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  • Discussing abortion with your pro-choice friends

    by Lisa Misner SPRINGFIELD, IL – Abortion is a difficult subject to discuss with a friend or family member who is pro-choice, when as a pro-life Christian you perceive that choice as ending the life of another. Here are a few strategies for having a productive conversation: Pray. Ask God to give you wisdom as you speak. Jesus said we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Matt. 22:39). Stay calm. Fear and anger often surround discussion that includes abortion. As Christians we know God does not bring fear (2 Timothy 1:7). Don’t allow yourself to be swept into those feelings. Meet strong emotions with love. You may not change anyone’s mind, but you may clear up some misconceptions. Be tactful. One Lifeway study found 4-in-10 women were regular church attenders when they had abortion. Just 7% felt comfortable enough speaking with anyone in the church about it at the time. Many women are still dealing with the emotional and even physical effects years later. Once, a woman tearfully confessed to our Sunday school class she’d had an abortion as a teen. She still carried that hurt and grief with her. Remember the men. Abortion is a woman’s issue, but it’s more than a woman’s issue. Another Lifeway Research study found half of men whose partners had an abortion were church attenders when it took place. Have consideration for their feelings as well. Stay on topic. If someone tries to divert the discussion, tell them they have a good point and you’re willing to discuss it later, but continue as you were. The issue isn’t if the Court will next overturn the Obergefell v. Hodges decision on same-sex marriage as some contend. Justice Alito stated in the leaked Dobbs opinion that no other cases were included in the reasoning behind the purported decision. Emphasize all life is important. Pro-choice people often express the belief that the “other side” only cares about abortion and nothing about the child who is abandoned or neglected. If you’re pro-life then you care about all life—from newborns to the elderly. That means helping women and children in need whether it be through crisis pregnancy centers, adoption, food ministries, or other outreach. It also means caring for the elderly or those with health issues. Our society thrives on keeping people afraid of what is going to happen next. But we can’t witness based on fearful speculation. For all the branding and sloganeering, love does win. The love of Christ. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lisa Misner is Social Media and Public Policy Manager for IBSA. #JULY22

  • The Big One 2.0

    by Rick Bristol PETOSKEY, MI – I find I am “the good kind” of sore, but what a blast I recently had in Petoskey. My church hosts a couple of Christ-based, scouting programs: Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girls. We began this adventure in the Fall of 2020. We were a replant, starting at the end of 2017 and looking for ways to connect with our community and grow. We had only a handful of volunteers, and resources were extremely limited. When I pitched the scouting program to folks, I wanted to figure out some capstone event that would create stories for the kids, allow for mentoring opportunities, and still be something we could manage with our limited budget. What could be easier and more economical than walking? This is how “The Big One” was born. Before my time as a replanter, I served as a chaplain working with Marines. While the Marine Corps may have called them by different names, my time with them hiking and camping provided countless opportunities for Gospel conversations and showing Christ. I figured I could use what worked in that ministry context in my new context. The NCT (North Country Trail) winds through our town and ultimately near my house. My plan with the Big One was simple. We’d hike 50 miles over five days along the NCT as soon as school was out. Basically, we’d all walk to my house from the church. As you might guess, ultimately, it was not that straightforward. The kids got on board with the idea early as did a couple of parents. Throughout the winter, we refined and developed the plan. A lot of little ones wanted to participate but were not able to walk the whole way. So we figured out potential drop-off and pick-up points along the way. By this time, the planning process had moved beyond my knucklehead idea. Our Associate Pastor Dan Kucharczyk, his wife Angela, and some brilliant parents were the primary planners. Eventually, one parent suggested we could ferry all the kids back and forth to the church as a base camp during the event. So that is how we did it. After the Big One 2021, I discovered we had not only created opportunities for Gospel conversations. We created a discipleship laboratory. A great deal of grace was required not only by the leaders and kids, but also the families. I also know not all of the families are in the same place in their walk with Christ. Therefore, it was a living discipleship forge. I’d love to say we all acted perfect, but perhaps even better, we worked as people who needed grace, and tried to model it to their best. Fast forward to this year and the Big One 2.0, and we have added to our scouting capstone (and family discipleship laboratory). We added canoeing, fishing, and disc golf to our hiking and other camp activities. I am excited to report the same Grace Laboratory happened again. We had families attending various stages of their walks. As we spent four days living, working, and playing together, much of the public veneer vanished. When folks would come under stress or even into conflict, they revealed their source of strength. We have families who have been hurt in other church contexts, and folks with no church background. Those who have heard us talk about grace would get to see if we live it. Again, Praise God! Having a family (several families actually) show dependence on Christ and modeling grace throughout these times can be worth more than many “amazing” sermons. ABOUT THE AUTHOR After the Big One 2021, I discovered we had not only created opportunities for Gospel conversations. We created a discipleship laboratory. A great deal of grace was required not only by the leaders and kids, but also the families. #JULY22

