You can also download a PDF of the November-December 2008 Baptist Testimony (1.3mb PDF; PC: Right click / MAC: Control click on the link and choose “Save As”)
A Special Note Regarding the Baptist Testimony
The MARBC Council of 15 recently approved a change in the publication schedule of the Baptist Testimony. Beginning with this issue, the Baptist Testimony will now be a bi-monthly publication. This means that the amount of issues published per year will be reduced from 11 to 6. To compensate for the reduced amount of issues, each issue of the Baptist Testimony will now be six pages instead of four. The publication schedule for the six issues will be: January-February / March-April / May-June / July-August / September-October / November-December.
The reason for this change is two-fold. First, we are adjusting the frequency of publication due to the consistent increase in mail costs and the negative impact this has upon the MARBC budget. The second reason involves the development of a new ministry related publication called “For Your Strengthening.” This new publication will be sent out quarterly as an e-mail / downloadable publication. The focus of “For Your Strengthening” will be encouragement and practical help for those involved in ministry. “For Your Strengthening” will be sent out in months opposite of the publication of the Baptist Testimony. Subscriptions for this publication are free, but subscribers will need to send their email address in order to be placed on the special mailing list.
There will be no changes in subscription costs for the Baptist Testimony. It has been several years since there has been a subscription increase and the Council of 15 agreed to keep the annual subscription price the same during this adjustment in the publication. Likewise, there will be no adjustment or increase in the advertising rates for the Baptist Testimony.
Thank you for your continued interest in and support of the Baptist Testimony. We are thankful for the many churches and individuals who submit items for publication. We trust that the publications of the MARBC will continue to be a blessing to you. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us. Thank you for your input and prayerful support!
The Word Has It
“Strengthen me according to Your word,” Psalm 119:28
MARBC State Representative
This Issue’s Word: “Lead”
“Effective Biblical Leadership” was the theme of the 66th MARBC Annual Conference, which was held on October 27-28 and hosted in the wonderful facilities of the First Baptist Church in Rochester. Tom Townsend (Senior Pastor), Scott Kigar (Associate Pastor), Rob Laing (Associate Pastor), and the entire First Baptist staff are to be highly commended for their wonderful ministry in preparing for and hosting this special event.
Dr. Jim Jeffery, President of Baptist Bible College, Graduate School, and Seminary, was the keynote speaker. His four messages focused upon the important topic, “The Roots and Fruits of Leadership.” Jim’s messages focused upon the Biblical model that forms the basis for Biblical servant leadership. The roots of Biblical leadership are convictions, commitment, and character. The fruits of Biblical leadership are competency and capacity.
Randy Gilmore, Senior Pastor of Hamilton Hills Baptist Church in Fishers, Indiana, led two seminars that focused on the topic of Biblical conflict resolution. The first session dealt with “The Process of Biblical Same Mindedness” in dealing with disagreement and potential conflict in church ministry. The second session dealt with “Leading Your Church through Intentional Change.” Randy helped the group understand how to lead a ministry in understanding the differences between technical and adaptive change. A summary of this workshop session has been posted on Randy’s website and blog at www.samemind.net. This website includes other entries regarding Biblical conflict resolution. Randy’s material has been published in a new book, “Where Do We Go From Here? The Path to Biblically Resolving Conflict” (Exalt Publications), and is available for purchase at www.exaltpublications.com. The book is available for $7.50 (50% discount) through December 31.
The messages by Jim Jeffery, seminar sessions by Randy Gilmore, and the message by Ken Floyd (“The Dynamics of Servant Leadership”) are all available for downloading here.
Women’s sessions were held on Monday and Tuesday afternoon and were led by Danna Dykema, a member of First Baptist Church in Rochester. An avid walker, Danna’s sessions focused upon faithfulness and walking with God. She also shared about a ministry that she has developed at First Baptist Church called “Far Above Rubies.” This is a discipling and nurturing ministry for mothers and daughters. If you would like further information regarding this program, you can email Danna .
Deanna Miller, a missionary with Child Evangelism Fellowship, capably led the children’s sessions during the conference. Along with Biblical teaching, Deanna led the children in creative craft sessions. We are grateful to Deanna for her highly effective ministry.
Worship sessions were capably led by Mark Cizauskas, Executive Pastor of West Cannon Baptist Church in Belmont. Instrumentalists were Cindy McNeil (piano, Shelby Road Baptist Church, Shelby), Greg Carlson (organ, First Baptist Church, Allegan), and Nathan Pierpont (Northeastern Baptist Church, Kalamazoo). Mark Jones, Pastor of Mason Road Baptist Church in Fowlerville, shared an oral interpretation from the Book of Ephesians in the Monday morning worship session. A special feature of the Monday night service was a special musical presentation by the brass ensemble and choir of First Baptist Church in Rochester led by Pastor Rob Laing. Tuesday morning’s worship featured an oral interpretation of scripture by MARBC Talents for Christ winner Alyssa Pyne of Evangel Baptist Church in Taylor.
A special reception was held for new MARBC pastors and their wives on Monday evening in conjunction with a reception hosted by Baptist Bible College in the church fellowship hall. The delicious appetizer and dessert buffet featured at the reception was prepared by Scott Kigar, associate pastor of the host church and his wonderful helpers. After enjoying this delicious meal we all agreed that Scott has great job security!
To spend time on the subject of leadership is a worthy pursuit. The Apostle Paul himself challenged fellow Christians, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Servants of Christ should take this God given responsibility seriously. The theme of this year’s conference, “Biblical Servant Leadership,” was prayerfully chosen with the hope to produce courage, to provoke change, to prevent cowardice, and to promote Christlikeness.
We pray that MARBC servants and their churches will follow the model of Christ Jesus, Who “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant” (Philippians 2:7). In turn, Jesus invites His servants, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
You have His Word on it! (KEF)
MARBC Conference Resolutions
Resolution Regarding the November 4, 2008 Election
Whereas we are all aware of how important this coming election is to the unborn and
Whereas we are aware of the attack upon the institutions of the home and marriage, and
Whereas we know that there have never been candidates with a more defined position as to their defense of the life of the unborn child, or their willingness to allow their lives to continue to be destroyed, and their stand on marriage, and
Whereas we believe God has given us, as His church, and His children, clear directives from the Word of God, about the sanctity of human life, and the value of the unborn, and the need to protect that life, both in and out of the womb, and concerning the marriage of a man and a woman,
Therefore be it resolved, that we the Messengers of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches, meeting in annual session, on October 27 & 28, 2008, in Rochester, Michigan, encourage the members and friends of our churches, to, with determination and diligence, know the stands of the candidates, and the issues on the ballots, and go to the polls, and vote their biblical values.
Therefore be it further resolved, that we as pastors and people, bathe the entire process of the election, including the candidates, the voters, and the election officials, in both our private and corporate prayers, as we follow the instructions of I Timothy 2:1-4, which reads, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives, in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God, our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Resolution Regarding the Host Church
Whereas the First Baptist Church of Rochester, Michigan, has so graciously opened their facilities to us of the MARBC, for our 2008 Annual Conference;
And whereas Pastor Townsend, and his entire staff, have so efficiently cared for all of our needs;
Be it resolved that we the messengers of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches, meeting in annual session, on October 27 & 28 2008, extend to Pastor Townsend and the church family, our sincere thanks for the ministry they have had to us during these days of conference;
And be it further resolved, that we pray that God will continue to give them great opportunities for service to their community in the days that are ahead.
Resolution Regarding Our Guest Speakers
Whereas Dr. Jim Jeffery, the President of Baptist Bible College and Seminary, in Clarks Summit, Pa. has been led of the Lord to minister to us the Word of God, on the subject of “Leadership in the Local Church”;
And whereas Pastor Randy Gilmore, the senior Pastor of Hamilton Hills Baptist Church of Indianapolis, Ind. has also been led of the Lord to conduct two seminars on the topic of “Biblical Conflict Resolution”;
Be it resolved that we the messengers of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches, meeting in annual session, on October 27 & 28 2008, give to both Dr. Jeffery and Pastor Gilmore, our grateful appreciation, for sharing with us, the information they have gleaned from their study of the Word of God;
And be it further resolved, that we will pray for them in their continuing ministry of teaching and leading others, in the way of the Lord.
Annual Report of the MARBC Executive DirectorIt is our goal to faithfully fulfill the purposes of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches. This year we logged over 23,000 miles in our travels to over 80 church campuses for speaking ministry, consultations, and special ministry occasions. We also spoke at five conferences and three ministry banquets. We are grateful for the new vehicle that the association has provided for our travels (a one-owner, 2008 Mercury Sable, with 20,000 miles). A vital part of the MARBC’s ministry continues to be encouraging pastors and churches who are in pastoral transition. Our travels have included 12 consultations with pastoral search committees and several interviews with prospective pastors. More than 120 resume packets were sent out from the MARBC office this year. It is a blessing to share that in the past year our Lord has reduced the number of pastorless churches in the MARBC from 25 to 7! We are encouraged by the godly men of good vision and great commitment that the Lord continues to bring to our churches.
A major part of our ministry this year has been the implementation of the “CPR Initiative” which was introduced to our churches at last year’s Annual Conference. CPR stands for Church Partnering Relationships. The areas of practical emphasis of CPR are caring, praying, and resourcing. This new ministry has been heartily embraced by many of our churches. Over a dozen of our churches were involved in CPR relationships this past summer. Several of their testimonies were shared in the October 2008 issue of the Baptist Testimony. We would enjoy coming to your church to share the importance of the MARBC network and participation in CPR. Materials explaining this ministry are available from the MARBC office or for download at www.marbc.net.
