Blog 

Thoughts, insights and observations from the ABN staff

Thursday
Aug302012

Several changes announced for LifeWay's World Changers missions ministry

It appears some significant changes are in store for the World Changers mission project ministry for students which is now under the administration of LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn. World Changers was shifted to LifeWay from the North American Mission Board in 2011 by its new president, Kevin Ezell.

In a special announcement posted on the official World Changers website titled, "Successful 2012 Summer for World Changers and PowerPlant, 2013 Planning Underway," several notable changes in the way World Changers projects are operated are announced. The include:

- Minors (students under the age of 18) will not be allowed to work on a roof at project sites.

- More World Changers weeks will be focused on the citites instead of other areas in North America.

Below is LifeWay's announcement on World Changers in its entirety from http://www.lifeway.com/worldchangers/index.php/about/special_announcement/:

Successful 2012 Summer for World Changers and PowerPlant, 2013 Planning Underway

Student volunteers worked on more than 1,200 homes, worked with 50 church planters, and saw over 500 professions of faith through World Changers and PowerPlant at LifeWay Christian Resources in 2012.

World Changers provides students and adults with opportunities to meet the physical and spiritual needs by repairing substandard housing for low-income homeowners. Volunteers donate a week of their summer working in conjunction with cities, churches and community agencies to provide renovations at no charge.

PowerPlant participants learn church planting principles and evangelism skills each morning, then have a chance to engage personally through assigned ministry team activities in the afternoon and evening.

Project manager John Bailey expressed appreciation for “the hundreds of churches that joined with World Changers and PowerPlant in calling students to the front line of missions in 2012.”

Bailey said the LifeWay team is already working on next summer’s schedule in order to provide the best mission experience possible at the most affordable cost.

In 2013, World Changers and PowerPlant will focus on changing the city, changing the world. “Next year we will continue our mission of eliminating substandard housing by replacing doors and windows, re-building porches, adding siding and wheelchair ramps where needed, painting and a host of other necessary repairs,” Bailey said. However, one change Bailey noted for next year is that World Changers will no longer have minors working on a roof.

In 2013 we are focusing on more weeks in cities to have a longer and greater impact. As we grow we will look to add more cities. “Metropolitan areas have tremendous needs and the types of service to meet those needs are endless.” Bailey said, “We are looking to help churches reach more of their community’s needs.”We believe that if we stay longer to help change the city, our students’ lives will change and we can change the world. We are also excited to hear that our church planting partners want more students in the future! Imagine what the Lord could do when a generation of students follows a call to reach the cities? We at World Changers and PowerPlant want to lead the way.”

Registration for 2013 World Changers and PowerPlant projects is already underway. The World Changers website is world-changers.net, and PowerPlant’s is power-plant.net.

Friday
Aug172012

Bible study: There’s an app for that!  

Tim Yarbrough
Arkansas Baptist News

Everyone struggles with study of the Bible from time to time. Fortunately, technology is making things much easier for Bible students. It wasn’t long ago that effective Bible study meant having a large bookshelf that included various versions of the Bible, commentaries, dictionaries and such.

Computers – and more recently smartphones and tablet computers – have simplified the process of Bible reading and study and have helped many people reduce the size of their libraries as well. What’s perhaps even more exciting is that the average Bible student can take along practically their entire Bible library wherever they go! 

In this church technology column, I’ll review and provide some details on one of the iPhone and iPad applications currently available that I have found to assist me greatly in my pursuit to read and study the Bible and draw closer in my walk with the Lord.

The app I use for my daily Bible reading is named simply the YouVersion Bible by LifeChurch.tv. Creators claim the app has been downloaded 50 million times, which makes it one of the most popular electronic Bibles available – and it’s free.

The YouVersion Bible has 200-plus translations of the Bible available, many of which have audio versions, allowing you to listen as you read.

The most powerful feature of the YouVersion Bible app is its numerous Bible reading plans and the ability to track the reader’s progress with daily reminders.

While many free Bible apps are available, many do not include versions of the Bible that people actually use. The YouVersion Bible app includes the following English versions available online and off-line: The Message, New King James Version (NKJV), King James Version (KJV) and the American Standard Version (ASV). Other versions – available only online when you have an Internet connection – include the New International Version (NIV), English Standard Version (ESV), New Living Translation (NLT), New American Standard Bible (NASB), Contemporary English Version (CEV) and the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).

Spanish translations are available for many of the Bibles, as well as access to many language Bibles, including German, French, Italian, Chinese Simplified and Traditional, Swedish, Korean, Japanese, Norwegian, Czech, Bulgarian, Dutch, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian and more.

The search feature on the YouVersion Bible app allows the user to search a reference or a keyword. 