  • A replant in Lenawee county

    by Nathan Sharpe ADRIAN, MI – The call on my life has always been to teach God’s Holy Word. For many of those years it had been in a Christian school environment. Around 2018, I started to feel a strong Spirit-led desire to move into the pastorate. God provided a small church for me to step into. Over the years, the church had dwindled down to about 18 people. I felt called to the church, but I did not feel that God was calling me to this church to close the doors. There was a future and a mission for this small congregation. I told the leadership team I would do it, but they had to be willing to make changes and step towards replanting the church. They expressed their desire to do so and they also believed that God was not saying it was time to close the church. Shortly after my installment, COVID hit and sidelined our plans. Like most churches we went virtual for a while, but the school where we were meeting showed no signs of letting us back in the building. We started to look for other options. Finally a realtor we knew told us about a small church that was not officially on the market yet and we went to see it. This was definitely a move of God. When we stepped into the building, I recognized the pastor and his wife. I attended high school with their daughter. We caught up a bit and viewed the church. It was perfect! It was a little big for a group of 18, but it would allow us to grow. It was also right in the middle of a needy neighborhood. There would be plenty of opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We prayed and felt like God had led us there for a reason. We bought the building and the congregation was so excited. But God wasn’t finished yet. About 3 weeks after buying the building we got a call from the pastor who had previously owned the building. He asked to meet with us. I was a little concerned that something might be wrong with the closing so we set something up for that day. Little did we know the blessing that God would give us. The pastor explained that because they were closing the church that they could not keep the money that the church had in its coffers. He said they had prayed about how to disperse the money, and handed us an envelope with a check for half of what we paid for the building. We were flabbergasted! Tears started to flow over this amazing gift that God in his sovereignty had shown. Over the course over the next few months God continued to show his blessing and communicate that the church, now known as Catalyst Church, has a future, and is part of his plan to reach Lenawee County and beyond. He has shown his blessing and support through Josh Tovey and Matt Thompson of Redemption Church in Grandville, MI as they became our sending church. He has shown blessings through the support of NAMB and the SEND Network. Over and over we have seen the Lord say, “You are not done yet. I have a mission for you!” The church is growing both in number and in love for God and others. We know that God will continue to provide as we step towards his mission for us to show the change Jesus brings to our neighborhood and Lenawee County. May His name be praised! ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nathan Sharpe is a church planter and Lead Pastor for Catalyst Church in Adrian, Michigan. He is a school teacher and coach at Lenawee Christian school. #JULY22

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Pages (126)

  • Archives | Baptist Beacon

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  • Baptist Beacon

    Telling the story of Michigan Baptists TOP STORIES Discussing abortion with your pro-choice friends A replant in Lenawee county The Big One 2.0 BSCM provides resources to churches to prevent sexual abuse COLUMNS 7 minutes ago 4 min You are what you eat by Tim Patterson PLYMOUTH, MI – We had been collecting “coke” bottles for most of the day. Both of us had gone from house to house, and... 7 minutes ago 4 min Two busy pastors by Dr. Tony L. Lynn PLYMOUTH, MI – There are two men who I appreciate and admire. They are two examples of mighty men who serve with... 7 minutes ago 4 min BSCM provides resources to churches to prevent sexual abuse by Mike Durbin PLYMOUTH, MI – A dramatic wakeup call is taking place in Southern Baptist life. Guidepost Solutions conducted an... 7 minutes ago 4 min Warning against adulterous activity by Coye Bouyer My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; That you may observe discretion and your lips... STARTING STORIES A replant in Lenawee county The Big One 2.0 Two busy pastors More STARTING stories… STRENGTHENING STORIES Discussing abortion with your pro-choice friends Freedom in Christ Biblical hospitality: practices of grace Jesus saves! From, for and through Bryant Wright shares practical help on church leader transitions in new book “Camping out” on the path to church revitalization More STRENGTHENING stories… SENDING STORIES First-Person: “Adventure bro”? Actually, hero—the true story of John Chau Michigan Campers on Mission - June 2022 update More SENDING stories… MICHIGAN STORIES A replant in Lenawee county The Big One 2.0 BSCM provides resources to churches to prevent sexual abuse Two busy pastors Freedom in Christ Classified Ads More MICHIGAN stories… SBC & OTHER STORIES Discussing abortion with your pro-choice friends First-Person: “Adventure bro”? Actually, hero—the true story of John Chau Unify Project allows SBC to set Gospel-based racial unity example Churches give thanks for Supreme Court decision, recommit to protect life Supreme Court supports coach’s right to pray on field SATF shares expectations for implementation task force SBC President Bart Barber Responds to SCOTUS Dobbs Ruling More SBC stories…

  • Transitional Pastor Ministry Training | Baptist Beacon

    TRANSITIONAL PASTOR MINISTRY TRAINING Staff FENTON, MI — The average length of time a church is without a pastor in a Baptist church is 9 to 18 months. Churches without pastors can benefit greatly from hiring transitional pastors, someone with experience, training and ministry gifts that assure high-quality transitional leadership. Transitional pastors are prepared to lead churches through the loss and transition; smooth, rough or in crisis. The transitional pastors usually remain with the church until a permanent pastor is called. Do you have these skills? Spiritual discernment Leadership Caring Proclamation Technical Listening Relating Conflict management Want to learn how to use them for a church in transition? WHEN: Monday & Tuesday, March 14-15, 2016 WHERE: Baptist State Convention of Michigan 8420 Runyon Lake Road Fenton, MI 48430 FACILITATORS: Monty Hale - Pastoral Ministries Director at the South Carolina Baptist Convention assisting pastors and churches in transtion. David Waganer - Served South Carolina, Oklahoma and Missouri state conventions and now leads churches through transitional periods. COST: $100 LODGING: Limited availability at the BSCM and/or in local homes. Call the BSCM office at 810-714-1907 for more information and to reserve your overnight accommodations. There is also a Fairfield Inn at 3125 West Silver Lake Road, Fenton, MI. 810-629-0400. Click here to Register Share 1/3

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