9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The following article is by
Dr. Michael Smith, Pastor of Fruitland Baptist Church. Fruitland
Baptist is leading us in an active outreach to a specific language
group in Asia and Central Asia. This is a brief report of their
first trip. We encourage each to pray, give, and go with Fruitland
as they endeavor to go once each quarter for several years.
For those who really need to "know
everything", this article will be very frustrating. Because of the
need to be very general in my comments, I cannot give specific
details concerning the work we have undertaken.
Many know that last year CBA voted to adopt
a major unreached people group in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Our work has been to prayer walk in major cities and towns amongst
this unreached people group. Already teams have gone into this area
of the world and have prayed, as well as met, talked with, prayed
with/for, given literature to , and shared Jesus with some of the
people of this region. There is a great need to share Jesus with
there people, and the time is ripe.
Our vision is to have at least four team
leaders who will lead a team into this region every quarter. This is
a long-term commitment (several years) so that we can help plant
churches and train leadership to continue the work.
If you would be interested in this work, or
you would like more information, please contact me, Michael Smith,
FruitlandBaptist@bellsouth.net. Or you can call me at (828)
If you do not feel led to be a part
of this effort, please pray for us during this strategic time.
Have you visited the Open Door
has had several Christian bookstores over the years, but only one has
stood the test of time. Open Door Christian Bookstore at our Blue Ridge
Mall has been the only one that has lasted. Small local bookstores have
to operate on a shoestring. We need to understand that Christian books,
Bibles, and gifts are a ministry of this store. I encourage each
Christian in Henderson County to visit and do business with Open Door
Book Store as much as possible.
that every community needs a Christian Bookstore because:
bookstores are a continual witness that God is alive and that He cares
for people. In many communities this is a major outlet for the Gospel
of Christ in the marketplace.
bookstores can be a melting pot. Sometimes evangelical Christian people
can realize that we have much in common and can pray together, enjoy
fellowship together and win lost people to Christ.
bookstores display Christian literature and gift items that would not be
otherwise offered in the secular marketplace.
Christian Bookstore allows—even encourages—your Association to display a
tract rack in front of the store. Patricia and Roger Myrto have been
keeping the rack well organized with new, fresh tracts. Step in and
take a look at the tract rack. While you are there look inside at the
books, Bibles, music and gifts.
The Open Door
also sets up a bookstore and discounts their services at our women’s
conference each year.
Does your church partner with an unreached people group?
Church is a strong supporter of the Kurds. FBC Hendersonville is a
supporter of another unreached people group.
I would like
to have the names of any unreached people groups that our churches have
adopted to pray for and/or visit if possible. Sometimes visiting is
difficult but our access to the Father is always available to us.
Please let us
know if your church has adopted an unreached people group so that we as
an association can adopt them together.
Possibly the most important vote in our lifetime is coming up on May
8, 2012. This is the marriage amendment—sometimes called the
Defense of Marriage Act. Christians must take a very strong stand
in support of marriage as being between one man and one woman. This
was firmly established in the book of Genesis with the creation of
Eve for Adam with procreation as a main purpose. From Genesis to
Revelation this is affirmed and reaffirmed.
We must stand—pastors, we must encourage our members to make sure
they are registered to vote. We must teach what the Bible says
about the relationships of man to woman within the bounds of
Of course there are homosexual applications in declaring that
marriage between one man and one woman is the only recognized form
of marriage. There is so much more that we can honestly, biblically
Bible believing Christians this is also a good place to teach in
favor of a “lifetime” commitment to ones mate.
Bible believing Christians this can be the basics of Biblical
teaching on the fidelity in marriage.
Bible believing Christians this can be a great time to teach about
family and family values.
Bible believing Christians we may need to be reminded that we are to
have one mate not multiple mates. There are those moving to our
country who would enforce their religious laws on us—or at least
allow them to live by their own laws. Many of these cultures do not
believe in monogamy and have laws allowing multiple wives and
Pastors, do not be fooled by fear mongers who say you must be
neutral or be in violation of the law. You have the right, the
freedom, the obligation, to stand up and point out those things that
violate biblical principles or enforce them.
