Dr. Gary Chapman, Director of the Southwest Virginia Christian Leadership Network, penned this article that is worth sharing as we consider priorities in ministry.
Recently, I enjoyed lunch and conversation with a group of ministers of education and Bob Dale, formerly assistant executive-director of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board. As we talked, one minister commented on the "busyness" of our churches. As he did so, I was reminded of the way one minister I know described the incessant activity of his church family. As he put it, "they're like ants on an ant hill."
I went on to share with the group a discovery I had made since no longer ministering on a church staff. While on staff, I just assumed the church was the center of everyone's universe. It certainly was the center of mine, sometimes tempting me to neglect the important relationships in my life. With that mindset, it's easy to fall into the trap of "measuring" a person's spiritual commitment by their attendance at all the events offered by the church.
What I've discovered is that persons have a life outside the church, too. At least we should hope and pray they do! After all, the world isn't touched for Christ by the fullness of our church calendars. Instead, it's impacted by Christians investing themselves in the lives of people in their neighborhood, workplace, schools, sports leagues, and so on.
Then and Now
In America, the first association of Baptist churches was formed in Philadelphia in 1707. The Charleston Association, formed in 1751, was the first association in the southern colonies. Associations were formed from a desire to establish doctrinal parameters and from a desire for fellowship with like-minded believers. Associations also provided advice on Baptist practices, helped churches find properly credentialed ministers, and occasionally disciplined ministers. Associations enabled churches in a particular geographical area to cooperate in mission, educational, and benevolence ventures.
By the late 1700s, associations were focusing more on mission work, and new Baptist churches were springing up all along the Atlantic seaboard, and even West of the Alleghenies.
Mentow is looking for a pianist to play for the Wednesday choir rehearsals and 2 Sunday services. Please send resume to Karen Woodford, 3282 Mentow Drive, Huddleston, VA 24104.
Mentow's Vacation Bible School will be June 24-28.
Staunton has called Jonathan Autrey as part-time Youth Pastor. He is a student at Liberty Theological Seminary where his wife, Rebecca, is employed. They have a son, Elijah.
On May 13, Suck Spring voted to call Rev. Michael Cox as pastor. Both he and his wife, Connie, are native Virginians.
Suck Spring's Vacation Bible School will begin on Sunday evening, July 22.
July 23-27, 2007
"Nic at Night"
Bells - Choir - Crafts - Orff Instruments - Puppets -Interpretive Movement
Registration fee: $25 per child
As you plan your summer activities, please keep this week in mind. (We ask that at least one adult [not necessarily the same one each day] from each participating church plan to accompany the children as they rotate through the various music opportunities that week.) More details will follow at our Website and in upcoming issues of The Spirit newsletter.
As a part of this year's Missions Connection Celebration, Virginia Baptists will partner with Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity to build a house in less than one week. Virginia Baptist Blitz Build 2007 is open to anyone age 18 or older. Skilled labor crews are required for framing, roofing, siding, plumbing, and electrical work. Adults of all ages and skill levels are also needed for general labor and worksite assistance. For more information on MC2 and how you can participate, visit www.mc2-va.com or contact Carol Seeley at 800.255.2428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mrs. Lois Stevens, WMU Director
1118 Roundtree Dr., Bedford 24523
Women on Mission: Palestine will lead devotionals at Oakwood Manor in June. Beaverdam will host the June birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Radford will host it in July. From January through March, several Hunting Creek folks knitted/crocheted 190 baby hats for Virginia Baptist Hospital.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Thaxton Baptist Church
Theme: "Live the Call"
13 churches represented
We thank Thaxton for hosting our meeting and for providing the delicious fellowship meal prior to the meeting.
July 8 Ed Greer (Retired)
July 11 Bryon LePere (Big Island)
July 23 Harry Leland (Shady Grove)
July 31 Esther Woodford (SBA Office)
July 1 Ken & Evelyn Butterworth (Diamond Hill)
July 18 Eldridge & Jennie Cullum (Thaxton)
July 19 Bryon & Annie LePere (Big Island)
July 31 Jackie & Glynda Carver (Palestine)
July 31 Marc & Cari Jantomaso (River Rock)
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