SBC LIFE

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February 2010 Issue


At the onset of his missionary career, pastor Luis Rodríguez and his wife, Lourdes Santiago, were dismayed at the lack of commitment from church members at the church they'd planted in Coamo, Puerto Rico. However, that did not hamper the efforts of these Southern Baptists. Besides, from God's perspective, it was only the beginning.

Luis remembers the challenges faced during those uncertain days after being sent by the Raham First Baptist Church of Santa Isabel to plant a new church in Coamo.

"When we arrived at Raham-Coamo, we noticed the believers there didn't really have a commitment to come to the services," said Rodríguez. "When we were on our way to a prayer service, they started calling to excuse...

At the onset of his missionary career, pastor Luis Rodríguez and his wife, Lourdes Santiago, were dismayed at the lack of commitment from church members at the church they'd planted in Coamo, Puerto Rico. However, that did not hamper the efforts of these Southern Baptists. Besides, from God's perspective, it was only the beginning.

Luis remembers the challenges faced during those uncertain days after being sent by the Raham First Baptist Church of Santa Isabel to plant a new church in Coamo.

"When we arrived at Raham-Coamo, we noticed the believers there didn't really have a commitment to come to the services," said Rodríguez. "When we were on our way to a prayer service, they started c...

Two blocks east of the "El" Train Red Line in Uptown Chicago, a lady named Susan limps over from under a covered bus stop.

"That's my spot. I was here. I just had to sit down."

She marks her spot by hanging two canvas bags on the fence where a dozen men and women are lined up outside Uptown Baptist Church.

"I was here. This weather is killing my arthritis."

Her voice is husky but kind. She limps toward the bus stop, sits, and takes a sip from something tightly wrapped in brown paper, looks over her shoulder again, then settles back against the glass enclosure.

As the line builds, she comes back.

Next Monday, she says, they're giving out shoes.

"Could you help me...

Two blocks east of the "El" Train Red Line in Uptown Chicago, a lady named Susan limps over from under a covered bus stop.

"That's my spot. I was here. I just had to sit down."

She marks her spot by hanging two canvas bags on the fence where a dozen men and women are lined up outside Uptown Baptist Church.

"I was here. This weather is killing my arthritis."

Her voice is husky but kind. She limps toward the bus stop, sits, and takes a sip from something tightly wrapped in brown paper, looks over her shoulder again, then settles back against the glass enclosure.

As the line builds, she comes back.

Next Monday, she says, they're giving out shoes.

<...

North American Mission Board missionary Vivian McCaughan enters Hidden Valley Estates in Wentzville, Missouri, and thanks God for the changes she sees.

Vivian points out the new community center, the tidy landscaping and the covered pavilion built on the dusty spot where outdoor baptisms once took place in a rented cattle tank.

But mostly, she thanks God for transformed lives. She remembers back almost twenty years ago when she first saw the 200-unit apartment community as a suffering mass of humanity. In those days, the complex was infested with drugs and crime.

McCaughan got behind the work begun in 1990 by Pastor Dan Hite and forty-five members of Christian Family Fellowship, which began its ministry by serving a Thanksgiving meal to 230 residents. The Twin Rivers Baptist Association had targeted the...

North American Mission Board missionary Vivian McCaughan enters Hidden Valley Estates in Wentzville, Missouri, and thanks God for the changes she sees.

Vivian points out the new community center, the tidy landscaping and the covered pavilion built on the dusty spot where outdoor baptisms once took place in a rented cattle tank.

But mostly, she thanks God for transformed lives. She remembers back almost twenty years ago when she first saw the 200-unit apartment community as a suffering mass of humanity. In those days, the complex was infested with drugs and crime.

McCaughan got behind the work begun in 1990 by Pastor Dan Hite and forty-five members of Christian Family Fellowship, which began its ministry by serving a ...

Mike McQuitty has almost always seen himself as a missionary. He gave his life to Christ at the age of six and in high school, realized he loved ministry work and especially missions.

