Pastors Oasis

IMG_4938Pastors from Wisconsin, Georgia, Texas and many states in between recently gathered in Branson, Missouri, for DiscipleGuide’s Pastors Oasis. Bill Elliff and Todd West did an outstanding job in leading everyone in “A Pastor’s Prayer”. God used these men to encourage and energize every attendee.

Pastors Oasis is planned with pastors, staff members and their wives in mind. DiscipleGuide wants Pastors Oasis to be a time where pastors can get away for a few days for fellowship and encouragement. During the Oasis we want pastors to be able to relax, refocus and rekindle friendships with other pastors, all of whom have the same perspective of ministry work. Here is how some of this year’s attendees described their time:

“Pastors Oasis is a great opportunity for me to network with other pastors and to share with them what our church is doing.” (Ali Chambers, Mosaic Church in Memphis, TN)

“Pastors are truly the focus at Pastors Oasis.” (Doug Brewer, Southgate in Moore, OK)

“I am inspired to be a better pastor after attending.” (Wade Allen, Temple in Rogers, AR)

“It is a great time for me to relax and get recharged for ministry.” (Jackie Manasco, West Race in Searcy, AR)

“It gives me an opportunity to get more involved with our association.” (Jeff Russell, Mount Pleasant in Plumerville, AR)

Make plans now to attend Pastors Oasis 2016. More information will be released soon on DiscipleGuide’s Facebook page and at discipleguide.org.

Is Discipleship a Starting Line or a Finish Line?

By Scott Attebery
Executive Director, DiscipleGuide

Many times, people involved in planned discipleship think of it as a finish line: If the person being discipled can just complete a discipleship program, he or she will cross a spiritual finish line to a place of full maturity.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

First, discipleship is not a program with a graduation ceremony.  Discipleship is a lifetime investment.  Although the disciple-makers may move on to invest in other people, the disciples should always know that their mentors are available to them for life.  Sometimes the most impactful discipleship opportunities occur during late-night phone calls, even if two people haven’t been in contact for years.  Because of a disciple-makers’ past investment in a life, the disciple knows that help and support is available at any time.

Instead of a finish line, discipleship is more like a starting line.  It’s a place where the process of growing in Christ can be developed then cross the finish line to victory.

For most believers, God supplies multiple lifetime disciple-makers with just the right person to teach them just the right thing and at just the right time.  Each person’s discipleship is like a new starting line to begin the rest of his or life. Ultimately, every piece of the discipleship puzzle points to one’s ultimate place as a disciple of Christ.

So don’t sweat it if your disciple can’t quote the entire genealogy of Christ, the ten plagues of Egypt, or the twelve tribes of Israel.  Instead, work hard to train that disciple to keep running the race.

If Jesus really meant for disciple-makers to teach every detail to their disciples, then the Lord set a poor example for them. By his own admission in John 14:25-26, Jesus explained that there were more things for his disciples to learn that the Holy Spirit would teach while being reminded of things they learned personally from Christ.  In other words, Christ did not “teach them everything” in the sense of exhaustive, literal facts while he was with his disciples on earth.

So what did Jesus mean by “teach them to observe everything I have commanded”? Christ meant for disciple-makers to live by his principle of teaching:  To make sure that His disciples were trained in such a way that they would learn all things.  In other words, he trained them so they would continue their education under the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

This is just like the old saying, “Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime.”  Jesus was not satisfied to train his men to be dependent upon his physical presence with them—after all, he would only spend three years with them before ascending to heaven.  Instead, he transformed them into self-feeders with “ears to hear” (Matthew 11:15), so that when he was gone, they would be able to learn for themselves from Scripture through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Disciple-makers must always emphasize Christ’s discipleship over their own.

Pastors Oasis 2015

TitleShow love and appreciation for your pastor by sending him to this year’s Pastor’s Oasis. At Pastor’s Oasis, your pastor will be encouraged, strengthened and energized to be the “Praying Pastor” that God has called him to be.

