Ky Changers, Calloway County

IMG_3642200 students, leaders, and a host of volunteers are working with Kentucky Changers this week in Calloway County. Our thanks to Tim Cole, director of missions for Blood River Baptist Association, and all of the host churches.

Students arrived Saturday and got settled. Most have brought air mattresses to sleep on the floor at the high school for a week. A few cots are here, and there may be a few hardy folks in sleeping bags on the floor. After a great meal we began with team assignments, worship, and church group time.

IMG_3690On Sunday, teams attended worship with their host church, had lunch, then prayerwalked at the site where they will be working.  In the afternoon, after starting to learn some team skills, everyone participated in a class on “How to Share Your Faith.”

Nick Stamps, pastor of Post Oak Baptist Church in Russellville, is the pastor for the week, preaching nightly to help students grow in their faith. Our prayer is that many students will be saved this week and that believing students will make a deeper commitment to Christ.

IMG_3726Pray for Kentucky Changers this week as they work on projects all over Calloway County. Pray for the homeowners as well. Pray that the students will have a bold witness with the communities where they serve.

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EBO at Work: Making the impossible possible

Randy McPheron, Director of Missions for Rockcastle Association, could hardly contain his excitement when he shared Teddy’s story with me.  Teddy Fulton wanted to give public commitment to his faith in Christ and be baptized in a church.  The challenge was that Teddy, age 24 at the time of this story had been left paralyzed after an accident at 16.

A resident at Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center, Teddy told Luther Allen, hospital chaplain, that he wanted to be baptized and he wanted it to take place in a church. Considering his medical condition, this was impossible. But because of a grant from the Eliza Broadus Offering, the impossible was made possible.

This story actually began in 2010 when the Rockcastle Baptist Association Jail Ministry applied for an EBO grant to help them purchase a portable baptistry.  The ministry was featured in our 2012 materials, including a video of B.J. Bradley holding a baptism at the jail.

When Teddy asked to be baptized in a church, Randy asked if the portable baptistry could be used. After several meetings, it was determined that the best option was to set it up at Northside Baptist Church and take Teddy and a medical team there.  A maintenance crew built a special platform that would allow the wheels of a hydraulic lift to fit underneath. A special face tent and cover for Teddy’s tracheostomy were designed.

On a Sunday afternoon about 50 people gathered at Northside Baptist Church to help Teddy experience baptism as his public confession of Christ as Savior.  His mother and sister drove from South Carolina to be there. Also present was his Kentucky family, including about three dozen employees of Rockcastle Regional, many attending on their own time to show support.

Last week the Kentucky WMU Finance Committee met to review 89 applications for grants from the 2014-15 Eliza Broadus Offering. Great prayer and discernment is required in making these decisions each year as there are always more requests than funds.

Your faithful giving makes it possible for us to provide grants to ministries across Kentucky. EBO is received all year long and we have not yet reached our goal of $1,250,000 for the 2014-15 offering year. Focus on WMU in February is a great time to receive the offering again to ensure that requests like the one in 2010 from Rockcastle can be filled and keep making an impact for years to come!

PS: You can also give to the Eliza Broadus Offering online!

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WMU at Work in Ten Mile Association

A recent WMU newsletter from Ten Mile Association included reports of WMU at work in the association and through the churches. Let these inspire you!

From Pat Callan, WMU Director: I …enjoy working at the Racetrack on race days.  In my wildest dreams, I would never have thought so years ago.  I knew nothing about racing and really saw no sense in racing a car around and around a track to just see many of them tare to pieces.  But you know, when I read the article in Missions Mosaic about Raceway Ministry and knew that a track was coming to the county where I live,  I just knew God would use  this venue for His kingdom work.  I told about this article as I did the Prayer Calendar one Sunday morning at Paint Lick and John Roberts thanked me for mentioning it after services.  He told me God was calling him to this ministry.  At that time, however, he did not think he had long to live.  God had other plans and he got a new liver and lived long enough (14 years) to not only see it started but developed it into a wonderful ministry with people trained to take over his job when needed.  We will all miss John at the track this summer.  God again has however provided J.T. Marsh to be our new director, and lead in a mighty way.  Many of our churches are involved in this ministry by providing volunteers and cookies.  Pleasant Home Church is joining are ranks this year and will be working at a campground and providing ministry there.  We still have another campground with no ministry if you are interested.  Volunteers are always needed.  Come join us there on race week.

