better life in Europe. When they arrive, however, they often live One of the most meagerly in shared housing and only find occasional manual day labor common small business jobs. Your gift will provide crisis relief in the form of food, medicines, start-ups through the or possibly a phone call to family in Africa; or sustainable activities that Whitleys’ Crisis and might provide income as they live in Spain. (Project #89832) Relief Project is the $5 provides for a 30-minute phone call to family in Africa. caretaking of sheep. $10 provides enough funds to purchase basic first aid medicines. For example, a group $50 provides the funding needed to enroll in a job training course. $200 provides start-up funds for a small business. of men from Senegal In Spain, CBF field personnel Joel and Tiffne Whitley minister among immigrants struggling to provide housing, food and basic necessities for their families. Often far away from their friends and loved ones, immigrants may face overwhelming feelings of loneliness and hopelessness.
Give | 6
live communally in a small house with a fenced in area near the Whitleys. The men care for the sheep, providing food and water, until the sheep are ready to be sold. Then, the funds from sale are used to purchase additional sheep and the remainder goes to the caretaker. “The relationship we develop with those we give the sheep to is a longterm engagement,” the Whitleys said. “As friends do, we talk, we spend time together, we share what is important to us and we share the difficulties we face in our daily lives. Through this relationship, we hope and pray we are being the presence of Christ to them.”
CBF Gift Catalog — You can support ministries like the Whitleys’ for as little as a couple of dollars through the CBF Gift Catalog. Go online to begin shopping today at www.thefellowship.info/giftcatalog.
Are you called to serve by teaching English?
Are you called to teach English and share your faith story?
“I hope that in making friends, teaching English, teaching Sunday school, and being obedient to other opportunities God puts in my lap that Christ can be seen in my life and work.”
Teaching English has long been a valuable ministry tool for CBF field personnel and Fellowship Baptists serving around the world. Often referred to as English as a Second Language (ESL), these classes connect students and teachers by establishing a common goal. Lessons often focus on life skills and practical situational conversations, and the communal nature of the classes allows for relationships to be built that transcend small talk. In some communities, English language skills help lift families out of poverty. And in other cultures, English is fast becoming an essential part of education programs. “Everywhere we go in town, people ask us about English classes,” said Dan Tucker, who serves in Mexico as one of CBF’s field personnel. “It’s connected with economics. If you know English, you are much more marketable. We have heard that a worker can
increase his pay by 30 percent if he can speak English.” Brittany Phillips is finishing two years of service in Chengdu, China, where less than 2 percent of the population is Christian and the gospel travels primarily from person to person and friend to friend. In addition to teaching a Sunday School for college students at a local church, she also teaches English classes and participates in the “English Corner” at a nearby university. Students ask her, “What do you like about China? Do you like Chinese food? What is life like in America?” And then the students often ask questions that open a door to even more meaningful conversations: “Are you a Christian? What does that mean to you?” ______________________ Learn more about Phillips’ work by watching a video on her ministry. Go to www.youtube.com/cbfvideo.
Carla Wynn Davis photo
— Brittany Phillips, CBF Field Personnel, China
Through relationships with Chinese college students, CBF representative Brittany Phillips is developing a collegiate ministry at a quicklygrowing new church start in Chengdu, China.
Current teaching opportunities include: • Athens, Greece (1 to 3 weeks) — Individuals and teams are needed to assist with English conversation labs for Albanian immigrants. An experienced ESL teacher is also needed to provide training to other teachers. • South Korea (1 year) — In partnership with Korea Baptist Press, experienced ESL teachers are needed to work in local schools and assist local congregations. This position is paid. • Japan (2 years) — Individuals will work at one of the Japan Baptist Convention’s churches, teaching a conversational English class, assisting with the kindergarten and other church activities. This position requires some fundraising. • Beijing, China (1 week to 1 year) — Working through the Chinese government, CBF partners are placing ESL teachers in this large
city. The year-long position is paid. • Sichuan Province, China (Two weeks in summer) — Teams and individuals are needed to teach conversational English to 13- to 17-year-olds during a 10-day camp. Teachers will be part of a two or three person team. • Ukraine (1 week to 1 month) — Teams and/or individuals are needed to teach ESL classes during the summer. • Slovakia (1 week) — Teams of 7 to 10 people will lead an English camp that will serve as an outreach to the community. Team members will speak in schools, make presentations and assist the local ministry. • Czech Republic (1 week) — Teams of 5 to 20 people will serve alongside local ministry partners to lead English Outreach Camps.
To learn more about full-time and short-term opportunities related to teaching English, contact Chris Boltin at (800) 352-8741 or firstname.lastname@example.org. fellowship!
l Cadenhead wears many hats: author, newspaper columnist, senior pastor. He recently added another when he agreed to be the chairperson of the 2010 CBF General Assembly steering committee. When the Fellowship met in Charlotte, N.C., in 2003, Cadenhead’s church, Providence Baptist Church, provided leadership and volunteer resources, so he’s familiar with the amount of work it takes to create a successful General Assembly. “There’s so much to be done for an event of this size,” he said. “The logistics are huge to make all of this happen. The steering committee brings it all together and creates a unified
direction for the General Assembly.” Cadenhead is currently in his 12th year as pastor of Providence Baptist. He encourages Fellowship Baptists to come check out not only what this year’s General Assembly has to offer, but also the city of Charlotte. “Charlotte has the best of two worlds,” he said. Al Cadenhead “It’s big enough to have the offerings of a large city — art, entertainment, sports and recreation. Yet Charlotte never feels overwhelming in its size. Stand on a street corner and sooner than later you will encounter a friend or colleague.”
nly two months after moving to South Carolina, Darcie Jones, a CBF-endorsed hospice chaplain, is eager both to find a job and to get involved with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina. Jones graduated in 2008 with two degrees ‒ a master of divinity from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, a Fellowship partner, and a master of science in patient counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. The dual degrees are a perfect fit for Jones, whose ministerial passion is
hospice chaplaincy. “Death is one of the most sacred points in someone’s life,” she said. “People are willing to open up to me and let me in to a very vulnerable place in their life. It’s a great responsibility and a joy to have people put that kind of trust in you and be able to learn from their stories. Darcie Jones [The challenge] is losing people you’ve formed relationships with and allowing yourself time to grieve.”
ot many seminary graduates end up politicians, but Brandon Jones did and he holds a unique view of his role as a freshman representative in the Mississippi state legislature. Jones received his master of divinity degree from Wake Forest Divinity School, a Fellowship partner, and law degree from Mercer University. One month after passing Mississippi’s bar exam, Hurricane Katrina hit. The overwhelming needs of the community convinced Jones to settle in Pascagoula, located along the Gulf Coast, to help rebuild.
