BETTER TOGETHER! Helping One Another
Fellowship is more than food. What does Baptist association fellowship look like? As a network of churches we are only as strong together as we care for one another. As in every Association, there are churches plateaued and declining. Each year many churches close their doors across our state never to open again. In 2018, we will train 3 churches to be ready to assist struggling churches with revitalization or replanting should the declining church no longer be viable. We believe God can do a new thing as dying churches elect to leave a legacy.
Disaster Relief Volunteers! Larry Porter and Steve Martin.help coordinate our efforts with Clean Up & Recovery as well as our Shower Unit. Plus the many BBA Church members who answered the call to help victims in TX, LA, MS, and FL.
BBA OFFICE VOLUNTEERS
Every week for the past two years, Zim Spaulding has faithfully helped in the office answering phones, taking notes, filing, and many other things. Thank you Zim!
(photo: Zim Spaulding, left & Ministry Asst. Vera Barton (right)
BBA Update January, 2020 (contd. from The Bridge, January 13, 2020)
Roland Allen Challenged Missional Thinking of His Day
In 1895 he was sent by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) to its North China Mission. While preparing to head a new seminary for Chinese catechists in Peking (Beijing), he was trapped with other foreigners in the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. Lottie Moon experienced this same fate at this time.
In 1912 he published what became his most famous and enduring book, Missionary Methods St. Paul’s or Ours? The crises of his early experience led him to a radical reassessment of his own vocation and the theology and missionary methods of Western churches.
He was an early advocate of the Nevius plan to establish churches that from the beginning would be self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing. Allen believed that the strategy of the church in propagating the gospel should be done by the chief strategist - the Holy Spirit. (See Allen's quote above).If Jesus would not do anything without first hearing/seeing what the Father was doing (John 5:19), how much more should we?
Instead, leaders in the church model a "functional deism" for the body. Deists believe that a supreme being created the world but then left for us to figure out how to run things. This supreme being does not interact or intervene in the universe.
The church acts as though the risen Christ left his body for us to figure out its mission and how to carry out its mission. We go about our plans and create programs without ever asking, "What does Jesus have to say about this?". In other words, we do not train ourselves as individuals or corporately to practice listening to the Coach (the Holy Spirit).
For too many years, I simply created a "strategy" or plan and asked God to bless it. While I gave lip service to His leading, I did more of the planning and less of the listening for His ways. Today, I am learning to be a better listener to the Coach and follow His leading believing the Lord knows exactly what He wants me to do. He desires to do the heavy lifting through the power of the Holy Spirit!
How is it that the early church expanded so rapidly into every segment of the Roman world? If I am reading the Acts of the Apostles correctly, I see them listening to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I think we would be amazed at how the Lord would lead us as individuals and local expressions of the church - if we stopped to take time to listen. "Speak Lord, your servant is listening." (I Sam. 3:9)
"This then is what I mean by spontaneous expansion. I mean the expansion which follows the unexhorted and unorganized activity of individual members of the Church explaining to others the Gospel which they have found for themselves. "
The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes Which Hinder It (1927)
BBA Update July, 2019
(continued from The Bridge, July, 2019)
The Boutique at Eau Gallie First Baptist Church
"The Boutique is located inside Eau Gallie First Baptist Church, 1501 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne, in room 200, and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00-noon. They are always in need of toiletry items - shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, sunscreen, bug spray, as well as sheets, towels and backpacks. If you’d like to donate, please bring items to the church office, Monday-Thursday, 8:30-4:30; Friday, 8:30-noon. For more info, contact the church office, 321-254-2339."
BBA Update December, 2018
(continued from 2018, December, The Bridge BBA Update)
A large selection of desserts were generously provided by the ladies of Surfside Community Fellowship, Cocoa. The association was led in music and worship by Jeff Hagans, minister of music, and his worship team from Central Baptist Church, Melbourne.
