Worship Connect!
Plan now to attend the Worship Connect conference March 2 and 3 at First Baptist Church, Silvis, Ill. Worship Connect is a regional conference spearheaded by Council of Eighteen members Pastor Will Hatfield and Pastor Jon Jenks, designed to bring local church ministry teams together. Attend and enjoy . . .

  • passionately worshiping the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
  • building better connections with Midwest pastors, and
  • sharpening ministry skills with practical projects that will impact ministries now.

Sponsors include Campus Baptist Church, Ames, Iowa; Calvary Baptist Church, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.; Calvary Baptist Church, Rochester, Minn.; First Baptist Church, Silvis, Ill.; and the GARBC. See the brochure and register now!

Collegial Bantering
Pastors, a new cohort is forming! Do you have a ministry idea that you would like to run by colleagues? Do you need advice regarding a particular situation in church life? Do you desire to sharpen your knowledge base on current issues facing the church? GARBC National Representative John Greening invites you to become part of an online cohort where you can form encouraging and edifying relationships with ministry colleagues. E-mail John if you are interesting in joining a series of online sessions of interaction and friendship. A new cohort will begin in February.

Baptist Bulletin Coming your Way
Baptist Bulletin‘s January/February issue is ready to view in magazine or online.
Check out the following articles!

  • Lots of Ways to Plant a Church
  • Mark Jackson’s Last Trip Home
  • Audit, Review, or Neither
  • Look Who’s Separating Now
  • Authentic Church
  • Planning for the Future
  • 5 Tips for Making your Audit Less Stressful
  • Protecting your Church from a Breach of Trust
  • Front Row
  • Inside Out Leadership
  • Why Worship on Sunday

Subscribe to the Baptist Bulletin! For information on group discounts, contact Lynne Goemaat, 888.588.1600, ext.833.

Cure for the Blues
During the winter months, cases of “preacher blues” are common. At the onset of a new year, the following thoughts from John Lineberry, pastor of San Mateo Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Fla., seem appropriate.

“I feel bad even when I feel good because I know I’m going to feel worse!”—ever feel that way? The blues tend to make us look on the dark side of things. A man said to his neighbor, “Nice weather we’re having.” The neighbor replied, “Yes, it is, but we’ll pay for it.” A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity. An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalm 42:5, 11).

The blues can be defined as “low spirits,” or “a fit of melancholy.” The blues can become a sickness and cause one’s spirit to droop. The blues can cause one’s soul to lose courage and the heart to be overcome with feelings of failure. Other symptoms of the blues are doubt, discouragement, and inadequacy.

One way to fight back at the blues is to keep a good outlook on things and circumstances.  A man inquired of a little boy, “Sonny, what kind of dog do you have there?” The boy answered quickly, “My dog is a German police dog!” “Looks like a mangy hound to me,” the man retorted. “Yes, I know,” replied the youngster. “He’s in the secret service.”

In coping with the blues, a proper perspective is needed for direction and balance. All mortals are subject to the blues. King David, sweet singer of Israel and king after God’s own heart, had them. Spurgeon, London’s famed Baptist pastor, had the blues and was out of the pulpit for three months awaiting recovery. Vance Havner, outstanding Bible conference speaker and author, had the blues and didn’t preach for one whole year. Havner’s helpful book, By the Still Waters, records his experience. Elijah, the great prophet of Israel, had the blues and prayed that death might release him.

What causes the blues? Idleness may contribute to the onset. H. G. Bohn in Hand-Book of Proverbs states, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” Genesis 2:15 reminds us that God put man to work before the fall. Conversely, worthless activity may help to bind a person with emotional stress. An Irish folktale tells of a king who engaged in the worthless pursuit of searching fifteen years for a white mouse with green eyes. Another story tells of a man who built an ice palace with large sums of money and after sleeping in it just one night, he had the palace destroyed.

How might the blues be cured? Deal with them head-on. Don’t avoid the issue. David asked himself, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” (Psalm 42:5).  This question method seems to help. Ask yourself: Am I saved? Am I a child of God? Will God ever forsake me? Are my sins forgiven? Do I have a home in Heaven?

How may one administer the cure? Hope in God (Psalm 73:24–28). Be assured that salvation is in Christ (1 John 5:10–13). Praise the Lord (Psalm 42:11). Recognize God’s daily care of His own (Hebrews 13:5, 6). Stop worrying perpetually about even one thing (Philippians 4:6). Next time you have the blues, turn them into blessings!

Men’s Heart Conference

Northland College, Dunbar Wisc., is hosting Men’s Heart Conference, January 31-February 3. The conference offers refreshment by the Word of God, Christ-centered music, and the fellowship of other believers.