The keynote speakers this year are Todd West, lead pastor of Oasis Church in Maumelle, Arkansas, and Dr. Bill Elliff, senior teaching pastor at Summit Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas. These men of God have over sixty-eight years of combined experience in pastoring and teaching. Also joining us this year will be Selah, seven-time CMA Dove Award winners, and Gordon Mote, one of the main keyboardists for Gaither Homecoming. Leading in worship will be Travis Sellers, minister of worship arts at Antioch in Conway, Arkansas.

Register by going to discipleguide.org/pastorsoasis. We look forward to seeing your pastor there.

Daniel Springs Baptist Camp 2015

By former Camp Director James Speer

New leadership, new staff, new programs and exciting results. After thirty-five years as director, it was good to see the results of the new leadership of Jason Prewitt and his staff. Wondering what this young man might do to alter the programs and the face of Daniel Springs, I got to visit several camps this summer and was thrilled at the direction that Jason was taking the camp. With fresh eyes and new ideas comes change. The change that Jason has brought will lead to greater success in the future.

The speakers that were chosen this year did a fantastic job of sharing the gospel with the campers. The musicians were responsible for setting the tone and leading them in worship and they did that as the campers immersed themselves in the services. One camp even had its highest attendance ever.

Daniel Springs is alive and well and beginning to plan for an even greater year in 2016. Call Camp Director Jason Prewitt to see what you can do as an individual or church to help the 2016 camp season be the best ever. Make plans now to attend Daniel Springs in 2016.

Little Story, Big Truth Launch Kit Focuses on Parables

Little Story Big Truth coverOne of the main focuses of Jesus’ life on earth was teaching. He taught his main twelve disciples, his extended group of followers, and the mass crowds who flocked to hear him speak and perform miracles. On several occasions, Jesus used short, fictional stories, called parables, to communicate huge, foundational truths. Why did Jesus teach through parables? Because we relate to stories.

In this five-week Launch Kit called Little Story, Big Truth, students will discuss God’s forgiveness, what God really thinks of us, how to truly love others, what to do with what God has given us, and how to pray by focusing in on five parables found in the book of Luke.

Launch Kits are lesson plans for student pastors, small group leaders, volunteers, and parents that are easy to use.

Lessons are designed to ignite a conversation around Scripture as students discuss their faith in a life-changing way. Each Launch Kit is crafted for use with middle-school through high-school age youth. Since Launch Kits are conversation-based, the lessons do not have student handouts or worksheets. Instead, they contain a leader discussion guide that steers conversation toward living out genuine faith and a life centered on Scripture.

Launch Kits are sold per series and the cost is based on the number of weeks in the series. Once churches or individuals buy a series, they own it and may reproduce as many copies as they wish.

Each series has been written and developed by Stephen Castleberry, a student pastor at Antioch Baptist Church in Conway, Arkansas, where the lessons have been used with great success.

Find the growing Launch Kit series and an introductory video at DiscipleGuide.org under “shop,” then “students,” then “Launch Kit.”

Lifeway’s Dance Keynote for Great Escape 2015

DiscipleGuide Conference Ministry, along with sponsor Central Baptist College, is pleased to announce the details of Great Escape 2016. Planned as a “getaway” cruise experience for youth/children’s leaders and spouses, Great Escape also offers inspirational and instructional training for both paid and volunteer staff.

Great Escape 2016 keynote speaker will be Dr. Mark Dance. Mark served as senior pastor of Second Baptist Church in Conway, Arkansas, from 2001 to 2014. Under his leadership, the church completed a relocation to a fifty-acre campus and repurposing of the former church location into the Ministry Center, an evangelical non-profit designed to serve those with material needs while also providing for their spiritual needs.

During his ministry in Conway, Mark served as trustee for Lifeway Christian Resources, chaplain of the Conway Police Department, and mission team leader to more than two dozen countries. Mark has earned Bachelor of Business Administration, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry degrees.

In 2014, Dance was named Lifeway’s Pastor Advocate, and in 2015 he and his wife Janet relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. The focus of his new role is helping pastors lead healthy lives and ministries, in season and out of season.

