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Improving Your Ministry Skills

MIKE’S PICKS: RESOURCES FOR MINISTRY
Mike Hess, GARBC national representative, suggests the following resources for your ministry toolbox.

  • Article: “Pastoral Tone: How to Say What You Mean without Being Mean in How You Say It” by Mike Hess. Yes, we should be earnestly contending for the faith, but God never commands us to be earnestly rude or obnoxious or condescending.
  • Article: “Four Goals for the GARBC in 2020” by Mike Hess. Heart-targeted growth is what God wants for His people. Read about those type of goals for the association in the year ahead.
  • Article: “More Gospel, Less Trolls, in 2020” by Dan DeWitt. The author cautions against giving airtime to an internet “orthodoxy troll,” someone who habitually misrepresents both others and historical orthodoxy.
  • Conference: Plan now to attend the 2020 GARBC Conference Monday, June 29–Thursday, July 2 in California. Let the Word of God refresh your outlook on your role as pastor or ministry leader. You might wish to extend your time before or after the conference for a West Coast vacation. Scholarships are available to pastors who need financial assistance to attend the conference.
  • VBS Evangelism Outreach: Big Fish Bay by RBP. Kids will not only explore an exciting bay, fish off the pier, and venture out to sea but will also embark on a journey into the life of Jonah. If you haven’t been using RBP’s VBS, try it this year. The nautical theme will be fun to decorate. The program is teacher and kid friendly and, most importantly, geared for sharing the gospel with children in your community.

NEW GARBC DIRECTORY: CONNECT WITH FELLOW PASTORS AND CHURCHES
Iron sharpens iron! When you interface with fellow pastors, you enable one another to grow in ministry competencies. Order the 2019–20 Church Directory, published by Regular Baptist Press, to gain quick access to your colleagues’ email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses. The directory contains updated contact information for every church in fellowship with Regular Baptist Churches, as well as listings for parachurch ministries in our network, state and regional Regular Baptist associations, and the Biblical Baptist Partnership International. An electronic version is also available, offering even greater ease of use: we’ve added links to nearly every page, allowing you to connect faster to our association’s network.

GRAND RAPIDS REGIONAL ASSOCIATION ADDRESSES PASTORAL SABBATICALS
“The Benefits and Challenges of Pastoral Sabbaticals” will be the topic addressed by a pastoral panel at the Grand Rapids Regional Association of Regular Baptist Churches during its monthly Breakpoint meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21, noon–2:30 p.m., at Forest Hills Baptist Church in Grand Rapids. Lunch will be provided by the host church.

CENTRAL MARBC LEADERSHIP FORUM: BIBLICAL COUNSELING
First Baptist Church in Stanton, Michigan, will host the Central Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches Leadership Forum on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Andy Molyneux, pastor of First Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, will be sharing on the topic of “Biblical Counseling in the Church.” Lunch will be provided.

CLARKS SUMMIT UNIVERSITY GROWS COMMITMENT TO ONLINE EDUCATION
With steady growth in national online education, Clarks Summit University is reiterating its dedication to serving online students. In 2019, CSU hired Erica Young, formerly lead instructional designer for digital initiatives at Purdue University, as executive director of online education. Under Young’s direction, the Department of Online Learning is now a centralized unit dedicated to online faculty and student support. Young says it “speaks to the strategic focus the university is placing on online growth for the coming years.”

In addition, CSU continues to grow its fully online degree options. An Accelerated Master of Divinity program, through which students earn both a bachelor’s degree and an MDiv in just five years, is now attainable completely online. While CSU offers nearly 40 on-campus undergraduate programs, online learning provides flexible options, especially for adults wanting to earn a degree or desiring to take a class for professional development. CSU’s fully accredited options online include 14 undergraduate programs; master’s degrees focused on Bible, counseling, literature, organizational leadership, and education; and seminary master’s degrees. Two Baptist Bible Seminary doctoral degrees feature a web-enhanced format. Registration is open for students to begin as early as March 9. See “Getting Started.”

REFRESH CONFERENCE FOR CHRISTIAN LEADERS AND SPOUSES
Faith Baptist Bible College will host a Refresh Conference for Christian leaders and spouses Jan. 29–31, focusing on the theme “Navigating the Personal Challenges of Ministry.” The schedule is designed to allow busy Christian leaders to rest and spend time alone with their spouses. The general sessions and workshops provide instruction from God’s Word by experienced ministry leaders. Also, conferees will be able to fellowship with others who can relate to the joys and struggles in ministry.