Please stand up FOR the Marriage Amendment!
Welcome to Our New Staff Member
Thompson is our new part time ministry assistant. Autumn comes to us
with a great deal of administrative experience. She also has a
bachelor’s degree from WCU in business management.
David, works for PSNC Energy and her daughter, Hayden, is in first grade
at Atkinson Elementary.
They are very
active members of Mud Creek Baptist Church where Autumn also teaches
part time as a computer instructor in the week day preschool program.
Stop by the
office and welcome Autumn to your association. We believe the Lord has
sent us a most able co-laborer.
Marriage Protection Comes to North
is an excerpt from an article written by Jacqueline Schaffer, J.D.
Marriage in Society's Moral Crosshairs.
This article is from the Winter 2012
Family North Carolina
of the North Carolina Family Policy Council.
eight-year battle to be heard, North Carolinians will finally have a
voice on the issue of marriage. In September 2011, the NC General
Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a measure to allow the
judges, politicians, or a vocal minority—of this State to weigh in on
the definition of marriage. This measure is not a mere opinion poll,
however. The bill, SB
514—Defense of Marriage,
is a ballot initiative that grants the citizens of NC the opportunity to
vote on whether to enshrine the State’s current law defining marriage
into the State Constitution. The law currently states that:
[a] valid and
sufficient marriage is created by the consent of a male and female
person who may lawfully marry, presently to take each other as husband
It goes on to
whether created by common law, contracted, or performed outside of NC,
between individuals of the same gender are not valid in NC.
In the primary
election scheduled for May 8, 2012, North Carolinians will be able to
take the necessary step of strengthening the State’s stance on marriage
by voting on the following proposal:
amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the
only domestic legal union that shall be valid or
in this state.
General Assembly’s consideration of SB 514 was met with protests,
campus vigils, and rallies organized by homosexual activists.
activism notwithstanding, the General Assembly voted to “let the
is important to realize that even though the State has already
statutory defined marriage as between one man and one woman, recent
case law demonstrates that such defense of marriage laws simply do
not provide the same level of protection from legal challenge that a
constitutional amendment will. For instance, in 2009, Iowa’s
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as between
one man and one woman, was struck down as unconstitutional by the
Iowa Supreme Court. And in other states, laws upholding the
traditional definition of marriage were overturned because they
violated state anti-discrimination laws prohibiting discrimination
on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
While recently studying the seven churches in Asia, I was fixed on the
words of Rev. 3:15 & 16. “I know thy works, that thou are neither cold
nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art
lukewarm , and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”
Wow! Those are strong words. Those are the words that the Holy Spirit
gave to John in an appraisal of the Laodicean church. Many believe it
is a picture of the last days of the church age—today’s church.
Although this is surely a growing truth in denominations all around us,
it does not have to be true of us. We can rely on the Holy Spirit and
the Word of God to give us a holy strategy to encourage all Carolina
Baptist churches. We can become and
Great Commission churches.
There are churches in the Hendersonville area that are languishing in
apathy. I see churches that have turned inward and refuse to be Great
Commission churches—with no baptisms for years. I see churches in fear
for their future because the economy is uncertain. I see pastors worn
out and frustrated until they themselves have become afraid.
I want to shout it out from the roof tops—”Wake up church—you are all
children of God.” “Wake up church—you have been given the perfect word
of God to lead, guide and direct you in all His ways.” “Wake up
church—Jesus is alive and well on the planet earth.” “Wake up church—He
is coming again and soon!” “Wake up church—wake up-wake up!”
He has given us many tools to make us and keep us Great Commission
churches. Our association leadership—our state leadership and our
national leadership are equipped to help us. We cannot force our way
in, but, if you would just invite us we can help you on your journey.
I, and many of our Director of Missions are trained in
and in the
Church Health Surveys.
