Moving Forward with Core Values Implementation
The 2019 ministry year started with much momentum following the conclusion of the 2018 MARBC Conference last October. The next seven months involved meeting with our regional associations to explore how they can partner together in order to implement the MARBC’s Core Values. A series of forums were held to seek input from association pastors. Much of the discussion focused upon how to prioritize the ten-year vision plan announced at last year’s conference: strengthen existing churches and regional fellowships; forge new partnerships with other churches and organizations; participate in joint ministry initiatives to impact our state; and plant ten new churches.
The Council of 16 brought much vision and energy toour association in the past year. I am blessed by this group of godly men who provide wise spiritual stewardship on behalf of the association. They invested time studying the feedback gleaned from the Core Values gatherings. They also reviewed the job description and ministry emphasis of the Executive Director and recommended the reprioritizing of some areas of his time investment. The Council also reviewed its own organizational structure. They determined that new areas of committee structure are necessary in order to be effective in pursuing the Core Values implementation and the accomplishment of the Ten Year Vision.
The new committees formed are: Regional Association Committee (to improvement joint cooperation and sharing of resources); Communications and Public Relations (to oversee web development and effective communication resources for the association); Church Strengthening and Pastoral Care (to minister in a practical way to local churches and their pastors); and, Conference and Seminars (to plan and develop meaningful gatherings for ministry enhancement and fellowship).
The last three months of the ministry year targeted two of the four components in the association’s Ten-Year Vision Plan: church revitalization and church planting. Regional gatherings were held in various locations the second week of September.
These meetings featured Clare Jewell, the National Church Planting Coordinator for Regular Baptist Ministries. Pastors in each region were encouraged to begin networking together in revitalization efforts and to consider areas where church plants are needed. Much time was also spent meeting with church leaders in various regions where church planting and revitalization projects are underway. This information will be shared in future web posts and regional meetings for the education and encouragement of our constituency.
The regional meetings included a discussion of church revitalization strategies with churches within the MARBC network. This includes the multi-site campuses established by Blythefield Hills Baptist Church in Kent County. Ken Floyd and Clare Jewell met with Blythfield Hills Baptist Church Northview Campus Pastor Don Pearson and Blythefield Hills Executive Pastor Tim Hoyt of the Rockford Campus. Blythefield Hills is a strategic partner in assisting struggling MARBC ministries through church revitalizations and mergers.
Revitalization strategy sessions were also held with Doug Crawford, lead pastor of West Cannon Baptist Church in Belmont, and Shane Miller, lead pastor of Montrose Baptist Church in Montrose. West Cannon has come alongside First Baptist Church in Cedar Springs in a revitalization project. Montrose Baptist Church has been heavily assisted by South Baptist Church in Flint, which is led by senior pastor Scott Snyder.
Church planting is also being pursued by the MARBC as a part of its Ten-Year Strategic Plan. Ken and Clare met with Pepe Morales, lead pastor of Grace Hispanic Bible Baptist Church in Grant, and his associate Paul Newton. Grace Hispanic is a church plant that is seeking to assist other churches in advising how future church plants can be accomplished through the strategic partnership of multiple churches in sharing practical resources.
Watch the GARBC, Regular Baptist Builders Club, and MARBC websites for upcoming video testimonies regarding these the wonderful ways God has blessed these endeavors with spiritual fruit.
A prominent part of my ministry involves assisting churches and pastors in times of transition. Several churches anticipate the retirement of their Boomer generation pastor. This requires a unique strategy in preparing for a smooth transition. We have designed a process for such scenarios.
The sidebar highlights other parts of our ministry the past year, including speaking, ministry to pastors and churches in transition, and counsel with pastors seeking personal and professional guidance. My speaking ministry numbers were lower this year than any other during my ministry as Executive Director. This reflects the severe winter that our churches experienced, which led to several cancellations of speaking assignments. I also had churches that graciously postponed my ministry with them when I needed to be at the bedside of my parents in Ohio.
The CPR (Church Partner Relationships) Ministry was utilized by sister churches this past year for outreach opportunities and facility improvement projects.
Ministry Statistics from 2018-19…
We express our deep gratitude for your prayerful encouragement during the past year as we dealt with several serious family needs. My (Ken’s) parents both experienced serious health threats that required lengthy hospitalizations shortly after last year’s annual conference. The health of my father went into rapid decline during the Christmas season. At the end of January medical personnel advised that dad could no longer endure physical therapy and medical intervention. He entered hospice on February 2 and our loving God graciously called him into His presence on February 7. Your notes of encouragement and prayer support for my mom and family were greatly appreciated. It has been a great personal blessing to observe first hand the faith and trust that my parents placed in God as He led them through the shadowy valley. Mom dealt with some additional health issues through the spring, but has enjoyed a good season of health the past few months. We are blessed by her steady faith in this new season of her life.
I greatly appreciate the love and support of my godly wife and best friend, Sharon. God has used her greatly to be a source of spiritual support and encouragement during the challenges of the past year. Sharon and I continue to be blessed by our dear daughter Allison, husband Taylor, and our five grandchildren – Connor (10), Eloise (8), Malachi (5), Emmaline (3), and Camille (2). That wonderful crew has brought moments of laughter and joy in our lives during a difficult year. We rejoice in God’s provision of a new home for them (much larger!), new Christian school for the kids, and the opportunity for them to live closer to their wonderful and supportive church family.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Karen Avey, our faithful MARBC bookkeeper, and Kevin Pierpont, the MARBC and Interpas web master. And, we thank God upon every remembrance of each church and ministry friend who supports us through prayer and financial support.
Please let us know how we can assist you, share a prayer request, or celebrate a blessing in your life or ministry.
Partnering with you and praying for you,
Ken and Sharon Floyd