May 2014

Church reaches out to South Sudanese fleeing violence

May 28 2014 by JoAnn Bradberry, IMB/Baptist Press

As a third of South Sudan’s population faces starvation, International Mission Board (IMB) personnel and Baptist Global Response (BGR) are partnering with a local church to care for those fleeing ethnic violence.

Nearly four million people may starve to death as a result of the country’s now five-month-old civil war, the United Nations reports.

On the first day of 2014, Mary Loso was cooking dinner for her children when the trucks arrived carrying those trying to escape the ongoing fighting. One by one – a total of seven trucks, 150 people – they pulled into the Faith Baptist Church compound where the women’s leader lives with her husband and 11 children.

Loso panicked. “I was afraid at first,” Loso said. “I was afraid there wasn’t enough food.”

But they were her people, and she couldn’t turn them away. They were among the hundreds of thousands fleeing their homes in South Sudan because of the violence that began when ethnic fighting broke out in the capital city of Juba.
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IMB photo by JoAnn Bradberry
Mary Loso, women’s leader at Faith Baptist Church in Nimule, South Sudan, is housing 150 internally displaced persons on her church’s compound, where she and her family live.


Nimule is a border town – a natural stopping point for refugees on their way out of South Sudan, fleeing to Uganda. As the town flooded with those fleeing, word began to spread about Loso’s hospitality.

That first day, Loso gathered the displaced people together with her family, and called the church elders. Church members soon arrived at the compound to pray. Three times a day, they stopped their work to pray together. They prayed for peace in the country, for their lost husbands and brothers, for enough food for the day.

The church took up an offering to buy some food. Eventually, some of the families moved onto the church compound, into an open-air sanctuary and into the homes of the pastors.

“All-in-all, God stood strong,” Loso said.

On the church compound there is a small office, the size of a pantry or a walk-in closet. Thin foam mattresses are stacked against a wall. Five pastors have been living in the office together. The pastors gave up their own homes on the church compound for the displaced families.

“We took their burdens to be ours – we are crying with them,” pastor Tolbert Alochi said.

“These people, they looked desperate,” he said. “No food, no water. Things were very hard.”

In the first days of the crisis, Alochi called the elders of the church together, and they decided to welcome those in need.

“We told them that if anybody feels that he wants to stay, we can stay with them here. Most of them are not ready to go [across the border to Uganda]. They have lost husbands, they have lost children, and they are waiting for them here.”

A team of IMB missionaries assessing the situation in South Sudan was moved by the ministry of Faith Baptist Church and called on BGR to help. Through BGR funding, missionaries helped Faith Baptist complete housing for the displaced families.

“This is an instance of a church wanting to reach out to an IDP [internally displaced persons] crisis situation and help the community around them,” Mark Hatfield, BGR area director for sub-Saharan Africa, said. “We are thankful to be able to encourage the church to follow their biblical mandate of being a church and in being significant in their community for the Kingdom of God.”

Despite the fragile ceasefire signed earlier this month, many are afraid to return home. With the help of BGR, more than 10 families have been able to remain under the care of the church, while the church continues reaching out to those who are fleeing the violence.

“We are encouraging them and comforting them with the Word of God,” pastor Alochi said. “They never believed they would make it up to this far.”

On a much larger scale, BGR is working to drill four boreholes in refugee camps, as well as provide jerry cans, metal containers typically used for transporting and storing water, for 12,000 families living in the camps. To learn more about how you can help, go to gobgr.org/projects/project_detail/south-sudan-crisis.

Pray:
  • Pray for Faith Baptist Church as they continue showing the love of Christ to IDPs in their midst.
  • Pray for IMB missionaries and national pastors working together in the refugee camps for South Sudanese.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – JoAnn Bradberry is an IMB writer and photographer based in Nairobi.)
5/28/2014 10:21:52 AM by JoAnn Bradberry, IMB/Baptist Press | with 0 comments



Mission:Dignity continues to bless hundreds each month

May 28 2014 by Roy Hayhurst, GuideStone Resources

Twenty-five dollars each month. That’s what Bobby Walker received when he went to his first pastorate.

“He never made a decision for a pastorate on salary,” Tommie Walker said of her late husband. “He said ‘if God guides, He will provide.’ So we went on that.”

The Walkers’ testimony is not uncommon. A deep love for each other, and a commitment to the calling God has bestowed on them, characterized their marriage.
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“We never did have much of a salary, but God blessed us in so many ways; we had each other,” Walker said. “I still miss him so badly.”

Tommie Walker’s story is told in new Mission:Dignity videos available free to churches. The videos also include the story of Virginia Pangle, another pastor’s widow, as well as Raymond and Odessa Crow, a retired pastor and his wife.

“Our videos help tell the story of Mission:Dignity,” said John Ambra, director of development for GuideStone Financial Resources. “Under the theme of ‘every love story deserves a happy ending,’ we are showing these stories of the enduring love and devotion of these retired pastors and their widows, and showing how Southern Baptists have helped to provide a true happy ending – that they may live out their later years with a sense of financial dignity.”

Raymond Crow served nine churches during his 34 ½ years of ministry; he and Odessa have been married 72 years.

“Mission:Dignity has been a life-saver,” Raymond Crow said. “She and I are both on medicines and that gets to be very expensive. We’ve been able to make ends meet because Mission:Dignity has been here to help us.

“It’s hard because my nature is to give, but Mission:Dignity is the thing that builds faith: faith in the Lord and faith in fellow man.”

Mission:Dignity Sunday is June 22, 2014. Churches, Sunday school classes and mission groups can participate in this special day. Free bulletin inserts and these videos (available in three-, two- and one-minute lengths) are available by request. Call 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433) or visit www.MissionDignitySBC.org. The materials are undated so they may be used when convenient for churches.

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roy Hayhurst is department head of denominational and public relations services for GuideStone Financial Resources.)

Related Story:

Life is a university: Mission:Dignity offers hope, help
5/28/2014 10:10:07 AM by Roy Hayhurst, GuideStone Resources | with 0 comments



Board hears reports on Kingdom advancement

May 27 2014 by Emily Rojas, BSC Communications

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) Board of Directors (BOD) met at Caraway Conference Center on May 20-21. Board President Michael Barrett presided over the meeting as the BOD heard reports from BSC institutions, committees and staff.
 

Institution and Agency Reports

Leland Kerr, Baptist Health Care liaison for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (WFBMC), brought the Mother’s Day Offering report to the board. Since 1924, the offering has helped disadvantaged patients at Baptist Hospital pay their medical bills. Patients who receive financial help from the offering do not qualify for government assistance, but do not have the means to pay for hospital bills. The offering also annually benefits about 150 North Carolina ministers in the form of a subsidy on their hospital bills. In 2013, North Carolina Baptists gave more than $600,000 to the offering. The goal for 2014 is $650,000.

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BSC photo
Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer, addressed convention’s strategy, “Impacting Lostness Through Disciple-Making” at the board meeting at Caraway Conference Center.

 

The board also received a report on FaithHealthNC including developments in research and strategy. Gary Gunderson, vice president of Faith and Health Ministries, told the board that there are certain North Carolina communities in which the areas of greatest lostness and economic disadvantage in the state intersect — “There is a remarkable overlap between the places, not just faces, that we are called to engage,” he said.
 
