CHURCH? ANOTHER DO WE REALLY NEED. FEELING UNQUALIFIED TO BE A DEACON? Overcoming the sense of unworthiness

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1 Deacon Spring 2013 ALSO IN THIS ISSUE FEELING UNQUALIFIED TO BE A DEACON? Overcoming the sense of unworthiness PAGE 26 WHEN YOUR CHURCH IS PASTORLESS Helping members explore God s calling & gifting PAGE 36 DO WE REALLY NEED ANOTHER CHURCH? Why new churches are important YOU CAN LEARN A LOT FROM A CHURCH PLANTER Five lessons that will change your church PAGE 16 PAGE 8

2 LEADING SOMEONE TO FAITH ONE OF THE JOYS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE is that we never know whom God will put in our paths. Most days are filled with conversations with family members, friends, coworkers, and total strangers. God will often use those conversations and turn them in a spiritual direction. When a conversation turns to matters of salvation, be prepared. As those moments arise, use the following outline as a simple way to present the gospel. ADMIT Romans 3:23 Admit to God that you are a sinner. Repent, turning away from your sin. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Acts 3:19 Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. BELIEVE John 3:16 By faith receive Jesus Christ as God s Son and accept Jesus gift of forgiveness from sin. For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 14:6 Jesus told him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. CONFESS Romans 10:9-10,13 Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. As the person you are talking to sees the need for Christ, lead him or her to pray a prayer similar to this one: DEAR GOD, I know I am a sinner and have rebelled against you in many ways. I believe Jesus died for my sin, and only through faith in His death and resurrection can I be forgiven. Please forgive me. As best I know how, I turn from my sin and ask Jesus to come into my life as my Savior and Lord. From this day forward, I choose to follow Jesus. Thank You, Lord, for loving me and forgiving me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen. After the person has received Jesus Christ into his or her life, discuss the importance of making that faith public through baptism. By following Christ s example, new believers are to be baptized by immersion in a local church as a public expression of faith. PHOTO: CORBIS IMAGES

3 Deacon VOLUME 43, NUMBER 3 Spring 2013 FROM ONE DEACON TO ANOTHER Production & Ministry Team Lynn H. Pryor Content Editor Laura Allison Production Editor Christi Kearney Graphic Design Specialist Chandra Bennett Editorial Team Leader Send questions/comments to Editor, Deacon One LifeWay Plaza Nashville, TN Or make comments on the Web at Management Personnel Bill Craig Director Publishing Faith Whatley Director Adult Ministry Phillip Nation Director Adult Ministry Publishing Ken Braddy, Debbie Johnson, Amy Lowe Managers Adult Ministry Publishing Printed in the United States of America Deacon (ISSN ) is published quarterly by LifeWay Press, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234, Thom S. Rainer, President 2012 LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. If you need help with an order, WRITE LifeWay Church Resources Customer Service, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN For subscriptions, FAX (615) or For bulk shipments mailed quarterly to one address, FAX (615) or Order ONLINE at com. Mail address changes to: Deacon, same address. Annual individual subscription, $ Bulk shipments mailed quarterly to one address when ordered with other literature, $3.25 each per quarter plus shipping. We believe the Bible has God for its author; salvation for its end; and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter; and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. The 2000 statement of The Baptist Faith and Message is our doctrinal guideline. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible Copyright 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Deacon magazine often lists Web sites that may be helpful to our readers. Our staff verifies each site s usefulness and appropriateness prior to publication. However, Web site content changes quickly, so we encourage you to approach all Web sites with caution. Make sure sites are still useful and appropriate before sharing them with friends and family. Broadening Our Horizons I know why you re reading this magazine. Or at least I think I do. You are a leader in your church, and you care about ministry to your church family. Deacon magazine is designed to help you minister, serve, and represent Christ to those in your church. You ll find several practical articles from hospital visitation tips to handling conflict to ideas for your next deacon meeting in the pages of this issue to strengthen your leadership and ministry. But wait! There s more! With this issue, I d like for you to join me in broadening our horizons. Yes, your leadership and ministry within your church is important, but let s consider ways we can support the larger body of Christ and build His kingdom beyond our own immediate context. Whether we re thinking locally, regionally, nationally, or globally, let s consider ways we can help our church reach other groups. Kevin Ezell and our partners at the North American Mission Board get the conversation started, and you will discover articles and ideas of a variety of ways you can support the planting of new churches. As Dr. Ezell says on page 7, let s keep our churches pointed outward. We want to hear your story. Find us on Facebook and share your story of involvement in missions and church planting. Tell us how your deacon body and church leaders are engaged in ministry. Your experience can challenge and encourage other lay leaders to say, Hey, I can do that too. When that happens, we all win because the kingdom of God advances. Editor of Deacon Magazine Visit us at facebook.com/deaconmagazine

