Montana Baptist E-News

The Montana Baptist E-News | April 2015


printPrint Calendar


5.2-3 TSBA Pastors Retreat

5.13-16 Spring Staff Retreat

5.26 Memorial Day, Office Closed


6.1-3 Summer Missionary Orientation

6.2 Staff Meeting

6.15-17 SBC Annual Meeting


7.2 Independence Day, Office Closed

7.27-8.8 Peru Mission Trip


7.27-8.8 Peru Mission Trip

8.3-4 Send North America

8.4 Staff Meeting

8.10-12 Shepherding the Shepherd

8.28 Elevate (Bozeman/Missoula)

8.29 Elevate (Miles City/Great Falls)


9.6-27 Montana Missions Offering Emphasis

9.1 Staff Meeting

9.7 Labor Day, Office Closed

9.15-16 MTSBC Executive Board Meeting

9.29 Staff Meeting


10.6 Pastor's Conference (Bozeman)

10.6 Pastor's Wives Luncheon (Bozeman)

10.6-7 MTSBC Annual Meeting (Bozeman)


11.5 Staff Meeting

11.6-7 Get Real West (Missoula)

11.26-27 Thanksgiving, Office Closed


12.4 Elevate (Bozeman/Missoula)

12.5 Elevate (Miles City/Great Falls)

12.9-10 Winter Staff Retreat

12.10 Christmas Party

12.24-31 Christmas, Office Closed

The Cooperative Program

Cooperative Program Sunday

The Montana Southern Baptist Convention

Sunday, April 12 is Cooperative Program Sunday! Please take a few minutes in your service this Sunday to help tell the mission story of the Cooperative Program, and use these resources to assist you in this endeavor.

DOWNLOAD the video here

DOWNLOAD the bulletin insert here


You might also be interested in...

What is The Cooperative Program?

MTSBC Mission Offerings


Celebration for Women

Montana Southern Baptist Women

Celebration for Women Ad

The premier event for women across Montana, Celebration for Women, is only weeks away. The deadline for discount rates on hotel rooms is 1 April. There are 2 large suites capable of holding 6-8 people each - perfect for a group to stay together. After April 16 the registration fee will increase.

I want to encourage you to share this information with the women's leaders in your church so they can make arrangements to attend. Pam & Melva are friends of Montana and are excellent speakers & teachers. There will even be a special break-out session for pastors' wives.

Celebration for Women will both challenge and encourage the women in your church. Click on the link below for all the details and information needed to register for the event and hotels.

Ray Willis

Elevate - Taking Leaders to the Next Level

William Johnson, MTSBC Church Starting Team

As of mid-April 2015, we will have completed three years of an on-going training that we call Elevate Leadership Training. Our theme in this training is Taking Leaders to the Next Level. With church planting as a central theme of this training, it has been expanded to help not only planters, but also pastors and church leaders with training that is applicable in most all ministry settings.

Elevate is intended to be a “continuing-education” type training where we meet once per quarter in four different locations – Miles City, Manhattan, Missoula, and Great Falls. The attendance for the first year was around 30-40 in attendance but has grown to double that size with over 100 individuals attending one or more sessions per year. Our format has been to utilize training videos and/or personal presentations along with discussion times amongst participants. [READ MORE]

Each meeting of Elevate is new and unique. We have generalized the four sessions around four broad topics – Gathering, Discipleship, Leadership, and Multiplying. However, each time we meet, we deal with specific areas or disciplines that fall under these topics. Following is a description of what these topics encompass.

In the sessions we train on Gathering, we discuss why we gather people into groups; what kind of groups do we gather and for what purpose whether it be for evangelistic purposes, Bible studies, leadership training, etc.; how to plan events that serve as outreaches; how to understand or exegete our communities, and much more.

For the topic of Discipleship, we will look at the biblical basis for discipleship, discipleship philosophies, biblical models of discipleship, and recent trends and strategies of discipleship in churches. We will likely cover the big picture and look into some specific strategies and tools that may be adaptable or ready to use in participants’ contexts. Discipleship should be a priority for church planters, for pastors of more mature congregations, and for others in ministry leadership. The sessions are aimed at developing leaders for our churches, those who are emerging, those who have some experience, and those who have years of experience.

Leadership Development is one of the most requested trainings of planters and pastors. In these sessions we cover topics such as defining what a leader looks like in specific ministry contexts and for specific purposes; how to delegate tasks and follow up with success and failures; how to move someone from an attender to a committed member and potential or future leader; utilizing a farm system of interns, apprentices, and planters; balancing family and ministry; organizing and carrying out church administration and much, much more.

Our final topic is Multiplying. As with each of these topics, many of them overlap or reinforce areas taught in preceding sessions. Some of the more specific topics of Multiplying include instilling a church starting into the DNA of a new church; budgeting for future starts; how to recruit partners or partnering churches; communicating well the vision of multiplication; growing and multiplying small groups, disciples, leaders, churches, etc.; and how to be a partner church.

