Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTATE MISSIONS: The Good Along with the Bad

STATE MISSIONS: The Good Along with the Bad

My back never picks a good time to go out. I was able to hobble down and attend the Central Arkansas Association on Thursday but, regrettably, was unable to make it down south this weekend to the Columbia Association. I want to thank Joe Owens for standing in for me.

Teamwork

      Noun 1: “the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.”

      Note to our churches and their leadership: Nearly every year, we have churches come with a desire to be numbered among the churches of the BMA of Arkansas. Why? I feel they believe we can accomplish far more for the cause of Christ as a team than by going it alone. In fact, every church in the association at one time shared this same conclusion, but like most things, we have begun taking being a team member as more of an inconvenience than an avenue to further the cause of Christ.

      Please consider how much the association has done through the years and continues to do — from a Bible-based college, CBC; to the Baptist Trumpet, the only weekly BMA newspaper; to a growing youth department and presently, seven missionaries serving through State Missions. Together, we are proving there is strength in numbers. It is easy to let someone else do our job or to go in our place, but that does not make it right. There are important things to be considered and the scriptures bear witness to the need to get together. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors, they are established.”

Restore/Revive

      May this generation of churches and leaders be the ones to restore the needed revival concerning gathering for the good of all involved. Each church has been given the right to be represented at our associational meetings, regardless of size or location — each with the same number of messengers. Never forget that every messenger counts as one vote. So instead of saying my attendance won’t make a difference, I beg your pardon. Every election may not go our way, but at least we can say we tried.

      Consider making it a part of your church’s bylaws that your church should be represented at all local, state and national associational meetings. That’s not inferring that the pastor must attend because many simply cannot, but the church elects its messengers and, in doing so, should only elect those who can attend, be they ministers or lay members. In fact, lay members should outnumber the ministers nearly two to one.

      In closing, make it a priority to have your church represented. No doubt, some members would be happy to be their church’s representatives if only asked. Have a yard sale or bake sale to raise funds if needed for fuel or hotel rooms. I hope to see you in November.

From Our Missionaries

Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “We were blessed Sunday to baptize four people at Lake DeGray. We left very early to start our program at 11 a.m. The people who were baptized were:

      • “Karina Rodriguez, the mother of Marlon, one of the young people who plays guitar in the church band. She began meeting with us when her two children began attending church after Vacation Bible School around five years ago.

      • “Adriana, a nine-year-old girl whom I had the opportunity to present to the Lord, now God gave me the blessing of baptizing her.

      • “Daniel is a 20-year-old young man who recently made his profession of faith after listening to the Sunday message.

      • “Denzel, 28, who recently began meeting with us, made his profession of faith in August in a Sunday service.

      “All of them are eager to obey the Lord, so we invite them to continue their process by joining a discipleship group, which will take place on Sundays at 9 a.m. in the temple. Let us pray that each of them continues their process of growth in Christ so they can prepare themselves for every good work, especially those to which God has called them.”

Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “I thank God that my health was much better this past week, and I was able to spend more time out of the office. I had the privilege of visiting a church family and two people I have not seen in our groups for some time. As I have mentioned before, much of the Hispanic ministry of visiting and contacting happens after 6 p.m., and a home visit can last until 10 p.m. There are few that one can visit during the day.

      “Last Sunday was my last Sunday in chaplaincy with the Arkansas Travelers since the chaplaincy season is over. I hope to be present for the 2024 season — that’s 11 seasons ministering to the Hispanic players. This year, I shared the Word of God with eight players. Since last Sunday was the last game of the Travelers, my wife, daughter, some friends from the church and I went to watch the team play. The interesting thing is that, during the game, I took the opportunity to deepen the friendship with those we invited. The funny thing is that someone approached me at the stadium and said ‘I know you,’ it was someone I had met in a restaurant, and his name is Julio Escobar. He is a student at Central Baptist College and a player on the baseball team. He introduced me to his group of friends, and I was able to get to know him better. My prayer is that I can contribute a grain of sand to the growth of his spiritual life.

      “Brothers, please pray a lot for us. I am in a time when I am ministering to different groups — baseball players, the Theological Institute, Venezuelan groups, new families, in home groups, in Novo.org — and each week preparing the material in Spanish for our people.

      “Thank you for your support, and your prayers. To God be the glory!”

Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “We had another great week at Faith Chapel! Our numbers were a little down again, with some families out traveling and some out sick, but still a good number, with three first-time visitors.

      “At our evening service, Randy and Rita Jones came all the way from Jonesboro to visit us — what a great surprise! They are wonderful friends! Before the service, we stopped by and showed them the progress on the new building, and they seemed to like it very much. We sure are looking forward to getting in there. We are still working on ductwork. It is a slow job, but it is coming along. We had some distractions a few days last week, but we keep chipping away as we can.

      “We thank you for your prayers and support! Please continue as God is blessing us richly through you.”

Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes, “We had a good turnout of 22 attendees for our monthly fellowship and trivia night! It was a Mexican fest for sure! One of our youngest attendees said, ‘Tacos and trivia is a great combination!’ We had a fun time reinforcing the Bible lessons we have been studying through a friendly game of trivia. We all had full stomachs and even fuller spirits after we finished!

      “We got out and met lots of new faces at Third Thursday in downtown Benton this week. We gave out over 100 gospel tracts, as well as our Faith Journey handouts about the mission and where we are located. We feel it is important to keep our name out in the community and let people know we are here to help meet their needs and invite them to come worship with us.”

Misión Gracia Soberana (Sovereign Grace), NWA:Roberto Marcelletti writes, “It was a great joy to meet Dana Williams and his wife, Kimberly this week. They invited us for coffee and wanted to know about our mission. They gave us a tour of the beautiful facilities of their church, Cornerstone Baptist in Lowell.

      “This week, we begin a new phase of discipleship in the three cities where, by His grace, God allows us to disciple in Pea Ridge, Rogers and Springdale. Our goal is for them to reproduce in other disciples, and to seek those God has brought to be part of our church leadership team. We seek faithfulness, availability and those who are teachable.

      “We had a very special time of collective adoration in our service, and then we continued with the expository preaching on the book of John and had a beautiful fellowship. As it was the last Sunday of September, we held a birthday celebration for the ones with September birthdays.”

Epic Life, Pea Ridge: Jake McCandless writes, “I’m often oblivious to things. I don’t pick up on clues and tend to take the clues I think I see and write a negative mental script with them. It takes hearing things directly for me to finally get it. It’s because of this that the unscheduled time with our active Connection Group coaches and hosts was invaluable this week.

        Our two families that host sat down and told me how they were ‘all in’ and why they were all in! Wow! Not only did they say it, but families helped each other with Connection Groups this week. That was the highlight of a busy and fruitful week that saw new guests at each connection group once again. The prayer collective also met this week. This is still something that is open to join!”

El Faro #2 Hispanic Mission, Cabot/Jacksonville: Michael Hight writes, “Jenifer and I are still trying to round out our move to Cabot. I am getting more excited as I meet people living in our neighborhood who are Hispanic. Please pray for that person of peace who can open doors for us here.

         There are so many things we feel like we need to do to get started. So again, pray that we will be sensitive to the Spirit and allow Him to guide us!”

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