A powerful feature of the daily reading plans is the ability to track reading progress and sync updates to YouVersion.com, and if you choose, discuss what you have read with other YouVersion users.

Additionally, users can connect to their Twitter and Facebook accounts to share what they have read and post verses. The app includes the ability to bookmark favorite verses, sync verses and take notes and keep up with them on their YouVersion.com account.

Lastly, the YouVersion Bible app includes a “live” feature allowing users to interact when attending church services and conferences where YouVersion Live is being used. Users may respond to polls, answer questions and tweet about the event.

All in all, the YouVersion Bible includes everything most people need for tracking their daily Bible reading and study. While not everyone will use the social media functions of the app, these aspects are included for the Twitter and Facebook users out there.

Before using your YouVersion Bible in church, you might want to check with your pastor and tell him you are following with your electronic Bible and not surfing the Internet! 

Tim Yarbrough is editor of the Arkansas Baptist News. If you have a favorite Bible app you use and want to recommend for review, send an email to tim@arkansasbaptist.org.

Thursday
Jun282012

ABN Archives - Among the Churches - June 28, 1906

Lest we forget ... following are some tidbits from The Baptist Advance (the former name of the Arkansas Baptist News) on June 28, 1906:

Among the Churches: 

LITTLE ROCK AND VICINITY.

IMMANUEL - Pastor Wade was at his post at both hours on Sunday. And while he has been suffering some with a sore mouth, we heard many expressions of gratitude from the people for the good sermons he gave us ...

FIRST CHURCH - The pastor preached a misisonary sermon in the morning and the annual collection for Foreign Missions was taken. In the afternoon the Sunday School at Station B. had its Children's Day and a very fine program was excellently executed under the guidance of Bro. Ed Jones and Miss Mabel Perkins ...

SECOND CHURCH - Pastor John T. Christian preached at both hours. The morning subject: "Love" John 3:16. Evening subject: "The Word of God as the Rain," Isa. 55:10-11. By special request the pastor spoke to the Barber's Union in the morning. A precious service.

THE STATE.

POCAHONTAS - "The church here is doing nicely. Had four accessions last Sunday. Bro. Owens is working on a plan to pay off our church debt of $250, and I believe his plan a good one," so wrote a brother to us last week.

JONESBORO, First Church - Attendance at Sunday school, 279, collection $5.51. In the absence of the pastor, Mr. Owens preached at eleven o'clock. One addition to the church . ... No service at the church at night on account of the tent meeting where Mr. Morris preached at eight o'clock. 

KINGSLAND - Pastor M.W. Wayne has been voted a vacation and has gone to Kentucky to recuperate. The Advance rejoices in his restoration to health and expects to see the Lord's work prosper more and more in his hands. He has shown kindness to the paper and cheered our hearts by his help.

HAMBURG - Our hearts our rejoicing in no little degree, because of God's wonderful blessing upon us. Yesterday a week ago, during the morning service, twelve of our congregation took a public stand for Christ, and among them some of the happiest conversions I have ever witnessed.

Wednesday
Jun132012

ABN's Father of the Year protects the Arkansas Supreme Court

DavisIt’s not often the Arkansas Baptist News pick for the Father of the Year also has responsiblity for protecting one of the most important bodies in our government – the Arkansas Supreme Court. 

The ABN sat down with Eddie Davis to discuss his life as a single father and head of security of one of the state’s most influential government bodies. Davis talks about his faith and how it affects his daily job and family life. He also shared several memorable cases over the course of his career.

Read the story in the June 28 edition of the ABN. Subscribe here.

Leah Fender
Assistant editor, Arkansas Baptist News

Tuesday
Jun122012

The more things change the more they stay the same

Here's one to be filed under the category: "The more things change the more they stay the same."

While doing some research, an Arkansas Baptist State Convention staff member found this little tidbit in the book, The Baptist Heritage by H. Leon McBeth, published in 1987 by Broadman and Holman:

"Proposed name change. SBC leaders have long struggled with the anomaly of a regional name with a national constitution. In 1903 the convention heard a proposal to change its name to "The Baptist Convention of the United States," but the next year a counterproposal suggested changing the constitution instead to conform to the facts. From the 1950s the name change has been raised at different times, and for a few years in the 1960s the issue occupied front-page space. Some argued that changing the name would aid Southern Baptist work nationwide; others countered that the SBC had established a doctinal identity that went beyond mere geography. After an intensive study in the early 1970s, the SBC voted to keep its present name. The issue was complicated by the fact that no acceptable alternative name could be found (emphasis added)."

Well, we will see if "Great Commission Baptists" passes the Southern Baptist mustard next week in New Orleans.

If not, we can truly say, "The more things change the more they stay the same."

Tim Yarbrough
Editor, Arkansas Baptist News