If this process is too long or complicated we can help you with a short
Let us work hard together to prevent apathy from sneaking in on us.
Just because the Laodicean church is an overall picture of the end of
the church age, we can still be strong, missional churches until the day
of our Lord’s appearing.
16 years of faithfully serving the Lord through Carolina Baptist
Association, Linda Marie Phillips has been called to serve Him at
her home church, Etowah Baptist. We are very happy for her as
she follows our Savior’s will. We are selfishly sad because we
will miss her here at the Association office.
significant that Linda Marie was the wife of Dr. David Hyde, pastor
of Etowah Baptist for 12 years before his death in 1998. She
made it her home church and raised her two children there. She
has been a faithful member all these years and now she has been
called there to minister through her secretarial and office skills.
If she had
said anything but “God is calling me to serve at my home church,” I
would have tried to entice her to stay. When God calls we have
to be careful to encourage the called and not interfere with God’s
will for another persons life.
Paula, Sam and
I, as well as the dozens of pastors, staff members and volunteers in
our Association, will deeply miss her sweet, Godly spirit. We
will miss her gentle smile and encouraging words. We will
simply miss “her.” We wish her well and share in the
excitement of Brother Brian and the staff and members of Etowah
The following is a
condensation of a June 11th
article entitled “Eight Benefits
of a Bivocational Ministry”
by Terry Dorsett.
Because there are challenges to bivocational ministry does not mean that
such situations should be viewed in a negative light. There are actually
a number of
that bivocational pastors have over their fully funded counterparts:
pastors are not as dependant on the church for their financial support.
This relieves them of the stress of what might happen to their families
if they were dismissed from the churches they serve. In some situations,
bivocational pastors actually have
personal resources than fully funded pastors because they have two
sources of income.
pastors often find more opportunities to witness to the lost than fully
funded pastors because they spend more time with non-Christians through
their secular employment.
pastors seldom live in a “bubble” where only church people inhabit.
Their secular employment requires them to interact with and understand
better the needs of non-Christians. Therefore, they frequently feel they
relate to the people in their congregations better than fully funded
pastors because they “work” just like the laypeople do.
pastors have the ability to serve a larger number of churches because
they can serve churches that cannot fully fund pastors.
pastors feel they are better able to encourage the churches they serve
to create a culture whereby the laity use their gifts and devote more
time for ministry, since there are no fully funded pastors “paid” to “do
everything” for congregations.
pastors often feel it is easier to teach about financial stewardship
and/or to solicit contributions from church members. This is because so
little of the churches’ funds are spent on the pastors’ salaries; the
pastor is not perceived as being “self-serving.”
pastors frequently express that they feel more dependant on the Holy
Spirit in their sermon preparation and less dependant on their formal
theological training, elocution or research skills. This greater sense
of dependence on the Spirit is perceived as a positive thing by most
pastors sometimes say that being bivocational gives them valid excuses
not to attend denominational meetings that they perceived as irrelevant,
uninteresting, and/or promoting things that are not helpful to their own
ministry. Their bivocational status makes them feel more comfortable
attending only the meetings that they perceive as being helpful and as
being more applicable to the situation.
While bivocational ministry has many challenges, it also has many
advantages. Learning what the advantages are can help bivocational
pastors, or those considering bivocational ministry, feel better about
their ministry. When bivocational pastors feel more confident about
their roles, they tend to be more effective in their ministries.
Sometimes we get drawn into conversations when and where we least
expect it. Recently I was slurping a diet coke float when I
ran across a member of one of our churches who had a sincere concern
that both his church and the Southern Baptist Convention were going
to put a seal on approval on social drinking. I sincerely
doubt this will happen, but whether we do or do not remains to be
thing that impressed me the most was not his staunch position nor
his sincerely passion. The thing that impressed me the most
was his desire to discuss lovingly and Biblically his philosophy
with a commitment to maintain the bond of love among and
between his brothers and sisters in Christ.
are without a doubt some sin issues that are not negotiable.
