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Archive for the ‘Kentucky Baptists’ Category

With all the activities going on yesterday surrounding evening services, prayer meeting, hospital visits and choir practice, I was unable to find the time to get my word of encouragement up on the blog!  I also forgot to send out an email encouragement to everyone!  While I hope you all can forgive me, the busyness of my day actually reminded me of the tremendous challenge involved in a project like the one we are undertaking.  We are calling on people to fast (at interval times), pray, and meditate on Scripture consistently for 21 days.  That’s a long time!  All of us are busy and have lives that tend to get in the way of a project like this.  In short, it’s easy for us to miss a day…or perhaps even two.  So what do we do when our initial commitment has been “broken?”  I say, get right back up and pick up where you left off!  In the context of our “Find it Here” 21-day emphasis, just know that if you miss or forget a day of prayer, you need not give up altogether.  In fact, upon realization of your missing a day, pick right back up with your commitment and continue pressing on in prayer, fasting, meditation, and preparation for sharing Christ with your lost family and friends.

What’s our other option?  To quit altogether every time we face an obstacle?  I say no.  Press on.

So yesterday, you should have read through John 4 and meditated upon Christ, the soul-winner as you read the exchange between Jesus and the woman at the well.  Is there really any better picture in all of the New Testament of what compassionate gospel engagement should look like?  If there were any passage worthy of our meditation as we prepare to share Jesus with loved ones, this one is it!  Every aspect of Jesus’ behavior deserves our emulation in this passage.  A couple of observations worthy of noting about Jesus’ engagement in John 4 (and there are TONS of things that could be said here, but let me limit my comments to only a few!):

*First, Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well is a classic example of what some call “cold-call” evangelism.  Now I understand that there is a tremendous emphasis today upon the relational aspect of evangelism (i.e. building a relationship first, then sharing Jesus at an appropriate and comfortable time).  I also affirm the value of relational evangelism.  However, we must not discount the possibility that often in His sovereignty, God arranges situations in which you might have an open door opportunity to share Christ with someone whom you have only just met.  In such a case, the relationship is not necessarily there, but the opportunity for sharing the gospel is.  In such cases, we must see these opportunities as divine appointments and be faithful to share Christ with the opportunity we have.  If we neglect these opportunities by reasoning that we lack the “relational depth” to bring up Christ, we will miss countless opportunities to share Jesus every day.  Clearly, Jesus cut through the relational red-tape and did that which showed the greatest possible love for this woman whom he had just met when he addressed her greatest need, namely her need for forgiveness and salvation.  Don’t believe or perpetuate the lie that people will only listen to you when they know you.  Thousands can give testimony to the fact that an effective witness can be shared on a city bus, in a grocery-store line, or at a sporting event with an otherwise total stranger.

Secondly, we see in various places in this passage that Jesus doesn’t allow himself to be side-tracked with trifling questions or debates but instead goes straight to the heart of gospel-witness by confronting the woman with the message of deliverance.  She asks questions at various points that could have led Jesus down the path of pointless debate and contention (i.e. verses 9, 12a, 19-20), but Jesus remains focused on addressing the key issues of sin and redemption by directing the conversation back to Himself and His redemptive work.  Often, it is tempting for us to “chase rabbits” and get involved in pointless debates when attempting to share Christ.  In an effort to avoid spiritual confrontation or deflect questions of eternal significance, our lost friends and family will often want to change the subject and distract us from the central message of redemption.  Have you ever been sharing the gospel and had a lost person ask a question like “why does God allow earthquakes to happen?” or “what happens to those who never hear the gospel?”  Now please understand, I am a strong believer that there is definitely a time and place for Christian apologetics.  I firmly believe that Christians should have answers for those questions and there are few things more valuable (in my opinion) than investing in a few good apologetics texts and being equipped to debate the merits of the Christian faith (1 Peter 3:15).  However, when these questions appear in the context of an initial gospel witness, they are often little more than a thinly-veiled attempt to change the subject and avoid confronting the central truths of the gospel.  Don’t allow this to happen.  Tell your friends that “these are good questions, and I would like to address them later, but for now, I really want to know what you think about your own relationship with Jesus Christ.”  Stay focused.  Stay on course.  Point others to Christ.

