Montana Baptist E-News

The Montana Baptist E-News | May 2015


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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

I am excited about our new direction for helping existing churches here in Montana. With the new Strategy Team in place starting April 1st, I believe that we will be able to help our pastors and churches with some of the greater needs that are out there.

Our three fold purpose will be to help our churches plan and build strategies to reach their communities with the gospel of Christ, to continue to grow healthy churches and pastors and to meet church and pastoral needs in times of crisis.

This will be done with continued communication between the churches, the team and the state. The team will serve as an encourager for the pastors and the churches by communicating, training, meeting needs and making available MTSBC and NAMB resources. [MORE]

It is the goal of the team to be encouragers for the pastors and churches to continue to grow healthy and vibrant by providing input and coaching for pastors and church leaders. This will be done through state meetings (M-Pact Montana, Elevate, Shepherding the Shepherd conference and other training times).

One of the key components that the team will provide is peer to peer coaching and training in pastoral skills, church outreach and discipleship strategies and leadership development in the church.

The team will also be available to help the churches in times of need and crisis and will be able to come alongside the church to provide resources to help. At times our churches have need of consultants to help them weather through times of discouragement and struggles that come their way. They don’t know where to go for help or for resources. This is where our team will come in.

Those serving on our team with me are BJ Hallmark, Bruce Speer, Mark Langley, Michael Kauffold, Darren Hales, and KJ Ellington. These are pastors and servants who are very capable of helping our churches and I am excited they are on the team.

If you have any questions feel free to call me and you will be hearing from one of these team members very soon.

Thanks for letting us serve you Montana Baptists.


Get Real East Was Best Yet

The Montana Southern Baptist Convention

Get Real East was held at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Billings and featured Jim Taber as keynote speaker.

Friday night and Saturday, April 11-12, 2015 nearly 400 Montana teenagers gathered to Get Real with God. Hosted at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Billings and sponsored by MTSBC many youth and workers exclaimed this was the best Get Real yet!

This year’s gathering themed “Undercover for the Cause of Christ” began with conference speaker and event leader Jim Taber repelling from his hiding place in the ceiling of the auditorium some 50’ in the air. His biblical challenge to the students was to live for Jesus every day and do not let the world define who you are. [MORE]

Over 60 decisions to trust Jesus as Lord and Savior were recorded and many others rededicated their life to Him.

"Among the Thirsty", from Nashville Tennessee, led worship.

Coupled with authentic worship lead by “Among the Thirsty”, God mightily moved in the hearts of everyone there. Over 60 decisions to trust Jesus as Lord and Savior were recorded and many others rededicated their life to Him.

Get Real always includes a time for training and encouragement for youth ministry workers on Saturday with over 90 attending.

Don’t miss Get Real West this fall in Missoula November 13-14 hosted by Meadowview.

Video of Get Real East and other student ministry help can be found on the Montana E-Quip site


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Vision 20/20
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Valley Community Church, Miles City Plants in the North Side

One of the greatest illustrations of a Kingdom heart is planting another church in your own town. That is what is happening in Miles City.

With a population of nearly 10,000, Miles City is the 9th largest town in Montana and since 1965 has had only one Southern Baptist Church. That is about to change.

Jeff Cahill, pastor of Valley Community Church in Miles City, and Church Starting Missionary, Eddie Smith have been praying for the northern section of Miles City for several years. This section of the city is the lower economic section of the town and has a population of around 3,000 people. [MORE]

Dr. Fred Hewett, MTSBC Executive Director said, “Planting a new church is always exciting, but I am especially pleased with the Kingdom leadership of Jeff Cahill. I believe that every person in every neighborhood should have a church that is praying for them and actively trying to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Pastor Jeff had attempted several outreaches into the area but had not been able to build on those efforts. So in June of 2014 they began praying for God to send someone to lead in a church start for the Northside.

At the MTSBC annual meeting in 2014, Eddie and Jeff met with Duane and Melissa Giddis who were pastoring an American Baptist Church in Vida, MT. Duane asked for prayers because they felt they were being led to leave Vida in search of another ministry. While driving through the Northside area of Miles City the next week, Jeff stated that he thought he would ask Duane and Mellissa to visit and pray about the Northside.

Following the November Elevate Training in Miles City, Jeff and Eddie took Duane and Melissa on a drive around the area. They almost immediately fell in love with the community. Melissa had done summer mission work in areas like this and felt drawn to this type of ministry.