4 8 Contents FEATURES 6 Cast a Missions Vision for Your Church Kevin Ezell Keep your church pointed outward Do We Really Need Another Church? Aaron Coe Six reasons new churches are needed today 12 Compelled by Love Phillip Nation and Ed Stetzer The compelling nature of Christ s love 16 You Can Learn a Lot from a Church Planter Ed Litton Finding renewed vision for reaching people ARTICLES 6 20 Straight Talk About Your Pastor Thom Rainer Giving support every pastor needs 26 Feeling Unqualified to Be a Deacon Argile Smith Feeling unfit to serve? Don t panic; it s common 30 The Hospital Visit David Seay Do s and don ts for hospital visitation 42

5 36 When Your Church Is Pastorless A. Koshy Muthalaly It s time for God-called and gifted leaders to step up Support for Those Who Go Donna Savage Ministering to church members who go: before, during, and after church mission trips DEPARTMENTS 22 Soundbites A random collection of news and quotes and what they mean for deacons 24 He Said: Planting Churches, Helping Them Grow Stephen Davis Deacons helping new church plants grow She Said: Planting Churches, Encouraging Growth Diana Davis Encouraging newly planted church staff families 34 Ask Dr. Alan Alan Godwin 42 For Wives Only Nikki Daniel Finding Balance: Five ways to nurture deep friendships 46 Resource Scan Devotions and Training Plans Magazine develops strong servant leaders who partner with the pastor in fulfilling the church s mission and ministry. 38

6 8 DEACON ILLUSTRATION: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

7 Do We Really Need Another Church? The Value of Church Planting by Aaron Coe The church in America is going backwards. You can t explain it any other way. If reaching our country for Christ were a football game, we d have spent the last century being pushed back toward our own goal line. THAT CAN BE DEMORALIZING for a football team and the church, the body of Christ. In the early 1800s, the United States had one Protestant church for every 875 people in the population. By the beginning of World War I, that ratio was one Christian church for every 430 people in the population. During that 100-year span, church planting efforts significantly outpaced the growth in the population. Yet, after World War I, the population began to out-pace the planting of new churches. We re doing better in some places than others. In states like Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, you ll find one evangelical church for approximately every 750 people. In states like Indiana, Iowa, and Kansas, you ll find one for every 1,500 to 1,800 people. In states like Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York, the ratio is one for every 5,000 to 7,500 people. The people of the Northeast Corridor and Utah could be classified as unreached people groups with less than 2 percent of their population claiming to be born-again Christians. People who study missions would say to effectively penetrate an area with the gospel you need one church for every 1,000 people in the urban areas and one church for every 500 people in the rural areas. With a passion to penetrate lostness in North America and a desire to do something about SPRING