In his report to the association, Associational Mission Strategist Mike Hoffmann shared that we as the body of Christ in the BBA are better together: Better together as we provide hands-on help in times of need through our three BBA disaster relief trailers; as we go together on international mission trips (Cuba teams); as we serve together to reach international seafarers through our Canaveral Port Ministry; and as we partner together to plant new churches. Mike cited new churches (and their sponsoring churches) that had recently been started among our Latino people groups, and Mike introduced Armando Quatela as the BBA’s new volunteer consultant for Latino churches. Mark Wodka, director, Canaveral Port Ministry, gave an update on the seafarer’s center, a ministry of the BBA.
The theme, “Called Together to Go”, taken from Luke 10:2, was highlighted through three testimonies: Local compassion ministries of Eau Gallie First BC, presented by associate pastor Mark Harpold; BBA Cuba mission trips, presented by Carla and Jay Etherton, True Life Church, Melbourne; and going to unreached people groups (Mexico), presented by pastor Dal Cottrell, Aurantia BC, Mims.
Special guest speaker Dr. Tommy Green, Executive-Director of the Florida Baptist Convention, brought a challenging message to the association from the book of Jude - how we ourselves need to decrease, so that Jesus in us can increase, that we may be released to share the good news of the Gospel. Dr. Green also gave an update on the Florida convention’s disaster relief response in the Panhandle in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
An offering of $1,000 was collected that will be divided between the BBA Brantley Fund for Ministers and disaster relief.
Let’s thank God for the strong support of our BBA churches; yes, we are truly better together!
BBA Update December 2017
Tis The Season
...many who went out of their way to impact Brevard and beyond for Christ. It is risky acknowledging specific people because inevitably someone will be left out of deserved "thanks". But in a broad sweep, we say, "Thank You!" to:
Volunteers who served the Seafarers Ministry: (now called CANAVERAL PORT MINISTRIES). Many men, women, and teens help keep this ministry of open and effective for reaching the nations for Christ.. From those who prepare meals, drive vans, lead chapel services, engage in gospel conversations, provide tech support, man the Welcome Desk, sweep and mop the floors, serve on the Advisory Board, chat with guests, run the Store, keep the Amazon package room in order, and many other things - a HEARTFELT THANKS!
Holguin, Cuba - A Letter from Ed Davis
I am pleased to report that we came home humbled and excited for the work that God is doing in the hearts of the people of eastern Cuba. We found a people open to the Gospel and a church on fire for the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations. We are now in the process of building a multi-church coalition in the BBA to establish a three to five year partnership with the churches of Holguin with the purpose of training, evangelism and construction. This is a brand new work. In fact we were informed that we would be the very first churches to come and help the church of Holguin in their ministry calling.
To this end, we are planning a follow up trip to Holguin for September 9th - 15th, 2017. The details of this trip are still being ironed out. But we feel that the trip will entail all three phases of our mission. We are asking that you prayerfully consider joining us for this next trip to Cuba. If not you, maybe God would call one of your staff or a member of your church. Total cost for this trip should come in under $1000.
If you have any questions you can contact either Mike Hoffmann at the BBA or me, Ed Davis at email@example.com or on my cell at (321)821-8559.
Thank you and God bless.