Finally, this passage provides us with an amazing example of a truth long-known by those who study evangelism and church life, namely that newly born-again believers are our greatest source of evangelistic passion.  This woman immediately (v. 28-30) runs into town and begins telling others about Jesus.  New believers have a tendency to do this, and we must learn to harness that energy for the glory of God so that their testimony and passion burn brightly before days of difficulty set in.  We are sometimes afraid to let new converts share Christ for fear that they might not “get it right.”  We fear that their lack of theological training and time in church disqualifies them from witnessing to those friends and family who are still under their influence.  I say that when we do this, we fail to capitalize on one of the greatest resources available to us in the church.  The woman at the well was changed and she wanted her friends and neighbors to know!  Her faithful witness led to a tremendous revival in her town!  Oh that it would be so today.  Imagine if, at the end of our 21-day emphasis, dozens of our friends and family professed faith in Christ and left our church with a zeal and passion to tell everyone they knew about their new faith!  We would be wise to encourage this and to continue to encourage new believers to burn brightly and share with zeal.  Otherwise, they’ll become dull and disinterested in sharing their faith just like many who occupy pews today.

Well, for day 5, I pray that you will read, meditate, and pray for the lost.  Just a thought about chapter 5, take special notice of verse 18.  The Jews of Jesus’ day knew full well that He was claiming to be divine.  So much did they understand this that they wanted to kill him for it.  For those skeptics and outright liberals today who deny that Jesus ever claimed to be the divine Son of God, I would say that they need to reconsider the exchange in John 5:1-18.  Furthermore, verse 24 is one of the greatest evangelistic passages in all of John’s gospel.  Memorize it.  Understand it.  Use it.  For in it, Jesus states very simply what it means to have faith in Him and the eternal consequences of that choice.  He states “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

Let’s make sure this Easter that our loved ones “hear” and pray that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, they “believe” so that they may obtain “eternal life” and escape everlasting “judgment.”  Let’s pray for these things together!

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Our Lord Jesus was, and remains, the greatest evangelist of all times.  In the gospels, we constantly see him dealing lovingly and relationally with lost and broken people and confronting them with truth.  Such is the case in John 3.  This chapter records Jesus’ interaction with the “seeker,” Nicodemus, and the subsequent gospel-centered conversation that follows (3:1-21).  In this passage and the one that follows it (John 3:22-36, which records John the Baptist’s discussion about Jesus’ Messianic ministry), the Apostle John records for us exchanges in which some of the essential, core truths of salvation are recorded.  These passages remind us that evangelistic encounters must be about more than just relationships, love, and invitations to church.  They are also about engaging false worldviews with theological and Christological truth.  Notice the way this is done in John 3:

* In v. 3, Jesus speaks of the absolute necessity of regeneration
* In v. 8, He speaks of the activity of the Spirit in regeneration
* In v. 14-15, He speaks of the centrality of sacrifice to the plan of redemption
* In v. 16 (and again by John the Baptist in v. 36), we are reminded of the simplicity of faith
* In v. 18-19, Jesus speaks to the difficult truths surrounding the reality of human sinfulness and the resultant inevitability of divine judgment

Jesus’ evangelistic encounter with Nicodemus leaves us with no doubt that when he spoke with the lost, he engaged them with difficult truths concerning God and the gospel.  We must do the same.  And we must pray, like the Apostle Paul, that God will not only open the doors of opportunity for us, but that He will also give us the words to speak and the boldness to speak them when the opportunity arises (Col 4:2-5).

Today, pray for your lost friends to whom you have committed.  Meditate on these truths from John 3.  And pray for one another.

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Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31, ESV)

With these words, written near the end of John’s gospel, John makes explicitly clear his reason for writing his account of the life and ministry of Jesus.  Clearly, he had evangelistic intentions.  Under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, John recorded the miracles, discourses, and interactions of Jesus contained in his gospel in order that his readers might believe and be saved.  This has led many scholars through the years to classify the gospel of John as the most evangelistic book in the Bible.

How appropriate that John’s gospel be intimately woven into this year’s spring evangelistic initiative promoted by our Kentucky Baptist Convention.  The “Find it Here” initiative for 2011 will stress the use of intentional, targeted prayer, meditation on John’s gospel and personal sharing of faith to reach our unsaved family and friends in the days leading up to Easter.

