North Star Update A PUBLICATION OF THE MINNESOTA BAPTIST ASSOCIATION Inside This Issue: Fellowship Foundations
State Men’s Fellowship
State Ladies’ Fellowship
State Men’s poster
Calendar February 19-20: State Men’s Retreat in Brainerd (see inside) March 19-20: State Ladies’ Retreat in Owatonna (see inside) April 19-20: MBA Pastors & Wives Fellowship in New Ulm
Volume IV, Issue 1
January 31, 2010
Perspectives on Statewide Ministry: The MBA
Rural Ministry versus Urban Ministry By: Pastor (The following is the first of two articles on a perspective on the statewide ministry of the MBA. The second article by Brother Barr will appear in the next issue of the Update.)
A few years ago, I found myself at a mission’s conference listening to a missionary develop an interesting interpretation of Acts 1:8. He rejected the common idea that the Gospel begins in the reader’s locality and expands ever outward. As an alternative, he claimed this passage established a Biblical mandate for focusing mission endeavors on urban centers. His logic went like this: (1) Jerusalem was a city, (2) most of the people who lived in Judea and Samaria lived in cities like Antioch, and (3) when Paul went on missionary journeys, he spent most of his time in cities. So he concluded that church planters and pastors
Timothy Barr, First Baptist, Adrian, MN
should focus their efforts on urban settings where the largest number of people can be reached in the least amount of time. His presentation was given with humility and integrity; most who heard it found it logical and compelling. As for me, I walked away greatly troubled. I found myself pondering David’s rural and humble beginnings, Amos’ agricultural language, and Jesus’ frequent ministry to the rural communities of Palestine. Were these rural influences to be discarded simply because the book of Acts records that Paul spent most of his time ministering in cities? It seemed unwise. It also seemed unwise to pit urban ministry against rural ministry. Is not Christ best served when His people work together for the furtherance of His glory? I would propose that rural
and urban ministries share at least three touch points which bind our ministries together. First, we equally face the ravages of sin. Adultery, murder, rebellion among children, and every other kind of sin are common in both settings. Unbelievers live in towns of 500 and in cities of 500,000 and they evidence their depravity equally well in both settings. Second, we commonly feel inadequate for the task. Every church, rural and urban alike, must trust that Christ will build His church in their community (Matt. 16:18). The unimaginable numbers of people in a city is just as daunting as the closed networks that develop in rural towns. Churches in both settings must learn to be fully dependent upon Continued on page 4
June 25-26: MBA Annual Meeting, Coon Rapids
Christmas at Westbrook Sunday, December 20, the members of Immanuel Baptist in Westbrook participated in two time-honored traditions: their choir musical program and their Christmas missionary party. The choir presented selections from Herald the News by Glenn & Jan Christianson in the morning worship service. Missionary appointee John Ball presented
his future ministry in Uruguay before a Salisbury steak dinner prepared by the ladies of the church and served in the festively decorated fellowship hall. John brought a Bible challenge after the meal, and then John, his wife Kristen, and children Ellie, Jacob and Evie opened the many gifts from the Immanuel Baptist Church family.
John & Kristen Ball with daughter Ellie and son Jacob
North Star Update
Fellowship Foundations By Rev. Robert I’m thinking spring!! It is hard to make plans during Minnesota winter when there is a need to drive on many of our roads to fulfill our programs. As reported in our last update, my opportunity to serve Immanuel Baptist Church, Westbrook, was cancelled by Pastor Rob Adams (Debby) due to very inclement weather over the Christmas season. That ministry opportunity has been rescheduled for March 21. However, on January 3 we
Fuller, Sr., Interim State Missionary
were able to fulfill the request to supply the pulpit at Rockford Baptist, pastor Roger Louks (Sherrie). We once again enjoyed great fellowship with the good folks there, and to preach and present some detail on the MBA. We enjoyed a delicious meal and fellowship at the home of one of the families of the church. I attended the Board of Trustees Executive and Full Board Meetings of the MBA as an ex-officio member on Janu-
ary 11. The Board met at Community Baptist Church, New Prague, Pastor Gerald Stephens (Dana). Bro. Stephens is also the President of our Association. There was good discussion on a variety of subjects. Depending on the weather, we have some ministries scheduled for later in January, into February and March, and on into June. There is available time to serve you or your church. Please contact me as needed.
