PRECONFERENCE TRAINING: MINISTERING IN A POLITICALLY POLAR ENVIRONMENT AND TO TRANSGENDER PEOPLE
Manning Brown, director of Regular Baptist Chaplaincy, invites all interested people to attend chaplaincy training on Tuesday, June 26, 12:30–4:30 p.m., at the 2018 GARBC Conference site, Hamilton Hills Church, Fishers, Indiana. Ch. Pam Russell will be speaking on ministering to our government officials and overcoming the challenges of ...more
BROTHERHOOD MUTUAL: INSURANCE PROVIDER TO GARBC CHURCHES
The GARBC is teaming with Brotherhood Mutual to offer an insurance resource for churches. View a video of John Greening, GARBC national representative, introducing this partnership. Every week it seems that news outlets report another disaster. Don’t let property damage, accidents, and other circumstances hinder your ministry. Brotherhood Mutual offers a host of insurance ...more
Bringing the Church to Your Community "If your church closed down today, would your town know that you were gone? Would they miss you?" When my older brother posed these questions to me a few years back, I had to admit that if my church were to close, it was possible that the majority of our city would never know or even care. Over the past several years I have sought to change the DNA of my church so that we pursue sinners through the activities, programs, and processes within the church, but also through tangible actions that bring the church to the community.
This past year we have seen some success in these endeavors. This past spring our city was hit by severe flooding. We contacted the mayor's office to find out what we could do to help. They suggested that we help clean fences at the riverwalk when the waters subsided, and we gladly agreed. To our surprise, a photographer from the local paper appeared, took pictures, and interviewed several of our members who were serving in the cleanup. A few weeks later, we held our annual wrap-up party at the local pool and had a baptism there. We had 40--60 visitors at the baptism, and one of those visitors was the photographer from the local paper. A picture from the event appeared on the front page of the paper the following day. (Read "Church Members Seen throughout Indiana Community" at BaptistBulletin.org.)
Opportunities such as these go a long way in getting the news out to our community that there is a church in town that loves God and loves their city. Every August our community celebrates Strassenfest, and our church, working through the Chamber of Commerce, sets up a table to distribute free water to passersby. This water giveaway enables us to make contact with 600--1,200 of our neighbors. Another thing we do annually is host a community outdoor church service in the heart of Jasper called Church in the Park. This church service consists of a free breakfast, church service, free lunch, and other special events in the afternoon. Taking place along a busy walking path, this service gives our church a very visible presence in the community.
We have not found one great idea that makes our church visible and viable in the community, but we are constantly trying new ideas and methods to reach and engage our community with the gospel message.
David King, pastor Fellowship Baptist Church Jasper, Ind.
Trunk or Treat Americans were expected to spend an average of $66 on Halloween last year, according to the National Retail Association. Most Christians would view such a large investment of money in Halloween as a terrible waste. Fair Haven Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kan., led by Pastor Nathan Gast, decided to use their "treat" money to invest in the sharing the gospel and befriending their community.
During Kansas City's trick-or-treating hours, Fair Haven Baptist Church held an outreach project called “Trunk or Treat.” Church members parked their cars, which they had decorated, around the parameter of the church parking lot and handed out candy to neighborhood families who were trick-or-treating. Along with enjoying free hot dogs, soda pop, and hot chocolate, kids and parents received church information and gospel tracts. Children also enjoyed a free moon bounce and entered a free drawing for a boy’s and girl’s scooter. A miniature remote control racetrack set up alongside one of the parked cars advertised the church’s upcoming VBS, RBP's “Rev It Up, Full Throttle for God.”
With 350--400 members of the community taking advantage of the safe, fun, and free family-friendly event, the night became an excellent way for a church of only 40 members to share the gospel and meet the community. Through guests registering for the drawing for the scooters, the church had the opportunity to follow up with approximately 150 children and potential church families. (Read "Church Holds October 31 'Trunk Or Treat' " at BaptistBulletin.org.)
Sanctity of Life Celebration Does your church underscore the importance of preserving life? You have a great opportunity to promote pro-life values with your church family by celebrating Sanctity of Life Sunday on Jan. 22, 2012.
Rustic Hills Baptist Church, Colorado Springs, Colo., supported Sanctity of Life this past year by sponsoring "Baby Bottle Boomerang." Baptists for Life, a Biblically-based pro-life ministry, supplied the church with specially marked baby bottles. Pastor Stan Lightfoot encouraged church families and individuals to fill their bottles with nickles, dimes and quarters. The pro-life endeavor was capped by a visit to the church by Tom Lothamer, director of Baptists for Life, who received the money collected from the "baby bottle" donations on behalf of his ministry.
Preparing Teens for an International Missions Trip
Youth leaders Nikolai and Kristi Payne recently returned from taking a team of 14 teens on an ambitious 10-day trip to Guatemala. As you read of their trip in the Baptist Bulletin, the Paynes' careful preparation of their church's teens is evident. Kristi shares six tips from her and her husband's recent experience in preparing their youth group for this missions endeavor.
1. Focus on prayer. Learning to see how God guides, provides, and protects through prayer is one of the main benefits that God gave our group. God answered specific prayers, and the teens personally learned about the power of prayer. That taught them more than anything we could have said.
2. Set high expectations. It has been said that people live up to what you expect of them. From the beginning, we had high expectations of our teens' personal conduct and responsibility. We dealt with problems and patterns before even leaving the states, which gave us a basis for resolving issues while traveling.
3. Make the trip their own. We knew that the trip would mean significantly more to each member of our team if they had responsibility for it. We asked the teens to consistently show up for preparation meetings, used “rent a teen” work projects to earn money instead of simply asking for gifts, gave individual assignments for planning the children’s programs and preparing puppet skits, required the teens to write and practice sharing their testimonies, and asked that they learn multiple songs in Spanish.
4. Get paperwork in order. Because taking a group on an international trip is a huge responsibility, we needed to be well prepared. Each teen (and his or her parents) had to apply for and provide copies of passports; provide notarized permission/medical slips and “Hold-Harmless” waivers for our church and the mission organization we were working with in Guatemala; provide medical insurance cards for stateside travel; and be covered under our group short-term medical insurance policy for foreign travel. Also, we needed to arrange for flight insurance, along with the application forms, testimonies, and biographical sketches.
5. Provide travel/packing tips. Make sure you know the luggage requirements of the airlines as well as the luggage limitations of your travel accommodations once arriving at your destination. We provided a detailed packing list that included luggage measurements, what could be packed in a carry-on, what kind of clothes would be needed for each day (including what not to wear), and which team supplies they would be carrying. We went over safety and how to be aware of your surroundings, avoiding “group-stupid” courtesy during travel, and looking for opportunities to share the gospel.
6. Encourage team unity and growth. It was fun to see our group bond over the months of work going into our trip. It was even more fun during our trip to see them serve together. Sometimes in the midst of all the preparation, we had to remind ourselves that chatting over root beer floats and building camaraderie was just as important as getting through our agenda for the meeting. Praying in small groups, studying Biblical questions, discussing life . . . all of these, though they felt insignificant at the time, were important parts of our preparation.
Kristi Payne, youth leader Walnut Ridge Baptist Church Waterloo, Iowa