“Katrina and the economic downturn have exacerbated domestic violence,” said Jones, who feels a passion for issues related to fighting domestic abuse. “My role as a legislator is a problem solver — to take these issues we face and work them out. I’ve always thought of myself as ‘in ministry’ even before I went to seminary. My parents emphasized that helping others was an extension of who we are as Christians.”
Bill and Phyllis Polly
uring a five-year Army assignment in the late 1990s, Bill Polly served as pastor of a Baptist church in Germany near the Czech Republic border. Desiring to assist both the Czech people and any CBF field personnel serving in the Czech Republic, Bill and his wife, Phyllis, contacted CBF. They were soon connected with Milan Kern, pastor of a Baptist church in Cheb, whose church had many ideas for ministry but few resources. The Pollys felt led to help and assisted in providing Bibles, clothing, English classes and summer camps. Although the Pollys now live in Savannah, Ga., they have continued to support Czech Baptists for more than ten years, as well as encouraged others to do the same. Partnering with their
church, First Baptist Church of Savannah, the Pollys raised money and recruited volunteers to hold a camp for Roma children in Litomerice, Czech Republic, last summer with Shane McNary, one of CBF’s field personnel. “Fewer than 2 percent of Czechs claim religious affiliation and most will tell you that they do not know what ‘believers’ Bill and Phyllis Polly believe,” said the Pollys. “This area of central Europe is truly a ‘field white unto harvest.’ As you see, we love these people.”
To nominate someone to be featured in an upcoming Fellowship People, e-mail email@example.com. 8
for listening to the Bible By Bo Prosser
This year, join the churches of the Fellowship in listening to the Bible during Lent or another 40-day period. Through the You’ve Got the Time initiative, CBF is able to provide free audio Bibles to everyone who commits to listen to God’s word. The Fellowship is engaging in this project so that together we will be more deeply formed in Christlikeness and better able to fulfill our vision of being the presence of Christ in the world. Here are a few ideas to help make the You’ve Got the Time initiative meaningful for you and your church.
Commit and pray
The Bible is a book alive with the truth of God. Immersing yourself in the truth of God’s printed word will bring formation and transformation to your life. Commit to daily spending at least 28 minutes hearing and internalizing the Bible. Commit to a 40-day journey to studying your way through the New Testament. Pray that you will be faithful to this time. Pray that you will hear God’s truth and act on the transforming words that affect you. Commit to sharing with others in your church the truths that you are learning. Pray for your friends that they will also commit and pray. Pray similarly for your church and that God’s truth will lead you as a congregation to make a difference in God’s kingdom. Commit and pray!
Hear and listen
Hearing involves using your ears, but listening involves both your ears and your eyes. As you listen, try to do this at the same time and in the same place each day. Hear the dramatic reading of each verse and listen attentively. Follow along in your printed Bible. Listen for verses that hold special meaning to your life. Listen for the dramatic emphasis of each passage. Listen for words or phrases that may be different from the reading in your Bible.
Think and pray that God will reveal God’s truth to you in these differences. Hear and listen!
Reflect and respond
After you have spent time hearing and listening, take a few moments to reflect on what you’ve heard. Be quiet and still and let the words and phrases sink in. Ask God to reveal to you the words that you need to hear. Think about the feelings that have emerged as you’ve listened to the passage. After you have reflected on what you’ve heard, write down a few sentences in a journal or a prayer book. These words don’t have to be profound; they don’t even have to be complete sentences. Just write down something that has impacted you in this session, something that seemed important to you. These words may be a prayer, they may be random thoughts or they may be your paraphrase of the passage. Don’t judge your writing; just express something based on the thoughts and feelings of your reflection. Reflect and respond!
Think and share
As you write down thoughts and insights, think on what this means to your life. You probably won’t have flashes of insight every day; don’t be discouraged. Keep thinking, listening and praying that God will reveal to you what you need to hear and know. Think about what you’re hearing and how that affects your life. Think about the transformation that is taking place in your life. Develop opportunities for sharing with others. Every Sunday in your Bible Study class, take time to share some of
the insights of the week. Talk with one another about how your journey is going. Talk about where you have struggled and what you are learning. Talk about passages that have challenged you and passages that have delighted you. Talk around the tables on Wednesday evening. Talk with a Facebook group or in a group e-mail with your friends in your church or other churches. Think and share!
Be creative and interactive
There are many ways to use this material. Use it in small groups. Listen with a group of friends one night a week in homes. Listen alone. Listen with your spouse. Listen with co-workers. Invite neighbors to participate in a listening session with you. Listen as a family and have discussion. Listen with your small children and do art projects around the stories. Listen with your youth and talk about insights. Be creative in how you listen, with whom you listen, when you listen, and what you do for reflection. Preach through some of these passages for your congregation. Teach through some of these passages for your Bible Study class. Pray over some of these passages in your Wednesday evening services. Play some of these passages as part of worship. Give people times to pray and reflect. Give people times to interact with one another and learn from each other. Be creative and interactive.