This discovery has allowed FaithHealthNC to engage lost people in these areas through WFBMC, which Gunderson said was the BSC’s original strategy when the hospital was established.
 
Clay Warf, executive director of the North Carolina Baptist Foundation (NCBF), noted the loans and grants the organization made to students and churches in the past year. NCBF provides student loans up to $12,000 per year and considers all grant requests it receives. “Our primary job is to protect these assets and get a reasonable return,” Warf said.
 
Beverly Volz, director of accounting services, reported that the BSC has a deficit of about four percent for 2014, but is operating in the black.

 

Executive Director - Treasurer Report

Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer, addressed convention’s strategy, “Impacting Lostness Through Disciple-Making.” The strategy calls North Carolina Baptists to engage the unreached people groups living within the state and around the world.
 
Hollifield noted that out of the 9 million people who live in North Carolina, 5.8 million are not saved.
 
“We cannot let these people live and die apart from an opportunity to accept a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. We must take bold action, even if it requires sweeping change in order to impact the growing lostness in our state,” he said.
 
One part of this “sweeping change” involved altering the BSC’s approach to campus ministry. Previously, Baptist campus ministry had a presence on only nine of the state’s 200 college and university campuses. Under this new model, however, campus ministry is expanding as churches across the state are leading the efforts to engage college students. These students are taught to be disciple-makers.
 
Chuck Register, BSC executive leader for church planting and missions partnerships, updated the BOD on the expanding efforts to engage North Carolina’s top 100 pockets of lostness.
 
A new project was launched in January to identify language and people groups in the state. The efforts have begun in Charlotte, the Triangle and the Triad, which are among the top 10 fastest growing population centers in the nation, and will expand to other population centers across the state.
 
Register said they are looking for points of engagement in these population centers – pockets of lostness where it might be possible to carry out an ethnic church plant. So far, 54 points of engagement have been found.
 
“This is in an indication of unreached and unengaged people groups from across the globe that the Lord Jesus Christ in His sovereignty is bringing to North Carolina where we have the opportunity to engage them with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord is bringing them to us so that we can reach them and disciple them, and hopefully watch them return to their native country with the gospel.”
 
The board also heard updates from strategy coordinators serving in the following population centers: Greenville, Blue Ridge/Asheville, the Triangle, Unifour/Hickory, Metro Charlotte, the Triad, and Fayetteville. The coordinators are finding great enthusiasm towards the strategy. They said church leaders, association leaders and others are coming together to discover, develop and deliver strategic efforts necessary to impact lostness through disciple-making.
 

Annual Meeting Theme

Brian Davis, BSC associate executive director-treasurer, reported that the theme for the 2014 annual meeting is “Greater Things,” based on John 14:12. In this verse, Jesus told His disciples that they would do even “greater things” after His death. The November sessions will focus on the “Greater Things” that God is doing through North Carolina Baptists to impact lostness through disciple-making.
 

Fruitland Baptist Bible College

David Horton, Fruitland Baptist Bible College (FBBC) president, reported on some changes at the college. He announced that J.D. Grant, FBBC’s vice president of development, will retire at the end of May. Grant, who most recently served as vice president of development, has provided leadership and service in numerous capacities. Upon his retirement from full-time service, Grant will continue as a professor and volunteer.
 
Horton reported changes in the college’s commencement ceremony in June. This year, African American students and Hispanic students from satellite campuses across the state will join students on the Hendersonville campus in a historically diverse graduation service.
 
The graduation service will include FBBC’s first African American commencement speaker, James Gailliard, pastor of Word Tabernacle Church in Rocky Mount. Gailliard’s message will be translated into Spanish for the audience.
 

WMU-NC Report

Tana Hartsell, Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina (WMU-NC) president, shared that the WMU-NC held their annual Missions Extravaganza at Ridgecrest in April. She said they seek to expose women to missions, including trips to Pittsburgh, Pa. and projects at the Red Springs Mission Camp. Hartsell said the WMU-NC takes advantage of many other opportunities for ministry, including women’s retreats, summer camps, and involvement in a ministry devoted to helping people with criminal records find productive ways of living.
 

Committee Reports

Jimmy Adams, chairman of the Business Services Special Committee, presented a recommendation on behalf of his committee for the board to transfer 20 percent of the previous year’s remaining balance into the BSC’s contingency fund. The transfer of $15,053.40 into the reserve was approved.
 
The BOD heard a report from Ben Whitmire, chairman of the church planting and missions partnerships committee, regarding missions strategy in the pockets of lostness across North Carolina. Whitmire announced that additional missions strategists are being trained to reach the top 100 pockets of lostness in the state. In these pockets of lostness, startup funds are available for church plants and for bi-vocational church leaders.
 

5/27/2014 4:20:01 PM by Emily Rojas, BSC Communications | with 0 comments



Cooperative Program to anchor SBC exhibits

May 27 2014 by Baptist Press

The Cooperative Program (CP) exhibit at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting in Baltimore will feature a diversity of speakers reflecting the multifaceted ministries the CP funds, said Ashley Clayton, SBC vice president for the Cooperative Program and stewardship development.

TED-like talks will be among the newest features of the CP exhibit and will cover such key issues as sex trafficking and ministry outside the Bible Belt.

“Daily personalities who will appear in these interviews on the CP stage will include pastors, denominational leaders and other voices from across the convention who are knowledgeable and passionate about the Cooperative Program,” Clayton said. “Messengers should find the schedule of programming at this display and visit as often as possible throughout their convention experience while in Baltimore.”

Speakers will reflect a wide range of SBC leaders, including elected leaders, entity heads, seminary presidents and pastors, focusing on such topics as church revitalization, pastoring in urban settings, church planting, ethnic diversity, theological challenges, the Great Commission Resurgence and state conventions as well as issues affecting pastors’ wives.

“The CP platform and stage display in the Exhibit Hall is an attempt to elevate, above the floor noise all around us, the long-held SBC values of international missions, theological education, church planting, evangelism, collegiate ministry, disaster relief, church revitalization, moral advocacy and so much more,” Clayton said.

The CP booth reflects a partnership with and is positioned in the Exhibit Hall alongside the International Mission Board (IMB) and North American Mission Board (NAMB).

The SBC’s ethnic diversity also will be emphasized in the CP booth and in the nearby Many Faces exhibit, said Ken Weathersby, SBC vice president for convention advancement.

“The Many Faces exhibit at the annual meeting is a strategic forum to highlight the diversity in the SBC,” Weathersby said. “It is our hope and desire that the messengers would visit with the African American and ethnic leaders as they collaborate and network together to expand the Kingdom of God.” A Many Faces reception will follow the Tuesday evening session of the annual meeting. The gathering will be held in Room 345 of the Baltimore Convention Center.

Reports of other entities’ and ministries’ plans for the Exhibit hall during the SBC’s June 10-11 annual meeting follow:

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File photo by Adam Covington
The Cooperative Program stage in the Exhibit Hall has become a place of substantive discussion about the SBC, its ministries and its future. Among last year’s panel discussions in Houston, Frank Page, president of the Executive Committee, spoke with members of a Calvinism advisory committee.

INTERNATIONAL MISSION BOARD – Recognizing the Great Commission was given to each believer in Christ through the church, the IMB exhibit will help visitors find what part they and their churches can play in “One Sacred Effort” to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. The exhibit will feature take-away cards and stickers identifying specific people groups and ministry projects that an individual or church can pray for, partner to reach and engage with the gospel.