8 One Church = To effectively penetrate an area with the gospel, you need one church for every 1,000 people in urban areas. the out of balance population-tochurch ratios, the North American Mission Board launched Send North America last year. Send North America is a strategy to mobilize and assist churches and individuals in hands-on church planting in 29 of its major cities and elsewhere throughout the U.S. and Canada. To use the football analogy again, we want to push the ball up the field with the goal of giving every man, woman, and child the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The focus of Send North America is evangelistic church planting. Evangelistic church planting is not a program. It s a One Thousand People strategy that has as its goal seeing people come to faith in Christ and assimilate into new churches. Here are six reasons why evangelistic church planting is the priority that is driving NAMB s work across North America. 1. Church planting is biblical. At the heart of Jesus Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) is His desire for His followers to make disciples of all nations. We see in Acts 2 that 3,000 people came to faith, and they began to gather as the church (Acts 2:42-46). By the time we get to Acts 13, we see the church of Antioch sending Paul and Barnabas to the cities in the Mediterranean region for the purpose of evangelistic church planting. In Acts 14:21, when Paul and Barnabas went into a particular city, they preached the gospel and people would respond. In 14:23, they appointed pastors over the churches for the continued spiritual growth and edification of the people, and then they moved on. 2. Church planting focuses on existing churches. Without a plan to help existing churches become healthier, there will be no sustainable evangelistic church planting movement. Existing churches are at the core of Send North America. The goal is to mobilize existing churches to partner together to plant new churches. 3. Church planting expands the kingdom. As new culturally aware churches are planted in a variety of communities, they tend to reach those who won t come to an existing church. Because not everyone will come to an existing church, new churches can reach many different people as they meet in many locations. Just as many new churches meeting in new places impact more people, when the kingdom of God expands in the U.S., expansion in other parts of the world is impacted. Many don t realize that virtually 100 percent of the funding for the 5,000 International Mission Board missionaries comes from domestic SBC churches. As our base in the U.S. and Canada increases, so does our capacity for expanding the kingdom around the world. ILLUSTRATION: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM 10 DEACON

9 4. New churches baptize more people. If you have a down year in evangelism in an existing church, the church does not grow. However, in the first few years of a church plant, if you have down years in evangelism, you don t have a church. Statistics clearly support this concept. Ed Stetzer and Warren Bird describe this in their book Viral Churches. They ve found that established Southern Baptist churches baptize 3.4 people per 100 resident members. While church plants average 11.7 per 100.¹ 5. Church planting involves more people in missions. By focusing on church planting, individual congregations can become Questions for Thought 1. Is there an area of your community that needs a church presence that your deacon body can bring to the forefront? 2. How can your deacon body work with your pastor and other leaders to facilitate a church planting mind-set in your church? 3. If the opportunity arises, what could your deacons do to help mentor a new deacon body in a new church start? 4. The bottom line: Is your church willing to help start new work in your area or another part of the country? If not you, who? If not now, when? Existing churches are at the core of starting new church plants. The goal is to mobilize thousands of churches to partner together to plant new churches. involved in missions. Regardless of the size or budget, existing churches can be involved at any level in a new church plant. Through Send North America, your church, with deacon support, can be a sending, supporting, or multiplying church. By focusing its efforts, NAMB will be able to partner with and equip participating churches to engage under-served areas of the North American continent. 6. Church planting is measurable. Church planting is a measuring tool that will help us know if our evangelistic efforts are working. If, as a result of conversions to Christ, the number of churches in a geographic location increases over a period of time, you know that your evangelistic efforts are working and have taken root. However, if over that same period of time, you see only conversion reports and no sizable growth in the number of churches, you would have to wonder about the overall effectiveness of church planting efforts. The goal is in sight! The task in front of us is huge. Millions of people in North America don t have a personal relationship with Jesus. A concentrated church planting effort is how, working together, churches can penetrate this vast lostness. Just as a football team moves down field and gets in the red zone with the goal in sight, progress is being made with church planting. Consider this: 40 percent of the Christian churches in Manhattan, New York have been planted since the year Research done by The Values Research Institute found that the evangelical population there has grown from less than 1 percent to now more than 3 percent since 1990!² As Southern Baptists, we should find great hope in these significant numbers! As our focused church planting efforts start to take root all across this country, we pray the results will be similar, if not greater, than the growth in Manhattan during the last 20 years. 1. Stetzer, Ed and Warren Bird. Viral Church (Jossey-Bass, 2010), p Aaron Coe is vice president of mobilization at the North American Mission Board and a former church planter and pastor of The Gallery Church in New York City. For more information about Send North America and how you can get involved, visit namb.net and click on Mobilize Me. SPRING