Bo Prosser is the Fellowship’s coordinator for congregational formation. To learn more about You’ve Got the Time and ordering your free audio Bible, call (800) 545-6552 or go to www.thefellowship.info/ygtt.
Carla Wynn Davis photo
Ben Newell, right, is one of CBFâ€™s field personnel in Helena-West Helena, Ark., where he and his wife, Leonora, have helped build community and hope in one of the 20 poorest counties in the nation.
In one of the nation’s poorest places, the presence of Christ is changing lives
he soil in the Mississippi Delta is rich; most of the people living here are not, financially. In fact, Phillips County, Ark., is one of the poorest places in the United States. And that’s why Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel Ben and Leonora Newell are here. This city, right next to the Mississippi River, had good days once when lumber mills, cotton farms and a large tire manufacturer created jobs aplenty. But those jobs have been gone for decades, and now nearly 4 in 10 people here are living below the federal poverty line. Many don’t have hope that things will ever get better, but the Newells — along with a host of Fellowship partner churches — are out to change that. Committed not to charity but to transformation, the Newells arrived in 2002 with questions, not answers: “What are this community’s hopes, dreams and priorities — and how can we help?” In the years since, they’ve come alongside the community — doing with and not for. It’s part of sharing the gospel not only by words but by hands and feet. And people like Catherine Bahn, a two-time summer ministry intern, can attest that this unique approach to addressing poverty is beginning to make a difference.
“The ministry here, it’s working. It’s accomplishing goals that they’ve set. It’s changing lives; it’s changing people,” she said. “I don’t know what could be better than that.”
Beginning to believe
Frank almost drowned and hadn’t been near the water in more than 40 years. His grandchildren swim in an above-ground pool he bought them, but it haunted him that if something ever happened, he couldn’t rescue them. At the end of his first swimming class, he swam underwater and emerged thanking God for enabling what he thought was impossible. And that story is just the beginning of people who believe in themselves and possibilities more today than they did before the Newells arrived and the ministry began. There’s Zipporah Mondy, who didn’t know she could lead a summer camp for youth until she tried and she did. There’s Tracy Davis, who stumbled upon the ministry one summer and is now the director of the local community center, where she’s the only mother figure some local children will ever know. There’s Vivian Hoskins, who cried the day she saw a group of children playing, sharing and reading in the new community center library.
Long-time resident Earnest Womack finds himself saying the same thing over and over to Ben Newell: “I just don’t believe you, man.” He used to be serious when he said it, thinking Ben’s ideas were just too good to be true for a city in such decline. Now — after what he’s seen and been part of — it’s just a joke. He really does believe in what the body of Christ can do together. A once-condemned community center has been restored. There’s a thriving community garden on the roughest block in the city and two others that together produce 10 tons of food a year. The city pool now has a new pool house, pavilion and two weeks of summer swimming camps led by members of Fellowship partner churches and now, lo— Continue on page 12 cal residents, too. Hundreds of peoAbout the Newells ple of all ages have Ben, from Virginia, and Leonora, from Brazil, met in Richmond, Va., where Ben worked learned to swim, in the business sector and Leonora was an occupational therapist. In 1996, they were and Frank is one. appointed CBF field personnel to Southeast Asia. In 2002, they moved to Helena-West When he was Helena with their three children to start a rural poverty ministry. 11 years old,
“We didn’t have a play space in our community where they can just be children,” she told Leonora. Now, that library room isn’t the only positive place for children and youth. The Newells helped start Imagination Station, an art room where children discover God created them and they can be creators, too. “The kids are in there and they say, ‘Yes, I can dream,’” Leonora said. “For so many, [that] was missing.” But most dreams don’t get far without strong basics like knowing how to read. That’s why the ministry has the Stories on Wheels bus. This mobile library travels throughout Phillips County, reaching children as young as 3 years old. Volunteers read books and Bible stories aloud, and each child takes a
book home. Children learn about the world, other people, God and themselves. “We’re instilling a love for reading and a love for getting to know what our world is all about,” Leonora said. “Our library imparts hope. It’s going to change the face of poverty for these children.”
Coming together Catherine Gibson has lived here for a long time and can see something else changing in the city — people joining together for the greater good. “I see more unity now in Helena than I ever witnessed in my life,” she said. “I’m witnessing black and white coming to the same building to worship God. I’m starting to see the community pull together.” That unity is best seen during the annual All Church Challenge, a two-week missions blitz that brings Fellowship partner churches from all over the country to Phillips County. They help lead children and youth camps, teach swimming, do construction, work in the community gardens and more. Inspired to help their own community, local residents are now
leading some of the ministries. And that’s exactly what the Newells hope for more of. “Local participation is the secret to ownership and long-term sustainability,” Ben said. “If we don’t start getting local people owning this ministry, CBF will always be here. And that’s not what we want, we want the community to stand on its own and be empowered.” Churches that come and participate every year like Hayes Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., have “seen the progress,” said Kristen Muse, the church’s minister to children. “If we didn’t come back year after year, we wouldn’t see what God has done.” People are choosing to follow Christ, to see potential where they once saw none, and to hope for better days ahead in their own lives and community. “Now, we most certainly have a spirit of hope,” said local resident Harold Duncan. “We hope things can be turned around.” About Together for Hope, CBF’s rural poverty initiative The ministry in Helena-West Helena is part of the Fellowship’s 20-year commitment to address poverty in 20 of the nation’s poorest counties, which happen to all be rural areas. Through Together for Hope, which was started in 2001, Fellowship Baptists are coming alongside and learning from relationships formed in these rural communities. For more information or to get involved, visit www.ruralpoverty.net.