Each take-away card will be grouped into providing scripture resources, meeting human needs and sharing the gospel in the global marketplace through various careers. The exhibit also contains sections for global affinity groups, so if God is leading an individual or church to a specific area of the world, they can talk with people working in that area, find out about its people groups and explore how to commit to a particular ministry project.

In addition to the printed cards and stickers, IMB representatives will show visitors the imb.org/one website, which is going live for the SBC meeting featuring the identified people groups and ministry needs. The website can be shared with fellow church members to help them find their place in God’s eternal story of bringing people to Him.

NORTH AMERICAN MISSION BOARD – Visitors to NAMB’S exhibit will meet some of the 32 Send North America city coordinators and regional mobilizers. NAMB representatives will help connect SBC attendees with resources to help them engage their entire church families in the Send North America strategy.

Attendees will learn more about the 2015 Send North American Conference and the Send North America Experience Tour. The conference and tour will provide pastors with venues in which they can help their congregations better understand how God is moving in North America and how they can join what He is doing through Send North America.

NAMB leaders also will participate in a variety of question-and-answer sessions sponsored by the SBC Executive Committee at the Cooperative Program exhibit.

LIFEWAY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES – LifeWay’s popular 8,000-square-foot Christian store will offer a wide selection of books, Bibles and other Christian products. Other LifeWay areas will present interactive displays highlighting research initiatives, church resources, conference centers and direct sales as well as the B&H Publishing Group.

Among the features at the LifeWay exhibit:
  • LifeWay Research’s interactive 9-foot robot, popular at last year’s SBC, will focus on the theme “Transformation,” drawing attention to its Transformational Discipleship research.
  • Ministry experts from the church resources division will introduce the expanded Explore the Bible small group curriculum, the only book-by-book curriculum for all ages.
  • A special story time for kids will be held daily at 2 p.m. in the B&H Publishing Group area featuring noted children’s authors reading their books. Veggie Tales characters Bob and Larry will appear each afternoon at 2:15 in the LifeWay store.
  • Book signings are scheduled in the LifeWay store throughout the convention by numerous authors such as Ben Carson, David Platt, Gary Chapman, Tom Elliff and Jerry Vines.
  • Exhibits featuring LifeWay “OneSource” endorsed products and providers will inform individuals and churches of discount purchasing options for items such as church buses and furniture, copiers, office supplies and background checks.
GUIDESTONE FINANCIAL RESOURCES — GuideStone’s Wellness Center once again will offer free health checks valued at $150, allowing messengers and family members to have their blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose measured.

In the main booth, GuideStone representatives will offer reviews of participants’ retirement accounts and answer questions about GuideStone’s life and health plans, property and casualty coverage, and other GuideStone services. Churches will be able to order materials for Mission:Dignity Sunday, highlighting GuideStone’s ministry to needy retired ministers and their widows.

GuideStone will offer several breakout sessions, including “Doctrines of Faith: Taking a proactive approach to our changing culture,” in which a panel will discuss real-life situations churches need to know about for managing possible liability and risks. A free breakfast is included in this session at 8 a.m. Tuesday and 7:30 a.m. Wednesday; advanced registration is required at www.GuideStone.org/SBC14.

GuideStone’s Compensation Planning course will be offered at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and its Retirement Income Solutions seminar at 1 p.m. on Monday and 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Advanced registration is recommended for the compensation and retirement income meetings, also at www.GuideStone.org/SBC14.

GuideStone also will make available a free copy of Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook (Volume 2), edited by GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins, to pastors/preachers. Quantities are limited.

ETHICS & RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSIONQuestions and Ethics, a free book by ERLC President Russell D. Moore, will be distributed at the entity’s booth in the Exhibit Hall.

Just days before the Supreme Court rules on the historic religious liberty case involving Hobby Lobby, join the ERLC for “Hobby Lobby and the Future of Religious Liberty,” a panel discussion featuring Moore, Rick Warren, David Platt and Sam Rodriguez, at 9 p.m. Monday, June 9, in the Baltimore Hilton’s Holiday Ballroom 4/5 & Corridor on Level 2. Slated Tuesday: “Questions & Ethics Live” with Moore and Matt Chandler at 5 p.m. fielding key theology, ministry and cultural questions in the Baltimore Hilton in the Holiday Ballroom 1/2/3 on Level 2. Space is limited for both events; go to erlc.com/sbc to register.

WMU – “Missions for Life,” WMU’s tag line, will be the backdrop for learning about missions involvement opportunities for preschoolers, children, youth and adults at their exhibit. A special focus for Woman’s Missionary Union in Baltimore is the conclusion of a yearlong celebration of its 125th anniversary. Churches are being encouraged to start new organizations through the 1–2–5 Challenge (begin one new organization, with two new leaders and five new members). Adjoining the WMU booth will be New Hope Publishers and WorldCrafts; all three divisions will conduct daily giveaways from their booths.

New Hope Publishers is partnering with WMU to tell the story of radical commitment to God’s mission and will feature the new 2014–15 WMU emphasis book by national WMU President Debby Akerman, “Secrets to Surrender: Living Wholeheartedly.” New Hope also is featuring the work of several SBC leaders including Taylor Field of Graffiti Ministries in New York City. Taylor will sign his books at the LifeWay store in the Exhibit Hall.

WorldCrafts, a fair-trade division of WMU, develops sustainable businesses among impoverished people around the world. A member of the Fair Trade Federation, WorldCrafts partners with dozens of artisan groups to import and sell hundreds of handcrafted items from more than 25 countries. Many of the artisan groups WorldCrafts partners with are working to free women from human exploitation and sex trafficking.

SOUTHERN BAPTIST FOUNDATION – Planning for eternity will be the focus of the Southern Baptist Foundation’s booth showcasing resources and services to facilitate giving, glorifying God and advancing His Kingdom. The foundation assists assist believers in quality estate planning as an act of stewardship and generosity. The foundation also provides prudent, socially screened investment services to churches and entities.

SOUTHERN BAPTIST HISTORICAL LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES – Governed by the Council of Seminary Presidents, the SBHLA is the largest and most accessible collection of Baptist material in the world. The SBHLA exhibit will feature historic photographs of Baptist life, events, churches, ministries and missions. In addition to information on the library and archives, the booth also will have brochures on church archives and information on a new website, baptistheritage.com.

SEMINARY EXTENSION – Seminary Extension has been training volunteers, leaders, teachers and pastors for Southern Baptist churches since 1951. Following its original mandate from the Southern Baptist Convention, Seminary Extension continues to offer opportunities for theological education and ministry training through independent study as well as group studies sponsored by churches, associations and state conventions. Individuals interested in this kind of training where they live and serve are invited to stop by Seminary Extension’s booth in the Exhibit Hall for information. The director Randal Williams and student services associate Carmen Ferreira will field questions about promoting Seminary Extension in your area. They also look forward to visiting with alumni, current and former instructors.

GLOBAL HUNGER RELIEF – A new campaign in the battle against hunger across North America and overseas will launch in the Exhibit Hall in Baltimore. The Global Hunger Relief (GHR) booth will be staffed in part by Southern Baptist missionaries who work hands-on with hunger relief efforts. The booth will focus particularly on relief efforts in Appalachia and among Syrian refugees. Also included in the GHR promotion will be two new music videos from Drew Cline, former lead singer for NewSong and current worship pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Ark.

