Friday
Feb202015

Gaines to pastors: ‘Serve your community’

Steve Gaines, senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., shared with more than 100 pastors during a luncheon and workshop at the close of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention 2015 State Conference on Evangelism and Church Growth at First Baptist Church in Sherwood Jan. 27.

Tim Yarbrough
Arkansas Baptist News

SHERWOOD – “A lot of your people want to go on a mission trip, but they are never told they live on a mission field.”

That was the message Steve Gaines, senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., shared with more than 100 pastors during a luncheon and workshop at the close of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention 2015 State Conference on Evangelism and Church Growth at First Baptist Church in Sherwood Jan. 27.

Gaines, who came to Bellevue Baptist following the tenure of longtime Pastor Adrian Rogers, told pastors, “You need to be able to tell people about Jesus at home before you go on a mission trip.”

GainesHe said since becoming the church’s pastor, he has led Bellevue to intentionally reach out to its community, as well as Memphis and the surrounding region. Gaines said activities of the church have been carried out through its Bellevue Loves Memphis program and funded in part through the church’s annual love offering, which was started when the church was located in Midtown Memphis by then Pastor R.G. Lee.

Gaines said included in the church’s activities is a quarterly work day, prison ministry and a host of other community-focused outreach events all designed to reach people for Jesus – whether or not they ever darken the door of the church.
“I want to be like the first responders that ran into those building at 9/11,” said Gaines, adding that social ministry and evangelism are a “marriage made in heaven” for the local church in the 21st century.

One of the activities Bellevue has undertaken is cleaning and repairing city schools, he said, adding that “community renewal” leads to renewing lives and reaching people for Jesus.

“Forget separation of church and state,” he said, pointing to the welcome the church received during its initiative to assist city schools.

It is important for churches to practice “intentional hospitality,” said Gaines, adding the church should be quick in “welcoming everyone who walks through the door.”

Gaines said that he initially received some criticism regarding the community outreach strategy, adding it was a tough period for him.

“You’ll lose some people, but you’ll gain more than you lose,” he said, adding later in his talk, “Not everyone was exuberant about it when it started, (but) we worked with the ones who were.”

Gaines emphasized to pastors that community ministry doesn’t require a lot of money, just willing and committed volunteers.
“Don’t let the money thing prevent you from getting involved,” he said, adding that the money will come as the church serves.

Contact Tim Yarbrough at tim@arkansasbaptist.org.

Thursday
Feb122015

Families on Mission Day set for March 14 at zoo

LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) will offer a unique missions experience on March 14 called Families on Mission Day. The event will take place at the Little Rock Zoo starting at 10 a.m.
The event will provide activities for children ages 4 through sixth grade and their families. These activities will allow participants to experience missions and ministry in a fun environment. Some of the activities include interacting with missionaries, learning about disaster relief and partnering with church planters in a ministry project. The ministry project will be helping church planters collect school supplies.

Charity Gardner, ABSC missions team member, explained the purpose of Families on Mission Day.

“This event was created to provide an opportunity for preschoolers and children to interact with different missions experiences,” she said. “We want the participants to walk away with information about missions and how they can be a part of missions.”

For more information about this event and to register, visit absc.org/childhood. The registration deadline is March 2.

Thursday
Feb122015

Handbell Fest. March 6-7

LITTLE ROCK – The annual State Handbell Festival will be held at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, Little Rock, March 6-7. For more information or to register, visit absc.org/music or call 501-376-4791, ext. 5121.

Thursday
Feb122015

ABSC holds RoundTable events for worship leaders

The Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) evangelism and church health team will hold a series of RoundTable events for worship leaders throughout the month of February and the first part of March.

The events will take place at various locations throughout Arkansas and will provide worship leaders a way to
connect and learn from each other.

For dates and locations and to register, visit surveymonkey.com/s/KBZW7PY.

Thursday
Feb122015

Foundation to host reception for Moore

LITTLE ROCK – A “retirement celebration” for David Moore, who is retiring as president of the Arkansas Baptist Foundation, will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 26 in the dining room of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention building.

Moore has served as president of the Foundation since Jan. 1, 1994. His final day with the Foundation is Feb. 28.

Bobby Thomas, the Foundation’s institutional investment consultant, was named to succeed Moore in 2013. Thomas is a member and deacon at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Cabot. He is presently first vice president at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith Inc. in Little Rock, where he has been employed since 1997.