Embracing the world
J.V. McKinney photo
Carla Wynn Davis photo
These stories, ministries and relationships are all made possible through individuals and churches that give to CBF’s Offering for Global Missions, which funds the Newells’ ministry and many others throughout the world. “The Offering for Global Missions is paramount to us,” Ben said. Joe Langley from Park Meadows Baptist Church in Waxahachie, One of Leonora Newell’s passions is literacy, particular “It’s our foundation for us to be out Texas, teaches a Bible story during All Church Challenge, a with children. The Newells and CBF partner churches two-week summer missions blitz that brings together hundreds here. And we feel that, and we don’t helped develop a mobile learning library ministry of local volunteers and church members from CBF partnering called Stories on Wheels, which ensures children in take this lightly. We know that we churches across the country. the most rural of areas have access to books. would not be here unless people in the churches felt they could give As important as giving is, going to serve for will be open to seeing the need in your own community, and it will transform you. You and that we would take care of that gift; we’d a few days or a week can transform lives, too. will end up wanting to do something right be good stewards of that; and be the pres“You’re exposed to missions when you then, right there.” ence of Christ in places that they could not come to Helena. You’re exposed to dealing necessarily be on the ground and doing it with poverty,” Leonora said. “Then you go themselves.” By Carla Wynn Davis, CBF Communications to your community and suddenly your eyes
Carla Wynn Davis photo
Kate Hall, left, is a member of Hayes Barton Baptist Church, a CBF partnering congregation in Raleigh, N.C. Several years ago, Hall helped start a summer swimming camp for children, many of whom didn’t know how to swim despite living next to the dangerous currents of the Mississippi River. Now, hundreds of local children, teens and adults have learned to swim.
To give to the CBF Offering for Global Missions, which supports the Newell’s ministry in Arkansas, use the envelope included in this issue or go online to www.thefellowship.info/give. fellowship!
Together for Hope Books can change a child’s life — that’s what Lester Meriwether thinks. And that’s why he started Books for the Border, an effort to place small libraries in the homes of families in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where many counties are among the United States’ poorest. “Lack of literacy skills is a root cause of poverty,” said Meriwether, who leads Literacy ConneXus, the parent organization of Books for the Border. “Children who enter first grade with a limited vocabulary often fall behind in developing reading skills. This can lead to poor grades and ultimately dropping out of school. Jobs for youth and adults lacking a high school education or GED are in short supply. So, addressing literacy needs leads to reducing poverty.” Books for the Border began in March 2008 as a partnership with Together for Hope. Most of the families in Together for Hope’s seven focal counties are Spanish-speaking, so there’s not only a literacy need but also a language challenge. The most important aspect is encouraging and facilitating parents to read to their children — in Spanish or English. Books for the Border focuses on children who live in homes where there
Time credit program catches on in Ziebach County
Carla Wynn Davis photo
In Ziebach County, South Dakota, money doesn’t buy everything, but for a week every summer, a person’s time buys a lot. Several years ago CBF partner Warm Embrace began using time credits at its annual summer sale. Individuals, churches and businesses donate items, and Warm Embrace brings the items to South Dakota to sell at greatly-reduced prices. In 2007, Warm Embrace founders Chris and Dana Thompson started using
may not be any books, magazines or newspapers. At the reading fairs, each family receives a small wooden bookcase, which they decorate before selecting 10 books to fill the shelves. Since the program began, more than 300 families have participated in reading fairs, and thousands of books have been distributed. CBF partner churches have been involved by building bookcases, donating requested books, and helping provide activities during the fairs. This spring a partnership will allow for the biggest reading fair yet — providing nearly 150 home libraries and involving more than 350 people in “celebrating the joy of reading,” said Meriwether, who invites churches to become part of addressing literacy.
time credits, which is a way to exchange goods and services without money. It’s well-received in Ziebach County, which is one of the nation’s poorest places and where Together for Hope, CBF’s rural poverty initiative, has been partnering for years. Every summer Warm Embrace brings a team of volunteers to Bridger, a small community in Ziebach County. Mission team members work alongside local residents, who earn a time credit for each hour they work alongside the team. At the end of the week, residents can use their time credits at the sale to buy items they need — cleaning products, hygiene or baby supplies, dog food and more. “There are no jobs in Bridger and little money” said Chris Thompson. “We can’t fund jobs for people, but rather than just giving items to people, we do a sale. There’s dignity in a purchase. The person controls when, how and what he or she buys.” The Thompsons, members of CBF partner church Second Baptist Church in Liberty, Mo., have been forming relationships in Bridger since 2004. Every summer they’ve seen increased participation in the time credit program. Last summer residents worked 232 hours, and each hour purchased about four items at the sale. “We work alongside and with. The residents own their labor and determine how much they want to invest. They are in control. They have ownership,” Chris said. “In three years we’ve gone from local people skeptical of the idea to local people inviting individuals from other communities to participate in the program. They’re directing the efforts.”
Photo courtesy First Baptist Church
Libraries pave the way to reducing poverty along U.S.-Mexico border
Photo courtesy Books for the Border
Rio Grande Valley
Together for Hope, the Fellowship’s rural poverty initiative, is a 20-year commitment to
addressing poverty in 20 of the nation’s poorest counties. These counties fall into five regions: Mississippi River Delta, Appalachia, Rio Grande Valley, Alabama and South Dakota. The Newells’ ministry in Arkansas (story on pages 10-13) is part of the Mississippi River Delta region.