Valley Community called them to lead the Northside Ministry and set up volunteers to help with the work. In December of the same year, the Giddis’ moved to Miles City.

Their primary strategy is to use Literacy ministry to reach the children and their parents and grandparents. Ray Willis, MTSBC State Literacy Director, was asked to come and teach their volunteers how to become tutors.

Following this training Melissa got involved in Garfield Elementary School as a substitute teacher and later as a teacher’s aid. The principle and teachers were eager to have volunteer tutors and helped set up the tutoring program. They offered to help the volunteers in any way they needed to expand the program in the upcoming year.

Another strategy they are using stems from Awana. Through the Awana program at Valley Church, Duane got to know a young man named Walter. Walter had had several other single adults acquaintances that lived in the Northside area. A Bible study was started that has five young adults in attendance.

This summer their partner church in Kentucky will send a mission team to help Duane and Melissa hold outreach events at both Garfield Elementary School and in a local mobile home community.

“We are amazed at how God is opening doors and reaching people in the Northside area of Miles City” said Duane.

Please pray for Duane and Melissa Giddis and their three children as they share the Gospel and start a new church in Miles City.


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Put Peru on Your Mission Bucket List

The Montana Southern Baptist Convention

Parish aka Adam Hartley with Seminary students in Trujillo.

Looking to get out of your comfort zone to serve God in unique ways?

Then this mission trip is for you!

It is not too late to sign up for the annual MTSBC Peru Mission Trip.

We need people that can help with the mobile medical and optometry clinics, children’s Bible clubs, evangelistic services and house to house sharing of the gospel.

Going with the MTSBC team in partnership with Tom Cox World Ministries makes fulfilling the great commission a life changing experience. [MORE]

Parish and Jeanne Ann Hartley, serving in Trujillo.

The last three years have seen God doing amazing things in the North western tip of the country. We serve out of the Tom Cox Seminary in the town of Trujillo. One of our own Montana church planters is serving as the Missions professor at the Seminary. Parish and Jeanne Ann Hartley formerly from Helena, will be working alongside our team while we are in Peru.

Travel dates are July 27-August 9, 2015.

Deadline for application and payment is June 1, 2015.

The price includes round trip airfare out of Billings to Trujillo, motels traveling to Peru from Billings and return lodging. All lodging, transportation and meals in Trujillo and tips are also included. The cost is $3,654.00.

For more information call or text Stan Bricker at 406-839-7876. Email contact is

Check out Tom Cox World Ministries at for more information.


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Seven Signs You Are Missing your Calling

Joseph Mattera, Mattera Ministries International

One of the biggest challenges in life is to stay focused upon the assignment the Lord has appointed for us. In life there are many adversaries and distractions that can take you off track so that your life misses the mark. This is called “mission drift.” Perhaps most people in this world have drifted from their primary purpose and mission in life.

The following are signs you are also drifting away from, instead of moving towards, your primary calling:

1. Continual frustration shows you are not walking in your calling.

Continual frustration is one of the most obvious signs you are not walking towards what God has internally wired you to pursue. Frustration may be a God-given sign to awaken you to the real passion and purpose He has assigned for you. A person suffering from mission drift will be going against the internal impulses from God that give them delight while being engaged in them. Going against these internal impulses means that you are also doing things that do not match your gifts, passion and grace which will also give you much frustration. Those in continual frustration need to take much time reflecting to detect the source of their frustration. [MORE]

Merely continuing in life in frustration is foolish, because you may look back at the end of your years and realize you wasted your whole life working in the wrong vocation.

2. Burnout shows you are not walking in grace

Another telltale sign you are suffering from mission drift is that you have to work hard at accomplishing things with very little fruit to show for it. Jesus has called us to enter His rest (Matthew 11:28-30) and cease from our own labors (Hebrews 4:9-11). When in mission drift we are not walking in obedience to the Lord. Hence, we are not being sustained by His grace and working merely with fleshly strength. This can soon lead to emotional or spiritual burnout if we don’t readjust.

3. You show the lack of fruit

When you are hitting your sweet-spot regarding your calling, you are doing things that few can match. Every person is unique and has a calling unlike any other. When you are hitting the mark in your purpose you will bear a lot of fruit just the way Jesus called us to (John 15:8). When you are in mission drift you do not maximize your effectiveness which results in a lack of fruit.