logoCookies, Volunteers, Bibles, Hot wheels needed for Raceway Ministry at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Every church is asked to make cookies this year for Raceway Ministry.  We will need them to be brought to the Ponderosa Campground by Wednesday, June 25th….  We also need VOLUNTEERS. We have trainings available for all volunteers as follows: May 17th for general training and for trauma response, at 1:00, May 31 for general and guest services, and June 14 for general training.  All these trainings are at Glencoe Baptist Church and begin at 8:30 until around noon each Biblesday.  We also need Bibles and they are cheaper this year and printed with drivers testimonies and a page as a tribute to John Roberts for $80.00 a case of 50 Bibles.  We need some refrigerators and freezers if anyone has one they can donate.  Hot wheels are always needed as well.  We need a church to do ministry and be in charge of Hawks Landing Campground also.  [See ministry photos on Facebook]

GA Day Camp at Eagle Valley is June 24, 25, 26. This camp is for girls, ages 6-12 or in grades 1-6 and do not have to be presently in an active GA group, and their adult leader.  It starts at 9:30 each day, Tuesday, Wed. and Thursday but it would be good if you could come at 9:00 on Tuesday for registration.  Each girl is to bring her Bible, a towel or blanket to sit on and a sack lunch.  Leaders are to bring a gallon of Kool-aid and cookies each day as well as paper towels, band aids, toilet paper and hand soap.    The cost is $10.00 per girl and a dollar for the leader.  The theme this year is, “Set your GPS”  and should be an interesting one. Each church should come prepared to do a variety show skit, musical, comedy, interpretive movement, puppet show etc. for a ten minutes performance.  Please make an effort to bring girls from your church and community to this camp.  You will be glad you did.  If you have questions, please see Becky Purcell, 859-428-7725

Upcoming Associational WMU Meeting: Our next associational WMU meeting will be held on July 8 at Glencoe Baptist Church and will be a GA Birthday Celebration with praise songs from GA Day Camp and Anita Wainscott from Dallasburg will be speaking about her trip back to Africa. It will begin at 10:30  and everyone is asked to bring a covered dish to share. I am asking each GA group who attends Day Camp to come to this meeting and share something they learned and enjoyed at camp. Also if you were a GA, you might want to share an experience.

Glencoe Baptist News – Our children love visiting with residents of Gallatin Health Care as part of a continuing Children’s Ministry activity. And, for the past 25 years Louise Roberts and ladies from various churches in the area lead a hymn sing at the health care on the 4th Monday of each month. The youth group had a lock-in March 21. The church worked together to purchase items to fill two Buckets of Hope which were delivered to the annual WMU meeting in Winchester. (We’re working to fill two more buckets before the annual KBC meeting in November.) The North American Mission study was taught on March 6 for our members and those of Oakland Baptist. We met our goal for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.  We are participating in the Mother’s Day Offering for Sunrise Children’s Services and we will begin collecting baby bottles filled with change until Father’s Day for Care Net Pregnancy Services. Our girls are looking forward to GA Day Camp in June.  Our ladies and girls will soon be busy baking cookies for Kentucky Raceway Ministries to give away at Kentucky Speedway. Our church was very blessed to have members of Sparta Baptist and Paint Lick Baptist to come on Saturday, May 5, to help us with some repairs and maintenance.  Several projects were taken care of including adding a new double door and two single entry doors to our educational building; new electric outlets and switches were installed.; the front porch steps, posts, and floor were scraped and painted; and, the entry was repainted.  Cleaning and straightening up in classrooms and library were done, too. There are still items to be taken care of, if someone else is looking for a mission activity.  By Dona Roberts