Last year, Southern Heights participated in the state-wide “Find it Here” initiative (sponsored by the KBC) along with hundreds of other Southern Baptist churches around the state.  We prayed, strategized, and then canvassed the homes of hundreds of our neighbors in South Lexington with gospel literature and invitations to worship with us.  Along with close to 1,700 other churches from around the state of Kentucky, we were a part of an initiative in 2010 that eventually reached into the homes of over 1.3 million Kentuckians. Reports flowed in from all around the state and eventually we found that there were thousands who responded to the invitations all over the state and many whose lives were changed through either salvation or rededicated lives.

The 2011 initiative has the potential to accomplish even more than last year’s efforts.  The focus this spring will be very different than last year’s focus.  Canvassing, while a valuable tool for reaching our community, is to some degree very impersonal and focused on quantity rather than quality.  This year’s initiative will be much more personal, much more intimate, and much more focused.  The 2011 spring “Find it Here” initiative will challenge individuals to reach the lost with the gospel through the following process:

1.  On March 27th, we will have a final commitment day, on which all members of the church will be challenged to commit to 21-days of prayer and fasting for 3 lost individuals to whom they have access in their daily lives.

2.  Beginning on March 27th, participants will begin the process of daily-prayer for the salvation of their three lost friends.  They will be challenged to fast for spiritual awakening during this time, either daily or for various lengths of time during their 21-day focus.

3.  Also beginning on March 27th, participants will commit to reading a chapter-per-day of the gospel of John (21 chapters in all) and praying that the Lord will create in them the same type of evangelistic passion that motivated John to write with such passionate concern for the lost.

4.  When the 21-day-period ends (April 16th), participants will then take the following 7-day period (between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday) to go to those for whom they have been praying and personally share the message of the gospel while giving their friends a gospel-packet (Bible, audio CD of New Testament, evangelistic tract, and personal invitation to Easter Sunday services) and encouraging them to attend Southern Heights on Easter Sunday.

5.  On Easter Sunday, we will see an amazing harvest as dozens and dozens of individuals for whom we have been praying attend worship with us and hear the life-changing message of the gospel of Christ.

This initiative has the power to launch a great revival in our church.  Not only because it will force participants out of their comfort-zone and into the realm of personal evangelism, but because it has the potential to result in dozens of individuals coming to faith in Christ.  Can you begin to imagine with me what it might be like to have 25 or 30 individuals come to saving faith in Christ on Easter morning?  Even to see 2 or 3 would be an amazing testimony to God’s saving power!

But this initiative will fall totally flat if YOU do not commit to participate.  With your participation, we have the potential to personally reach out to 300- 400 people in our community.   If only a few participate, we will only sow a handful of seeds, but if many will make the commitment to reach their family and friends this Easter, we could see a tremendous movement of God.  If we fail as a congregation to develop an evangelistic burden for our neighbors and our community, then we fail to properly comprehend the real power of the gospel to transform lives and we disobey our Master, who commanded us to “proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15).  If we lack the motivation to reach out to the lost around us then we will most certainly not survive much longer as a church.

So in the weeks to come, pray with me for a moving of God’s Spirit in our midst.  Pray that HE would begin to create a burden within us, embolden our church, and open the hearts of the lost.  Pray that this Easter will be the most spiritually vibrant Resurrection-celebration in many years because of the salvation of many lost family and friends.  Pray with me, that this year at Easter, we will not only preach and sing about the resurrection, but that we will see resurrection power at work in the lives of the lost.

As the lost all around us search blindly for answers this Easter season, let’s be a people who will help them “FIND IT HERE!”

See a helpful video clip provided by the KBC HERE!

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Well, it’s been a week since the conference and I have been short on time for blogging, but I did want to come back and mention a couple of items about the convention that were memorable.

The third (evening) session was a treat.  I have to be honest and say that I have misplaced my notes for the sermon by Dr. Richard Harris.  I was there.  I listened intently.  But I can’t remember a thing about the message and I’ve lost my notes.

However, the second evening-session speaker was Dr. Fred Luter, from Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans.  Listening to Dr. Luter is always a treat.  I have heard him speak probably 5 or 6 different times through the years and his rhetorical style, his joy, and his passion for the Word of God always make him a blessing to his hearers.  Honestly, you could hand Dr. Luter the daily stock-reports and ask him to read them at a conference and with his style, passion, and charisma, he could make even those interesting.

