Today’s From the States features items from:
The Pathway (Missouri)
Arkansas Baptist News
Church planter’s wife takes discipleship seriously
By Kay Harms
TUCSON, Ariz. (Portraits) — Angel Haynes doesn’t believe she’s successfully invested in another woman until that other woman invests spiritually in yet another woman. And she isn’t just trying to create a chain reaction; she’s creating an atmosphere.
“When my husband, Chad, planted Second Mile Church [in Tucson] about 10 years ago, we wanted to create an atmosphere in which ongoing discipleship is expected,” says Haynes. “My goal is for every woman at Second Mile to expect to be invested in, but also to know she will invest in others.”
In a church with an average Sunday attendance of 175, well over 50 women are involved in mentoring or being mentored by another woman. And many women simultaneously enjoy both roles.
“Paul warned Timothy that faulty and worldly teaching could enter his congregation through weak-willed women,” Haynes says, citing 2 Timothy 3:6-7. “Paul defined these women as guilt-ridden, impulsive and half-hearted students of truth. Our goal is to strengthen our women so they’ll be victorious instead of vulnerable.”
Haynes accomplishes this through mentoring relationships in which a woman mentors usually one but sometimes two or three women who are just a few steps behind her spiritually and/or in life stage. The pair or group always begins with structure, using the book Practical Theology for Women by Wendy Alsup for discussions, usually meeting every other week.
Once the book has been covered, the mentors and mentees are free and encouraged to proceed with a more fluid, lifestyle approach to mentoring. Some women continue meeting regularly for book discussions, while others simply talk through life stages, marriage and parenting issues, Scripture passages or doctrinal dilemmas while they tag along on errands, sip coffee together or watch their children play at a playground.
“We call our women’s discipleship method ‘mentoring’ instead of ‘discipling’ because women want to discuss Scripture in the context of talking through their lives,” says Haynes. She points out that many of the young women being mentored have “big issues” they need to talk through, such as abuse, abortion, relationship struggles and addictions.
While Haynes admits that many women struggle with believing they have anything to offer another woman, she believes the women of her church are beginning to grasp that they can indeed make a difference in another woman’s life. She says the mentors are not expected to provide counseling, but simply to help the mentees examine what the Bible has to say about their questions. When counseling is needed, Haynes provides a resource list for appropriate referrals.
“It’s been a blessing to see so many women become spiritual leaders,” says Haynes. “I think this atmosphere of perpetual mentoring has also helped our church combat the culture of entitlement that many churches are facing today. Our women know the goal is for them to pour into others’ lives and not just receive.”
Haynes acknowledges that not every mentoring group experiences great success. Sometimes there’s just no chemistry, and the women are free to pursue other matchups.
And sometimes, as in the parable of the soils (Mark 4:3-20), the seeds planted by the mentor don’t produce noticeable fruit because the mentee simply wasn’t yielded and willing to absorb. But then again, Haynes insists, the mentor always benefits from simply being obedient and faithful. She encourages her women to keep on investing, even when the fruit isn’t readily visible.
This article appeared in Portraits (azsbc.org/Portraits), newsjournal of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention. Kay Harms is a blogger and frequent speaker at women’s Bible conferences and events.
Man’s drive to share gospel fuels car show
By Michael Smith
HAZELWOOD, Mo. (The Pathway) — During a rainy week in St. Louis, the clouds separated and the sun shone long enough for Hazelwood Baptist Church to host its 16th annual Father’s Day car show under clear skies.
Dan Herin, coordinator of the June 6 show, says the church has seen that weather pattern before.
“We know the Lord’s in it. We’re taught to pray with intention and expectation. That’s what we did,” he said.
“In years past He stopped the rain by Friday. The wind blew all night and the grass was dry in the morning. That’s pretty much what happened.”
Herin organized the church’s first car show and has coordinated every one since. He says he’s passionate about the event because it’s a way to win people to Christ. The result of his passion is significant.
“We had about 300, 400 cars,” Herin said. “It’s the biggest event we do that reaches out to our community. It brings people to the church.”
He said the thousands who attend the event each year either as exhibitors or spectators get touched in some way for Christ. “The cars are a tool. We use the cars to reach people for Christ.”
Hazelwood Church Pastor Jim Walker echoed Herin’s comments, saying the church’s vision for the show is to host a family-oriented event “filled with the love and the message of Jesus.”