During the cruise, Mark will lead multiple sessions on the theme “Homework.” According to Terry Kimbrow, President of Central Baptist College and host of Great Escape 2016, “Mark is one of the most dynamic young pastors I have ever met. He is a dedicated man of God, and he is given to transparency and integrity.” In addition to scheduled teaching times, informal roundtable discussions will complement the instructive sessions. “The focus is to help student leaders build a healthy life in and away from ministry,” said Kimbrow.

The Great Escape cruise will depart from Galveston, Texas, aboard Carnival Freedom on Saturday afternoon, January 16 at 4 p.m. and return to the same port on Thursday, January 21 at 8:30 a.m. and include ports of call in Progreso, Yucatan and Cozumel, Mexico.

DiscipleGuide has secured rates starting at $279 plus $54 tax and fees per person for an inside cabin. In addition, DiscipleGuide’s early registration fee is only $60 per person if paid by November 16, 2015.

Don’t miss this one of a kind event! For complete details or to register online, go to www.DiscipleGuide.org/thegreatescape. Visit Carnival website at www.Carnival.com to view all the details of the cruise itinerary and amenities of the Carnival Freedom. For general questions about Great Escape, call Tricia at DiscipleGuide at 501.205.8753 or contact her via e-mail at pkimbrow@discipleguide.org.

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2015-16 BMAA Directory and Handbook

CoverEach church that sent an offering to Information Services should have received a reserved copy of the 2015-2016 BMAA Directory and Handbook.

The Directory and Handbook is the reference book for all facets of the BMAA including:

  • BMAA Doctrine and Principles of Cooperation
  • Associational annual meetings, officers and their contact information – national, state, and local
  • Boards of trustees with contact information
  • Listings of missionaries – North American, international, state, Hispanic and chaplains
  • A detailed overview of each BMAA department, agency, committee and school
  • Annual Church Letter and other forms included in the back
  • Directory of churches
  • Directory of church staff
  • Directory of preachers, including contact information.

 

As the 2015 annual association meetings are beginning, it’s time to start gathering data for next year’s Directory and Handbook. Information Services will be mailing the 2015-2016 Annual Church Letter form to church clerks to complete and return to this office to update church listings in next year’s BMAA directory. These forms will be sent in time to submit a copy to your association clerk for the associations that choose to use it. Between August 15 and February 15, 2015, the online Annual Church Letter form is also available at www.BMALife.com/churchletter, to complete and submit to Information Services.

Local, district, and state association clerks will receive a Newly Elected Officers form before their association’s 2015 annual meeting. This form should be completed and returned to Information Services as soon as possible after their annual meeting. The officers and next annual meeting information are an essential part of the BMAA directory.

A limited number of the 2015-16 BMAA Directory and Handbook are available for a minimum donation of $25 each. If your church has not reserved a copy or needs extras, call DiscipleGuide with your request at (800) 333-1442. Donations help support this ministry of BMA America.

Offerings to Information Services for the Directory and Handbook ONLY should be sent to PO Box 6146, Texarkana, TX 75505-6146. All payments for invoices and other offerings to DiscipleGuide Church Resources should be mailed to PO Box 1749, Conway, AR 72033-1749.

It’s Time to Order Fall Literature from DiscipleGuide

Front Cover Summer 2015The summer is coming to an end and the new school year is around the corner. Fall is coming!

DiscipleGuide’s fall lineup of curriculum features the beginning of a new five-quarter series from Compass called “The Big Picture.” This adult study focuses on seeing the Bible as one unified story of Christ’s redemption. Each lesson focuses on a book of the Bible and demonstrates how it fits into the bigger picture.

SOAR:lit will encourage students to worship God through a study of his attributes. Each lesson will call on students to respond by increasing their adoration and worship of God.

DiscipleKids curriculum will explore the life of Christ and why he came to earth. In addition, children will learn about being a friend to others.

Ordering for the fall quarter begins August 3. Go to discipleguide.org or call 800.333.1442.