But last Monday night, he had something worthy to say to ministers and churches about evangelism.  He titled his sermon “What would Jesus do about today’s evangelism crisis?”  and he preached from Matthew 9:35-38.  He began by challenging pastors to recognize that there is a serious crisis in our churches today when it comes to reaching the lost.  He notes that it is a good thing to consult the “professionals” in a time of crisis (i.e. LifeWay, NAMB, our seminaries, etc…) but it would be the BEST thing for us to consult the one, true, EXPERT on soul-winning if we want true direction.  The expert he speaks of is, of course, the Lord Jesus.  Dr. Luter noted that if we consult Jesus, we would find that He was (and remains) CONCERNED about PEOPLE (9:35).  Just ask Lazarus, or blind Bartimeus, or the woman at the well, or the woman taken in adultery, and all will affirm that Jesus’ first concern was for lost, hurting people.  Is that our first concern? If Jesus was concerned enough about you to rescue you from condemnation, shouldn’t we believe that He cares about the rescue of others?

He noted secondly, that Jesus would be COMPASSIONATE towards the hurting people (v. 36).  It was not enough for Jesus to merely notice the brokenness of others or to merely go to them.  He was moved by and responded according to deep compassion for the hurting masses.  Compassionate action is the appropriate response to those whose desperate situation has raised our concern.  Do we really remember what it was like to be lost and without hope in Christ?  He notes that  compassion should follow concern and NOT condemnation, castigation, or chastisement.

His final point emphasized that Jesus sent out a CHALLENGE TO THE DISCIPLES (37-38) concerning the desperate nature of this situation.  Obviously, the challenge here is for pastors and Southern Baptist leaders to see the need, the genuine need to respond with compassion, and then to begin praying, equipping, and sending.  The only way that the evangelistic challenge of our day is going to be met is when God’s people get serious about praying for laborers (are you and your church doing this regularly?), discipling believers to levels of competence in order that they can reproduce themselves (what are you personally doing to disciple another today?) and equipping our people to both recognize the opportunities all around them daily for gospel witness and to take advantage of the ministry opportunities that we offer as a church.

When we begin to DO these things and mimic the master’s evangelistic patterns, we will truly know what to do about the evangelism crisis facing us today.

Great sermon.  Worth listening to over and over again.

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Earlier this week I was blessed to be able to attend this year’s Evangelism conference sponsored by the Kentucky Baptist Convention.  I have been to many of these through the years and I must say that this was indeed one of the better conferences I attended.  It was a blessing for a number of reasons.  First, the fellowship is always great and I had the opportunity to refresh relationships with many pastor-brethren.  We need this.  Also, on this note, there was a noticeable absence of any rancor in the speakers this year.  No axes to grind, no disputes to settle, no political agendas to advance, etc… and this is unusual in recent years.  I did hear that one speaker in the morning sessions (Evangelist’s Conference) made a strong statement against limited atonement, but that doesn’t bother me.  I know that some of my brethren feel that way and I don’t take it as an insult or a test of fellowship.  It was overall a blessed conference to attend and I was fed spiritually and intellectually in a number of ways.

For those who were unable to attend, I wanted to give a quick rundown of the speakers and sessions.  If you are interested enough in any particular one, you can contact Green Hill Productions (contact@greenhill-productions.com) for DVD or CD copies.  For part 1 of this series, I will briefly cover the Monday afternoon speakers.

Alvin Reid was the first speaker on Monday afternoon. He spoke from Acts 11:19-30 on the subject of “Getting the Gospel.”  Basically, he asked us to look at the church at Antioch and see what they did to be a successful, engaging body.  He spoke of four principles from this text that today’s churches MUST get if they are going to engage our culture with the gospel.

*First, the church must learn to share unchanging truths in new ways (v. 19-20).  He pointed out that if God saw fit to use four different authors, approaches, styles, etc… to pen the inspired gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), then why cannot He use varying methodologies today to convey the timeless message of the gospel.  The message does NOT change, but how we deliver it may.

*Second, the church must learn to focus more on movements and less on institutions (v. 21-22).  When we focus exclusively on the institution, we inevitably lose the movement.

*Third, the church must focus more on life-transformation and less on behavior modification (v. 23-24)  We must be less about adherence to rules and regulations and more about Spirit-filled sanctification and grace.

*Fourth, the church must focus more on sharing Christ from the position of humility rather than entitlement (v. 25-26).  We can no longer assume that the culture is going to listen to us merely because we tell them to; we earn the right and respect to be heard through humility, transformation, and Christ-like service to others.