More than 1 billion people around the world are hungry more often than not, and about 24,000 people – over half of them young children – die every day from various conditions that could have been alleviated by basic nutrition. Global Hunger Relief seeks to challenge a new generation of believers to personally take Jesus’ love to starving souls in both word and deed. GHR is a collaborative effort of the World Hunger Fund partners: Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, NAMB, IMB, Baptist Global Response, WMU, LifeWay Christian Resources and the SBC Executive Committee.

GOLDEN GATE BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY – This year, Golden Gate will highlight its fully accredited and fully online master of divinity degree as well as the pending sale and relocation of its campus in Mill Valley, Calif. Themed “Biblical, Missional, Global,” Golden Gate’s booth will tell the benefits of gospel-centered education offered at the seminary’s five urban campuses in northern and southern California, Arizona, the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest.

MIDWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY – A display of selected books from the Charles Spurgeon Library will be featured at Midwestern’s booth. Visitors can receive a free copy of The Church Planting Survival Guide, a new resource on church planting from the seminary. And they can enter to win an iPad Mini loaded with books by Spurgeon. Numerous other materials will be available, including the latest copy of the Midwestern Magazine focusing on the theme of the relationship between the seminary and the local church. Both faculty and staff will be available to meet with alumni, friends and prospective students during the convention.

NEW ORLEANS BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY – NOBTS will highlight its main campus programs, extension centers and fully online master’s degrees. Faculty members will discuss degree programs and current campus news with alumni and potential students. In keeping with tradition, NOBTS will give away small bottles of Louisiana hot sauce.

SOUTHEASTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY – Visitors to Southeastern’s exhibit will have the opportunity to interact with SEBTS leaders, faculty and alumni about innovative seminary and college degree programs and strategic initiatives that aim to fulfill the Great Commission. Admissions staff will be present to provide information and answer questions as well as distribute the most recent issue of Southeastern’s magazine honoring Daniel Akin’s 10 years as SEBTS president. Convention attendees also will have the opportunity to win books by SEBTS faculty members in the areas of biblical studies, theology, philosophy, cultural engagement and missions.

SOUTHERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY – Alumni of Southern Seminary’s Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry are invited to the seminary’s exhibit to receive a gift in celebration of the school’s 20th anniversary. Details about the anniversary celebration plans for the fall also will be available. Throughout the annual meeting, the Southern Seminary exhibit will have a variety of giveaways providing resources for pastors. Along with promotions and interaction opportunities with seminary personalities, the seminary also will distribute the latest issue of Southern Seminary Magazine. Themed around church revitalization, the magazine features articles by President R. Albert Mohler Jr., North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell, Billy Graham School dean Adam Greenway and former Billy Graham School dean Thom Rainer, now president of the LifeWay Christian Resources. Convention attendees can connect with alumni, professors, friends and prospective students at the exhibit’s seating area as well as purchase tickets for the annual alumni luncheon on Wednesday, June 11. For more information, go to www.sbts.edu/alumni-and-friends/sbc-luncheon.

SOUTHWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY – Southwestern’s exhibit will reflect the seminary’s ongoing passion for preaching the Word and reaching the world. The booth will feature several seminary-produced videos highlighting successful students and Southwestern’s global impact. Free books and resources will be distributed, and SWBTS representatives and faculty will be available to discuss the seminary’s programs and answer questions. Information also will be available about Southwestern’s “LAUNCH” evangelism event at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Baltimore Convention Center (www.swbts.edu/launch).

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by Baptist Press general assignment writer/editor Diana Chandler and BP editor Art Toalston.)
5/27/2014 11:23:19 AM by Baptist Press | with 0 comments



Strachan to lead Southern Seminary’s Henry Institute

May 27 2014 by RuthAnne Irvin, SBTS/Baptist Press

Owen Strachan will lead the Carl F.H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. announced last month.

“Owen Strachan is one of the finest young scholars and leaders serving the church today,” Mohler said. “He is also a veteran observer of the culture and a faithful theologian of the church. That is a powerful combination, and that explains why Owen Strachan is now the right leader for the Henry Institute. I look forward to seeing what Owen will do with this strategic platform and research center. Carl Henry would be very proud of this appointment.”

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Owen Strachan

The Henry Institute, established in 1998, takes its name in honor of the life and work of Carl F. H. Henry, who is widely regarded as the most important 20th century evangelical theologian.

The institute is “a think tank, an intellectual gathering place sympathetic to the plight of modern evangelicalism and interested in the renewal of the evangelical movement through biblical doctrine anchored in confessional faith,” said Strachan, assistant professor of Christian theology and church history at Boyce College. The mission of the institute is to “equip modern Christians to understand their times and engage them from a historically attuned and theologically informed perspective,” he added.         

Henry’s connections to Southern Seminary go back to when current seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. was a student, Strachan said, noting the close friendship between the two.

“While Mohler was a SBTS student in the 1980s, Henry influenced his theology and ministry in profound ways, a connection that is vitally felt on the seminary’s campus today through Mohler’s own theological program and sense of ecclesial mission,” he said.

Strachan said he plans to feature materials and opportunities that reflect the institute’s mission to produce “theological resources on a wide range of questions in order to help churches engage the culture.”

“I am thrilled to lead the Henry Institute in a time of momentous cultural change,” Strachan said. “I want to lead the Henry Institute in such a way as to help the church to identify and respond to worldview challenges from non-Christian sources on the one hand and biblical and confessional challenges from professing Christians on the other. We will do so not simply by recognizing what is at hand, but by anticipating what is to come.”

Imitating Henry’s “broad theological program, the institute will address such topics as theology proper, the doctrine of revelation, the question of epistemology, worldview issues, and cultural developments, always grounding its ministry to church and culture in the cross of Christ,” he said.

Strachan, who was named recently president of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, said the Henry Institute also plans to host events for the Southern Seminary community and for a broader evangelical audience.

One of the initiatives sponsored by the Henry Institute is the Commonweal Project. The project, funded in part by the Kern Family Foundation, equips “students to understand basic principles of economics, business and entrepreneurship, the biblical and theological principles that ground and shape a theology of work, and how the intersection of faith, work and economics relates to ministry in the church and through the church to the community,” Strachan said.

In order to accomplish these goals, Strachan said, the Kern Family Foundation will sponsor talks, film discussion nights, an economics conference and workshops.

The Commonweal Project will host its first conference, Thrive — The Hard Work of Human Flourishing, Sept. 26, 2014. Speakers will cover topics on faith, work and human flourishing.
5/27/2014 11:10:45 AM by RuthAnne Irvin, SBTS/Baptist Press | with 0 comments



‘God’s still working in the military,’ Navy chaplain says

May 27 2014 by Keith Collier, SWBTS/Baptist Press

After 40 days and 40 nights in the Kuwaiti desert, the First Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment crossed the line of departure into harm’s way in Iraq on March 20, 2003 – the start of what would become known as Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“We had the first man killed in action in the whole war in our unit and fought what many believe is the most decisive battle in the fall of Baghdad,” said Carey Cash, a Navy chaplain assigned to the regiment.