State Men’s Fellowship, February 19-20: Tools for the Task The men of the churches of the MBA will meet together for a great time of fellowship Friday February 19th through Saturday the 20th. This year’s conference will be at First Baptist Church, Baxter, MN. The speakers are Dr. Julian Suarez from Faith Baptist Church in St. Paul, Rev. Doug Roman from Bible Baptist Church in Otsego, and Dr. Jonathan Pratt of Central Seminary. There will also be a fishing
tournament before the conference begins, 2 pm on the 19th. Registration for the tournament is $5, and for the rest of the conference $15 (for both, $20). There is more information on line at www.mbaoc.org on the Men’s Fellowship Page. The men will register by church this year. There is a link to the registration form on the website. Plan now to attend. If you have questions contact Pastor Tim Barr at (507)
827-2473 or Pastor Greg Linscott at (507) 537-6919.
State Ladies Fellowship March 19-20 The theme for the 2010 State Ladies Retreat is “Through the Roof.” The retreat is scheduled for March 19-20, and will be held at Grace Baptist Church in Owatonna, MN. Registration will be open from 5:30 – 6:30 pm on Friday evening. The opening session will begin at 6:30 pm on Friday. This year’s main guest speaker is Colene Price. Mrs. Price teaches at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in the areas of Women’s Ministry,
Children’s Ministry, and Speech. The other speakers for the conference will be Suzanne Rogers from Willmar, Wendy Larson from Owatonna, Karen Hime from Minneapolis, Judy Bergsner from Brainerd, and Rebecca Straub from Plymouth. The cost of this year’s conference is $20. Registrations should be sent to Deb Boldt at 322 Woodland Dr. in Owatonna, MN 55060 (email@example.com).
Prayer requests should be sent to Betty Huebscher. Her address is 12575 75th St. North, in Stillwater, MN 55082 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Reading points should be sent to Bev Snow. She resides at 22956 St. Francis Blvd., St. Francis, MN 55070 (email@example.com). Set these dates aside and plan to attend. Watch for the information coming out from your church.
Volume IV, Issue 1
A PUBLICATION OF THE MINNESOTA BAPTIST ASSOCIATION PO Box 527 Willmar, MN 56201-0527
We’re on the web! http:www.mbaoc.org
MBA Contacts Minnesota Baptist Association
Rural versus Urban Ministry, continued from front page
Rev. Gerald Stephens, President Community Baptist Church PO Box 212 New Prague, MN 56071 (952) 758-3287 firstname.lastname@example.org Interim State Missionary Rev. Robert Fuller, St. 1549 118th Lane NW
Christ. Finally, we worship the same God. On any given Sunday in Minnesota, God is being worshipped in both urban and rural churches. Our common love for Christ and our standing in Him bind us far more tightly than the cultures of our commu-
nities separate us. We can both sing, A Mighty Fortress is Our God and mean it. Maybe we would be better served to imagine ourselves engaged in the same task. Together, the urban and rural churches of the MBA should
seek to spread the Gospel in our state. After all, both the cities and rural towns of Minnesota would have been in the “remotest parts of the earth” when Paul was alive.
Coon Rapids, MN 55448 (763) 568-4078 email@example.com MBA Office firstname.lastname@example.org Minnesota Baptist Association PO Box 527 Willmar, MN 56201-0527 Send Contributions to: Mr. Brian Veth, MBA Treasurer c/o Coon Rapids Baptist Church 11164 Hanson Blvd. Coon Rapids, MN 55433 Send Update Articles and Pictures to: email@example.com North Star Update Editor 315 S. Payne St. New Ulm, MN 56073 (507) 354-3323
Be sure to get news in to the Editor soon. Our next issue will come out near the end of February. We will focus more on the Ladies Retreat in that issue.