A Gift For Your Pastor

By Donny Parrish
DiscipleGuide Conference Ministry Director

Pastor Appreciation Month is fast approaching! October is a traditional time for church families to show love for their pastor and staff members. Their tireless work in shepherding and caring for the needs of the communities that they serve can often go unnoticed. Church members, have you considered how you will honor your pastor and staff families this October?

DiscipleGuide Church Resources offers Pastors Oasis as the perfect gift and retreat for BMA pastor teams. Pastors Oasis, scheduled for October 5-7, is a three-day, two-night event featuring the best in worship, Christian concerts and Bible-based teaching that is sure to challenge their ministries and encourage their hearts. The focus of Pastors Oasis 2015 is “A Pastor’s Prayer.” One of the most important roles each pastor fills is that of an intercessor and prayer warrior for the people that God has given him to serve. Pastors Oasis 2015 will focus on the importance of being a praying pastor and leading a praying church.

Todd West and Dr. Bill Elliff will be the featured speakers for Pastors Oasis this year.

Bill Elliff serves as Direction Leader and Senior Teaching Pastor of Summit Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Bill is a nationally-known conference speaker and pastors a church that ministers to thousands of people weekly. His passion for prayer and revival has offered him the opportunity to minister to thousands of pastors each year.

Todd West serves as Lead Pastor of Oasis Church in Maumelle, Arkansas. In addition to his role at Oasis, Todd serves as Director of Church Solutions for DiscipleGuide Church Resources. Todd is well known in BMA circles as a tremendous evangelist and a friend to pastors. Both Todd and Bill will bless the hearts of your pastor and staff members.

Selah

Selah

Guest artists for Pastors Oasis will be recording artists Selah and Gordon Mote.

Selah is a Christian vocal trio consisting of Todd Smith, Allan Hall, and Amy Perry. They have won seven Dove Awards and sold more than four million albums and single units combined. The group has been featured on The 700 Club, The Hour of Power, and TBN. Selah will be the featured artist for the Pastors Oasis Appreciation Banquet that has become an annual part of the event.

Gordon Mote has served as the keyboard player and featured performer on the Gaither Homecoming stage since 2006, and he has now decided to concentrate full time on his solo career.  He came to the Gaither Homecoming Tour in the midst of a successful career as one of Nashville’s most sought-after studio session players. Bill Gaither said of Mote, “I can honestly say I have never worked with an artist with more integrity and more outstanding genius than Gordon Mote.  While he will always be part of our family of artists, we will sure miss working with him on the road week-to-week.”

The conference is held in Branson, Missouri, one of America’s top destinations. All sessions will be held at the Hilton Branson Convention Center with connected lodging at the beautiful Hilton Hotel. Room rate is $131 per night. Make your reservations at the Hilton by calling their national reservations service at 1-800-445-8667 or direct at 866-442-0959 by September 3.

Register your pastor and staff today for Pastors Oasis 2015. Visit the DiscipleGuide website at www.discipleguide.org/pastorsoasis or download the form and mail with your check to DiscipleGuide. Cost for Oasis is only $80 per person and includes all sessions, concerts and the Appreciation Banquet.

Compass to Paint the Big Picture of Scripture Beginning this Fall

Front Cover Summer 2015Do you ever wonder how the sixty-six books of the Bible fit together? Have you wondered how certain passages relate to the gospel message? Do you struggle to see the relevance of it all?

Sometimes, reading the Bible can feel like staring at one small portion of a giant mosaic. The only way to understand what you are reading is to back up and look at the big picture.

Beginning in the Fall of 2015, DiscipleGuide’s Compass adult curriculum will guide participants in a five-quarter journey from Genesis to Revelation. In this series, Dr. E. Harold Henderson will present the Bible as one story with Christ as the central character. Your church will never look at Scripture the same way again!

According to DiscipleGuide Executive Director Scott Attebery, “We all know stories of the Bible, but do we really know the story of the Bible?”

The Big Picture series will begin this Fall and feature eight extra pages of content per quarter. For more information, or to order, call 1-800-333-1442 or go to discipleguide.org.