Yet in the midst of physical war, a spiritual battle for the lives of these Marines was already underway as God brought revival to the unit. In the battalion of 1,000 men, Cash said, “about one out of four had a profound spiritual awakening.”

At the beginning of the deployment, Cash asked the men, “Who’s thinking about baptism and would like to explore what it means to follow Christ? Join me for a 12-week study.”

Six of the 12 weeks took place in the Kuwaiti desert. During those 40 days and nights, Cash conducted classes and counseled daily with Marines as they wrestled with the claims of Christ on their lives. Just before crossing into combat, 60 Marines were baptized as new Christians. Several others were baptized while in combat, including one inside Saddam Hussein’s palace on Palm Sunday.

In all, more than 250 men either made professions of faith or rededicated their lives to Christ. In addition to those baptized during the deployment, many more were baptized in their churches upon returning to the U.S.

The experience served as one of many points along the way where Cash felt an affirmation of God’s calling on His life. His 2003 book A Table in the Presence chronicles the story of these spiritual victories.

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Photo by Matt Miller/SWBTS
Commander Carey Cash preaches during a Sunday evening contemporary worship service at the Naval Academy.

Call to ministry

However, a medical crisis nearly prevented him from serving in the military.

Cash grew up in a military family, his father a career Naval officer and fighter pilot who served as a commanding officer at the prestigious “Top Gun” flight school. Military blood always coursed through Cash’s veins, but football was his passion early on.

Cash received a football scholarship as an offensive lineman to The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina, but during his final season, doctors found an inoperable tumor at the base of his brain stem.

“The rug was completely ripped out from under my wife and me,” Cash recalled. “I’d always identified myself physically, and the very thing where I’d always found my identity was gone. But it was during that season of incredible struggle that I began to hear God’s call to ministry.

“All this is happening at the same time. I’ve got this issue going on with my head, this deep sense of calling to ministry that I’m feeling certain about, and out of left field comes this love for the military that’s never really left me as well.”

Unsure how this all fit together, Cash sought the wise counsel of his father-in-law, who served as Chaplain of the Marine Corps. As soon as his father-in-law mentioned chaplaincy, Cash said, “It was like the light bulb went on.”

“It was absolutely crystal clear this is where God wanted me, but the only mitigating problem was that I had a tumor,” he said. “It’s hard to get a commission when you potentially have a catastrophic illness.”

As expected, the Navy denied Cash’s application for active duty chaplaincy due to the tumor. By this time, however, Cash had already enrolled in classes at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Despite having symptoms related to the tumor for more than a year and a half, Cash said, “The week I entered seminary, August of 1994, the symptoms stopped forever. I’ve never had another symptom.”

Cash loved seminary and credits Southwestern with giving him a love for the Bible and the ability to combine a biblical worldview with a missionary heart.

“Southwestern is the convergence of God’s truth and a desire to share that with others,” Cash said. “I like ethics, and I love evangelism, but if you don’t have the Bible at the bottom of that, infusing that, you’re a do-gooder but people aren’t coming to the Lord. Southwestern was such a special, sweet time in my life and my wife’s life of spiritual growth, our understanding of God’s Word and a love for evangelism.”

Still convinced of God’s call to chaplaincy, Cash sought a medical waiver from one of the top neurosurgeons in the country. Providentially, the doctor was a Christian, and after a year of monitoring the tumor with no significant growth or changes, he signed Cash’s medical waiver.

A few months later, Cash received an approval letter from the Navy.

“I still have the tumor,” Cash said. “I really do believe God allowed that just so He could say, ‘Let Me show you who I am and what I can do.’”

Changed by 9/11

Cash graduated from Southwestern in 1998, served a few years as a pastor and started Navy chaplain training in August 2001, one month before two planes struck the World Trade Center in New York City. As he watched the towers fall on television, he knew he would be deployed. He was eventually assigned to the First Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment and began training.

During training, Cash learned the essence of a being a good chaplain.

“The bottom line is that you don’t have to be a great preacher, you don’t have to be a skilled counselor,” Cash said, “but if you will love the men and spend time with them, you’re in.”

Every Friday before the unit deployed to Iraq, Cash would go on a hike with a company even though he was not required to do so.

“There’s nowhere in the world that I know of where you just have such an opportunity to carry out a ministry of presence,” Cash said. “Love the men and suffer with them, and you’re in. The many months of time in the states before we deployed to war was a time of preparation, building and seasoning these relationships, so when we got into combat all these things bore fruit.”

Following his deployment to Iraq, Cash served on a guided missile cruiser in the Arabian Gulf and then conducted retreats and taught ethics at a base in Italy. Near the end of his assignment in Italy, his superiors encouraged him to submit an application for the chaplaincy post at Camp David, a facility that serves as the President’s retreat center.

Chaplain to the President

Cash received the appointment and arrived at Camp David in December 2008, one month before President Obama was sworn into office. He served at the post for two and a half years, ministering to the needs of the Camp David staff as well as the President and visitors.

“It was an absolute privilege to serve the people that worked there and the administration,” Cash said. “It’s one of those rare opportunities where you feel like God’s placed you there, so I wanted to be a good steward. It was a great opportunity in a very small but maybe significant way to be a voice.

“Take away all the veneer and the trappings, we are all people who need the Lord. So, in some ways, it helped humanize for me the political side of life. A lot of times, we see people on the news or CNN. Whoever they are, they’re so ensconced in the political identity that we just sort of see them as an object and not as a person. Being at Camp David helped me realize that no matter who a person is, whether they occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or Bakersfield, Calif., there’s a spiritual need there, there’s a need for there to be a loving voice in those people’s lives. It doesn’t mean that the prophetic side isn’t important; it is, but you walk that edge prayerfully and thoughtfully.”

Following his time at Camp David, Cash was deployed to Afghanistan for nine months before receiving his current assignment as Deputy Command Chaplain of the U.S. Naval Academy (or “The Yard,” as it is sometimes called), where he serves alongside and supervises other chaplains. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Cash counsels students, faculty and staff; performs weddings and funerals; preaches regularly in the main Protestant service and the Sunday night contemporary service; teaches discipleship and seeker classes; and teaches on the academy’s ethics faculty.

“What’s such an honor here is that you get to preach to the soul of the Navy,” Cash said. “As the military changes its culture, I think chaplains have the opportunity to be prophetic voices to the institution. Here is a great opportunity for that because if there’s anywhere in the Navy that’s a symbol of the institution, it’s the Naval Academy. This is the training ground for our future leaders.”

One of Cash’s favorite times of ministry at the academy rolls around every June – Plebe Summer.

“Plebe Summer is the first six weeks for all the new freshman class. It’s very tough for them – physically arduous, mentally arduous. They’re 18- or 19-year-olds arriving on campus, heads are shaved, everything’s taken away from you. You’re basically not a person like you were in civilian life; you’re a number, you’re a Plebe,” Cash said.

“As a chaplain, you have a very important role to play. [Most] Plebes have never met a chaplain. It’s really an incredible window of opportunity over those six weeks to build relationships with them and in many ways open the door to the gospel. There will be Plebes who come to church who have never darkened the door of a church until that summer.”

During Plebe Summer, chaplains jump into the fray, arriving at the athletic fields every morning to participate in physical fitness alongside the freshmen.