4. You are not following your original vocational purpose

When in mission drift you have strayed away from the original calling God has given to you. Every once in a while I review my prophetic journal to make sure I am still pursuing the original calling God gave me when I first started serving Him more than 30 years ago. The methods may change as I mature, but the mission remains the same since He chose us before the foundation of the world and gave us a purpose before we were even born (2 Timothy 1:9).

5. You are not focused but scattered with too many objectives and activities

Activity does not necessarily result in productivity. Many people are very busy running around focusing on minor things and neglecting the primary things God has called them to. I am not saying we should neglect the mundane and ordinary routines of life, but that we make sure within those routines we prioritize and manage our time in such a way that the most important things are taken care of first. When we don’t prioritize our time, our activities will not match our purpose.

6. You have no time to invest in key relationships

The kingdom of God is built upon relationships, not ministry or work. Everyone is called to invest in key relationships whether it be our immediate family, spiritual children, mentors, or key people we are called to “do life” with. The enemy would love for all of us to put programs before people, because at the end of the day the only thing we will take with us into eternity are people not programs, real estate, money or the material things in life. When you have no quality time for those key relationships, then most likely you are suffering from mission drift. We need to proactively pursue those people who are the most important to us in life.

7. You are doing good things but not what you do best

The enemy of best is usually something good. The enemy does not come in a red suit and a pitchfork; he comes as an angel of light. Hence, one of his greatest strategies is to get you so focused on doing something good for God or your family that it blinds you to what is best. To avoid mission drift we always have to keep first things first and keep the main thing the main thing.

See this article on


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Marriage rooted in creation, says Mohler during televised forum

Andrew J.W. Smith, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary News

CINCINNATI (SBTS) — The institution of marriage does not come from human or social invention but God’s creation order, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary during a televised forum on marriage on Cincinnati's WCPO, April 15.

The forum, “The Changing Face of Marriage,” was co-sponsored by Cincinnati’s ABC television affiliate and DecodeDC, a podcast/blog produced by Scripps Washington bureau.

“[The family] is the first school, that’s the first government, and a very real sense, in a biblical worldview, it’s the first church,” he said. “What takes place in the home is the most important human institution and it’s absolutely essential for human flourishing, it’s one of God’s greatest gifts to his creatures. That’s why we take it with such importance.”

Mohler emphasized that his view of marriage is not merely a “snapshot” from American traditionalism, but that it goes “all the way back to God’s intention in creation,” which does not change across the biblical canon.


“In the very second chapter of Scripture you have the union of a man and woman, and you have Jesus [affirming that],” Mohler said. “There’s an overwhelming consistency there.”

The biblical view of marriage is clear in the order of the natural world, Mohler said, since even societies outside the Judeo-Christian tradition have understood marriage is for procreation and should be an honored part of civilization.

“We didn’t come up with that in the 1950’s,” he said. “I would argue we didn’t come up with that in Western civilization at all, that was actually written in nature by the creator who made it.”

Since marriage is so central to human existence, it ought to be considered in terms of what leads to the true good of society, including the “well-being of children” and general human happiness, he said.

“It comes down to what we believe really leads to human happiness and human flourishing,” he said. “Marriage is the presenting issue, and that’s a big issue, but the larger issue is what’s really going to lead to human flourishing.”

When one of the moderators asked whether the Southern Baptist Convention featured differing opinions on marriage, Mohler said that since the controversy regarding biblical authority in the 1970s and 1980s, the SBC has been consistent in its message. In 2000, the SBC included a definition of marriage in its confessional statement, the Baptist Faith and Message. The difference between a conservative view of marriage and a liberal one generates from opinions about divine revelation and the Bible, Mohler said.

“The dividing didn’t just all of the sudden happen over marriage,” he said. “The dividing line happened in the 20th Century, in the early decades, over miracles, and the doctrine of the Trinity, and the deity of Christ, and the authority of Scripture. Those lines are pretty much exactly what you could have predicted from the 1930s to the present when it comes to the issue of marriage.”

The marriage forum, held by the WCPO-Cincinnati television station, featured contributions from thinkers and writers with various perspectives on marriage and the family. The program included Stephanie Coontz, who teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and Chris Seelbach, the first openly gay member of the Cincinnati City Council.

Video of the forum is available at:


James A. Smith Sr.

(502) 528-5042



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The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary News