Newsjournal of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan | May 2023 | Volume 67, Number 5
IT'S A GOD THING!
Mike Durbin - State Director of Evangelism
God is moving in Michigan! That’s the only way I know how to describe unanimously calling Tim Patterson as our Executive Director, adopting our budget, approving our guiding documents, and calling new staff. We are experiencing a God given unity that has moved us to thanksgiving and hope for the future. It’s a God thing! Let me express that again: IT’S A GOD THING!
Our Father has brought us together for this moment in time to demonstrate His glory and to declare His Gospel. Where is He taking us? The ultimate destination will be seen as we obediently follow Him for each step of the journey, but here are some steps that are clear as we move into 2016:
God is taking us on a journey of Starting Churches.
There are places and people groups all over Michigan that desperately need Jesus. They need to experience the life transformation of a personal relationship with Jesus. They need to know what it is to belong to a group of Jesus followers committed to serving Him in the community of a local church. The reality is that our 250+ churches must multiply many times over if we are going to evangelize and congregationalize the thousands upon thousands of people around us who need Jesus. Let’s follow God as He leads us to punch holes in the darkness through starting new churches.
God is taking us on a journey of Strengthening Churches.
Strengthening churches is critical for our future. Every year, we lose between 900 and 1000 churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. That number includes Michigan Baptist churches. In fact, a recent survey of about half our Michigan Baptist churches revealed that 7% self-described as being in serious trouble. Another 15% admitted that they are in need of revitalization. It’s hard to know what is happening in the half of our churches that did not respond. We are concerned that some of them are struggling as well. We care and we want to help.
Let me encourage you to pray for other churches, especially churches that are in need of refocusing or revitalizing. I was moved in a recent prayer meeting by a woman who poured her heart out to God on behalf of struggling churches. We need each other. We are stronger together. We can help each other. The BSCM is committed to strengthening churches.
God is taking us on a journey of Sending Churches.
Jesus commands us to be His witnesses from our neighborhoods to the nations (Acts 1:8). Every believer is called to live a life on mission. Every believer needs to be equipped to share the Gospel. Every church needs to teach believers how to share the Gospel. Let me encourage you to schedule an evangelism training in your church. There are lots of great tools available. Visit our website at www.BSCM.org to learn about the 3 Circles Life Conversation Guide and the One Verse Evangelism training. Contact Mike@bscm.org for information.
While you are there, take a moment to see how you can involve your church in one of our SendMe Mission Trips in 2016. Opportunities are being developed to send our churches on mission to share Jesus through SendMe Michigan, SendMe North America, and SendMe International. Michigan Baptists are on mission to share the Gospel here and around the globe.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.