Paint Lick WMU: Paint Lick ladies have been busy. We have continued our Wednesday night Kids Club and this week, April 14th will be our last session for this school year. A couple of us ladies went to our Gallatin County Community Baby Shower and gave away wipes with a scripture verse on it and a flyer inviting the young mothers to church. Our Acteens met on March 13th at my house and made pull string bags to be filled with items for homeless youth.  We had five girls and five ladies. We also attended the Ford Fan Free Day at Ky. Speedway and helped children do a craft.  Five of us attended the State WMU meeting at Winchester and five of us attended our last associational meeting.  We collected around $750.00 for Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. By Pat Callan

Vine Run Baptist Church WMU promoted the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering during March and April. Our offering total was $1,032. The WMU also sponsored a Dessert Auction to benefit a youth from another church going on a mission trip. Church members donated homemade desserts and then bid in a silent auction for those desserts before and after church. Winning bidders took home their tasty treats after church. We raised nearly $400 for this cause. The WMU also collected items for care packages for our church and community college students to send during “Finals Week”. We also sent packages to our members in the military. Along with notes of support and encouragement we included lots of goodies to share with their friends when pulling those all-nighters. From Rhonda Wilhoite

Ten Mile Baptist Church ladies met with Pat Callan on March 6th to discuss starting a Women on Missions group in their church.  Since then, they have met on April 10th and on May 8th and are already very busy planning and doing projects.  Frances Bayes and Vesta Moore went to the Senior Celebration at Lawrenceburg and also to the State WMU meeting.  They took three buckets of items for their thrift store.  Frances reports that they need small appliances, pots and pans and men’s items such as fishing poles.  They also take books and clothing.  They have decided that their goal is to be missions minded in their community and that’s what we are all about!!!  Hurrah for Ten Mile!

These and other news items from Ten Mile Association WMU are a great encouragement to everyone. WMU organizations involve churches in missions!  Doing missions locally, learning about God’s work around the world, giving to send missionaries, praying for missions and much more is what WMU is all about.  Contact the WMU leadership team in your association or Kentucky WMU for help in starting or strengthening WMU work in your church or association.  And Hurrah for Ten Mile Association WMU!

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The pledge that shaped my life

GA 100th ribbonOn Saturday, Stacy Nall and I participated in a GA Celebration in Muhlenburg Baptist Association.  The girls were celebrating the 100th birthday of GA with activities, cake and punch, and a mission project.  As our Kentucky WMU Missions Consultant for Children, Stacy brought greetings and shared about GA when she was girl.  After we recognized the oldest GA present (age 93), we read the GA motto and ideals from 1928 and sang the GA song, “We’ve A Story to Tell.”  Then I was asked to share about my GA experiences as a girl.

Among the memories I shared was the impact of the motto, “Arise, shine, for thy light is come” (Isa. 60:1) and the star ideals which had been incorporated into the GA Allegiance that we recited at every GA meeting.  I explained that the language of the pledge included some words that we might not use today and took time to review what the pledge means in words the girls would understand.   The GA Allegiance that we pledged each week said:
Knowing that countless people grope in darkness and giving attention to his commands, I assert my allegiance to Jesus Christ, to his church and its activities, attempting with God’s help to abide in him through prayer, to advance in wisdom by Bible study, to acknowledge my stewardship of time, money, and personality, to adorn myself with good works, and to accept the challenge of the Great Commission.

Each time I said the pledge, I was acknowledging that more people than I could count lived in spiritual darkness.  I stated that I was giving attention to the commands of Jesus and asserting my allegiance to Jesus Christ, His church and its activities.  Certainly churches would be stronger today if more people began with this part of the pledge!  And then we promised five ways that we would carry out this pledge: prayer, Bible study, stewardship, good works, and accepting the challenge of the Great Commission.

This is still my allegiance.  It still shapes my life.  On Saturday, I talked with the girls about what various parts of the pledge mean and most distressing was their lack of understanding about stewardship.  We talked about tithing as one aspect of stewardship and few had even heard the term.  They did not seem to understand  the idea of a tenth, even when explained in terms of 10 dimes to a dollar.  I was not sure if the lack of understanding was due to development in their math skills or simply because we are not talking about tithing in our churches.  Either way, we have much to do to teach this vital spiritual truth.

