Montana Baptist E-News

The Montana Baptist E-News | April 2016

Montana Southern Baptist Convention

Cooperative Program Sunday

Fred Hewett, MTSBC Executive Director

One of our distinctives as Southern Baptists is our commitment to missions, and the Cooperative Program is the primary method of our financial support of our mission work. Working together, we are a vital part of a very large work that God is doing around the world. Through the Cooperative Program we are able to accomplish together, what no single church can do alone.

This Sunday, April 10, SBC churches across North America will join together to tell this powerful story of cooperation.

In 1925 a God-given partnership of missions support was conceived. We called it the Cooperative Program. Since its launch, it has been dependent upon individuals, churches, state conventions, and SBC entities cooperating, working toward a common goal of sharing the gospel with every person on the planet. More...

On April 10 every MTSBC church is asked to help tell the mission story of the Cooperative Program. You have already received a packet with two items that will assist you in this endeavor.

1. CP Sunday DVD – Hear from Doug Hutcheson (MTSBC State Staff & former IMB missionary) on how important the Cooperative Program is to the missionary and their ability to touch the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

2. Bulletin Inserts – These inserts entitled CP Sunday 2016 explains how every church in Montana, regardless of size, is a part of sharing the Gospel in Montana and throughout the world.

Pastor, we are asking you to take a few minutes during your Sunday service on April 10 to show this short (3:40) DVD and spotlight the bulletin insert as you teach your church family how we do missions and the importance of every church cooperating together.

You may also download the video from our website

Through the Cooperative Program every Montana Southern Baptist Church is a part of something much larger than any one church alone. Please help us tell this story as we cooperate together in Great Commission work.

Download CP Video (3:40)

DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS: the link above will take you to our Vimeo page. Click the "Download" button below the video and select the video quality you prefer.

Download the Bulletin Insert (431KB)


You might also be interested in...

Cooperative Program in Missions Offerings

CP Video Download (click the download button on our vimeo page)

Get Real East

Get Real East (GRE) is just around the corner on April 15-16 in Billings, MT.

Are your students going?

This year GRE is proud to welcome Abandon to lead your students in worship. Abandon’s pop rock style is perfect for creating passionate and energetic worship sets your students will love. Their hit song “Providence” will keep your toes tapping while examining the Apostle Peter’s three denials of Jesus and how we’re temped the same way while “It was Love” slows things down to praise God for loving us enough to send Jesus to the cross. More...

Teaching students the truth of God’s word in a way they’ll understand is 18-year student ministry veteran Chris Lovell. Chris currently works as the head basketball coach for Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano Texas leading his team to 4 straight state championships. With the heart of an evangelist and championship coaching ability your students will come away from Get Real East encouraged, inspired and equipped to to reach their peers for Jesus.

In addition to four powerful worship sessions, four impactful teaching times and the kind of fellowship and relationship building only a retreat can offer students GRE offers training time for youth workers, parents and pastors. GRE packs all of this and more into a short Friday night and Saturday morning all for just $30.

With students leaving the church in record numbers after high school you can’t afford not to send your students to Get Real East.

For additional info, promotional materials, permission slips and more please visit the Get Real Page or contact Next-Gen Director Adam Burt at and 406-672-5532


You might also be interested in ...

Get Real East

Next-Gen Ministries Page


Montana Baptists Seek New Executive Director

Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (BP) -- The Montana Southern Baptist Convention is seeking a new executive director to lead the group of about 135 churches in a state where more than a third of the people reportedly don't attend church worship services regularly -- or at all.

The new executive director of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention (MTSBC) will need to be a successful pastor, an exceptional leader committed to evangelism, and must love pastors and local churches, said search team chairman Bruce Speer, who pastors Crosspoint Community Church in Missoula.

"Montana is a unique state. It is made up of a lot of rural churches in small communities and yet it also has some larger cities where pastors are trying to reach white collar workers," Speer said. "It is a unique mission field because there are very few churches that are more than 40 years old and it is still a state where the average person ... would tell you they have never been to church."

Less than one percent of the state's adults are Southern Baptists, and 38 percent of adults never or seldom attend church, according to the Pew Research 2015 Religious Landscape Study. More...

Fred Hewett, retiring in October as the current executive director, describes geography as a major challenge in the state where the nearest Southern Baptist pastor might be as many as 200 miles away. The state is the nation's fourth largest in size, but only 48th in population, about 1 million people.

"From the southeast corner of Montana, it's closer to Texas than it is to the northwestern corner of Montana," Hewett said. "In this state convention, the executive director will have to have the ability to relate well to the rancher and farmer, as well as the white collar professional because we run a very diverse population."

Hewett is only the third person to hold the post of executive director since the convention was formed in 2002 from the Montana Southern Baptist Fellowship. Southern Baptist work only began in Montana in 1952, he said.

"We are still very much a new work state, a frontier state convention," Hewett said. "Our churches are first generation Christians" who require much pastoral care.

Southern Baptist church planting is a major MTSBC focus, with 23 churches planted in the past four years, according to MTSBC statistics.