"In college I served as a summer missionary in Colorado and Russia. And while in seminary at Southwestern, I served in youth ministry and then collegiate work for three years at University Baptist Church in Forth Worth," McQuitty said. "Through these experiences, my heart for missions and college students continued to grow."

As McQuitty thought through ministry career options, he was drawn to campus ministry because he sees it as missions work.

"The college years are a time when young people are making the decisions that will shape the rest of their lives, yet often it is a time when faith is put ...

Mike McQuitty has almost always seen himself as a missionary. He gave his life to Christ at the age of six and in high school, realized he loved ministry work and especially missions.

"In college I served as a summer missionary in Colorado and Russia. And while in seminary at Southwestern, I served in youth ministry and then collegiate work for three years at University Baptist Church in Forth Worth," McQuitty said. "Through these experiences, my heart for missions and college students continued to grow."

As McQuitty thought through ministry career options, he was drawn to campus ministry because he sees it as missions work.

"The college years are a time when young people are making the deci...

With Southern Baptists no longer being a part of the Baptist World Alliance, Bobby Welch, former Southern Baptist Convention president and former pastor (for thirty-two years) of First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach, Florida, has helped the denomination write a new chapter in international relations. Since March 15, 2007, Welch has been Southern Baptists' ambassador of goodwill to Baptist and evangelical bodies around the world.

Southern Baptists voted overwhelmingly to break ties with the Baptist World Alliance on July 15, 2004, at their annual meeting held in Indianapolis.

Baptist Press reported, "The BWA is not a governing body, but is a fellowship organization with headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. The BWA, which includes 211 member Baptist conventions/unions, was formed in London, England, in 1905, in large part by Southern Baptists."

Southwestern Seminary president Paige Patterson explained why the Southern Baptist Convention should approve th...

Southern Baptists' Global Ambassador by J. Gerald Harris; Welch Visits Vietnam, Thankful for Wounds by Tess Rivers

The topics of "sin" and "sinners" are not particularly popular in most settings or seasons, but especially not at Christmas. My wife and I have the incredible privilege of leading a weekly, home discipling group of about thirty teenagers and college students. Two weeks before Christmas we considered the topic "Out of Place Ornaments." Using the illustration of how each family's Christmas tree may have ornaments that don't seem to fit, I referred to the family tree of Christ as presented in Matthew. I pointed out that the genealogy of Christ includes four women: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba (Matthew 1:3-6). Then I explained that for Matthew to include women in the genealogy of royalty would have been unusual in itself, but even more bizarre was the fact that each of those women would have stood out in the genealogy because of negative connotations. Two of the four were linked to specific accounts of sordid sinful activity, another came from a background of prostituti...

The topics of "sin" and "sinners" are not particularly popular in most settings or seasons, but especially not at Christmas. My wife and I have the incredible privilege of leading a weekly, home discipling group of about thirty teenagers and college students. Two weeks before Christmas we considered the topic "Out of Place Ornaments." Using the illustration of how each family's Christmas tree may have ornaments that don't seem to fit, I referred to the family tree of Christ as presented in Matthew. I pointed out that the genealogy of Christ includes four women: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba (Matthew 1:3-6). Then I explained that for Matthew to include women in the genealogy of royalty would have been unusual in itself, but even more bizarre was the fact that each of those women would have stood out in the genealogy because of negative connotations. Two of the four were linked to s...

NORTH AMERICAN MISSION BOARD

Editor's Note: The cataclysmic events in Haiti unfolded as this issue of SBC LIFE was being prepared for publication. They certainly underscore the reality of this article's title — we never know what will develop around us or the corresponding opportunities for extending the Lord's compassion. May we be faithful to Him in those opportunities. To respond to the crisis in Haiti, see the sidebar below.

