STRONGER CHURCH CONFERENCES: NEW LOCATIONS
Make 2018 the year you take some new steps to strengthen yourself and your church ministry by attending a Stronger Church Conference, offering valuable help in three areas: discipleship, church revitalization, and church planting. You will want to come and bring with you the deacons and other leaders from your church. The registration fee for an individual ...more
GREAT FUN AT CAMP MOOSE-ON-THE-LOOSE VBS!
Outdoor fun and adventure await in RBP's 2018 Vacation Bible School program, Camp Moose-on-the-Loose: Discovering God’s Forever Forgiveness. Kids will join Bruce the Moose as they experience camp fun, complete with tents, campfires, canoes, and wildlife. Through the lessons, kids will learn about the life of Christ as seen through the eyes of Peter, and ...more
California wildfires are once again in the news. People’s lives have been affected. Property has been lost. As we watch the reports, our hearts go out to the victims and we are stirred to respond. Our association of Regular Baptist Churches assists sister churches that experience loss. On the tails of financially helping hurricane victims from Texas and Florida churches, we ...more
Need to get away? About two hours northwest of Chicago, between Madison and Milwaukee, lies a secluded wooded retreat known as Cedarly Retreat Center. After retiring from GARBC chaplaincy, Chaplain Andy Hagen and his wife, Nancy, now direct the Cedarly ministry. Cedarly is part of the Pastors Retreat Network, offering five-day retreats to pastors and pastor couples. As the Cedarly website states, "Our program balances solitude and community time. Scripture reading and private study are at the heart of the experience. . . . The absence of phones, television, calendars, and the demands of daily living helps guests rest, reflect, pray, seek God, and remember the reason they entered ministry."
(For additional listing of retreat centers, see GARBC.org.)
Cardboard testimonies is a powerful tool that churches across the country are using to present and illustrate the power of the gospel.
The following explanation of cardboard testimonies is from Engageworship.com: "It is a way of helping people share what God has done in their lives in a simple but powerful way. People are asked to write on one side of the card a situation or state they were in before God intervened, and then on the other side where they are at now. They should attempt to do this in as few words as possible---for example: broken/healed, lost/found, friendless/friend of God, wandering/purposeful, etc. Then people line up in front of the congregation and read out the first side, then turn it over and read the second. We interspersed this with the singing of a worship song like 'How great is our God', 'How great thou art' or 'Awesome God', so that God gets all the glory for the transformations."
Our church used the tool of cardboard testimonies for the following reasons:
In a postmodern world, story is so important. Sharing stories of the gospel has great power!
We had recently moved into our new building, and wanted to remind people why we made that major financial building investment.
Our goal is to make more and better disciples. We are addicted to changed lives.
So many at our church are newer to faith in Christ. We thought it would be a powerful way for them to share their story in a public format.
We sent an e-mail to a large group of people, hoping that half would want to participate. I was surprised when approximately 90 percent said yes, so we made our testimony time longer than originally planned. I asked them to send me what they intended to put on each side of their cardboards. Very few needed editing, but some people needed help in writing appropriate descriptions.
The response to the cardboard testimonies was overwhelming. The gospel was clearly proclaimed, people trusted Christ, and those who participated truly knew they played a part of illustrating and explaining the gospel. It was emotional for me, as I've watched most of those lives change in the past few years. I lived their testimonies with them. It truly was one of the highlights of my ministry life.
If you would like to do cardboard testimonies and want help from our church (the email we sent to participants, etc.), please e-mail me.
David Whiting, pastor Northridge Church (a Baptist Church) Rochester, N.Y.
Veterans Day Recognition
Our church added a new event to its community calendar for Veterans Day. The church hosted a community brunch for veterans and family members with the theme “The Price of Freedom.” Retired Army Chaplain James May, who was endorsed by the GARBC, spoke to the gathering of about 65 people. He shared from his experiences in the military and presented the gospel. Each attendee received a copy of the booklet The Greatest Soldier Who Ever Lived, provided with the help of Chaplain John Murdoch, director of Regular Baptist Chaplaincy Ministries.
In addition to the program, everyone enjoyed a brunch that church members prepared. Several members also provided vocal and instrumental music. The morning provided an excellent opportunity to connect with and honor those who fought for our political freedom and, most importantly, to tell them of the greatest freedom anyone can ever know, which was purchased by Jesus Christ.
Pastor Jeffrey Howell Ministry intern Ryan Schildroth Calvary Baptist Church Jersey Shore, Pa. (reprinted with permission from Baptist Bulletin)
[Note from Pastor Howell: "Ministry intern Ryan Schildroth was the one who oversaw the entire outreach ministry to veterans as one of his required projects for graduation from BBS. It was Ryan who took my idea and made it a reality. Good job, Ryan!"]