Self-help housing program prompts powerful changes In Perry County, Ala., where approximately a third of all residents live below the federal poverty line, new home construction is a rare sight to behold — normally. Before now, the county, with a population of nearly 11,000, may have seen one or two new homes built in a given year, said Frances Ford, executive director of Sowing Seeds of Hope, the non-profit organization that gave birth to Together for Hope. But thanks to a $338,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture self-help housing grant that was awarded to Sowing Seeds of Hope last February, 20 of Perry County’s lowincome families currently living in extremely poor conditions are expected to move into their own custom-designed and -built homes during the next two years. The families put in volunteer labor on their own homes and on the homes of other families. One woman in her late 70s, who will become a first-time homeowner through this program, is thrilled that when her children come home to visit, they will be able to stay with her. “For these individuals who have always lived in public housing, it gives hope to their children. It gives pride,” said Ford. “They think, ‘If mama can become a homeowner in her 70s, I can too.’” Individuals and missions teams both from within and outside the community
Kentucky church partners with people of Owsley County The congregation of First Baptist Church in Frankfort, Ky., is more than 100 miles from Owsley County, one of the three counties in Appalachia that are among the 20 poorest in the country. But under the leadership of pastor David Hinson and because some of its members are from Eastern Kentucky and understand the poverty there, the church has made a long-term commitment to help local residents improve their community.
are instrumental components of the program’s success. “It gives [residents] a little boost when volunteers come in and things start happening. This is a major undertaking, and many of our people have never built anything — much less a house — and it seems more than they can do,” said Ford. “When people that know Christ are in the community, they inspire and they give hope. The love of God energizes the community. It just makes things seem better.” The USDA grant is the first selfhelp grant awarded to any group in Alabama in almost 20 years — and has the potential to be renewed when it expires. “Truly you can see the hand of God in this,” said Ford. “People are smiling that haven’t smiled before.” Carla Wynn Davis photo
“There are a lot of people in Owsley County who are invested in serving others,” said Mark Howell, minister of missions at FBC Frankfort. “We are not working there to import Frankfort to Owsley County but to help build up and support the work of the people living there.” At the heart of the church’s efforts is the Emma Quire Mission Center in the town of Booneville. In 2003, First Baptist purchased an old motel, which was renovated to provide housing for teams coming to be on mission in Owsley County. Some of those activities include construction projects, Vacation Bible Schools, food and clothing distribution, sports camps, block parties and other service projects. The center is named for FBC Frankfort missions leader Emma Quire, who was and still is a driving force for the church’s work in Owsley County. “We see our work in Owsley County as an extension of our belief of sharing the gospel,” Howell said. “We are reaching the community and world for Jesus Christ. That is what is behind what we do. Our church has bought into it. We’re investing there. We’re making a difference. We’re providing help to people who need it. It is a win-win situation.” The mission center will be expanded in 2010, adding nearly 4,000 square feet and including a meeting area with a new kitchen, apartment for a missionary, extra storage space for the food ministry and building material storage. About two years ago, First Baptist Church purchased an 88-acre piece of property in Owsley County on which the church will establish a community garden on two acres next to the South Fork of the Kentucky River.
To learn more about Together for Hope, go to www.ruralpoverty.net. The Web site includes information on the five regions, along with videos, photo galleries and contact information. You can also order a free DVD and brochure on Together for Hope by contacting the CBF Store at (888) 801-4223. fellowship!
create opportunities for girls, women
Kidd, the co-ops’ mentor. By choosing their own beads, designing their own patterns, managing their inventory and determining where they will sell their jewelry, the groups have the freedom to make their businesses what they want them to be. “It is helping them understand what it means to work for themselves,” said Kidd. In Arkansas, CBF field personnel Ben and Leonora Newell encourage the 10 teenage girls that make up Delta Jewels to speak about themselves and their crafts to potential customers. “People are very interested in the
roups of girls and women in Helena-West Helena, Ark., and Nada, Ky. — populations that traditionally have not held self-starting jobs — are learning trade and entrepreneurial skills through jewelry cooperatives begun with the help of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel last year. The co-ops — called Delta Jewels in Arkansas and Gorgeous Gals in Kentucky — were designed to give women new business opportunities through which they can achieve financial success and realize their individual gifts and skills, said Wanda
In Helena-West Helena, Ark., teenagers generated $20,000 in jewelry sales the first year and used the funds to purchase goods for the community’s poorest families.
serve | 16
products because of the stories of our girls,” said Ben Newell. “When we visited a group of ladies at [a local church], one of our tenth graders, Chyna Ward, shared, ‘I had never thought in my life that I could make something that someone would love to buy.’ This experience is teaching her that the world has endless opportunities.” In these communities where poverty is high and jobs are scarce, the jewelry ministry is also helping by teaching the importance of giving back. Each jewelrymaker puts 10 percent of her take-home pay from jewelry sales into a community fund that helps support a local ministry or community betterment project. Delta Jewels, which generated approximately $20,000 in sales its first year, bought goods and kitchen supplies for 200 of the community’s poorest families last Christmas. Gorgeous Gals, which has made approximately $5,000 to date, has chosen to give every single senior adult family in Nada — that’s 18 families — a $25 grocery store gift card this Christmas. As the groups congeal, their members are also learning to give and share with each other. Meeting twice a week for devotion, jewelry making, and, in the case of Gorgeous Gals, a meal, the groups are each in their own right a kind of family. “While they work, the girls catch up with each other, talk about issues they’re having, whatever they want to. It’s a safe, sacred place,” said Newell. From Kidd’s perspective, the coops’ big benefits are in the relationships that are being formed and the sense of empowerment that comes from creating something oneself. “Most came together to make money, and found something very different,” she said. __________________________________ Go online to www.youtube.com/cbfvideo to watch a video on Delta Jewels. It’s one of 70 videos on the CBF YouTube chanel.
To learn about opportunities to serve in some of the country’s poorest counties, contact Chris Boltin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 352-8741.
fellowship! Small Groups winter 2010
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.
1. Visit www.ruralpoverty.net to learn more about the ministry of Together for Hope in the five regions addressed in this issue of fellowship! Especially pay attention to the links in the right-hand sidebar on “Resources about community development.” Print out and make a copy of “Community Assets Inventory” and “Church Inventory of Assets” for each group member. 2. Read through fellowship! and be prepared to guide group members in discovering Together for Hope’s (TFH) approach to missional engagement. You may also find “Charity vs. Community Development” from www.ruralpoverty.net helpful. 3. Have multiple copies of fellowship! available for group members. 4. Gather chart paper, markers, paper and pens.