Billy Graham sometimes shares the story of a young boy whose family's grandfather clock stood near his bedroom door in the hallway. The boy just happened to be awake at midnight one night when the clock malfunctioned and instead of chiming twelve times, chimed thirteen times. Immediately noticing the anomaly, the young boy ran through the house yelling, "Wake up everybody. It's later than it has ever been!"

In some sense, that's one of the Great Commission roles the North American Mission Board plays in Southern Baptist l...

NORTH AMERICAN MISSION BOARD

by Richard H. Harris

Editor's Note: The cataclysmic events in Haiti unfolded as this issue of SBC LIFE was being prepared for publication. They certainly underscore the reality of this article's title — we never know what will develop around us or the corresponding opportunities for extending the Lord's compassion. May we be faithful to Him in those opportunities. To respond to the crisis in Haiti, see the sidebar below.

Billy Graham sometimes shares the story of a young boy whose family's grandfather clock stood near his bedroom door in the hallway. The boy just happened to be awake at midnight one night when the clock malfunctioned and instead of chiming twelve times, chimed thirteen times. Immediately noticing the anomaly, the young boy ran through the house yelling, &...

South Shore Baptist Church

Pastor Russ Rathier keeps a world map on the wall of his study at South Shore Baptist Church, in Crownsville, Maryland, with push pins designating states and countries where the congregation is supporting missions.

Pinpointed are Southeast Asia, Pakistan, the Ukraine, and Nigeria abroad and various locations in America, excluding the countless missions initiatives supported through South Shore's commitment to reaching people through the Cooperative Program. Currently the congregation commits 17 percent of its undesignated offerings through CP.

Not all of us are able to go somewhere, so we support through our tithing," Rathier said. "When we're asked to give, we give."

Rathier said the church also supports missions by giving 5 percent of its offe...

by Diana Chandler

Pastor Russ Rathier keeps a world map on the wall of his study at South Shore Baptist Church, in Crownsville, Maryland, with push pins designating states and countries where the congregation is supporting missions.

Pinpointed are Southeast Asia, Pakistan, the Ukraine, and Nigeria abroad and various locations in America, excluding the countless missions initiatives supported through South Shore's commitment to reaching people through the Cooperative Program. Currently the congregation commits 17 percent of its undesignated offerings through CP.

Not all of us are able to go somewhere, so we support through our tithing," Rathier said. "When we're asked to give, we give."

...

A recent study by LifeWay Research found that, though the national economy shows signs of improving, the economic state of many of our cooperating churches continues to face challenges. The status of church financial health has a direct impact on the strength and viability of the Cooperative Program. The Cooperative Program is not a "top-down" funding mechanism that begins at the national Convention; rather, it is a "trickle down" pool of resources that comes from cooperating churches to help fund the ministries that have been adopted by the messengers — elected by the churches — who attend the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Trickle-Down Effect of the Cooperative Program

At its heart, the Southern Baptist Convention promotes a set of aggressive, Kingdom-focused, and Kingdom-sized ministry objectives, funded by cooperating churches. Unlike local churches that are able to make direct, week...

A recent study by LifeWay Research found that, though the national economy shows signs of improving, the economic state of many of our cooperating churches continues to face challenges. The status of church financial health has a direct impact on the strength and viability of the Cooperative Program. The Cooperative Program is not a "top-down" funding mechanism that begins at the national Convention; rather, it is a "trickle down" pool of resources that comes from cooperating churches to help fund the ministries that have been adopted by the messengers — elected by the churches — who attend the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Trickle-Down Effect of the Cooperative Program

At its heart, the Southern Baptist Convention promotes a set of aggressive, Kingdom-focused, and Kingdom-sized ministry objectives, ...

It's a cold, rainy Saturday in New York City, and Vaughn McLamb ladles up steaming cups of chicken soup for the homeless, addicts, immigrants, and urban poor gathered at Tompkins Square Park on the Lower East Side.

