January 2009

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George Barna was asked the following question: If you were pastor of a typical church today, what practical things might you do to reach those outside? His response:

1. First, I’d make sure everyone in the body knew that evangelism without discipleship is spiritual abuse. We have so many people who work hard to get people saved, then abandon those individuals the moment they’ve said the magic words.

2. Second, I’d gear our worship services exclusively to those who truly love Christ. If an unchurched person wanders in, that’s fine, but if they did, I’d want them to be blown away by the presence of God, the commitment of the people to that presence, by the robustness of the worship, and by the sincerity of the congregation regarding knowing God ever more deeply. The goal of worship is worship, not evangelism.

3. Third, I’d shift the strategy from training people in the steps we think will lead people to Christ to empowering people to just be real. Nonbelievers are more impressed by a good friend who genuinely loves Jesus and lives accordingly than by a well-intentioned debater who wants to argue everyone into the kingdom.

4. Fourth, as part of that strategy I’d invest heavily in developing the worldview of the believers. Because people find Christ through relationships, not the impartation of information about Christ, it’s important that believers understand how to see the world through a lens of faith and know how to communicate their faith in relation to every life circumstance, without harassing or degrading people. Know what you believe and why, and be able to relate it to every circumstance, which allows you to talk to people about their experiences and hopes without feeling as if you have to persuade them to adopt your point of view. Besides, it’s the Holy Spirit that convicts and converts people, not us.

5. Fifth, I’d focus the majority of our outreach resources on children, not adults. Few adults get converted. The vast majority of people who ever embrace Christ do so when they’re young usually before they hit the teen years. Every adult who’s interested in doing meaningful ministry would be encouraged to find a way to serve the kids in the church and community. And I’d do whatever we could to empower the kids to share their faith with their family and friends.

—From What Do the Unchurched Want?
in Rev!, July/August 2006

Bible classes offered at
Bonsack Baptist Church, Roanoke

Weeks of January 26 – May 15, 2009

Undergraduate (college) Classes
Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels – Monday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Spiritual Formations (Growing in Christlikeness)
Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.-noon

Philosophy of Religion – Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $375/class (Additional scholarshipping available for members of Baptist General Association of Virginia churches) Audit: $188

Masters (seminary) Class
New Testament Introduction --Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $600/class (Additional scholarshipping available for members of Baptist General Association of Virginia churches) Audit: $300

A partnership of The John Leland Center for Theological Studies and The Southwest Virginia Christian Leadership Network.

For more information, contact Gary Chapman, 777.3014 (Roanoke); toll-free: 866.223.9344; or email,

Focus on Our Family

Mentow recently collected 36 boxes/bags of cereal for Bedford Christian Ministries. The Women on Mission delivered home baked cakes to 16 sick/elderly/single families in the community.

During the Christmas season, Mount Hermon collected a special offering for Bedford Christian Ministries and provided gifts for the local Wal-Mart Angel Tree.

Palestine will host the WaToTo Children’s Choir in concert on Sunday, February 1, 2009, for the 10:45 a.m. worship service. Rev. Robert “Bert” Kirk, who has served as associate pastor at Palestine since November 2004, will be leaving the area in mid January 2009. He and his wife, LuAnn, have accepted a call to church planting in the Virginia Beach area with military families as their ministry focus.

Suck Spring’s Mission Kids sponsored a mission project which raised $1,035 to be used by Because We Care Ministries as they share the love of Christ in Nicaragua. This offering will provide rice, beans, oil, sugar, oatmeal, cookies and soap for more than 100 families of eight people for an entire week.

Beginning January 11, Thaxton will offer Power Source—a full hour of worship designed especially for children.

During the Christmas season, Thaxton sponsored an Angel Tree, providing presents for 18 special children.

Operation Christmas Child

The following churches reported participation in Operation Christmas Child:

Church - 	Shoeboxes filled
Beaverdam - 	43
Bedford - 	106
Flint Hill - 	68
Hunting Creek - 74
Mount Hermon - 	72
Mount Olivet - 	27
Norwood - 	147
Palestine - 	68
Quaker - 	40
Shady Grove - 	50
Staunton - 	82
Suck Spring - 	20
TOTAL - 	797


February 16 Marc Jantomaso (River Rock)


February 12 Chris & Susan Smith (Staunton)
February 14 Todd & Dana Childers (Norwood)

In Sympathy

Geraldine (Jerry) Roberts Duncan died December 1, 2008, following a brief illness. Visitation for family and friends was at First Baptist Church, Bastrop, Louisiana, followed by a private burial service. Jerry is survived by her husband of 58 years, Rev. Alfred Duncan; a daughter; two sons; six grandchildren; and one great grandchild. She served as WMU Director for Strawberry Association for 1986-87 and 1987-88.

Click for January Calendar

Etc., Etc., Etc.
Free Tax and Financial
Support Planning Seminar

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
10 a.m.-2 p.m. (lunch provided)
North Roanoke Baptist Church

The seminar is designed for church staff and lay leaders who handle taxes and compensation. Attendees will get help with financial support planning for church staff (including retirement and insurance), handling minister’s taxes, and federal reporting requirements for churches. Jeff Cranford, Financial Support Planning Specialist, VBMB, will lead the seminar. RSVP to Melody Fowler, GuideStone Administrative Assistant, 800.255.2428 ext. 5293, or

January 30-31, 2009
First Baptist Church, Woodbridge
Featuring: Neil Cole, Mike Breen, James Meeks, Paul Kim, & Shadrack Monageng

21-C is Virginia Baptists’ premier vision-casting, evangelism, and leadership-equipping conference for church staff and lay leaders. Come network with other church leaders and explore innovative ways of reaching people for Christ in the 21st century.

This year's theme, “Pushing the Envelope,” originally referred to test pilots who were willing to risk pushing aircraft beyond existing limits in order to achieve advances in aviation.

Come to 21-C and learn how your church can push the envelope to advance the Kingdom. Register at or call 1-800-255-2428

SWAT Weekend Connection Taste & See
February 6-7, 2009
Omni Hotel, Charlottesville
SWAT Weekend Connection is for you if your husband is currently serving in a ministerial role at a SBCV Church.

Church Building Conference
February 29, 2009, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Virginia Baptist Resource Center, Richmond

Designed for pastors, building committee members, church treasurers, and other key leaders.

Topics Include:

  • Landlocked: What’s Our Next Best Option?
  • Making Our Existing Facilities “Work Better”
  • Are Metal Buildings Really Less Costly Than “Stick Built”?
  • What Is a Multi-Purpose Building?
  • Getting the Congregation to See Our Space Needs!
  • Now...What about the Money?
  • Questions and Answers
Leaders: Consultants, Architects, Pastors, Laity, and others.

Register at or call 1-800-255-2428.

A Place for You in WMU!
Mrs. Lois Stevens, WMU Director
1118 Roundtree Dr., Bedford 24523

Women on Mission: Radford is leading devotionals at Oakwood Manor in January, February, and March. Bethlehem will host the January birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Mount Olivet will host it in February.

Mark your calendars:

Strawberry WMU Annual Meeting
Bedford Baptist Church
Saturday, March 21, 2009
10 a.m.
(Covered dish lunch)

Happy New Year!

Help us all stay informed. If you have information about what's going on at your church, please share it with us. Items for the next newsletter should be written and in the association office by Wednesday, January 21.

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Strawberry Baptist Association
163 West Main, Bedford, VA 24523
FAX: (540) 586-4246

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Updated 1/7/2009
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