Walker says he tries to meet the car owners and their families during the show to build relationships. “I try to touch base with all the car owners. They may not have a church.”
Those relationships lead to ministry opportunities, he said, such as conducting a funeral this past year for one of the “car show families.”
Herrin said he and other volunteers hear similar stories each year about how the event impacts attendees.
“During the year after the car show we hear from different folks,” Herin said. “One guy emailed me and told me he won the big prize and that was salvation.
“After the car show he went back and got right with the Lord,” Herin continued.
“Him, his wife, and his kids are involved in the church down in Hillsboro. It doesn’t have to happen on this campus.”
Hillsboro is a community about 45 miles south of Hazelwood.
Herin said that example shows the reason for the show: “We want people here to know the Lord.”
Part of accomplishing that is to create a well-organized event that has a “professional feel” in order to build credibility and attract car enthusiasts.
Overland Church member Ron Chandler agreed the church puts together a well-run show. He was one of the returning exhibitors this year, showing off his bright yellow1936 Chevrolet hot rod.
He’s participated in the Hazelwood event “for the last 6-7 years,” partly drawn by the opportunity to renew friendships with folks he only sees at car shows.
“It’s the fellowship,” he said. “I enjoy seeing people I see at other shows.”
This year more than 100 volunteers staffed the show and though each has a primary service responsibility, Herin said all are part of pointing people to Christ.
“The people in the kitchen would pray every two hours for the car show while they were getting ready for dinner,” Herin said. Others “would be praying through the day.”
As thanks for participating, car exhibitors and their families are treated to a full dinner, which attracts 400-500 individuals.
At the dinner Pastor Walker presents an evangelistic message and Herin said there are usually responses from folks wanting to know more about Christ or the church.
However, he admitted the dinner response cards tell only part of the car show’s impact each year.
“We’ll never know the total number of people we’ve reached through the car show. Sometimes, seeds are sown. Sometimes, there are changes of heart right there.”
This article appeared in The Pathway(mbcpathway.com), newsjournal of the Missouri Baptist Convention. Michael Smith is a contributing writer for The Pathway.
Ark. Hispanic event reaches 46 people for Christ
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (Arkansas Baptist News) — Evangelism, prayer walking, a block party, a soccer game, a dental clinic and a medical clinic, which included eye, ear and general physical exams, were all part of the Hispanic missions day held May 30 in Russellville.
The event was called Impactando Tu Comunidad con Cristo Impacting Your Community Through Christ — and resulted in 46 professions of faith, 40 of which came from adults, and eight rededications.
“This is the first time that I’ve seen so many Hispanics receiving Christ in any one day event in my last seven years here at the convention,” said Francisco Gomez, Hispanic church planter strategist for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) church planting team.
In addition, 100 people attended the block party and about 165 patients were seen at the medical and dental clinics.
Breck Freeman, a member of the ABSC missions team, said this is a record number for a single day’s clinic.
Gomez expressed his gratitude for Dr. Ronald Gore, one of the dentists who served at the clinic. Gomez noted that Gore has a desire to see the Hispanic community reached with the gospel and has participated in numerous Hispanic medical clinics.
Gomez said people came to the event not only from the local community, but from towns and cities like Dennard, Danville, Gurdon and Texarkana, among others.
The event was put on by the ABSC church planting team in partnership with different groups, including the ABSC missions team, First Baptist Church in Russellville and Mision Bautista Ebenezer, Russellville.
Volunteers from other Hispanic and Anglo churches from different parts of the state also helped with the event.
“For my family, it was a great experience,” said Gisele Arias, member of Mision Bautista Ebenezer. “We helped as medical interpreters; we could see a lot of spiritual and physical needs, especially those people that had not received Jesus in their heart or did not have a relationship with Jesus.”
Susan Self, a member of First Baptist Church, Dover, also volunteered at the event, serving as a registered nurse. She said “it was an amazing day” for her and her daughter.
“This was the first medical mission I assisted with and could not go to sleep due to reliving the entire experience,” Self said. “Everyone worked so hard to put the entire day’s events together, and I was so blessed to be able to end up staying the entire day to help.
“I think this time we did a really good job in the evangelism area,” Gomez said. “There were seven people sharing the gospel just at the clinic. We had to share the gospel with several people at a time. It was a busy day. But we saw how people were open to the gospel.”
Gomez said he hopes to hold future events like this in order to help plant new churches.
This article appeared in the Arkansas Baptist News (arkansasbaptist.org), newsjournal of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.