10 with Dr. Stephen and Diana Davis Planting Churches, Helping Them Grow DEACONS: ADVOCATES FOR CHURCH PLANTING MORE CHURCHES must grasp the need for starting new churches and catch the vision for pushing back the darkness through evangelistic church planting. As they invest in others, God will bless them and their churches. Deacons can be great advocates for starting new churches. 1. Deacons can volunteer to be part of a church plant long term. Several years ago, God called my wife and me to plant a church. There were two deacon families who encouraged us by becoming the first to volunteer to be part of this new church plant. Later, an elderly deacon and his wife also joined; they provided maturity in teaching the Bible and integrity in keeping the finances in order as our treasurers. 2. Deacons can volunteer assistance by being part of a church plant on a short-term basis. As a pastor, I have always encouraged our churches to plant churches. One deacon couple was part of several church starts. Whenever the church decided to plant a new church, they were the first to volunteer, committing two years to help it get started. 3. Deacons can visit church plants. One thing a church plant needs as it begins is bodies people in attendance. By occasionally showing up, deacons provide encouragement and communicate the church s interest in the success of the new church plant. 4. Deacons can help welcome a new church planter to town. When we arrived with our U-Haul and were moving in, we were surprised to see a commando squad of deacons there to greet us and help us move in. Their excitement fueled our own excitement about the task God had called us to do. 5. Deacons can pray with the church planter. I will never forget the day deacons from our church plant and our sponsoring church stood with me on a piece of property and prayed fervently for God s will in purchasing it for our permanent location. Unity is built and cooperation is fostered by those who pray together. 6. Deacons can provide resources that bless a new church plant. Deacons can help with physical needs by donating chairs, tables, and banners, identifying the church plant in its temporary meeting place. One deacon provided a retreat for our entire congregation meals and lodging twice a year, which contributed to our rapid growth. Fast forward 25 years to an anniversary celebration of our church plant. The original two deacons, still part of the church, listened as two of their kids shared testimonies. One was serving with the IMB and the other with NAMB. Twenty-five years earlier, those kids were told they were sacrificing a lot to leave a large student ministry to be part of a church plant with no ministry to students. It was exciting for them, however, to be part of a developing student ministry. They are missionaries today because of that once in a lifetime experience. Twenty-five years from now, what testimonies will people hear because you supported a church plant? Dr. Stephen P. Davis is vice president of the Midwest Region at the North American Mission Board. Contact him at 24 DEACON

11 Planting Churches, Encouraging Growth DEACON WIVES: ADVOCATES FOR CHURCH PLANTING FROM CHILDHOOD, I lived in the Bible Belt. I married a pastor and church planter, and we served more than 30 years in Texas. America is a great mission field, and thousands of church plants are urgently needed. As your church plants a new church, how can you help? 1. Plan a shower. I ll never forget how much it meant to our church plant when ladies of the sponsor church planned a nursery shower for our first building. They brought toys, supplies, and furniture. It was a turning point in reaching young families. Find a need such as trees, kitchen equipment, Bibles, audio equipment, decor and work with the church planter to host a shower to provide that need. 2. Befriend the church planter s wife. Be her greatest encourager. Take her to lunch. Ask how you can pray for her. encouraging notes. Share a good book. Help enhance her joy in ministry. Plan a birthday lunch in her honor. Invite the women of the sponsoring church, pitch in for a gift, and present it with individual notes of encouragement. Blow up some balloons and gather women to watch online as she opens the gift you mailed. 3. Pay attention. Learn about the church s locale through community Web sites and statistics. Visit the area to get a visible picture of the mission field. Read their Web site, blog, or newsletter regularly. Pay attention to victories and milestones. It means a lot when sponsor church members care enough to know about the new ministry. 4. Offer your own talents, contacts, abilities, time, and spiritual gifts. Organize a team to move the planter s family into their home. Staff their first Vacation Bible School or sports outreach. Create their Web site. Do a door-to-door flier distribution or a building project. Help with online surveys. Organize teens, gardeners, or builders for a project. 5. Share monetarily. Your tithe, of course, is given to your local church, and part of that helps the church plant. Consider giving an additional offering to provide for a specific need, such as sound equipment or advertising. 6. Pray faithfully. Put a photo of the church planter s family or the church site on your computer screen or fireplace mantel to remind you to pray. Drive through the area and pray. My husband and I have been church planters. We are currently members of a new church plant. I can assure you from my own personal experience that your encouragement will make a huge impact on your church plant. Diana Davis is author of Fresh Ideas, Deacon Wives, and Fresh Ideas for Women s Ministry (B&H Publishing). SPRING

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