During the Session: 1. Begin the discussion by asking group members to talk about your church’s most recent missional efforts in your community or elsewhere. Discuss your activity, your goals, the response of those involved (both from the congregation and from the community), etc. Consider broad categories such as “time,” “relationships” and “needs.” List on chart paper descriptors of your mission as it relates to these categories. 2. Divide group into five smaller groups and assign each an article from one of the five TFH regions. Pass out paper and pens to each group. As groups read the article together, ask them to list the characteristics of mission as embodied in each of the TFH regions. Again, you may ask groups to consider the same categories as listed in Step 1. 3. In large group, ask each small group to share responses. Note answers on chart paper. 4. Explain that Together for Hope is built on an assets-based community development model. Share with the group the comparison chart of charity versus community development from www.ruralpoverty.net. You might make a game of it! 5. Read and discuss these biblical texts together from an assetsbased community development perspective: Mark 2:1-5; Mark 6:35-44; Acts 4:35-44; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. Ask the group to consider other texts that indicate this approach to ministry.
6. Next, split the group in half (or into smaller groups, if you have a large group). 7. Instruct one group to complete the “Church Inventory of Assets” handout and consider the implications of assets-based community development for the way you function as a church. What changes might be required in order to approach ministry from this model?
ve baptiSt fellowShip
Serving Christia ns and church es as they discove r and fulfill their God-given mission each summer at the all Church Challenge, a two-week missions blitz that brings Cbf partner churches phillips County, to arkansas, one of the country’s counties, children poorest have the opportun in camps, swim ity to participa clinics te more about together and art workshops. learn initiative, on pages for hope, Cbf’s rural poverty 10-16.
Before the Session:
How to use this page
Together r Hofop e
8. Instruct the other group to complete the “Inventory of Community Assets” handout and consider the implications of assets-based community development for the way your church engages in mission. What changes might be required in order to approach missional engagement from this model? 9. Return to large group and share reflections. Brainstorm ways that you might share your insights with others who might not be a part of the small group, especially with church staff, deacon leadership, mission committee members and nominating committee members. 10. Conclude your session with prayer for your church, your mission and your community.
After the Session: 1. Follow up with others who might need to know some of the information you gained during the session. 2. Join others in the conversation around assets-based community development on the CBF blog at www.thefellowship.info/blog. Or become a part of an online community at fellowshipportal.ning. com/groups under “Together for Hope.” 3. To see firsthand the Together for Hope model, plan a mission trip to one of the focal regions. Contact Chris Boltin at cboltin@ thefellowship.info for assistance.
Planning a summer mission trip ...
Get peace of mind with insurance specifically for mission teams Staying healthy on an overseas mission trip is a concern, and with the H1N1 flu and other risks, people want to be prepared. Should you get sick or need to see a doctor, how much will it cost to see a doctor in another country? The Church Benefits Board has created www.fellowshiptravel.org, a one-stop resource to purchase international medical insurance at low rates. Policies and Your Peace of Mind is our Mission discounts are available for groups, individuals, seniors, students and just about anyone traveling overseas. Should you or someone in your group get sick and need to be transported home on the next available flight, policies from fellowshiptravel.org cover medical evacuations which, without coverage, would normally cost thousands of dollars.
Learn from those whoâ€™ve gone before you
Each year, dozens of CBF partner churches send teams around the world to serve at CBF ministry sites and alongside field personnel. By connecting with other churches that have been or are headed to the same location as your team, you can enhance your preparation and travel experience. Get recommendations on the major and minor aspects of serving in a specific location, details such as lodging, food, local travel, attractions, needed supplies and cultural challenges. And consider connecting with teams that will also be working at your destination this summer and compare plans to avoid unnecessary duplication. For example, the same group of children may hear the same Bible study several times throughout a summer and lose interest. Coordinate with other teams so youâ€™ll be sure to offer the kids an enriching experience each week. To connect with other churches and missions teams, contact Chris Boltin at email@example.com or Each summer, mission teams from around the country lead six weeks of camp at Touching Miami with Love. (800) 352-8741. 18
consider these resources and ideas Schedule a visit from one of CBF’s field personnel Before your mission team travels to work on location with CBF field personnel, consider inviting field personnel to visit your church. By engaging with field personnel in person, members of your mission team will have a chance to ask questions, as well as learn what to expect and ways they can prepare for the mission experience. Through the Fellowship’s speakers bureau, face2face, CBF staff can locate and confirm a speaker and assist in planning the logistics of a visit. A personal visit goes beyond e-mail and phone calls, helping your mission team and church build a personal relationship with CBF field personnel. As field personnel learn about and experience your church, they are better able to help your mission team more fully discover and fulfill its ministry. Contact the speakers bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 352-8751.
Be sure team members are serving in ways God has gifted them Consider using a skills or gifts inventory with your mission team members before the trip. These inventories can often serve as good team building exercises and help to highlight people’s area of interest. You might also want to engage the team in a one-day missions project before the trip and provide opportunities for members to debrief the experience. By identifying people’s areas of interest and skills ahead of time, other aspects of the trip will more easily fall into place. “Remember that people want to feel needed and know that their skills and talents are being utilized,” said Chris Boltin, CBF’s short-term missions manager. “One of the worst things that can happen on a mission trip is that team members feel disconnected. Every member needs to feel that their presence on the team makes a difference.” Contact Boltin at email@example.com or (800) 352-8741 for more on these ideas and suggested resources.
