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Articles by Lee Weeks

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By Becoming a Church That Gives Itself Away

In its one hundred and seventy-year history, the largest missions offering First Baptist Church of Cumming, Georgia, had collected was $44,000 for the 2004 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.

Entering the 2005 annual international missions offering campaign, the seventeen-hundred-member church north of Atlanta faced its own ministry budget shortfall due to the cancellation of a couple of Sunday services earlier in the year because of snow and ice.

So what was Senior Pastor Robert Jolly thinking when he proposed a $150,000 end-of-year missions offering goal?

"We were at a finance committee meeting and everyone knew we needed to do something, but tripling a goal at the end of the year kind of scared us," said Jolly, pastor at First Cumming since 1994. "It was just a goal, but we didn't want to fall way short of meeting the goal."

The church had already adopted a $50,000 international missions offering goal....

Jonathan Pettigrew doesn't remember anything about his 100-foot fall down a Colorado mountain in December 2002. He, instead, relies on the accounts of friends who watched over his lifeless body during the two-hour wait for rescue personnel.

Now, less than three years since his near-fatal descent of Cheyenne Canyon, near Colorado Springs, Pettigrew, the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) director at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI), shares with college students many of the lessons he's learned throughout his miraculous recovery.

Pettigrew, a US/C-2 missionary with the North American Mission Board (NAMB), is being featured during the 2005 Week of Prayer for North American Missions, March 6-13. He is among nearly 5,200 missionaries in the United States and Canada supporte...

People today don't want to watch life happen — they want to experience it. This hands-on trend can be seen in the fields of education and entertainment. Even in the church, people are looking for practical ways to experience authentic faith. John Lewis, a forty-five-year-old lawyer and real estate investor from Jackson, Mississippi, says he wants to be among Christian families who are "raising a generation of people who know what it is to minister, to get up out of the pew and go meet people where they are."

Larry Burkett, founder of one of the first Christian financial teaching ministries, was remembered at a memorial service July 11 as a man of unquestionable faith and integrity who was sold out to the authority of Scripture on his life.

Burkett, cofounder of Crown Financial Ministries, died of heart failure July 4 following an extended battle with cancer and heart disease. The sixty-four-year-old Burkett was a member of Blackshear Place Baptist Church in Flowery Branch, Ga.

About 500 people attended the nearly two-hour memorial service July 11 at The Church of the Apostles in Atlanta to pay tribute to Burkett's life and ministry.

Burkett was remembered most by family, colleagues, and friends as a caring and compassionate follower of Christ who fully embraced the message of the cross....

National Geographic Retracts Dinosaur Boast

An independent group of scientists has described as unfounded National Geographic Society's report late last year of "a true missing link in the complex chain that connects dinosaurs to birds."

A panel of paleontologists and ornithologists released their findings April 6, confirming speculation by outside scientists that National Geographic Society's media blitz touting a feathered dinosaur fossil lacked independent scientific confirmation.

The panel was convened by National Geographic after a number of media reports, such as one in USA Today, questioned the supposed discovery.

Further examination by the scientists of the fossil has revealed that it is a composite of at least two different animals. The fossil was smuggled into the United States from China and was sold for $80,000 to the owner of a dinosaur museum in Monticello, Utah, before it eventually landed in the halls of the National Geographic Society in Washington.

While ...

Southern Baptists Crossing Ethnic Lines

Declaring that "the day is over" when the Southern Baptist Convention is "a white Anglo Saxon denomination," Paige Patterson said he hopes that within five years the SBC will elect its first ethnic president.

"I believe, deep down in my heart, with all my soul that the future of the Southern Baptist Convention has to be a multi-racial, multi-ethnic future, or quite frankly, it has no future," Patterson said during the North American Mission Board's second annual Ethnic Presidents Roundtable Conference held Feb. 1-2 on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.

Patterson, president of the SBC and Southeastern Seminary, and Robert E. (Bob) Reccord, president of the North American Mission Board, Alpharetta, Ga., met with representatives of more than a dozen ethnic fellowships within the SBC in an effort to increase ethnic involvement and representation in the nearly 16 million-member denomin...

The popular adolescent-centered methodology driving youth ministry today needs to be replaced by adult mentoring, said the author of a book released earlier this year describing adolescence as a modern social theory responsible for prolonging the irresponsible years of childhood.

"You can tell if somebody has an adolescent approach to youth ministry," said David Alan Black, professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C. "If everything is segregated - youth choir, youth Sunday school classes, youth missions, retreats, youth prayer meetings, youth everything," it is adolescent-centered, he said.

"I want you to consider the importance of mentoring your youth," Black said. "That is, moving away from peer-centered focus to an adult-centered focus. We need to get our teenagers with responsible adults. It's always been the best [way]."

Speaking during "Culture Shock '99,"...

Classroom Victory in the Battle for Truth

The Kansas State Board of Education's decision Aug. 11 to reject the theory of evolution as the central thread of biological studies could go a long way toward unraveling the scientific community's case for the origin of life, says a Southern Baptist professor of Christian theology.

Hal N. Ostrander, associate dean and professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's James P. Boyce College of the Bible, Louisville, Ky., and a biblical creationist, said the long-supported evolution theory is being dismantled slowly by an argument for "intelligent design" the theory that life came about intentionally and not by chance because it's too complex to be explained any other way.

"This triumph for anti-evolutionary forces in the Kansas schools may herald great changes ahead, probably making it all the more difficult to sustain the cherished evolutionary paradigm as a unifying scientific concept not only in Kansas but elsewhere too,&qu...

The statistics alone are enough to choke almost any computer's hard drive.

Currently, about 100 million people worldwide "surf the net." More than 500,000 sites on the Internet's World Wide Web offer everything from groceries to automobiles to mortgage loans. Analysts project that purchases made over the Internet will reach $327 billion by the year 2002. The federal government reports receiving an average of 4,000 requests per day for Internet web site domain names.

As more and more people are going global via the Internet, this once-vast universe is becoming smaller and smaller. While it took radio thirty years to reach 50 million people and television thirteen years, the Internet did it in just four years.

Since its introduction in 1992, the World Wide Web has quickly become the window to a new world called "cyberspace" - a land free of geographical boundaries where planes and ships are obsolete and Internet Service Providers - not visas - a...

Like a beacon in the night, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary radiates with the Light of the Gospel along the Eastern Seaboard and throughout the world. Recognized throughout the Southern Baptist Convention for its profound commitment to reaching its arms around the globe for the cause of Christ, Southeastern is a leader in missions emphasis and equipping in the U.S. and abroad.

Founded in 1950 on the campus of Wake Forest College in Wake Forest, N.C., Southeastern Seminary has been training men and women for ministry for nearly fifty years. In fact, the Southeastern campus has Baptist roots that date back to 1832 when the Baptists of North Carolina obtained the property to build a college to educate ministers. In recent years, Southeastern Seminary has taken bold steps to advance God's kingdom at home and around the world.

New Churches

Compelled by a burden to reach the East Coast and the world with the gospel, Southeastern Semin...