“We’re all wearing red shirts with ‘Chaplain’ on the back, so it’s a great hands-on ministry,” Cash said. “We’re sweating with them, singing with them when they run. We do a lot of counseling with kids whose lives are being ripped out from under them because their grades are low or they’ve never failed before. It’s a great opportunity for many to meet Jesus.”

After more than a decade in the military, with many significant places of service, Cash remains optimistic about the future of military chaplaincy.

“The reason I think chaplaincy is so exciting is because we’re still in that wonderful tension where we have an answer and there is a need,” Cash said, adding with a smile, “God’s still working in the military.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Keith Collier is director of news and information for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (www.swbts.edu/campusnews)).
5/27/2014 10:49:33 AM by Keith Collier, SWBTS/Baptist Press | with 0 comments



Compensation survey deadline approaching

May 27 2014 by Roy Hayhurst, Baptist Press

Time is running out for ministers and other church employees to participate in the bi-annual Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Church Compensation Survey. Responses should be received by May 31.

The survey's responses are used by churches of all sizes to determine fair wages and benefits. Participants will be entered for a chance to win an iPad. The survey and complete contest rules are available at www.GuideStone.org/CompensationSurvey.

The survey is a joint effort of Baptist state conventions, LifeWay Research and GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. As of May 19, more than 10,500 individuals had participated.

Survey results are not reported individually. Compensation and benefit information can be contributed anonymously.

Responses to the survey constitute one of the largest databases of church compensation information in the United States. Among the information generated from survey results is average compensation for specific positions among similar-sized churches within each state convention. A higher number of participants leads to more accurate compensation data.

Survey results will be released this summer. Survey participants will receive advance notification of the results and be given access to the data.

The winner of the iPad will be notified via email.

Contact GuideStone Financial Resources with any questions. Call toll free 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433) Monday–Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CST to speak with a customer relations specialist, or send an email to info@GuideStone.org.

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roy Hayhurst is department head of denominational and public relations services at GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.)
5/27/2014 10:21:38 AM by Roy Hayhurst, Baptist Press | with 0 comments



9/11 museum moves disaster relief leader

May 27 2014 by Bob Nigh, Baptist Messenger/Baptist Press

Oklahoma's disaster relief director Sam Porter spent an emotional day at the National September 11 Memorial Museum during a special preview of the facility in New York City.

National disaster relief leaders with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) asked Porter to represent the Southern Baptist Convention at the by-invitation-only event on May 19. The museum officially opened May 21 to the public.

The preview days were open to first responders, rescue and recovery workers and survivors and relatives of those who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001, the Pentagon in Washington, and those who were on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to overtake the hijackers.

Porter spent a total of 39 days in Lower Manhattan providing relief in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks nearly 13 years ago.

The attacks came in the days when disaster relief chaplaincy was in its infancy and had not yet been organized nationally. Mickey Caison, then NAMB's disaster relief director, called Porter after American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 hit the Twin Towers. Caison asked Porter to collect a team of chaplains and get to "Ground Zero" as soon as possible.

The Oklahoma team carried with them the experiences of ministering to people impacted by the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.
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Photo courtesy of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma
Photos of those killed in the 9/11 attacks take up an entire wall of the new National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York.


Since Oklahoma Baptists' response to the September 11 attacks in 2001, they now have nearly 290 endorsed disaster relief chaplains; nationally, there are believed to be about 700, according to NAMB statistics.

Porter's group of five chaplains arrived in New York three days after the towers fell and manned the temporary morgue at Ground Zero for about two weeks.

His reflections of the memorial plaza and museum stem mainly from those first few days of ministry.

"I think the biggest thing about the museum is that it truly tells the whole story of what happened at 9-11," Porter said. "I believe my grandkids can go there 10 years from now and if they don't know anything about it, they can walk through that museum and know everything that took place from the actions of national leaders to seeing everything that I experienced and knew first hand. They can catch it second hand, and it's all very correct. It's all done very well; [it's] a ... class act. I think it's one of the best memorials I have ever seen, it's so complete."

Porter's voice cracked with emotion as he described walking with other visitors in the museum.

"We walked through with fire fighters who were there, and I saw people who worked in the towers and got out alive," he said. "I heard a guy describing to his wife about where he was (in the building) and where he parked that day. I saw lots of family members sitting in the video rooms. Even some watch[ed] the videos of people jumping from the buildings.

"That probably got me more than anything, family members who lost a loved one who died in the towers. Thirteen years later, I'm still pretty tender on that because we worked the morgue and they brought the bodies out and we saw hundreds of body bags come through ... and my heart just really breaks for that.

"And, seeing some of these firemen -- who lost 343 brothers -- that's still pretty emotional for me."

Porter sees his cumulative month of service in New York as a milepost in his life.

"That has been a major part of my life and ministry, and so I feel honored to get to go on behalf of the Southern Baptist Convention," he said. "I was thrilled that they asked us to go, because our leadership called us to be the first to respond to coordinate the chaplaincy, not knowing what that would be. But when we got there, God knew what we needed to do."

The museum includes a total of 100,000 square feet of exhibition space and is located near Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center Towers stood.

The original World Trade Center complex consisted of seven buildings, spanning 16 acres. It housed office space, an observation deck, the "Windows on the World" restaurant, and an underground shopping mall. It served as a transit hub for commuter trains and subway riders. About 50,000 people worked at the complex, with another 40,000 passing through daily.

Porter said he learned a lot about the World Trade Center from the exhibits in the museum.

"I learned more about some of the flights, even down to the terrorists," he said. "It had a display about the radical Muslim agenda, and I was pleased to see that they did not shy away from that, trying to be politically correct. They showed exactly how Al Qaeda expanded and what they're doing. They were very fair about that."

The 9/11 memorial plaza also is impressive, he said.

"The architecture of the whole things is beautiful. The memorial pools are the exact dimensions of the buildings -- exactly where they stood -- and like an eternal fountain of flowing water, instead of an eternal flame. They had the names of everyone who died etched in the borders of the pools and that was very well done, too. It is beautiful, and will be there until time is over. It's just a place of comfort with hundreds of trees."

Porter was disappointed with only one aspect of the memorial and museum.

"They never said anything about our (SBC) part in the whole event," he said. "We helped prepare 1.29 million meals from the first week of October with the Salvation Army until the landfill closed in July 2002.

"We had a Southern Baptist team there every single day from the first week in October to the end of July. And every state got to send teams."

Volunteers from 32 SBC state conventions participated, contributing 20,842 "volunteer days" -- defined as one volunteer working one day. SBC disaster relief volunteers served 842 children in childcare centers, and cleaned 643 apartments during the 319-day response.

"But, the museum was well done; I think any family member who lost a loved one who goes will be impressed, just like we are at the National Memorial in Oklahoma City at the site of the Murrah Building. That is a very well done memorial and class act with reverence and honor to those who died, too."

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Bob Nigh is managing editor of the Baptist Messenger, the newspaper of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.)
5/27/2014 10:09:26 AM by Bob Nigh, Baptist Messenger/Baptist Press | with 0 comments



Ronnie Floyd Q&A for SBC president

May 23 2014 by Baptist Press

Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd, as one of three pastors to be nominated for SBC president in June, responded to six questions Baptist Press posed to each candidate.
 
Floyd's nomination was announced Feb. 20 by R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Floyd has led Cross Church in northwest Arkansas for 27 years, now with campuses in Springdale, Rogers and Fayetteville.