Ed Davis, Pastor
First Baptist Indialantic
BBA Missions Opportunity Team Leader
On Board with Cargo Chaplain Jeff Johnson
What's it like serving as a chaplain to the crews on cargo ships? You never know what to expect! On a recent visit to a ship at the port, Chaplain Jeff Johnson is greeted at the top of the steep gangway by two Filippino crewmen with their hard hats on. Jeff gives a greeting in Tagalog (the native tongue of Filipinnos) and they go fetch the First Officer. Once inside the Officers' Mess Jeff greets the Captain of the ship after he has finished talking to the foreman of the dock workers. Captain Vladimir is from Russia as well as the other officers. This was the first time on board this ship so Jeff explained the purpose of the Seafarers Ministry is to serve those working on the ship. Jeff showed the Captain the wonderful resources he brought to the ship. First the WiFi hotspot equipment the Space Coast Seafarers Ministry provides for those who cannot come to the Seafarers Center - the little box offers the gift of communication via the web. Captain Vladimir began to smile as he understood the blessing of having access to the internet. "High speed?" he asks in English. "Yes!", Jeff replies. The Captain smiles more. Then Jeff pulls out the cell phone and offers phone cards for purchase. "I'll leave the phone on board and pick it up before your ship leaves." Then Jeff pulls out what looks like a cell phone but is a MP3 player from the In Touch Ministries of Charles Stanley. Jeff shows how it works and says, "Push this button and you can listen in English, or, push this button, and you can listen in Russian. I give this to you as a gift." The Captain was not sure and asks, "What is its purpose?" Jeff explains it shares wonderful stories from the Bible and talks about God's love." After delivering another In Touch MP3 player in Tugalog and some National Geographic magazines to the Crew Mess we say good-bye. With a broad smile the Captain shakes our hands and thanks us for the gifts. Jeff arranges to return later to take the workers to the Space Coast Seafarers Ministry Center and to the mall. All of this in the space of 45 minutes. That's the work of Chaplain Jeff Johnson and the Seafarers Ministry. You can "Like" the Space Coast Seafarers Ministry to keep up with some of what God is doing through this world-class ministry. Or on the web www.seafarersministry.org
Reports from our State Board of Missions Reps
Florida Baptists celebrated an historic day on May 29, 2015, as Dr. Tommy Green was recommended, confirmed, and accepted the call to serve as the new Executive Director-Treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention (FBC).
A part of Dr. Green's vision is to adjust the disbursement of monetary gifts received by the convention. Currently, the FBC keeps 54% of gifts received to be used in Florida, and sends 46% to the Southern Baptist Convention for ministries such as the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, etc., and includes "shared funding". However, Dr. Green will be recommending that Florida keep 49% for in-state purposes and send 51% to the SBC, with no shared funding. This would take effect immediately, producing a budget decrease for the state and an increase to the SBC of $2.88 million. The State Board of Missions has been assured that no agencies (Children's Home, Baptist College, etc.) will lose funding or be affected in a negative way by this change. If approved, Florida will be the first state convention to give this percent to the SBC. Please pray for Dr. Green as he leads our FBC into the future.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, Brevard Baptists, on our State Board of Missions.
Stephen Shelhamer, Pastor
State Board of Missions Report by Lynne Phillips
Last year when I learned that Dr. John Sullivan, executive director of the Florida Baptist Convention planned to retire, I wondered if the individual who would follow him would possess the same level of compassion and strength of leadership. However, God has provided just such a man. On May 29, 2015, a historic day for Florida Baptists and a most exciting one for me personally as I, and the other members of the Florida State Board of Missions, received the search team’s recommendation for Dr. J. Thomas Green to serve as our new executive director. As Dr. Green shared his testimony of accepting Jesus as a young boy during a revival service, his call to full time pastoral ministry, and his subsequent pastorates, I was most struck at how he continually expressed his great love for and devotion to Jesus and His church. Dr. Green cast his vision for the future which he described in three parts which will require a “whole paradigm shift” in the Convention: These three aspects are:
Decentralization - a different way of setting up Convention structure and ministry that does not require a building (Jacksonville)
Regionalization – where Convention personnel will live in regions to build relationships with our churches
Personalization – Convention personnel showing up in our churches to pray with and encourage congregations and their leaders.
In an interview with the Florida Baptist Witness, Dr. Green was asked how he would calm the nerves of those who think their jobs will change or disappear, he answered, “I will meet with people and talk with people. I’m a pastor at heart, and will do everything with compassion, mercy and love.”
I should have known God would replace David with a David.