MAY 2017 NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
Boston was the meeting place for 27 national State Sunday School/Small Group Directors on May 17-19. This year's theme was "Getting Ahead of the Curve." Directors were treated to sessions about baby boomers, understanding the generational palette, the ever-changing shifts in church ministry, as well as some powerful testimonies about the way God is moving in ministry across our convention. It was especially great to see colleague, Jimmy Stewart, from Alaska. He was in a tragic gas explosion last summer that burned him over 75% of his body. His testimony was inspirational and God is using him in amazing ways to reach people for Christ.
Collegiate missionaries around the region wrapped up a semester of ministry in May. God is moving in the lives of college students:
- Having grown up with limited “spiritual knowledge”, EL reached out to the Collegiate Missionary on the USM campus requesting “spiritual” conversation. After several weeks of conversations with the collegiate missionary and student leaders, EL accepted Christ while attending the BCNE spring retreat for students.
- A collegiate missionary and student leaders invited JA to join an outreach activity they were hosting on the USM campus. He stayed for the evening, participating and asking questions. The following week when meeting with the collegiate missionary he shared his story and explained that none of his family had ever been to church that he knew of, going back to his great-grandparents. He expressed some curiosity and openness to a copy of the Scriptures and regular conversation. Pray for JA that his heart will be open to the Truth of God’s Word.
On May 6, five churches gathered at Cornerstone Church, Cheshire, CT to dialogue about the challenges of special needs ministry. Colleen Kim and Lu Freitas from Bethany Church, along with Doris Doucette from Cornerstone, facilitated the discussion and shared some great ideas to start and maintain a vibrant special needs ministry.
May 10-11 Tim Buehner, the BCNE's Mobilization and Ministry Evangelism Coordinator, and Sam Taylor, Director of Missions at the Greater Boston Baptist Association, met with three leaders from the Metro NYC Association to begin building a partnership between the churches of both cities.
The BCNE hosted six TN Baptist leaders who visited seven church plants in Rhode Island and Eastern Connecticut from May 22-23 in an effort to form new church to church partnerships. Many practical ideas were shared with their state partnership director, a Director of Missions, a pastor and several other leaders. New relationships were formed as well. We are looking forward to the collaboration and assistance that will come from this partnership.
David Apple, Ministry Specialist, Lifeway Christian Resources, and Angie Boydstun, Preschool/Children's Specialist, Mississippi Baptist Convention, led the New England Ministry and Multiplier Conference on May 19 and 20. This event was held at the Baptist Convention of New England and is the equipping event for our New England leaders who serve around New England to resource our local churches. This year sessions included general trends in church ministry, trends in children's ministry, Biblical literacy and creative ways to lead small groups.
Sixteen leaders in Disaster Relief ministry come together at the BCNE building June 2-3 for an intensive training on how to manage a disaster command center should they ever be called upon to do so. Preparation is everything and now we’ve many more capable of doing so. Our Disaster Relief ministry also had five volunteers attend an outside training event on Critical Incident Stress Management Training that is required to be one of our New England chaplains.
The BCNE helped sponsor Riverbank Church's Practical Church Conference in White River Junction, Vt., on June 10. From keeping it simple while sharing the Gospel weekly to communicating Christ from the church parking lot to the nursery, pastor Chris Goeppner laid out a very compelling model for making disciples and growing the church at this one-day conference. About one hundred people attended the conference, including one pastor who implemented the Problem/Solution/Response that he learned on the following Sunday and had six people give their lives to Jesus that day.
On Saturday, June 17, the Church Strengthening Team hosted its second Children's Ministry Round Table at Faith Church in Auburn, MA. Twenty-six leaders from 10 churches were in attendance as they continued a great conversation about ministering to families with special needs. They also tackled the issue of guiding kids' behavior in the classroom. Facilitators helped spark conversations by sharing some practical profiles of challenging kids and how teachers and ministry workers can love them and share the message of the Gospel with them in creative ways.