Thursday
Jan282016

Children’s Ministry Day to offer service experience

HOW CAN children be involved in ministry to people outside their own churches? Hundreds of children and adults will be doing ministry in their own communities on or around Feb. 13 as part of Children’s Ministry Day (CMD).

“CMD is a great way to encourage your children to be involved in ministry and (show them) the importance of showing others about the love of Jesus,” said Charity Taylor, Arkansas Baptist State Convention missions team member.

This year’s theme – All for You – will help children realize they are able to share Jesus’ love with others as they serve people in their communities.

“This opportunity provides a great foundation for equipping children to live out the Great Commission,” Taylor said, encouraging people to join children around the U.S. as they minister in their communities Feb. 13 or another convenient day. “Look around your community for ways children can be involved in ministry. Is there a Laundromat where children can provide quarters and laundry detergent as they show God’s love to others? Can children go shopping to help provide a meal for a family in the community? What other needs are there in your community that children can be involved in ministering to?”

For more information about Children’s Ministry Day in Arkansas, contact Taylor at ctaylor@absc.org or visit wmu.com/cmd.

Thursday
Dec032015

Women invited to be ‘inspired’

LITTLE ROCK  – Women from across Arkansas will gather to be “inspired” at the third annual Inspire Women’s Conference to be held March 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Little Rock.

The one-day event, designed for women of all ages and life stages, will include worship, speakers and practical breakout sessions in order to equip attendees for the “everyday” aspects of life. Rachel Lovingood, women’s ministry speaker and author, will serve as keynote speaker.

“I know that when you come to Inspire, God is going to encourage and equip you. He’s going to work in your life in a mighty way,” said Andrea Lennon, women’s ministry specialist for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC), in a promotional video for the event.

For information or to register for the conference, visit absc.org/inspire.

Inspire is a Cooperative Program ministry of the ABSC evangelism and church health team.

Thursday
Dec032015

Disaster relief chaplain commissioned

HOT SPRINGS – Bob Duncan (left) was commissioned as a new disaster relief chaplain for Red River Baptist Association during the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Annual Meeting in Hot Springs. Duncan, a former pastor, is a member of First Baptist Church in Arkadelphia. With Duncan is Harold Johnson, Red River Baptist Association disaster relief director.

Monday
Nov232015

Clinic teaches ‘cowboy way’ of doing church

HEBER SPRINGS – When you think of going to church, you probably picture a traditional church building with pews and a steeple. You most likely imagine the standard ways of doing things like worship, evangelism and ministry.

But cowboy churches have their own unique way of reaching people for Christ.

Cowboy Churches of Arkansas (CCOA) held a Cowboy Church Starting and Leadership Clinic Nov. 6-7 at Mountain Top Cowboy Church in Heber Springs.  About 80 people from 13 churches participated. CCOA is affiliated with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC).

Attendees learned about things like being a cowboy pastor and the cowboy way of doing evangelism, ministries, worship and church starting.

“We wanted to pull all of our cowboy church planters together, and I wanted them to learn from the best – guys that the Lord has anointed,” said Roger Gaunt, church planter strategist with the ABSC church planting team. “Who better to train cowboy church planters and leaders than successful cowboy church planters?”

All presenters were Arkansas Baptist cowboy church planters: Donny Hargett, pastor of Calvary Trail Cowboy Church, Louann; Mike Launius, pastor of Rugged Cross Cowboy Church, Magnolia; Tracy Wilson, pastor of Three Trees Cowboy Church, Wynne; Greg Spann, pastor of Cross Bar C Cowboy Church, Benton, and Brad Curtis, pastor of Mountain Top Cowboy Church.

“It was very beneficial to be able to talk about common challenges that a cowboy church faces with other cowboy church pastors,” said Hargett. “A full Saturday was given to addressing various areas of ministry within the cowboy church. Cowboy pastors spoke to cowboy church issues and challenges and instructed in steps to take in starting new cowboy churches.”  

“It was tremendous,” Gaunt said about the clinic. “We received such good compliments on the entire conference – a lot of positive response from those who participated. I think they went away with a very positive outlook on the cowboy church movement in the state.”

Monday
Nov092015

Camp Siloam helps girls feel ‘Radiant’

SILOAM SPRINGS – What makes a person radiant? Psalms 34:5 (NASB) suggests that those who look to Jesus for their worth are radiant – “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.”
“I continually doubt my worthiness,” said Patience Beard, a senior at the University of Arkansas who also is a cheerleader for the Razorbacks. “I forget who God says I am. I forget what God says about me. I hope this weekend we can allow God to speak to our hearts.”

Beard was the keynote speaker at Radiant, Camp Siloam’s all-girls retreat. The event took place in Siloam Springs, Oct. 16-18. The event was developed on the premise that young women need to hear from women without the distractions of boys, and they need to know that they are valuable and special. Beard summed up the retreat by stating to the campers, “You are valuable and worthy, even though you have nothing to give.”

The retreat opened with a concert featuring Nashville recording artist and worship leader Kerrie Roberts.

“To me, being radiant is not just having a sunshiny disposition, but being real and honest about who you are in Christ and being consistent in that every day. That will make you shine the kind of light that is going to change lives around you,” said Roberts.

Linda Graham, Camp Siloam’s women’s ministries manager, shared why Radiant was so important to campers.
“When you saw the girls together and the issues they were dealing with, you saw why this is important. There are things girls aren’t going to talk about their struggles in front of men. We were able to biblically address the issues that are uniquely female in our communities: broken families, beauty, redemption, worth and value to God,” she said.

Joey Staton, who came with Friendship Baptist Church, Sherwood, agreed that it’s important to have something specifically for girls.

“Women understand the struggles of teenage girls because they’ve been there,” she said.

“I liked the breakout sessions. The activities were tied to our relationship with Christ. They weren’t just activities,” said Maya Swartz, who attended with Eastside Baptist Church of Collinsville, Okla.

The camp showed the girls they were special by creating an atmosphere especially for Radiant. Thirty-nine women volunteers from northwest Arkansas churches and 26 students from colleges around the region came together to decorate, serve and lead campers, making the event very special.

“I know a lot of this may seem frivolous, but for many girls, this is the first time they have felt special in a ‘not dirty’ way,” said Kristie Smith a counselor who attended with Winthrop Baptist Church, Winthrop. “We need to do more of this (events for specifically women). This is so important because so many girls have crossed the line. Our generation of girls 14-16 have crossed the line of purity, and they do not feel that they can be restored.”

“Joel 2:25 speaks of God’s promise to restore that purity,” Smith continued, “It says, ‘And I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.’ I want girls to understand that they don’t need to find their worth in a man. They need to understand it is God who declares your worth.”

One-hundred-and-thirty-five girls attended Radiant from 22 churches. Due to the success of Radiant, Camp Siloam is planning a retreat for junior high and senior high boys called “Advance” March 4-6. The event will feature Brent Eldridge and worship band Carrollton. Visit campsiloam.com for more information about Advance, summer camp and other retreats.