Elevate is open to anyone who would like to attend and engage with fellow church leaders who are continually looking for ways to become better leaders and develop leaders in their ministries so that Montana may be better reached with an army of equipped disciples spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.


You might also be interested in...

Church Starting Team Page

Register for Elevate Training

Vision 20/20
Vision 20/20

Elevate Leadership Training

If you haven’t registered yet for the April session of Elevate - Taking Leaders to the Next Level, please take a moment to do so. We have locations in Manhattan, Miles City, Great Falls and Missoula to make it accessible for you and leaders in your church to take advantage of this ongoing opportunity. The focus of this session will be Multiplying. You can register here for the April session. Please let us know if you are planning to attend, as it is very helpful for us to have an estimate of how many we will have.

Sessions at all locations are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you have questions specific to a location, you can contact the following facilitator:

Manhattan – Steve Fowler, 406-672-2483

Missoula - Michael Liner, 406-830-0884

Miles City – Eddie Smith, 406-853-9890

Great Falls – Darren Hales, 406-461-9120

Lifeway Newsroom

Americans Believe Church is Good but Dying

Lisa Green, Billings Gazette

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Although most Americans believe church is on the decline, the overwhelming majority say they find value in attending.

A new survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research reveals an upbeat attitude toward churchgoing. Two-thirds of Americans think attendance is admirable, and nearly 9 in 10 call it acceptable. Only 11 percent consider church useless.

Even nonreligious people have favorable opinions. Eighty percent believe church attendance is acceptable, and 43 percent label it admirable. Just 29 percent call it useless.

Yet more Americans believe the church is dying than thriving, according to the LifeWay study. Researchers asked 1,000 Americans about their views in a phone survey from Sept. 19-28, 2014.

“Americans have a much more optimistic view of the people and practice of attending church than they do of the health of the church,” said Scott McConnell vice president of LifeWay Research. “Church attendance is much like regular exercise and driving the speed limit. People do not live out everything they admire.”


Confirming McConnell’s assertion that Americans’ churchgoing is at odds with their behavior, even on Easter, traditionally the best-attended Sunday of the year, large segments of the population say they don’t plan to attend, previous LifeWay research has found.

And despite their professed fondness for church, Americans are more likely to believe attendance is declining (55 percent) or dying (42 percent) than growing (36 percent) or thriving (38 percent).

Their attitudes reflect the mixed trends of the past 50 years. While many mainline denominations have lost membership, some have grown. And while more people are Christian today than in 1970, Christians make up a smaller share of the burgeoning population, according to a study from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Some say church is out of date

Faced with those trends, many churches have shifted toward contemporary worship styles and new outreach methods. Nevertheless, 27 percent of Americans think church attendance is outdated, LifeWay research found. That belief is even more pronounced among the nonreligious (42 percent), Catholics (31 percent), and people 25 to 34 years old (34 percent).

Those young adults, part of the Millennial generation, are also more likely than their elders to describe church attendance as unusual (26 percent). Compared to previous generations, fewer Millennials claim religious affiliation or profess belief in God, according to the Pew Research Center.

Young adults, like most Americans, don’t see church attendance as an assumption in today’s culture. While 54 percent of those over 65 describe churchgoing as an expectation, that viewpoint is in the minority for every other age group – a sign that those who attend are making a personal choice rather than responding to societal pressure.

That’s a positive finding, said McConnell. “I don’t think evangelicals would want that to be the reason people go to church anyway.”

Men, Hispanics more likely to find church useless

Women have more positive attitudes than men about churchgoing, the LifeWay study found, with 69 percent of women and 63 percent of men viewing attendance as admirable. Only 9 percent of women consider church useless, while 14 percent of men hold that opinion.

Larger shares of women also believe in the health and vitality of the church. Forty percent of women say the church is growing, and 41 percent describe it as thriving. Among men, only 32 percent think it is growing, and 34 percent label it thriving.

LifeWay Research also found significant differences along ethnic and racial lines.

Although most Hispanics believe going to church is expected (55 percent), attendance is considered useless by 1 in 5 – almost double the rate of the population as a whole.

Whites are among the least likely to consider church useless (8 percent), but 60 percent believe the church is declining.

In contrast, most African-Americans believe the church is growing (55 percent) and thriving (56 percent). More often than other groups, they describe church attendance as common (74 percent) and popular (61 percent).

“The longevity of the Christian church proves it is not a fad,” said McConnell. “Some Americans feel cultural expectations to attend church, but our recent research shows that those who actually do attend hold more closely to the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

Lisa Green is a freelance writer in Nashville, Tenn.


You might also be interested in...

Lifeway Newsroom