MTSBC President Darren Hales, pastor of Big Sky Fellowship in Helena, said an effective executive director would need "a strong sense of calling to come and serve in Montana, first and foremost," and would need to be able to connect with pastors and people in several different demographic categories. American Indians comprise four percent of the state's population and live on seven reservations. The state is home to Glacier National Park and a small part of Yellowstone.

"We have a vision to reach our state for the Gospel, and we have a heart for the people who live here," Hales said. "Our executive director would need to be somebody who has a heart and a call for pastors, [and a calling] to serve in a variety of settings, from the small church that only has 10 to 12 people -- because they're a little outpost in the middle of Montana in a ranching community -- to churches of 1,000 in some of our bigger cities."

The MTSBC will conduct a thorough search with the confidence that God has prepared a person for the job, Hales said.

"I believe there is a qualified candidate who maybe has had a tugging or a longing to move out west and be a part of something new that God's doing out in the West," he said. "We want it to be a spiritual decision based on a clear calling from God."

Montana Southern Baptist leaders describe the MTSBC as in excellent condition financially and spiritually, with a strong foundation and vision.

"The candidate we're looking for will come and embrace all of the positive things that Montana is doing, while giving us, inspiring us to look ahead to the next steps," Hales said. "We're looking for someone who's going to look ahead for the next 10 years. We feel very good where we are as a denomination, the growth and desire to grow, to touch people and sacrifice for the Gospel, but a new leader is going to have to look to the next 10 years."

Chad Scarborough came to Montana in 2013 to lead First Baptist Church in Shelby, the second oldest church in the state. The fulltime pastor is the only staff member of the church that averages 45 in Sunday attendance.

"Probably only 10 churches in our state, maybe a little bit more, ... average over 100 people on Sunday. For the most part, all of our churches are small congregations," Scarborough said. "An executive director ... is going to have to have an understanding of how small congregations function and operate, and also the accessibility to training and resources. Many of our small churches don't have the opportunity to have resources for their pastors to have continued training."

Shelby is a transient community of 3,000 residents, not counting the 500 who live in the Crossroads Correctional Center, and is located just 26 miles from the Canadian border. Many residents have never heard the Gospel, Scarborough said. Thirty miles away is the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, where First Baptist of Shelby planted Glacier View Baptist mission before Scarborough's pastorate. He characterized American Indians that the church encounters as quick to accept the Gospel but prone to dualism, placing Jesus among many other spiritual beliefs.

"Montana is still the mission field," he said. "There's really no way else to say it. This is a really unchurched area.... As far as Evangelical Christians go, the work is still very new here in Montana."

Among top responsibilities, the executive director will serve as the chief operating officer, the treasurer and chief financial officer, the official director of MTSBC work and ministries, the director and supervisor of MTSBC staff and North American Mission Board missionaries in the state, and the editor of the Montana Baptist electronic newsletter. A full job description and list of qualifications is available from Speer at, where the search team will receive applications through May.


You might also be interested in...

See the original Article on the Baptist Press website

3/16 Enews: Hewett Retirment Announcement


Children's Ministry Conference

The Montana Southern Baptist Convention

Recently I was asked this question: is there a list or checklist of things that I need to do if I, or my church, was interested in planting a church? Or summarized another way – “How do I plant a church?” Immediately my mind went to the volumes of books, the pages of articles, the abundance of websites, and the days upon days of conferences that attempt to answer that question. I thought of strategies and models, styles of church, context, settings, planter types and personalities…the list goes on and on.

After thinking about it a little more, I came to the conclusion that there are a few simple elements that make up every church plant – a sort of checklist on things that need to happen in order for a church to “spring up” and grow.

For those who prefer a list, here is a short one: More...

1) Pray

2) Go

3) Do

Prayer is at the top of most lists for good reason. To be more specific, pray that God would break your heart for the lost – not just in general – but for specific neighborhoods, niches, etc. Ask God to open your eyes to all possibilities – from your neighbor across the street, your coworker you see everyday, or some total stranger in a country you have never visited.

The question that usually follows “go” is “where do I go?” Start in your own community. Whether you walk or drive, continue to ask God to reveal new people to you that, on a daily basis, you may see or “see through” every day and not realize it. It’s amazing how many times I have driven through familiar territory and notice something different – a new house, a car that is new to the neighborhood, or a person walking down the street that I don’t recognize because they are new to the community. Sometimes things change so gradually around us that they are almost unnoticed. Go with open eyes and an open heart.

The most challenging question that has multitudes of answers is “what do I do now?” With a heart broken for the lost and eyes to see what God has revealed, discover how you can engage the people that you have become aware of so that you might build relationships and share the Gospel message.

The rest of the formula: sharing the Gospel equals transformed lives, which leads to discipleship, and when disciples multiply, churches are planted.

Oversimplified – maybe. Next month read how this simple formula led to the beginning of Outdoor Life Ministries in Bonner, MT!

For more information on church planting with the Montana Southern Baptist Convention, go to MTSBC Church Starting Team Page.


You might also be interested in...

MTSBC Church Starting Team Page.

Church Starting Opportunities

Church Starter Profiles

Take a Vision Tour


Replant Brings Children Back to Dying Church

Meredith Yackel, North American Mission Board

Church of the Rockies Members of Calvary Church, a church replant in La Junta, Colo., gather for corporate prayer following a worship service. The church is a replant of Calvary Church in Englewood, Colo., itself a church replant. The Englewood church has helped replant six churches in the metro Denver area. The North American Mission Board will host a national church replant gathering prior to the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis in June.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (BP) -- Nancy Elliott found herself crying alone in the nursery. She had attended Calvary Church in Englewood, Colo., since she was 14. Now, for the first time, they had no children at church on a Sunday morning.

Members of Calvary Church, a church replant in La Junta, Colo., gather for corporate prayer following a worship service. The church is a replant of Calvary Church in Englewood, Colo., itself a church replant.

The Englewood church has helped replant six churches in the metro Denver area. The North American Mission Board will host a national church replant gathering prior to the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis in June.

"Not one child," Elliot said. "I went into the nursery and started crying and praying to God to bring children."

Little did she know her prayers were about to be answered in ways she didn't expect. More...

Central Baptist Nancy Elliott leads a craft project during Sunday School at Calvary Church in Englewood, Colo., a church replant. Elliott was heartbroken when the former declining church saw children stop coming to their services. Through the replant process, the church has revitalized and is growing, including the addition of new families with children.

Central Baptist Englewood, Colo., Calvary Church associate pastor Jeff DeClue (center) preaches during a worship service at a church replant in La Junta, Colo. The church, also named Calvary Church, is one of six church replants the Englewood church has helped in re-establishing themselves as relevant in their communities. The North American Mission Board will host a national church replant gathering prior to the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis in June.

After serving in youth ministry for several years in the Denver area, Mark Hallock felt God leading him toward inter-generational ministry.

"A lot of youth ministries are completely separated from the larger church," Hallock said. "As I began to see kids graduate from youth group they eventually graduated from church because they were never connected with the rest of the body. I started to think about what it would be like to truly have an inter-generational ministry."

Hallock and his wife Jenna began to pray and felt God calling them to a dying church they had heard of in Englewood, Colo., in metro Denver.

"I had been seeing church plants pop up, and I started to think about who was going to the declining churches, because God is glorified when dying churches come back to life."

Calvary Church was established in 1952, in what was once suburbia. As the demographics of Englewood changed, like many churches, Calvary did not change along with the community. Over time attendance dwindled.

"I don't think churches realize how quickly you can go from 150 to 30 people," said Jeff DeClue, a longtime member and now associate pastor and elder at Calvary. "There was nothing different about Calvary from any other Southern Baptist church. It wasn't that we weren't passionate about the community -- the community around us had changed and we didn't know how to reach them.

"Sadly, I was tired," he noted. "There was a big church down the road and I wanted to take my family and go where no one knew me. But Dave Elliot [Nancy Elliott's husband] was really influential and said to me, 'God is not done with this church. He put it here in 1952 for a reason.'"

DeClue decided that day to trust God for a greater plan. It was the same day that Hallock was meeting with the search committee of Calvary, and feeling God's call to come and help revitalize the dying church. Although they could only pay Hallock a fraction of what he had been making as a youth minister, Hallock's previous church committed to cover what Calvary could not afford for one year. The remaining 30 members at Calvary noticed change almost immediately after Hallock became lead pastor.

"Within the first month we seemed to go from 30 to 60, and then to 90, and we were over 100 in just a few months," DeClue said.

"I am truly grateful that I have stayed and endured the hard times because now we have so many children we barely have room for them," he said. "To see children run up and down the sidewalk on Sunday is just amazing."

Hallock has now been at Calvary for seven years and they have continued to see growth. So much so, that they have planted six other churches in the Denver area.

"What is cool is that church planting was in the DNA of Calvary from the start," Hallock said. "They actually planted three churches back in their heyday, and we were really just tapping into our history. We get to continue the story of that narrative.

"I love church planting, but my personal goal has always been to see churches replanted also," Hallock said. "I want to see God bring dead things back to life."

This year, Calvary has had their first experience in replanting a church not far from their Englewood campus.

"This church was just like we were," Hallock said. "They knew they needed radical change. We met with them and reassured them that God wasn't done with their church. We see them starting to grow now, which is really exciting.

"It is exciting to see what the Lord is doing through the North American Mission Board to replant," he noted. "What a statement it is to a community when they see a dead, irrelevant church come back to life. God loves the underdog and when we surrender everything over to Him, He steps into our weakness. That is when He does some of the most amazing things."

NAMB will host the National Replant Conference June 11-12 in St. Louis before this year's Southern Baptist Convention.

"This gathering will connect those who are replanting with other replanters as we learn from each other how God is replanting dying churches across North America," said Mark Clifton, NAMB's senior director of Replant. "It is also to help declining churches explore next steps to finding new life and new hope."

The event will feature practitioners who are successfully replanting dying churches, and offer resources and tools that have proven effective in reclaiming dying churches.

Learn more about the conference here and register for free.

Want to learn more about church replanting? Visit the Church Replanters Blog at here.

Meredith Yackel writes for the North American Mission Board.


You might also be interested in...

North American Mission Board