ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Liz Olear says she's learned Christians can't separate faith from other areas of life. Olear served for several months as a missionary through an internship program, called Generation Send, with the North American Mission Board.
BOSTON (BP) -- In a meeting room at Boston's Fenway Park, Southern Baptist church planter and Boston Red Sox chaplain Bland Mason explained how much members of his church, City On A Hill church, long for community.
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Stephanie Copenhaver is not entirely sure why they keep coming back or why they showed up in the first place. Apart from an invitation through her kids and their friends, there didn't appear to be anything else that drew six students two years ago -- midsummer, no less -- to "learn about Jesus" in a four-week study in July. The second week, 12 students showed up, and, by the end of the study, more than 30 students had been introduced to the Good Samaritan, the Armor of God, biblical values and Jesus, about whom most knew little to nothing. "These weren't churched kids, and yet most of them totally hung on every word," said Copenhaver, a member of Northside Baptist Church in Roswell, Ga. This all started the summer before her youngest son John's fifth-grade year. Copenhaver said she had been considering how privileged her kids were to know about the Bible and about Jesus. She wanted other kids to experience the life God intended for them. "I called two other mothers and asked if they wanted to get kids together to study the Bible," she said. "They said 'sure' and we told our kids to invite their friends." After a few planning meetings over lunch, the mothers had developed a few short lessons that would introduce unchurched, soon-to-be middle schoolers to the Bible, God and God's plan for the people He created. Last year the same kids returned, this time bringing some of their friends to learn about Jesus' miracles in the Gospel of John. As a result of the study, one student -- Phillip Bruce -- became a Christian and was baptized. "We got a cool-looking cross made for him. He wears it all the time," Copenhaver said. Two years into being with the group, Bruce says he is noticing a change in the way he thinks about life. "I think twice about things now," Bruce said. "I forgive more quickly, and now I go back and change my mind when I think about doing something foolish." Copenhaver's evaluation of these experiences: "I stand at these meetings and I think, 'I can't believe He chose me to be a part of this.'" Growing influence Copenhaver is quick to point out that she and the two other moms involved in this ministry -- Pam Troutman and Jiska Van Ede -- aren't doing anything special, other than simply remaining open to God's leading.
PORTLAND, Maine (BP) -- It's clear from how he speaks with the harbormaster at a dock in Scarborough that Aaron Werner, church planter and pastor of Cross Church, is well-suited for reaching Maine's largest city.
BALTIMORE (BP) -- North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell exhorted messengers at the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting to join in reaching communities for Christ through "Gospel conversations."
MAGOG, Quebec (BP) -- This city an hour east of Montreal does not draw its name, Magog, from the apocalyptic book of Revelation -- though a growing group of Christians hopes it someday might help spark the end times for Quebec's spiritual destitution. With 53,000 people in Magog most months and an additional 20,000 vacationing there in the summer, it is Quebec's premiere destination for the province's vacationers. Magog's name is First Nations in origin, an abbreviation for nearby Lake Memphremagog meaning "lake of low water" or "lake between two mountains." But church planter Dominic Chaussé (@DominicChaussé) didn't come to Magog to be on a permanent holiday or to sit by the lake. He came here to start Axe21 as a planter sent by a church also named Axe21 in the neighboring town of Sherbrooke. Though it has "a huge lake that goes all the way to Vermont, four ski hills less than an hour away, miles of cycling paths, lots of outdoor sports -- fishing [and] hunting -- and so many restaurants, it has only one evangelical church," Chaussé said. Many of the younger adults in Magog, as with most Quebecois, have parents who parted from the Catholic Church, leaving their children disinterested and without any knowledge of Jesus. "I grew up in Montreal, and I never really prayed for my friends to get saved because I never really believed it was possible," Chaussé said. "My parents' generation left the Catholic Church, and so my friends are the sons and daughters of people who have left the Catholic Church. "We have one of the highest rates of suicide and divorce, and it's because people are so directionless and lack meaning or contentment in their lives. "But there's a movement of the Spirit. People are praying for the lost," Chaussé said, "and we're seeing those same lost people come to Christ." Axe21 plans to launch later this year in a Magog theater that once had been the city's most notorious bar. Chaussé sees it as an opportunity to redeem a dark part of the city -- but a city that is surprisingly receptive. "I thought it was going to be super hard to start because the faith was so not present," Chaussé said. "They're not opposed -- just unaware. What's going to happen when you die? Many couldn't care less. They don't really believe there's something after death. Talk to them about hell and they laugh and say 'that's something for kids.' If you talk to them about going to church, they just think it's something weird. "But they're excited to speak about Jesus." Living in a way that reflects Christ has had the greatest effect on Magog residents, Chaussé said.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) -- For decades Southern Baptist collegiate ministries have helped impact North American campuses with the Gospel.
LENNOXVILLE, Quebec, Canada (BP) -- Canadians easily dismiss Christianity, especially in Quebec. The history of mistrust is woven deep within the fabric of Québécois culture, a culture that's decidedly Catholic and, at the same time, increasingly secular. But Lucas Aube in Lennoxville, Quebec, has worked to make rejecting Christ a greater challenge than ever among the thousands of students of Bishop's University and Champlain College.
Baptism at La Chapelle church in Montreal, Quebec. Photo courtesy of La Chapelle Church. Within months of its launch, a new Montreal church plant named La Chapelle was moving to two services to accommodate almost 700 people attending the young Quebecois congregation. In terms of growth, La Chapelle stands out among church plants, […]
CARIBOU, Maine (BP) -- Aroostook County, located in northern Maine and known to residents simply as "The County," takes up half the state's land mass but makes up only 5 percent of its population.