The second speaker of the afternoon was Steve Hale. Steve is an evangelist with an organization called (aptly) Steve Hale Evangelistic Association.  I have to be honest in saying that I had never heard of him nor had I heard him preach.  But I was pleasantly surprised.  In fact, if there were any one sermon I would recommend pastors get from this conference, it would be this one.  Steve spoke directly to pastors and ministers when he addressed the topic “Confronting Disappointment in Ministry.”  His message hit home with me and I am sure many others there that day.  He took the story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) and by highlighting various events in his life, demonstrated how a young dreamer with visions of others bowing down to him ended up instead disappointed, abandoned, confused, treated unjustly, maligned, and betrayed.  Sound familiar to any pastors?  He masterfully spoke to pastors about issues like moral failure, burnout, church division, and broken marriages.  He demonstrated that Joseph found disappointment in the areas of family (loneliness) and friendships (betrayal), but fulfillment in the faithfulness of the Lord who governed his every step as a leader and was working in and through Joseph’s difficulties and disappointments to accomplish His divine purpose (Gen 50:20).  Hale encourages pastors to see their struggles in much the same light and trust God to work through our difficulties and disappointment for His own glory.  Great message.   He encourages ministers to remember that 1) in the midst of disappointment, we must witness!  2) in the midst of disappointment, we must stop asking “why me” and start asking “what next?”  and 3) in the midst of disappointment, we must understand that the light of God’s sovereignty transcends the darkness of man’s scheming.

The final afternoon session was with Ed Stetzer, president of Lifeway Research. His text was 2 Timothy 4:1-5 with an emphasis on the words “do the work of an evangelist.”  I have to be honest in saying that I didn’t take many notes on Ed’s sermon, but not because I wasn’t listening.  In fact, I listened so intently that I put down my pen and wrestled with what Ed was saying.  Some of the highlights that I jotted down are as follows:

*Sadly, in many cases today, evangelism has been replaced by outreach.  There is a difference.  Outreach involves good deeds, invitations, etc… evangelism involves confrontation and the sharing of a controversial message; namely that there is salvation in no other name but the name of Jesus.

*We are called to ACTION; we must DO this work of evangelism, not just outreach.

*We are called to LABOR; we must BE evangelists as leaders.  We cannot lead our people to do what we do not live.

*We are called to do our work in EVANGELISTIC WAYS; everything we do as ministers must be undergirded by a desire to see the lost saved.  Ed argues (I believe rightly) that there is NO GIFT OF “EVANGELISM” found in the New Testament.  Though many use this as an excuse for not being evangelistic, it is unfounded.  Ephesians 4 speaks of the gift of Christ to his church of “evangelists,” but nowhere are individual Christians spoken of as having the gift of “evangelism” while others lack it.  We are all called to obedience to a command in this area.

Following his sermon, Ed spoke to young leaders at a dinner where he shared the findings published in his book “Transformational Church.” It was a helpful talk, and afterwards, I asked him a question about what leverage we have as leaders to move our people toward change in established churches.  I love Ed, but he didn’t really answer my question (sorry Ed! 🙂   The truth is, we have no leverage and in established churches, it takes a LONG time to transform your church in many of these areas.  It takes a LONG time, lots of prayer, lots of patience, and a commitment to a long-tenured pastorate.

More later about the conference…

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fall-harvest

I sincerely want every member of SHBC to check out this story at the Western Recorder website and read it carefully and thoughtfully. Here’s the story: http://www.westernrecorder.org/wr/wrsite.nsf/stories/200941-Awakening

God is pouring out His Spirit in a magnificent way upon this church in Morehead. Clearly, they are in a season of revival for which they have longed, and now, with this outpouring of God’s Spirit, they will enter into a season of discipleship, deepening of the converted, and hopefully, prolonged harvest. I pray for this church and hope sincerely that they will continue to experience this great movement of God’s Spirit!

Even more exciting to me than reading the confirmation of this movement of God (I had heard about this earlier this week at a meeting), is the fact that this is the VERY SAME AGENDA that I have been promoting at our church for the past four weeks. I have been attempting to pass on to you all as a church what God has laid on my heart as a pastor, namely that it is time for us to labor in light of the harvest! As a church, we must wake up to the fact that if we do not begin to take part in God’s economy of sowing, cultivating, and harvesting, we will die within a few short years. I have been encouraging you all to “lift up your eyes” to see the lost and hurting people all around you. I continue to encourage you to specifically and diligently pray for 2-3 lost people that you have some contact with in your life. Tomorrow is a day of church-wide prayer and fasting for the lost and for our church. Will you participate?

