REGULAR BAPTIST MINISTRIES PRESENTS STRONGER CHURCH CONFERENCE
Regular Baptist Ministries is offering valuable training especially designed to help your church become stronger in its Great Commission ministries. Affordable pricing makes it possible for you to bring several leaders/teachers from your church! 3 tracks to choose: Work Out: Maturing Stronger Churches (Church Discipleship) Presenters: David Gunn and Don Anderson Max Out: Maximizing Stronger ...more
CAMP MOOSE ON THE LOOSE IS A HIT!
Don't miss your opportunity to enjoy outdoor fun and adventure in RBP's 2018 Vacation Bible School program, Camp Moose on the Loose: Discovering God’s Forever Forgiveness. Join Bruce the Moose as kids experience camp fun, complete with tents, campfires, canoes, and wildlife. Through the lessons, kids will learn about the life of Christ ...more
Hello, friends, While perusing this issue of E-Info, I said to myself, Our association has a lot to offer! Over the past two decades I have been in countless churches sharing the work of the GARBC. Without fail, I have heard people say over and over, “I didn’t know all that is happening.” Take a few minutes to read the brief ...more
Most churches are thrilled to see visitors attend services. Often we can reach these people with the gospel; other times we can minister to them as they grow spiritually. Sometimes they are committed believers who may later join us in reaching our community for Christ. Guests matter! That’s why we want to do all we can to welcome them effectively.
Consider these basic suggestions toward more effective ministry in this area . . .
1. Keep the buildings and grounds clean and attractive. When facilities are not well maintained or are unkempt, visitors are turned off. Take the time to upgrade the landscaping, pick up trash, paint as needed, etc.
2. Think through parking issues. An adequate number of spaces, sufficient lighting for nighttime events, general cleanliness, and updated markings are all important considerations.
3. Provide good signage. Attractive signs along the road and in the parking lot that identify parking areas and building entrances remind visitors that they are anticipated and welcomed. Directional signs inside the church building accomplish the same purpose.
4. Enlist and train greeters. Many churches have people prepared to greet individuals as they enter the church building. But are they trained to focus their ministry upon newcomers?
5. Staff a welcome center. If you have not done so already, establish a place in the church lobby (set up a table or build a small counter) where people can get church ministry information and answers to their questions.
6. Pay attention to nurseries and bathrooms. Studies show that guests take note of cleanliness and safety issues. Adequate provision in both areas is crucial!
7. Make visitors feel welcome in services without embarrassing them. Most people don’t want to be singled out. They prefer not to be coerced into raising hands and filling out cards. Find other ways to learn basic information about newcomers and express tactful appreciation for their visit.
8. Train deacons to make contact with guests. Rather than stationing deacons at doors to shake hands after services, consider allowing them to roam—looking for guests who may appreciate a greeting from a church leader.
9. Consider a post-service visitors’ reception. Many churches have established such a ministry to more personally greet guests. Provide light refreshments, information about church ministries, and opportunities to interact with the pastor and other church leaders.
10. Strengthen your strategy for guest follow-up. Most churches send letters to guests’ homes after a Sunday visit. Others utilize e-mail, make phone contacts or home visits, or extend hospitality. Of special importance are those guests whom you perceive to be unbelievers. Proactively plan for follow-up in such cases with the goal of sharing the gospel.
Jim Vogel, GARBC associate national representative Schaumburg, Ill.
Jeanine Gower, Regular Baptist Ministries marketing assistant, shares the following idea for building relationships in retail stores:
Over the past years I have developed casual friendships with women at stores I frequent when shopping. In addition to getting to know the store personnel, I give tracts to checkout clerks, saying something such as, ‘Here is something I would like you to read on your break.’ These practices have led to opportunities to further witness.
Recently one sales personnel mentioned that she wished she could pass on celebrating holidays as her husband had died earlier in the year. I followed up by giving her a Christian book dealing with the loss of a loved one and how to handle holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.
With this conversation in mind, I decided to host an after-Christmas get together for my retail friends. As I would see them in the stores, I would mention the get together and the date, then I followed up with a written invitation. I prayed specifically that the Lord would send those women who needed to come. The ladies who attended the get-together and I had a wonderful time. It was one step in building relationships with eternity in mind.
Western Weekend Outreach
Horses, great preaching, singing, food, and a campfire were part of our church’s Western Weekend. In anticipation of the weekend, we displayed a western theme throughout the church using decorations such as saddles, cowboy hats, and boots, and an indoor campfire.
On Friday evening, David Little, president of Baptist Church Planters, challenged the church family to “Ride for the Brand” as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Then on Saturday morning, we hosted a trail ride in which riders on 25 horses enjoyed the trails of a local state park. Following the trail ride, everyone gathered for a beans and biscuit lunch and an evangelistic challenge from Dr. Little.