Among Floyd's leadership roles in the Southern Baptist Convention, he chaired the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (2009-10) that set forth wide-ranging recommendations for expanding the SBC's missions outreach. Earlier, he served as chairman of the SBC Executive Committee and was a member of the mid-1990s SBC's Program and Structure Task Force that produced The Covenant for a New Century restructuring and refocusing of the SBC's entities.

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Ronnie Floyd

Floyd has been a key organizer of two pastor/leader prayer gatherings that each drew participants from nearly 30 states in recent months -- a Jan. 13-14 meeting in Atlanta attended by 400 pastors and leaders and a Sept. 30-Oct. 1 meeting in the Dallas-Fort Worth area attended by 175-plus pastors.

Floyd also has served as general editor for the updated and enhanced version of "Bible Studies for Life," LifeWay's most popular Bible study curriculum series, released last fall. He led an advisory team of pastors and ministry leaders to help design the new material from a church perspective. Floyd also serves as lead pastor and strategist with the North American Mission Board for its Send North America church planting strategy. He is the author of 10 books, including "Our Last Great Hope: Awakening the Great Commission" (2011) and "The Power of Prayer and Fasting" (2010).

Floyd holds doctor of ministry and master of divinity degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas and an undergraduate degree from Howard Payne University, also in Texas.

The new SBC president will succeed New Orleans pastor Fred Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, who became the first-ever African American to lead the SBC when he was elected in 2012.

A Q&A with one of the other nominees, Kentucky pastor Jared Moore, also appears in today's Baptist Press edition. A Q&A with Maryland pastor Dennis Manpoong Kim, whose nomination was announced May 20, will appear in a future BP posting. Baptist Press requested each nominee to respond within 150 words to each question.

Ronnie Floyd's answers to BP questions


BP: What influence on the Southern Baptist Convention do you pray to have during the two consecutive one-year terms that an SBC president typically serves?

FLOYD: If called upon to serve as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, I would humbly urge Southern Baptists to join me in two vital efforts. First, I will call upon us to cry out to God in extraordinary prayer for the next great spiritual awakening in America. No great movement of God ever occurs without being preceded by the extraordinary prayer of God's people. Second, I will do all I can to lead Southern Baptists to do all we can together to accelerate our pace in completing the Great Commission. It is imperative we penetrate lostness in our churches, states, nation and across the entire world. Evangelizing, baptizing, discipling, sending and giving must be escalated. Southern Baptists have had a Conservative Resurgence. We are in the midst of a Great Commission Resurgence. The greatest need in this moment is to see God bring the next Great Awakening.

BP: If elected as SBC president, in what ways do you envision calling Southern Baptists forward in seeking to fulfill the Great Commission?

FLOYD: I was privileged to lead the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force. Through that report, Southern Baptists have taken important steps to penetrate the lostness of our nation and world. As president, I will call upon our churches, associations, state conventions and all SBC entities to do all we can together to accelerate our pace in completing the Great Commission. The SBC's ethnic and racial diversity should be celebrated and encouraged. I will call upon us to return to the power of His Gospel, prioritizing the evangelizing of lost people, baptizing them and establishing a genuine culture for discipling all believers in the church, and return to aggressively evangelizing teenagers and young adults. Accelerating the pace of completing the Great Commission demands we address the financial future of the Southern Baptist Convention and its support of all of our Great Commission ministries, especially how we can increase penetrating global lostness.

BP: Describe ways you have led your church to be involved in Great Commission outreach through Southern Baptist cooperative missions and the Cooperative Program.

FLOYD: In the journey of leading the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, God changed my life and ministry. Confronted with the reality of lostness, I was convicted to give the rest of my life to influencing and investing in others to win the world to Christ. Last year, Cross Church contributed over $700,000 through the Cooperative Program, ranking number one in Arkansas and 18 nationally in total CP giving. Projected to top $750,000 this year, our CP giving increased significantly even during our nation's Great Recession. We made sacrifices to give more, like eliminating our national television ministry. Since 2000, our church has invested in and planted 101 churches -- 56 in the last three years. In 2014, we are investing in 27 church plants, 15 of which are in 13 of the North American Mission Board's designated SEND cities. Mobilizing laypeople, including youth, is vital to our missions commitments.

BP: In what ways do you see the SBC president coming alongside leaders of the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, GuideStone Financial Resources and the convention's six seminaries to undergird and encourage their respective ministries?

FLOYD: As president, I would be a strong advocate for our Southern Baptist Convention entities and tell the story of what we are doing together to reach the world for Jesus Christ. I have been privileged to serve in various capacities in the SBC over the years. Currently, I serve as lead pastor and strategist for Send North America, the strategic church planting initiative of the North American Mission Board. I also serve as the general editor for LifeWay's Bible Studies for Life curriculum series. I'm the most surprised that the Lord has given me such opportunities of service. Also, we must always value our partnerships with state conventions and associations, working with all of them together to reach the world for Jesus Christ. I love the Southern Baptist Convention for all we do for the Kingdom of God, and I'm grateful for all opportunities to serve all fellow Southern Baptists.

BP: If elected as SBC president, how do you foresee speaking to the next generation of Southern Baptist leaders to be involved in expanding the convention's Great Commission work?

FLOYD: For the past five years, I have been speaking to next generation leaders about their personal involvement in our convention's Great Commission ministries. Through the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report, I think we have handed the next generation a vision for which they are very excited and becoming increasingly engaged. As president, I will continue to listen to young leaders, appeal to them and convey their interests and concerns to our leadership. Cross Church has modeled my concern for the next generation by investing in young leaders through our Cross School of Ministry, a one-year ministry residency. It's my desire to reinvent our annual meeting with the goal of making it a spiritual experience that is so fresh and exciting that all generations are compelled to come and be sent out with a renewed engagement with who we are and what we do as Southern Baptists.

BP: What do you see as the key moral issues of our day and how the SBC president can represent Southern Baptists as America increasingly moves away from Judeo-Christian values?

FLOYD: As the cultural landscape of America is changing rapidly, it is imperative that the SBC president walks closely with SBC leaders to articulate a clear message representing the Lord, His Word and our churches. We must uphold the clear biblical view of marriage, the sanctity of human life and religious freedom. We must defend the defenseless, including the poor and victims of human trafficking. We must pray for justice to be done -- that God's will is done on earth as it is in heaven. As we encounter those with whom we disagree, let us be faithful to hold up simultaneously the truth of God and the love of God, communicating with compassion God's Word. I resonate with ERLC President Dr. Russell Moore's call for "convictional kindness" in addressing our culture, and it's one that I would seek to emulate if I'm privileged to be SBC president.

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.)
 
Related Story:

Jared Moore Q&A for SBC president
Dennis Manpoong Kim Q&A for SBC president

5/23/2014 11:04:01 AM by Baptist Press | with 0 comments



Jared Moore Q&A for SBC president

May 23 2014 by Baptist Press

Kentucky pastor Jared Moore, as one of three pastors to be nominated for SBC president in June, responded to six questions Baptist Press posed to each candidate.
 
Moore’s nomination was announced May 7. Bennie Smith, a deacon at New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, Ky., where Moore is pastor, will nominate him. Paul Sanchez, pastor of Willow Baptist Church in Brooksville, Ky., was originally announced as the nominator but said he will not be making the nomination.