Help your team be spiritually prepared for your summer trip by using missional formation resources such as: Prayers of the People Learn more about others engaged in missional endeavors through this year-long prayer guide for CBF missions and ministries. Order a free copy for each member of your team. Commit to read, reflect and pray in preparation for your trip. During preparation meetings, spend time praying for the ministry you will be joining and for the people you will encounter and reflecting on your experience during this spiritual preparation. Affect This magazine for adults includes mission stories as well as instructions for use with small groups, during church-wide study and around the table at home. Consider using Affect to: • Study a topic that relates to the ministry type you’ll be doing. (A full list of topics is available online.) • Leading up to the mission experience, use the worship
Missions teams still needed this summer If you are still discerning where your missions team might serve this summer, take a look at the list below. These CBF ministry sites still need teams: • Homestead, Fla. — Summer camps • Brooklyn, N.Y. — Summer camps • Southeastern U.S. — Construction projects • Kentucky — Rural poverty ministry • Miami, Fla. — Summer camps • New Jersey — Construction projects • North Carolina — Poverty ministry • Slovakia — Medical ministries • Greece — Various ministries • Spain — Ministry with immigrants • Lebanon — Various ministries • Chile — Various ministries To learn more about these opportunities, contact Chris Boltin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 352-8741.
Find a way to involve the entire congregation
When Sunset Canyon Baptist Church in Dripping Springs, Texas, began planning Cathy and Timothy Zhong a mission trip to China as part serve as pastors of the of its ongoing partnership with Pengzhou Church in the Sichuan province. a church in the Sichuan province, they decided to include a tangible project that would involve the whole church. They asked CBF field personnel Bill and Michelle Cayard, whom they would be serving alongside, what might be useful to the Sichuan church and its leaders. The Cayards suggested purchasing a Bible commentary set for the couple that pastors the church. “To purchase a commentary set is far beyond the ability of pastors we work with,” said Michelle Cayard. “Its total price may be more than the pastor’s total income for the year. Consequently, they usually have very few resources to aid in preparing sermons and Bible studies. The commentaries can also be used by lay leaders who assist the pastors in serving small groups of believers who meet in the villages.” Sunset Canyon challenged its Sunday school classes and individuals to raise money to purchase a book or books in the set, which ranged in from $20 to $30 each. The congregation raised enough funds to purchase the entire 60-book set, and when the mission team traveled to China in August, they presented it to the pastors. “Our heart is to birth and nurture a missional heart in every believer,” said Sunset Canyon pastor Lonny Poe. “After each mission trip or endeavor we have a presentation during worship of what was accomplished. Our intent is to celebrate the spiritual giftedness of our people, to keep missions at the forefront of our purpose, and to involve the entire body in kingdom work.” CBF Photo
Reflect and be open to God’s movement
mission moments, “Table Talk at Church” plan and mission team requests to educate your congregation. • Use the small groups lesson plan to prepare participants with Bible Study, prayer and missional reflection during the Sunday School hour. • If your trip is designed for families, encourage parents to use the “Table Talk” at Home section from Affect with their children.
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Being “Christ” in Different Religious Cultures Discover the World’s Major Religious Traditions
Invest in the future by in Host a college student as a ministry intern
What better way to invest in the future of the church than to have a college student serve your church during the summer. Through the Fellowship’s Collegiate Congregational Internships, your church is matched with a student who is exploring a vocational call to church 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. In addition to opportunities to minister, your church provides the student with an overview of the church’s ministry, food and housing, and churchrelated travel and ministry expenses. There are only 100 students placed each summer, so encourage your church to apply today at www.thefellowship.info/collegeinternship.
Serve as a teaching congregation for a ministry resident Each year the Fellowship’s Initiative for Ministerial Excellence has provided 10 two-year ministry residencies for graduating students from five CBF partner schools: Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary, Campbell University Divinity School, Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology and Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University. Teaching churches provide residents with a healthy environment
as the new minister hones his or her ministry skills and develops rhythms and practices for long-term health excellence in ministry. These intentional first placements are important for the long-term interests of congregations and ongoing pastoral excellence. Go to www.thefellowship.info/ministers/residency to learn more about how your church can become a teaching church.
Provide resources for growth giftedness and themselves, as well as be challenged to be the presence of Christ in their world. Order Klesis through the CBF Store by calling (888) 801-4223 or go to www.thefellowship.info/thecbfstore. PO Box 450329 • Atlanta, Georgia 31145 www.thefellowship.info • 770.220.1600
Invite young Baptists to lead worship and preach
Carla Wynn Davis photo
These leadership experiences can be valuable to the formation of young Baptists, allowing them to share their perspective and ideas with the church, as well as using the gifts God has given them. Consider holding an annual youth Sunday or college Sunday and invite students to lead all aspects of the worship
At the annual college gathering during CBF’s General Assembly, college students explore issues of justice and how God would have them respond.
service. Or, when your pastor is out of town, contact a local seminary to identify students who might serve as a guest preacher. A list of CBF partner seminaries can be found at www.thefellowship.info/schools.
Carla Wynn Davis photo
Many young Baptists and college students are making important decisions concerning career and life paths. Consider doing a group study for young adults using Klesis: God’s Call and the Journey of Faith. This resource from the Fellowship helps Christians consider how God might be calling them. Young adults will increase their understanding of call, spiritual
Send a student to The Charlotte Sessions When the Fellowship’s annual General Assembly comes to Charlotte, N.C., this June 23-26, students will gather for a special collegiate event called The Charlotte Sessions. This is the third year students have gathered for this weeklong event, which features unique student programming and also an opportunity to participate in the overall Assembly. College students pay a registration fee of approximately $150 to register for the Sessions, plus they pay their own travel expenses. Consider holding a fundraiser or offering to pay for part of the expenses so that cash-strapped students can participate in this exciting event. If you’d like to help offset the costs for other students around the country, give by using the envelope in this issue and writing “Charlotte Sessions” in the memo line. Learn more about this year’s Assembly at www.thefellowship.info/assembly.
nvesting in young Baptists
When students lead worship, they have opportunity to use the gifts God has given them.
Every summer, the Fellowship sends undergraduate and graduate students on missions experiences around the world. One unique opportunity this summer is a road trip to explore the five ministry sites of Together for Hope, the Fellowshipâ€™s rural poverty initiative. Students will serve at each site and conclude the road trip in Washington, D.C., where they will be advocates for legislative change that could help the nationâ€™s poorest people. These students will be challenged to become catalysts for addressing poverty and injustice in their own community. Encourage students you know to participate and learn more at www.studentdotgo.org.
