ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.—Leaders of Regular Baptist state associations met online March 15 to brainstorm ways their associations and the GARBC can work together to help churches and pastors.
Facilitating the meeting were Mike Hess, GARBC national representative; Kerry Watkins, director of church engagement for the GARBC; and Mark Johnson, treasurer and controller for Regular Baptist Ministries.
In the enthusiastic discussion, the group talked about revitalizing churches, training pastors and church leaders, connecting better with the GARBC, promoting both the state and national associations, communicating the benefits of being part of the GARBC, and organizing the national conference.
“It was good to hear from state leadership from all over the country,” says Chuck Pausley, state representative for the Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Churches.
Ken Floyd, executive director of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches, says he “appreciated the opportunity to hear how other leaders in the Regular Baptist movement approach church ministry in their particular regional contexts.”
All of the state associations face the same ministry challenges but also experience the same blessings in serving churches, says Bruce McLain, state representative of the California Association of Regular Baptist Churches.
For the Michigan association, these challenges hinder its “ability to engage in effective ministry partnerships,” Ken Floyd says. But “addressing these challenges will help us to develop and pursue collaborative opportunities for future proactive and creative ministry.”
Joining the meeting was Jon Beight, the newest addition to the team of state leaders. Jon has been executive director of Crossroads Fellowship, Indiana’s association of Regular Baptist churches, only since March 1. He says he is “looking forward to working with these guys even more closely in the years to come.”
Each state fellowship functions as its own independent organism, but each one subscribes wholeheartedly to the GARBC’s articles of faith and overall mission.
“Our state fellowships demonstrate well that independent churches should never be isolated,” Mike Hess says. “Churches more effectively make disciples when they lock arms with other doctrinally aligned local churches.”
The meeting was an encouraging time for the state leaders. “I hope this is the beginning of more opportunities for interactions and sharing of ideas,” says Chuck Pausley.