The opportunity to connect with pastors and church leaders through our Regular Baptist Web Community makes for an enjoyable and gratifying experience in my role as national representative. Through the Web Community, groups of learners gather online who otherwise wouldn’t be able to interact together due to time, distance, or financial constraints. Over the years our association has offered a number of helpful learning sessions designed to improve ministry knowledge and skills.
Recently I received a thoughtful e-mail from Pastor Terry Green of Victory Baptist Church in Casa Grande, Arizona. Terry was writing to express his appreciation for the Web Community session “Updating and Rewriting Your Church’s Articles of Faith” presented by Dr. David Mappes of Baptist Bible Seminary. Terry’s comments provide a glimpse into how our Regular Baptist continuing education strategy is beneficial on the front lines of local church ministry.
Thank you for the web class you coordinated on updating the church’s articles of faith. That class helped me plan the process, include the congregation, and rewrite our critical documents including our values, articles of faith, covenant, and by-laws.
After months of writing, revising, rewriting, reviews by Dr. Mappes and an attorney, and more rewriting and revising, we held a business meeting last Sunday evening to consider the update to our values, articles of faith, covenant and by-laws. In the weeks leading up to the vote, we talked about it from the pulpit, sharing highlights and reminding the people that we were not changing our doctrine or our practices, but we were clarifying what we believe and how we operate in order to protect the church from false teachers and the pressures of our culture.
In our recent church business meeting, the vote was unanimous to approve each one.
Thank you for scheduling Dr. Mappes, for coordinating the class, and for helping us strengthen our church.
Terry’s e-mail produced one of those arm-pumping yes! moments for me. Our Web Community was accomplishing what I had envisioned, helping pastors do ministry more effectively. We are all about building stronger churches!
We have recorded a number of web sessions that are available as instructional resources to help you in your pursuit of a stronger church. The following recorded sessions are available to you by contacting me, firstname.lastname@example.org: “Pastoral Care Challenges,” “DIY Strategic Planning,” “Building and Measuring Mature Disciples,” “Turning Church Guests into Family through Assimilation,” and “Updating and Rewriting Your Church’s Articles of Faith.” RBP Director John Klem and I are planning our upcoming lineup of Web Community sessions designed to help you do ministry more effectively.
Beyond the Web Community, we are offering additional continuing education classes in the form of two three-hour modules at the 2016 GARBC Conference, June 28—July 1, in Oswego, Illinois. We are intentionally structuring these modules to make valuable instruction by expert teachers easily accessible to you. We are also working to make it possible for you to get seminary credit for your participation in these modules. Take advantage of the excellent sessions available to you:
Preaching Christ from the Old Testament
Date: Tuesday, June 28, at 1:30 p.m.
Cost: $45, includes materials and resources
Preaching Christ from the Old Testament demands an ability to not only handle textual details in context, but to also think theologically across the Biblical canon. This three-hour study group is designed to be an interactive session that allows participants the opportunity to dig into a chosen passage, wrestle with textual details, and think theologically in a whole Bible way about how to handle references to or inferences about Christ in the Old Testament. Participants will be guided in this discovery by our guest presenter, Dr. Steven Mathewson, author of The Art of Preaching Old Testament Narrative (2002) and Joshua and Judges (The People’s Bible Commentary, 2003) and pastor of CrossLife Evangelical Free Church in Libertyville, Illinois.
Date: Thursday, June 30, at 2:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE, offered by Regular Baptist Churches as part of the new Regular Baptist Church Planting initiative
The time for church planting is now! Any established congregation can catch the vision for church planting, cultivate the passion among its members, and actually do it. Becoming a reproducing church will have a dramatic, life-changing impact on your local ministry. Join Clare Jewell, regional director for church planting with ABWE, and Ken Davis, director of Project Jerusalem and chairman of the church planting council with Baptist Mid-Missions, in this practical “how-to” module to learn the action steps a church of any size can take to become a reproducing church.
I urge you to attend these excellent instructional opportunities. Together we can build stronger churches!
John Greening is national representative of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.