Whether Puerto Rican, Chinese, Eastern European, or other ethnic background, they've come for FLIP — a free lunch in the park, a ministry provided by East Seventh Baptist Church and Graffiti Community Ministries. Graffiti Church, as it's commonly known, has been serving the Lower East Side since 1974. At the helm is North American Mission Board missionary and pastor Taylor Field.

Every weekend, Field and a group from Graffiti Church set up in the park to feed the hungry.

"We believe God has called us to reach out to those who have fallen through the cracks," Field says. Graffiti feeds ten thousand people a year, with assistance from partner churches and NAMB's Domestic Hunger Fund. The Domestic Hunger Fund represents 20 percent of ...

Their fresh perspective confirms a generations-old missions partnership among Southern Baptists. Three under-40 pastors share their outlook toward the Cooperative Program: Jacob Atchley of The Church at Martinsburg, West Virginia, says the partnership of 45,000 churches makes possible all that Southern Baptists do. Kris Barnett of East Pickens (South Carolina) Baptist Church, says CP partnership makes it possible for the church he leads to do so much more than just its own missions projects.

Editor's Note: In the February/March, 2008, issue of SBC LIFE, we featured the evangelistic efforts surrounding the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in January. Twelve people made professions that year through the efforts of a handful of volunteers and a few churches. As you will see below, cooperation among Southern Baptists, the numbers of volunteers, and the corresponding professions have all increased, illustrating the vital impact of cooperation in advancing the Gospel.

Five local Southern Baptist churches, the local Baptist association, the North American Mission Board, and a record number of volunteers from across the country partnered together as they descended on the five-mile Tournament of Roses Parade route in Pasadena, California, December 31 to share the Gospel in the hours leading up to the famed New Year's Day tradition.

Volunteers from North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, ...

Below are a couple of testimonies from First Baptist Church of Naples, Florida. The first shows that if your church is a soul-winning church, it can be the catalyst in your community to win your world to Christ. We must become intentional in these days. The second will hopefully encourage you to "keep on keeping on."

Partnering for the Sake of the Gospel

Our desire in our evangelistic strategy is to train sister churches in our community, equipping them to also have a community-wide outreach out of their place of worship. We are truly committed to being evangelism multipliers. Evangelism is all about multiplying — sharing Christ with another and that person sharing Christ with another and so on.

We are now training two churches in evangelism. To do this, we host one or two of their key leaders and have them participate in our evangelism outreach every Sunday night. The goal is for them to complete training an...

Do you ever feel as if you dated Jekyll and married Hyde? One wife said she would always cherish the initial misconception she had about her husband. Someone said marriage is composed of three rings — engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering. One pastor visited a children's Sunday School class and asked them what God said about marriage. One boy chimed, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Sometimes marriage seems like a romance novel where the hero dies in the first chapter. Marriage can be tough. The problem is our perspective; most good marriages are 90 percent positive and only 10 percent negative. But when people focus on the negative 10 percent, it makes their marriage feel as if it is 90 percent negative. (By the way, the same principle can also apply to church work.)

I counseled thousands of people while in practice. I actually counseled with a couple with whom I had previously done premarital counseling. Five years later, they were in my office t...

True Love Waits Goes Global

A little more than two years after launching an initiative to expand True Love Waits throughout Africa, more than 15,500 True Love Waits presentations have been made to African youth, and nearly half a million young people have heard its message promoting sexual abstinence until marriage.

Of that number, more than 200,500 have taken the True Love Waits pledge and nearly 41,500 adults have committed to faithfulness in marriage through the TLW-related "True Love Stays."

In Asia, True Love Waits also is making gains.

Sharon Pumpelly, lead consultant for True Love Waits International, noted, "In sub-Sahara Africa, AIDS has made people hungry for True Love Waits."

She believes there are many other True Love Waits presentations being made and commitments to biblical purity being secured beyond those that have been documented in the AIDS-ravaged African continent where the TLW message, or the lack of it, can have life-and-death consequences.

&quo...