Moore has led New Salem for the past four years, serving previously as a pastor and youth pastor in Tennessee.

Moore is the current second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has served as a teaching assistant at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and an online adjunct professor at Mid-Continent University in Mayfield, Ky.

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Jared Moore

Moore is a regular contributor to the SBC Voices website and is the author of “10 Sacred Cows in Christianity that Need to Be Tipped” and “The Harry Potter Bible Study: Enjoying God Through the Final Four Harry Potter Movies.”

Moore holds a bachelor of arts from Trinity College of the Bible, a master of arts in religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a master of divinity from Southern Seminary. He is a doctor of philosophy student at Southern majoring in systematic theology.

The new SBC president will succeed New Orleans pastor Fred Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, who became the first-ever African American to lead the SBC when he was elected in 2012.

A Q&A with one of the other nominees, Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd, also appears in today’s Baptist Press edition. A Q&A with Maryland pastor Dennis Manpoong Kim, whose nomination was announced May 20, will appear in a future BP posting. Baptist Press requested each nominee to respond within 150 words to each question and edited extended responses.

Jared Moore’s answers to BP questions


BP: What influence on the Southern Baptist Convention do you pray to have during the two consecutive one-year terms that an SBC president typically serves?

MOORE: I hope to encourage all Southern Baptists to continue laboring for God’s glory, especially those who serve in difficult areas for ministry. I hope to encourage young leaders and leaders of small churches to be more involved in the ministries of the Cooperative Program and in the annual convention. If I am elected, I plan to invite many small church leaders to serve on the committees I appoint. Large church leaders will be invited as well, but there will be many new faces. Not only must the SBC president encourage all Southern Baptists, he must seek to involve all Southern Baptists in the decision-making process. There is much untapped potential in Southern Baptist churches and I hope to invite faithful Southern Baptists to serve who have not served before. The appointments will represent the diversity of the SBC by being multi-generational and multi-ethnic, while also pulling from small and large churches in rural and urban areas.

BP: If elected as SBC president, in what ways do you envision calling Southern Baptists forward in seeking to fulfill the Great Commission?

MOORE: My goal is to call all Southern Baptists to faithfulness to God as revealed in His Word. We must be satisfied in God while having a healthy dissatisfaction with our tangible results. To the preacher, to the Sunday School teacher, to the missionary, if you preach or teach and no one repents, don’t you give up. You remain faithful, you continue preaching and teaching and you pray until God raises the dead. Of course, we must examine our ministry, look for other avenues to share the gospel and seek to be more effective in our gospel presentation but always remember that we cannot raise the dead. Another voice must be heard along with our voices. Pray, preach and teach until our hearers hear His voice.

BP: Describe ways you have led your church to be involved in Great Commission outreach through Southern Baptist cooperative missions and the Cooperative Program.

MOORE: New Salem Baptist Church (NSBC) participated in Find It Here two years in a row through the Lincoln County Baptist Association (LCBA) and the Kentucky Baptist Convention (KBC). We went door to door in our community handing out copies of the Gospel of John, sharing the gospel and inviting people to Easter Sunday worship. In 2011, NSBC hosted a disaster relief training day for those interested in serving on the chainsaw teams. When the tornado hit in West Liberty, Ky., in 2013, the KBC connected us to a Southern Baptist church there. We took a group up for a weekend mission trip to help with homes for families who had lost their homes. We worked with one of the family members on his house and were able to share Christ with him. For the second year in a row, NSBC is heading to Pawnee, Okla., in July to serve with other Southern Baptist churches at a day camp for local children at Camp Crossway. The children who repent and believe will be left in the care of local Southern Baptist churches for discipleship. A few months ago, NSBC hosted the LCBA’s semi-annual meeting. Southern Baptist churches of Lincoln County came together to eat, fellowship and encourage one another in our efforts to continue making disciples. Also, a few weeks ago, NSBC participated in the LCBA’s “Great Awakening Revival” joint effort of Southern Baptist churches in the County. We long for revival!

BP: In what ways do you see the SBC president coming alongside leaders of the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, GuideStone Financial Resources and the convention’s six seminaries to undergird and encourage their respective ministries?

MOORE: The leaders of our entities have an enormous responsibility. My hope is to encourage their endeavors to be good stewards of Southern Baptist resources for fulfilling the Great Commission. The reality, however, is that most of these entities cannot fulfill their responsibilities to Southern Baptists if Southern Baptists do not give through the Cooperative Program. New Salem Baptist Church believes in the Cooperative Program. We give 16 percent of our undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program. I hope to encourage Southern Baptist churches to continue giving and to increase their giving. Giving through the Cooperative Program is still the best way to fulfill the Great Commission. Southern Baptists should come alongside our entities and their leaders for the sake of making disciples worldwide. Let’s unite to make our entities all that they can be!

BP: If elected as SBC president, how do you foresee speaking to the next generation of Southern Baptist leaders to be involved in expanding the convention’s Great Commission work?

MOORE: We can do far more together than we can if we are divided. All generations of Southern Baptists should support the Cooperative Program for at least four reasons: 1) The “all nations” Great Commission (IMB). 2) The church planting disciple-making biblical model (NAMB). 3) confessionally biblical training (BF&M) by top Christian scholars and seasoned pastors (SBTS, NOBTS, SWBTS, SEBTS, MBTS and GGBTS). 4) The confessionally Southern Baptist representation in the marketplace of ideas (ERLC). The ministries funded through the Cooperative Program are not perfect but they are still the best way to support worldwide disciple-making. If you see issues with the Cooperative Program or her ministries, get involved in the local, state and national associations and convention(s) to help make our ministries and entities all they can be. Help us constantly ask and answer the question, “Are we using God’s resources in the best possible way to fulfill His Great Commission for His glory?” Let us sweat and bleed together until all nations praise His name!

BP: What do you see as the key moral issues of our day and how can the SBC president represent Southern Baptists as America increasingly moves away from Judeo-Christian values?

MOORE: Abortion is the greatest moral issue facing not only our country but all of humanity and arguably the greatest evil our country has ever participated in. Over 50,000,000 innocent human beings have been murdered since 1973. As Christians, Southern Baptists must love our unborn neighbors. We must also help parents see that they have other options besides taking innocent life. Currently, biblical marriage is being attacked on all sides. Christians should continue to unashamedly say what the Bible says and vote in accord with their consciences as informed by God through Scripture. The only definition of marriage recognized by Jesus Christ – one man and one woman in a loving relationship covenanted together for life (Mark 10:6-9) – should be the only definition recognized by Southern Baptists. I believe the SBC president should represent Southern Baptists by saying what the BF&M and Scripture clearly say. Some moral issues are clearer than others. The Scriptures, however, are our ultimate authority – timeless truths that are inerrant and always relevant and sufficient for human flourishing regardless of how much times passes or how far a culture gets away from the Word of God. Southern Baptists, however, must realize that our neighbors will not be transformed by government or civil laws. Our neighbors need the gospel! The moral issues in this country are a direct result of a denial of the supremacy of Christ. Only through calling sinners to repent and believe will hearts be changed, and only then will America change.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by Baptist Press chief national correspondent David Roach. Jared Moore is on the Web at jaredmoore.exaltchrist.com.)
 
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5/23/2014 10:43:26 AM by Baptist Press | with 0 comments



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