J.V. McKinney photo
Tell a student about missions opportunities
Missions opportunities have givenÂ many young adults the opportunity to lead and explore ways God is calling them to serve.
Huff helped build Foundation with generous, untiring work By Don Durham CBF Foundation President
on Henry as CBF’s chief legal counsel in its earliest tumultuous days. “Henry Huff was ‘counsel’ in the very best sense of the word,” Sherman said. “It wasn’t just that he knew the law, he had good sense.” f not for Henry Huff, the Cooperative Henry spent tireless volunteer hours for CBF, addressing Baptist Fellowship Foundation would emergency legal issues with employee insurance and retirenot exist as we know it today. Henry ment in the same year the CBF Foundation was created. passed away a little less than a year Sherman remembers gratefully, “Henry Huff didn’t make a ago. He left many tangible and intangible legacies of his faithlot of noise, but when I needed help he spoke up.” fulness. In CBF life, the CBF Foundation is the most visible. In addition to Henry’s dedication to the Foundation, he was Pat Ayres, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s second moda committed member of Mars Hill Baptist Church. After a long erator, past Foundation board chair, and current Foundation legal career in Louisville, Ky., Henry and his wife, Mary, retired board member, recalls, “Henry and Judge Bill Turnage were to Mars Hill, N.C., and invested themselves in their friends, the most consistent voices in early Coordinating Councils, saytheir community, Mars Hill College and their church. ing CBF needed a Foundation. Finally, they got together with A. C. Honeycutt, long-time member of Mars Hill Baptist Tommy Boland and made it happen.” Church, described Henry as, “a voice we all trusted any time there After helping to create CBF Foundation, Henry chaired its was an important question in the life of the church. Because of organizing board and served as board member for a total of Henry’s intellect, his background and his unquestioned loyalty to eight years, until 2002. this congregation he was one of our most trusted members.” Turnage remembers Henry as, “A fine man and a good lawOne of my earliest acts as president of CBF Foundation was yer who was known to have the utmost integrity.” to meet with Henry for lunch in Asheville, N.C. I asked Mr. As CBF was formed in the early 1990s, one of the most Huff what inspired him to lead in the creation of the Foundacritical issues of the day was the need to trust that dollars tion. As I sat with one of the most quiet and unassuming men I were being used in good faith in ways that honored the deep have ever met I heard these words, “There was nothing special convictions of the Baptists who gave them. about what we did. We simply knew that if CBF was going to “Henry saw earlier than anyone else that CBF would need a live beyond us, it would need a strong foundation — figuraFoundation to receive, manage and distribute the gifts of faithtively and literally — so we started building one.” ful CBF Baptists,” Turnage said. Today, the CBF Foundation manages over $30 million Cecil Sherman, CBF’s first coordinator, depended heavily dollars. In 2008 the Foundation distributed $779,748.13 for Fellowship causes, churches, and CBF state and regional networks. Not only did Henry help create CBF Foundation, he also did his part to ensure its future. Henry included a generous contribution to the Foundation’s endowment in his will. That simple bequest in his will, while very generous, was merely a final punctuation mark on a lifelong story of service and generosity. Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Foundation in particular, and the larger Fellowship movement in general, exists today because of the generous and untiring work of Henry Huff and many others like him. Let us not forget the legacy they’ve left us. Thank you, Henry. Rest in Peace. You’ve Don Durham, left, presented Henry Huff with a token of appreciation in 2002 when he earned it. completed his years of service with the CBF Foundation Board.
If you would like more information about giving through CBF Foundation to permanent endowments benefiting CBF, your church, or any Fellowship ministry partner, contact Jennifer Graham at email@example.com or (800) 352-8741. 22
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.
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
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.
$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. Monday, February 22
Tuesday, February 23
Wednesday, February 24
Thursday, February 25
12:45 p.m. • Welcome 1:30 p.m. • Diana Butler Bass 2:30-3 p.m. • Dialogue with Diana Butler Bass 3:30 p.m. • Diana Butler Bass 4:30 p.m. • Dialogue with Diana Butler Bass 5:30 • Dinner
7:30-8:30 a.m. • Breakfast
7:30-8:30 a.m. • Breakfast
7:30- 8:30 a.m. • Breakfast
9 a.m. • Worship
9 a.m. • Worship
9 a.m. • Ministry Network Gatherings
10-11:30 a.m. • Workshop Session I
10-10:45 a.m. • Dave Odom
11 a.m. • Worship, Closing Gathering
11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. • Lunch
11 a.m. • Dialogue with Dave Odom
1:30-2:30 p.m. • Dave Odom
11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. • Lunch
3-3:45 p.m. • Dialogue with Dave Odom
2-3:30 p.m. • Workshop Session II
5:30 p.m. • Dinner
6 p.m. • Small Group Hosted Dinner Options
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 2930 Flowers Road South, Suite 133 Atlanta, GA 30341 www.thefellowship.info • (800) 352-8741
Want to be a brighter light for the world?
your passion. Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly June 23-26, 2010 | Charlotte, N.C.
And so we are ... called
(1 John 3:1) We all need a light bulb moment every now and then — a moment of self-discovery that lights our life with purpose and passion for things that matter. At the Fellowship’s General Assembly, you encounter the world and ways God calls you to shine a light of love, peace and hope. The 20th annual Assembly is June 23-26, 2010, in Charlotte, N.C. Come to discover your passion; come to explore your calling and how God could use you; come because the light you find may just light the world. Learn more and register for free at www.thefellowship.info/assembly.
Bill Leonard Thursday evening speaker
Lauren Winner Friday evening speaker
2010 Assembly theme: “And so we are” (1 John 3:1)
Published on Dec 15, 2009