Movements start with one step in the right direction.
Regular Baptist Builders Club believes that local churches can change the world. That’s why we utilize our resources to help churches fulfill their God-given mission.
As we look across our country, we see people struggling and suffering through difficult life experiences. Each year, many families break apart and many people become caught up in addictive behaviors. Countless others are dealing with cancer, illness, and loss with little hope of a better tomorrow. We need vibrant local churches focused on reaching people who are far from God so they can learn about the hope of Christ. We need churches committed to discipling people to become devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Sadly, these are the very areas where many churches fall short. While the majority have programs that initially aimed to evangelize the lost and disciple new believers, many of these churches are not seeing meaningful results. The programs have become an end in themselves. Instead of investing in meaningful relationships with people, church members invest in programs. The intent is good, but too often the programs do not result in consistent disciple-making.
Our association of churches is not immune to these struggles. Some of our churches are stagnant or in a state of decline. In the last year, 17 of our churches closed. Many churches also see fewer baptisms, and others struggle to reproduce leaders or give birth to new churches. As I travel to dozens of churches and speak at state and regional conferences, I continue to see pastors who are discouraged and churches that are in survival mode rather than truly thriving.
To address this need, Regular Baptist Builders Club has launched the new Lift Up Grants program to help spark revitalization.
Lift Up Grants are available to association churches that would like some outside help to revitalize their ministries. We are networking with several church consultants to guide congregations through a Biblical process of growth and change. ChristWay Ministries, Church Doctor Ministries, The Malphurs Group, and The Unstuck Group have all agreed to participate with us in this process. You can access an initial application at BaptistBuildersClub.org/lift-up/lift-up-application. If it grants approval, Regular Baptist Builders Club will pay 50 percent of the consultation fee up to a maximum of $10,000. (For more details, please visit BaptistBuildersClub.org.)
Another significant need within the GARBC is more pastors and church planters. Across the country there is a shortage of qualified, trained leaders. Far too many churches are operating without pastors. Over the next few years, many of our current pastors will reach retirement age. This underscores the need for an influx of new leaders.
With this need for leadership in mind, Regular Baptist Builders Club has launched the new Train Up Grants program to help raise up pastors and church planters.
Train Up Grants are now available to help equip young leaders to plant or revitalize local churches within our association. Regular Baptist Builders Club recognizes that some churches have been overly reliant on a “lone ranger” approach. When the need for a pastor or church planter arises, we often go on a far-reaching search for a person with the requisite character, skills, and gifts. This can be a long and arduous process. For this reason, our goal is to assist our churches in developing more of a “farm system” in which we raise up leaders from within our churches and regional fellowships. To help spark this movement, we are offering up to $1,000 per month for up to 12 months for leadership residencies in approved hub churches across the United States.
You can access an initial application for a residency grant at BaptistBuildersClub.org/train-up/train-up-application.
A key part of this process is to identify local churches committed to reproducing leaders. Church size is not a primary factor. The main quality we are looking for in churches is a track record of effective evangelism, one-on-one discipleship, and equipping leaders. We want our residents to be exposed to churches and leaders who are engaged in the mission of God. We also need pastors who are willing to invest a few hours each week in training faithful men who will be able to train others. Our hope is that these hub churches will turn out a new generation of leaders while influencing other churches in their region to do the same.
You can learn more about becoming a hub church at BaptistBuildersClub.org/train-up/train-up-hub-churches.
In addition to identifying local churches, we are also looking for seminaries that would like to partner with us to equip young leaders. If you are interested in learning more about how your students can gain access to our Train Up Grants, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our sincere prayer is that dozens of churches will utilize Lift Up Grants to initiate a process of revitalization so that souls will be saved, lives will be changed, and churches will grow and be planted for God’s glory. We are also asking God to give us young men who are committed to the gospel and who will help lead revitalization and church planting efforts. If you are aware of any young leaders who are looking for an opportunity to get better prepared for leading revitalization or church planting efforts, please refer them to Regular Baptist Builders Club or email me their contact information. I would love to connect with them and engage them in this vital process.
As we move forward with these new initiatives, we are asking you to join us in prayer, and we are asking for your support by giving to BaptistBuildersClub.org/donate. You can help us spark a movement of church revitalization and church planting.
Clare Jewell is director of Regular Baptist Builders Club and national church planting coordinator for Regular Baptist Churches.
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