However, not every issue is a sin issue. Some even say that
one things that is a sin issue for me may not be a sin issue for
them. I will let theologians and scholars debate these weighty
issues. One thing I do know, if we approach every debate with
this brothers desire to allow the love of Christ and the unity of
the brethren have the proper place, Christ can solve our problems if
it is only to agree to disagree.
Sometimes the lines are clear. Sometimes they are not so
clear. But the Bible is unmistakably clear that the mind of
Christ, the love of Christ, the love of the brethren, the authority
and clarity of His Word and the leadership of the Holy Spirit must
be allowed to work within us and between us to follow Him. Let
us learn to let the Lord lead.
Our Jerusalem Offering
Even now Carolina
Baptist Churches are continuing to take the Jerusalem Offering. I would
like to personally thank each church that has given or plans to give to
this worthy cause. Because of your giving, we will be able to continue
the 100+ ministries and services of your association.
I hope that
the information packet delivered to every pastor helped you see the
variety of ministries we do together. Even now, as you look toward your
next years church budget, it would be a good time to increase giving by
only 1%. If each
church raised its goal by 1% each year until a 5% goal was reached, we
could do some new and innovative ministries for Christ!! I would be
happy to come to your church and present an Associational missions
message about Carolina Baptist.
Church Merges are Becoming a Healthy Way
to Strengthen Churches
One of the saddest
things that I see in ministry is the number of churches that close their
doors and “go out of business.” That number is growing each year. It
does not have to.
In some places
a healthy alternative to church closure is church merges. This happens
in several ways, but the goal is the same...a continual testimony for
had a visionary leader in its past who desired to establish a local
fellowship of soul winning believers in its current location.
As I have said
there are several ways to “merge” congregations:
1. Two (or more)
small congregations merge to form a single fellowship large enough to
meet the needs of the community and support a single pastor (and
2. New church
starts. The older church leadership and membership step aside and
facilitate a new church start out of the old building. Frequently the
new start is nothing like the old church. The goal is
to start a new church like the old church. The goal is to establish a
new work to meet new needs arising out of the old community.
multi-campus church. Multi-campus churches are growing exponentially.
For example, a church without a pastor can have satellite sermons from a
pastor of another church. Perhaps your campus can become the new home
for a multi-campus church.
of how the merge is done, the old leadership and the old membership will
have to be willing to “step aside” for the merger to work.
If you want to
know more about merges and multi-campus churches—give me a call.
you want to shake in your boots? Do you want your knees to knock? Do
you want your teeth to rattle? Read “radical” by David Platt.
paints a frightening picture of the church in America today. A
church that stands in stark contrast to what the Bible shows us
about the person and purpose of Jesus Christ.
at the same time exciting to me that God is raising up a generation
of young leaders who have a burning passion and the great courage
to answer two of the greatest questions facing the American church.
I going to
believe Jesus? Am I
courageous enough to embrace Jesus even though He said radical
I going to
obey Jesus? Can I? Will
I settle for less than radical obedience to Christ?
This book, if taken seriously and applied Biblically, will change
our way of “doing church.” “Follow me!” will become much more than a
cliché. It may become life’s greatest challenge.
Before you cringe at the word “Challenge,” please understand that
today’s modern young pastor and the “x and y” generations are
looking for a Jesus who challenges them. A God who loves, yes! But
also a God who challenges and may discourage the great American
Church Dream in favor at this own perfect challenging will in our
for your association as we pray for you.
asking for your prayers! Funds certainly. But I believe
all of us need prayers for wisdom, discernment and spiritual and
financial blessings from our Lord. I commit to pray for each
church and each pastor every week.
need more funds to continue to operate at maximum efficiency.
Last year we cut our budget and in that process we cut salaries and
benefits. Next year (2011) we are looking at the real
possibility of severely cutting hours, layoffs or terminations.
Can you increase giving by 1% or 2%? If your church does not
give, can you begin giving just 2%?