By John Greening

Editor’s note: This issue’s “Front Row” is taken from the GARBC’s annual report for 2018. Read the entire report in Bb Plus.

This is my 22nd annual report and the last for me. I had on my checklist several items I wanted to complete before I turn over the role of national representative to my successor. By God’s help, mission accomplished!

  1. Facilitate the appointment and orientation of a new director of Regular Baptist Press. I am thoroughly impressed with the excellent work of David Gunn. Our association’s publishing arm is in good hands.
  2. Select a new Regular Baptist Ministries treasurer/controller who would function well in that role. Mark Johnson is doing outstanding work.
  3. Strengthen the alignment and working relationship between Regular Baptist Builders Club and Regular Baptist Church Planting. Clare Jewell and Darrell Goemaat are developing a robust approach to assisting church planting, revitalization, expansion, and disaster relief. Watch the Baptist Bulletin and our website for stories of churches that these ministries have helped.
  4. Finish the fiscal year with a net positive. Praise the Lord for His provision and the wisdom He gave the administrative team to prudently manage the funds.
  5. Hand off the leadership of the association to a new national representative. I am pleased with the selection of Mike Hess as the candidate. Mike and Christina will bring new vision and skills to the work of the association.
  6. Design and activate an orientation plan for the next national representative. I am working with Mike Hess to help him become aware of the scope of administrative oversight and duties of day-to-day operations of Regular Baptist Ministries.
  7. Launch the Brotherhood Mutual Insurance partnership. We are grateful for the resources that Brotherhood offers to churches, including property and liability insurance, workers’ compensation policy, accident insurance, and missions travel insurance. I invite you to get acquainted with the broad range of assistance that Brotherhood Mutual provides.
  8. Investigate and initiate a retirement plan for the staffs of association churches. This special initiative will be a great benefit for pastors and churches by financially preparing for the inevitability of retirement. The survey we conducted this spring indicates a large interest in this possibility. Over the next months you will learn how your church can participate. Church workers are worthy of their hire.
  9. Complete with Daria the manuscript for a couples’ Bible study on marriage, Love Your Spouse. This study traces the theme of Christ’s commitment to His Bride, the church, as taught in the epistle of Ephesians. Marriages grow stronger when spouses grow in Christlikeness.

Daria’s and my plans for the next chapter of our lives include enjoying our family, reading, writing, participating in a local church, speaking, traveling, enjoying music, visiting museums, walking, bike riding, gardening, solving crossword puzzles, cheering for the Chicago Cubs, and relaxing with evening tea. Life is good!

Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of serving the churches of the association. We were blessed to work with colleagues who enriched our lives and enhanced our ministry. We are optimistic about the future of Regular Baptist Churches and the association’s ministries. We are deeply indebted to you for your support and participation. To God be the glory, and remember, “Together we can accomplish more!”

John Greening is national representative of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.