Beyond looking and praying, I am challenging the folks of SHBC to share their faith with these 2-3 people for whom they are praying. A simple personal testimony is a good start. Have you shared yours lately? Finally, I am asking you all to invite your friend (or family member, etc…) to church with you on the morning of November 1st, bringing them to breakfast at 8:30, small groups at 9:30, and morning worship at 10:45, to hear the preaching of Dr. J.D. Payne, who is going to deliver the gospel to them in fuller, expositional form. All of this is geared toward making you a participant in the Lord’s harvest.

SHBC, it is far past the time for us to wake up to this reality. Unless we corporately begin to sow, cultivate, work, and pray for harvest, we will never experience the kind of great outpouring of God’s Spirit that we read about above. The irony for me is that I have been pressing on churches the need for almost the EXACT process that this pastor is describing in Morehead for many years now. I had “Harvest Days” for years in Grayson, but never with this kind of result. Now, I am seeking to create a culture at SHBC that is driven by a desire to see God’s harvest in our congregation.

Read Jesus’ words in John 4:35-38. Read his words in Matthew 9:35-38. There can be no question that we must begin to look upon the fields, specifically take note of individuals who are in need of salvation, and then compassionately go to them and tell them of Christ and invite them into His presence! I cannot see how this could even be questioned by any well-meaning, well-read Christian. The question is whether or not we will be obedient to the words of Christ.

The pastor in the above article admits that when he issued the challenge for his congregation to work to see 100 people saved in three weeks, that he and many others didn’t believe it was possible. But look what God did in that church much to everyone’s surprise! I believe with all my heart that the same and even more can happen at SHBC!

Do you?

If you believe in the potential for harvest, then you must also believe in the necessity of sowing. Join us in intentionally praying, inviting, serving, sharing, and presenting Christ to our community throughout the remainder of our Harvest Days 2009.

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Meeting was held on Monday, March 17th, 2008 at the Fairview Baptist Church in Ashland.  I attended the meeting Monday evening, along with two others from our church, as messengers from FBC Grayson.  Truly, the meeting was very non-eventful.  There is not much of substance to report.  However, in the interest of presenting information for my readers, I submit the following summary.

         Meeting was called to order by Pastor Jim Nichols, Moderator

         Welcome, scripture reading, prayer, adoption of Order of Business and the enrollment of messengers was handled without incident. New pastors include A.J. Toney at South Shore FBC, and Dickey Tiller, now at Liberty Baptist Church.

         WMU Report by new WMU director, Lisa Nickell (Sandy Hook) was brief, told of recent meeting, encouraged churches to get involved inWMU and told of upcoming Annual Meeting in Bardstown, KY, 3/28-29. 

         Nominating Committee presented the following list of officers for 2008-2009 (effective September 18, 2008):

o       GAB OFFICERS FOR 2008-2009

§         Moderator: Ronnie Mayes (Rose Hill, Ashland)

§         Vice-Moderator: Mike Blankenship (Catlettsburg, Oakland Ave.)

§         Treasurer: Butch Kiger

§         Asst. Treasurer: Larry Withers

§         Clerk: Stan Williams (Cannonsburg FBC)

§         Asst. Clerk: Ric Frazier (Louisa FBC)

 Other Officers for 08-09:

o       Sunday School director- Ric Frazier (Louisa FBC)

o       WMU Director- Lisa Nickell (Sandy Hook)

o       Seminary Extension- Floyd Paris (Unity, Ashland)

o       Evangelism Director- Charles Stewart (Rose Hill, Ashland)

o       Asst. Evangelism Director- Jim Nichols (Wildwood, Ashland)

o       Music Director- Jeff Ferguson

o       Brotherhood/ Disaster Relief Director- Curt Smith

o       Missions Development- Fred Boggs

o       BYC Representative- Terry Leap (FBC Grayson)

o       Student Ministry/ BCM- Jeremy Harris

o       Pastoral Ministry/ Media Library- Sandy Adams (Lloyd FBC)

o       KY Childcare Representative- Dorothy Crace

o       Discipleship Training- Mike Blankenship (Catlettsburg, Oakland Ave.)