GAgraphicoptimizedGA members today have a motto and pledge.  Their motto is “Go Forward,” a favorite saying of Annie Armstrong drawn from Exodus 14: 15 (KJV or NASV).  The GA pledge says:
As a GA, I will do my best to live a missions lifestyle that honors God by learning about missions, praying for missions, giving to missions, doing missions, and participating in the work of the church.

I am grateful we are still teaching GAs to honor God by how they live and through what they do.  I pray that the GA pledge will continue to shape lives and lead to a lifetime of missions involvement.

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Repaving the Road – A Challenging Read

When I returned from South Africa, I found among the materials left for me from the KBC Mission Board Meeting, a copy of Repaving the Road: Mapping the Future of Southern Baptist Associations. I called Eric Allen, KBC Missions Mobilization Team Leader, to learn more and told him that I found it to be quite challenging, but absolutely on target with the questions raised.

In Repaving the Road, Josh Ellis examines dire predictions about the future of membership associations in general and Southern Baptist associations in particular. After a brief presentation of the background of Baptist associations, Ellis begins to look at the current influences on associations. The section on the influence of Millennials could be applied to any setting.  As I read, I kept thinking about the local church and WMU.

Of Millennials, Ellis said: “Millennials expect to make substantial contributions in everything they do, and they expect the meetings they attend to cater to their needs …. The Millennial generation has grown up in the age of the blog comment, the online rating, and internet-based instant publishing. If Millennials like a product, they will promote it through social media. Conversely, they will use the same social media to spread negative publicity when they feel it is warranted. Institutions are slow to incorporate the sense of immediacy that Millennials expect, and conversely, Millennials are prone to impatience…. Rainer and Rainer (2011) state that 85% of Millennials felt they had unused potential at their jobs. In associations, where participation is voluntary, similar feelings will result in Millennials withdrawing their participation or ending their membership.”

On the topic of loyalty, Ellis encourages readers “to think of loyalty as a dynamic concept.” He further sates the “Loyalty is a subjective concept and systems dependent on loyalty as the basis for engagement are doomed.” Rather than depend on brand or organizational loyalty for the future, Ellis encourages us to see “preparing for the future as a range of options….[which] allows people and organizations to better adapt to reality as it unfolds.”

Then Ellis asked a question we must all answer: “What year is it in your association?”   Substitute church, WMU, Women on Mission, etc. and you begin to understand the importance of this question. Ellis explains that you can tell what year it is by whether you “use current technologies, innovative methods, and operate from contemporary paradigms.”  He challenges us “to determine how old the mental models are, and what the implications of innovation might be.”

About association trends, and with plenty of other applications in my thinking, Ellis says that leaders would do well to remember three things: (1) Associations are merely one form of networking open to their members; (2) Associations cannot rely on their roles as guardians of information; and (3) Geographically-based associations are not the only game in town.

Over and over, Ellis challenges associational models based on loyalty to the organization. Rather he  points to organizations which “prove their relevancy and perpetuate their relevancy into the future” by what they do cooperatively that assist the members in accomplishment  of their own mission.  I would summarize this by saying that associations are relevant when through cooperative effort, member churches see the association as an avenue for accomplishing the mission of the church. By the same token, missions organizations are relevant when through cooperative effort, the members see the organization as an avenue for being “radically involved in the mission of God” as stated in the WMU vision statement.

Ellis presents four scenario narratives which describe four associations. These scenarios lend themselves to any membership organization.  He shares some “wildcards” that would be “significant ‘game-changing’ events should they occur.”  He asks some “What if” questions that help readers “imagine a future full of possibilities.”

I urge you to read Repaving the Road: Mapping the Future of Southern Baptist Associations and apply the background material and questions raised to your setting. This piece is available as a free download from repavingtheroad.org. You can read about Josh Ellis and read the material in the book as individual blogs, or download the entire book  (51 pages) for printing.  I have enjoyed having a print copy and have used a highlighter throughout!

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