MARB churches are situated in many diverse settings that demand spiritual fortitude, cultural awareness, and longevity. Because of this, our pastors and churches need the benefits of a proactive, healthy fellowship to support them. CPR is but one way to strengthen the MARBC’s ministry to its constituency. Other ways are being researched to strengthen and enhance the ministries of our pastors and churches. This includes assistance of current pastors in professional development, encouraging pastoral internships in churches of all sizes, and some scholarship funding for the next generation of pastors being called by God in our MARB churches. Research is being conducted regarding a special scholarship fund for future MARBC pastors.
A few adjustments are being made pertaining to the MARBC ministry this year. Please be sure to read the note shared in this issue regarding changes related to MARBC publications. Another adjustment is related to the MARBC Constitution and Articles of Faith. The Council of 15 authorized a Constitutional Revision Task Force this past year to review the current constitution. It has been several years since the constitution has been upgraded. There are a few key areas that need adjustment: the inclusion of MARBC Mission and Vision statements; inclusion of amendments and actions approved in previous annual meetings; additional information regarding the ministry of the Executive Director (formally State Representative); and the addition of Articles of Faith. In the past, the constitution has stated that the MARBC adopts the GARBC Articles of Faith. The Council of 15 felt that it would be good to use the current GARBC Articles of Faith as a template for a statement that the MARBC can make its own. The first reading of this new document was presented at this year’s conference and will be presented for vote in 2009. You can read or download the proposed changes at www.marbc.net. Contact the MARBC office if your church desires the 14-page paper copy.
A final adjustment for the coming year relates to the Annual Men’s Retreat. Beginning this spring, the Men’s Retreat will no longer be under the leadership of the MARBC. Prior to last spring’s retreat the Lake Ann Camp Trustee Board informed us that they desired to assume complete responsibility for the oversight of the retreat beginning in 2009. The Council of 15 discussed this request and determined that, while the retreat has been a great ministry opportunity for our fellowship, we will be able to reallocate the financial investment and energy of the MARBC staff in other critical areas of ministry to our churches. We thank God for the many years of blessing He has given us in the men’s retreat setting. We thank Lake Ann for their partnership. Information and promotional materials related to the 2009 men’s retreat will soon be made available by Lake Ann.
Remember that our ministry is designed to be one of encouragement and assistance to ministry leaders and their churches. We are available for speaking ministry, consultations, seminars, and strategic planning. We come by invitation of the pastor and church. We charge no fees and do not require a minimum honorarium. The ministry of the Executive Director and the MARBC fellowship is supported by the love offerings, honorariums, mileage reimbursements, and regular giving of the churches and individual supporters. Our services are available to any ministry large or small. We welcome your invitation to assist in your ministry. The past year has taken its toll financially on many of our churches. A few have needed to suspend or even drop our support. We appreciate your prayerful consideration of our personal ministry needs and that of the MARBC. We are grateful for the resource funds made possible by our churches’ relationship with Brotherhood Mutual Insurance that helps undergird our ministry and special endeavors. It was our privilege to have Brotherhood’s representative, Robin Thornquist, share about this program during the business session of the annual conference. An article in the next issue of the Baptist Testimony will explain the benefits of this strategic partnership.
In conclusion, let us thank you for the privilege of representing and serving you as a fellowship of churches. This report marks the completion of our second year of ministry with the MARBC. The past year has been exciting and enriching. We are thankful for the enthusiastic involvement by many in the MARBC network and are as convinced as ever of the great potential that we share together to impact our state for the glory of God. We praise God for His goodness in our lives and for giving us the wisdom and energy needed to help oversee such an important and necessary ministry. We personally rejoice in the wedding of our daughter, Allison, this June to Mr. Taylor Helmick. They have set up residency in Massillon, Ohio, and continue to bring us great joy. Most recently, we rejoiced as they informed us that we will be grandparents next June! As always, we welcome your calls and assure you of our prayers on your behalf.
Partnering with you and praying for you,
Ken and Sharon Floyd
Mark Your Calendars!
67th Annual MARBC Conference
October 26-27, 2009
To be held in the new facilities of Forest Hills Baptist Church
Grand Rapids, MI
Speakers: Dr. James Grier and Dr. Hanz Bernard
New Council of 15 Members and OfficersNew members of the Council of 15, selected during the business session of the annual conference are: Doug Compton (Alpine Baptist Church, Comstock Park), George Coon (Northeastern Baptist Church, Kalamazoo), Jack Dowden (Emmanuel Baptist Church, Flint), and Jim Howard (First Baptist Church, Cedar Springs).
Council of 15 Officers for 2009: Chairman, George Coon; Vice Chairman, Jim Howard; Secretary, Jeff Burr; and Treasurer, Mark Cizauskas.