o       Family Ministry- OPEN

o       Stewardship Director- OPEN

o       Baptist Builders Director- OPEN

         The Nominating Committee also recommended the following future meetings:

o       SPRING 2009- March 16 at Cannonsburg FBC, speaker: Butch Kiger

o       FALL 2009- Sept. 21 at Louisa FBC, speaker: Dr. Bill Mackey

         Nominating Committee: A.J. Toney, Ric Frazier, Dorothy Crace, Stan Williams, Annette Boyles

         Following the Nominating committee, there was a Treasurer’s Report which reported the following for 2007:

o       Associational Center: $121,487.00 budgeted/  $103,538.68 spent

o       Education: $5,775.00 budgeted/ $3,284.61 spent

o       Family/ Community Ministry: $800 budgeted/ $0 spent

o       Missions: $23,550.00 budgeted/ $6,791.74 spent

o       Proclaiming: $2,500.00 budgeted/ $1,438.11 spent

o       Worship: $1,500.00 budgeted/ $0 spent

o       TOTALS:  $156,612.00 budgeted/ $115,053.14 spent for 2007 year.

         Furthermore, current balances as of 12/31 are as follows:

o       Total Cash and Bank Accounts balance: $207,598.20

         Following financial report, a VBS Report from Brother A.J. Toney; he announced he would be stepping down as VBS director this year and that associational VBS training session would be Tuesday April 22nd. Other details pending.

         Officers were elected by body, no opposition.

         No Miscellaneous business brought to the floor.

         Disaster Relief report brought by Harold Moore, Curt Smith is not present because he is actively serving with Disaster Relief.  This is an important ministry which the GAB has always participated in diligently, but we need new volunteers for this important ministry.

         An offering for Disaster relief was received (I forget amount exactly, but it ended up being $300-$400).

         Brother Harold Cathey brought the DOM report.  The highlights are as follows:

o       The large bank account balance is due to the fact that he desires to lead the association in building a conference center for the GAB.  Pray for this endeavor.

o       Bro. Doug Virgin, DOM of Huntington Association invited all pastors to attend upcoming “Building Bridges” conference which will encourage more joint missions efforts between the GAB, Huntington Association and Scioto Association (SB associations of the KYOVA region).   

o       Free copies of “Praying Effectively for the Lost” are available courtesy of Bro. Lee Thomas, author.

o       Bro. Cathey expressed his thankfulness for the GAB, its churches and its pastors.  He is thankful for our stand on Baptist heritage and is glad that we are not having to address many of the “messes” that other churches/ associations address.  He encourages us to continue to stand firm.

         Following this report, Pastor Tom Melvin (Pastor, Greenup First Baptist) brought the sermon of the evening, entitled “The Model Church,” from Matthew 16:13-20.  The model church believes the Bible, preaches the cross, is led by the Spirit of God, loves the brethren, witnesses to the lost, acts on faith, and worships and works.

         Meeting was adjourned, refreshments followed.            

OBSERVATIONS/ PRAYER REQUESTS:

1. Pray for more workers to rise up and get involved in our association’s Disaster Relief Work.  This is a great ministry that really puts a “human” face on Southern Baptists for the world.  It is a good-works ministry that allows us to impact lives and present Christ to the lost in a tangible way.  However, Southern Baptists are struggling to enlist younger workers to commit to this ministry and the volunteer-corps is graying.  Pray for this ministry.

2. Pray that our association will have more vision for missions-involvement and that we will prayerfully consider new ways to be involved in local missions.  In 2007, we used only 29% of the actual dollars that we budgeted for missions and $0 (zero) was spent on family and community ministry according to the report.  Pray that we would have greater vision for how we can use these approved dollars for the expansion of the Kingdom in our region. 

3. There was no approval or mention of our association’s KBC Mission Board representatives.  I only mention this because I have queried about this previously and been told that we handled this at the spring meeting.  I feel that for our association to be represented well at the state level, we should know who our representatives to this important board are and hear a report about their contribution to the work of the KBC. 

4. Pray for wider involvement of more individuals from the broad spectrum of churches represented in the GAB.  We are an association of some 50 churches and yet many of those churches are not participating at all in the life or leadership of the association.  We must always remember that we can accomplish more together than we ever can alone. 

5. Pray for our association’s leadership, that they would know the will and mind of God for doing missions locally.  

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