On Saturday evening we enjoyed a campfire that included horse rides for children, s’mores, singing, a devotional, and wonderful fellowship under a clear, moonlit sky. We praise the Lord for this opportunity to share the gospel. The weekend concluded with special Sunday services and a carry-in dinner at noon. An enthusiastic “yee-haw!” by the congregation on Sunday morning was a testimony to the success of the weekend by the grace of God.
Tom Robbins, pastor Faith Baptist Church Camp Point, Ill.
Correct theology, passionate preaching, a heart for God, an emphasis on Christ, and good people skills are big matters essential to quality ministry. But ministry also contains mundane matters, which are the nitty-gritty of pastoral basics. Our attention to these details can be the polish that makes our leadership shine. By practicing the following fine points, we can gain respect that will provide support for undertaking the bigger ventures.
Keep regular office hours. Most business people are obligated to a consistent schedule. Their customers depend on it. Your people should be able to count on you.
Attend to personal grooming. Appearance is important. Whether you choose to dress in a suit and tie or go with a more casual look, you should be neat. Iron your shirts and pants, keep your hair trimmed, shave your neck, polish your shoes, and clean your glasses.
Keep your office orderly. Take a few minutes to file old papers, put books back on the shelf, and get rid of the clutter on your desk. You send a message about your organizational competencies by the way you arrange your office (and your car!).
Remember your commitments. Keep your calendar with you. Whether you use a hard copy or digital system, always record appointments and show up on time.
Prepare for events. Don’t fly by the seat of your pants. Work through the logistics of special events well in advance. By being prepared, you enable the event to be more beneficial for your people and less distracting due to the awkwardness of impromptu.
Order supplies and resources with ample time allowance. Make sure you have a good system in place to facilitate ordering of Sunday School materials and other resources you use.
Speak clearly. You can help your credibility dramatically by using good diction when you speak. Avoid rushing your words, mumbling, or consistently talking too soft or too loud.
Keep up on correspondence. Whether you are exchanging information by e-mail or snail mail, respond promptly to the communication you receive, use spell check, and incorporate good grammar when writing.
As leaders, representing Jesus Christ, we are to carry out our ministries with excellence. Attention to mundane matters does matter. Our faithfulness in attending to little things impacts our success in endeavoring big things.
John Greening, GARBC national representative Schaumburg, Ill.
Avoiding E-mail Miscues
Communication with business associates, family, and friends has changed venues. Conversations that once took place face-to-face or over the phone are now shifting to the medium of e-mail. I have 10 business contacts in the Far East with whom I seldom talk over the phone but communicate with via e-mail. In the multitude of our e-mail exchanges, miscues in communication (sometimes comical, sometimes not) occur all too frequently. In personal e-mails where exchanges might include sensitive issues, misunderstandings are certain to occur.
The following observations, learned through my clicking of “send,” may help you avoid e-mail miscues:
E-mail is a limited form of communication. Words, body language, tone of voice, intensity, and facial expression are impossible to send by e-mail—even when using emoticons. You may be thinking one thing, but your reader may read into your message something entirely different. So . . . avoid sending messages that are negative. If you need to confront, share bad news, or unburden, do it in person or, at the minimum, over the phone. The extra time, expense, delay, or discomfort it takes to communicate in person is a small investment compared to the enormous mess that could result from dumping and dashing by e-mail.
Refrain from reading more meaning into the messages you receive. Even if you know the person well, try to take the message at face value. Assume good intentions unless something in the e-mail leads you to assume otherwise.
Don’t ignore or reply hastily to messages that cause you concern. Avoid hitting reply and sending back a message that might add fuel to a kindling fire. Call the person; you can express your concern and attempt to resolve the question or problem more quickly and effectively.
Steer clear from sending long messages. Lengthy missives tend to be difficult to understand. Also, the greater the number of words, the greater the potential for miscues. It takes longer to write a well-understood message than to pick up the phone and call.
Remember that e-mail is one-way communication. By conversing over the phone or in person, you invite dialogue and have the opportunity to adjust your words so the hearer understands your message. Consider the following illustration: You get in your car to pick up a few things at the store. As you start driving in the correct direction, you close your eyes while keeping a firm grip on the wheel, and in doing so, you expect to reach your destination. It’s a straight two-minute shot. Right? No! Whenever you get behind the wheel, you keep your eyes open—ready to adjust to weather, pedestrians, traffic, and other variables on the road. Communication by e-mail, especially lengthy communication, can be like driving with your eyes shut. The inability to adjust, modify, or correct what you are saying based on the other person’s response or understanding can take you to an undesired destination—even into the ditch.
Two-way communication results in better understanding for all parties involved in the exchange and is more enriching to our lives. However, e-mail has its purposes. I use e-mail primarily for:
sharing important details that need to be remembered or acted upon;
communicating during odd hours or at times when the individual is not available to speak; and
encouraging or affirming others or sharing upbeat, positive information.
When crafting e-mails, remember Paul’s encouragement: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6).
Tim Richie, president/owner of National Running Center Member of Summit Baptist Bible Church Clarks Summit, Pa.