This is an exciting time to be a Montana Southern Baptist! As you know, Doug Hutcheson retired as our Church Strengthening Director last October. Without a doubt, he left big shoes to fill, but since then, we’ve been diligently seeking God’s next choice to lead our ministry to our established MTSBC churches. I’m delighted to announce that Darren Hales, pastor of Big Sky Fellowship in Helena, has answered God’s call to this crucial ministry.
When you want someone to do a job, one of the best things you can do is to find someone already doing what you need done. Well, Darren is precisely that person. He has been serving effectively as a member of the MTSBC Church Strategies Team from its beginning. In that role, Darren has been meeting with pastors for coaching and mentoring needs in the Treasure State Association area. He has also provided counsel to churches as they have dealt with challenges or sought to take a next step. Now, Darren will be bringing his considerable gifts and expertise to the entire state and working with our MTSBC Church Strategies Team to help us maximize our effectiveness in equipping and encouraging our established churches.
Darren is the founding and current pastor of one of our most dynamic churches in Montana Southern Baptist life. In 12 years, he has led Big Sky Fellowship to the place where they have just moved into a beautiful, new church building with plenty of space to grow. And Darren will be the first to tell you that he didn’t do it by himself. The church has dozens of leaders who have worked hard under Darren’s leadership to create a dynamic, multi-faceted ministry. They’ve done all of this and still managed to give 10% of their offerings to our shared Southern Baptist efforts through the Cooperative Program. Big Sky Fellowship is proof to anyone that it is possible to build a strong, gospel preaching church in Montana. Now, Darren is going to be available to assist all our MTSBC churches to fulfill their great potential. When he talks to our pastors and church leaders, it will be undeniable that he knows what he is talking about. He is just the man to assist our churches to accomplish all that God has for them to do. I’m really looking forward to how the Lord works through him in this role.
With Darren filling this role, William Johnson heading up our church planting efforts and the great teams they will be leading, I believe we will be close to achieving the balance between church planting and church health we have been seeking. Add to this, the superb work of Adam Burt in Next Generation ministry, our dedicated administrative staff, Bree Jones and Jeannie Hayes, our Montana Southern Baptist Women, and so many others giving sacrificially of their time and resources to our shared work and I think you can understand why I am so excited and positive about the coming years for Montana Southern Baptists.
Darren will be joining our MTSBC team on September 1. This gives him time to wrap up some things at his church and get ready for his new assignment. I ask that you join with me in praying for Darren, Susan, and their children as they prepare for this major change in their lives. I ask you also to be in prayer for Big Sky Fellowship. I’m sure this time of transition will be challenging to them. Be praying that God will lead them to the man He has already been preparing to pick up where Darren is leaving off. I am confident that Big Sky Fellowship has a wonderful future. Let’s be praying for them.
The coming years are going to be great! Let’s all ask the Lord what more we could do to advance His Kingdom and let’s all risk more for His glory. We’ve only just tasted the goodness of the Lord. There’s so much more. I’m looking forward to being a part of what God is going to do in this wonderful state.