Montana Baptist E-News

The Montana Baptist E-News | August 2016

Montana Southern Baptist Convention

Refresh Montana

By Coby Bennett

Click image for information and registration

It is an amazing time to be a Southern Baptist in the State of Montana. We have seen baptisms like never before, Cooperative Giving like never before, and a sense of Unity like never before with our Mpact, Shepherding the Shepherd, and many other events where we come together and enjoy the fellowship and encouragement we only get from each other.

The only event that does not seem to spark a sense of excitement is our annual meeting. I have had many discussions with people about the time, the way we conduct business and just a lack of enthusiasm for attending the Annual Meeting. With these discussions happening, Fred, Darren Hales and myself felt this was something that needed to be addressed and sooner rather than later. With that in mind, we formed a committee on the Executive Board to evaluate and make sure our State events are the best they can possibly be. More...

I wanted to give you a little preview of some of the things we will be changing and what you as a gospel worker in the State of Montana can expect when you come this year:

First, we have changed the name, and with that the emphasis, to Refresh. Our goal of this being a time of Spiritual refreshment, challenge, and encouragement. Second, we have moved the days and shortened the time from a Tuesday through Thursday, which is really hard for us in small churches with a Wednesday night ministry, to a Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon. Third, we wanted to change from a business emphasis to a spiritual refreshing and connection emphasis. While understanding there will still be a little business we must legally do, we will be focusing on spiritual health and refreshment through powerful worship, breakout sessions and a special address by Our SBC President Dr Steve Gaines. Fourth, one of the best things we do as Southern Baptists is support over 10,000 missionaries through our giving to the Cooperative Program. One of our faults is that there is not the personal connection with those on the field that is so important for a church to be a part of. We will be spending more time focusing on the IMB and how we as churches can connect with missionaries individually. Fifth, if all goes well, the Executive Director Search Team hopes to have a candidate for you to meet and vote on during this meeting.

If you are like me, the Annual Meeting has become something you do out of responsibility. My hope and prayer is that you will make plans to join us this year on October 6th and 7th in Missoula for a time of Fellowship, Connection and Refreshment.

- Coby Bennett


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Register for Refresh

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Montana Missions Offering

The Montana Southern Baptist Convention

2016 Montana Missions Offering Video Downloads

2016 Montana Missions, Full Video (85MB)

2016 Montana Missions Offering Bulletin Insert

2016 Montana Missions Bulletin Insert (389KB)

Give to Montana Missions Here:


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Montana Missions Offering - MTSBC Resource Page

Cooperative Program Offering - MTSBC Resource Page


MTSBC Booth at SBC Annual Meeting

The Montana Southern Baptist Convention


For the first time ever, the Montana Southern Baptist Convention hosted a booth in the exhibit hall at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. The convention was held in St. Louis, Missouri, The Gateway to the West. This annual meeting was the host of over 7,300 registered messengers with nearly 11,600 in total attendance. A high attendance was expected this year due to the central location and the fact of it being an election year for a new SBC president.

Why would the MTSBC host a booth? In one word – awareness. Montana has been blessed by many partnerships in ministry throughout the years. Many of these partnerships have come in the form of mission teams, partnering or sponsoring churches, financial partners, and of course, incoming pastors and planters. The annual meeting of the SBC was a good venue for MTSBC staff and pastors to meet potential future partners. More...


MTSBC staff members, William Johnson and Michael Liner, along with Pastor Bruce and Jill Speer (Crosspoint Church), Pastor Lee and Christie Merck (Church of the Rockies), and Pastor Bruce Plummer (Fort Belknap Baptist Mission) took shifts of manning the booth and speaking to individuals about ministry opportunities across the state.

While at the booth, many stopped by to share about times they had traveled to Montana on mission trips, vacations, or that a trip was on their “bucket list” of things to do. While engaged in conversation, MTSBC personnel handed out information directing people to our convention website to check out up-to-date information on ministries in The Last Best Place. Montana shaped magnets were given out and recipients were asked to place those in a prominent place to remind them to pray for our pastors, planters, and partnership opportunities. Brochures explaining opportunities with Indian ministries were also available and given away. Vision Tour cards were given out as well, challenging others to come and visit and get a firsthand experience in 2016 or 2017. And of course, huckleberry taffy is always a great giveaway to share a little taste of the uniqueness of our state.

Several completed a registration form offering contact information allowing for follow up after the convention. Cards were given to many school or seminary representatives to be taken back and made available to students.

The booth was open Monday-Wednesday of the pastors’ conference and the annual meeting. With the amount of conversations taking place during and after the convention, we believe this was a successful event and look forward to attending the 2017 meeting in Phoenix, AZ.


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SBC Annual Meeting Website

Annual Meeting Video Recap


Church Planting Vision Tour 2016

The Montana Southern Baptist Convention

End Times Survey 1

The MTSBC Starting Team sponsored regional church-planting vision tours again this summer for potential partner churches and prospective church planters who are considering Montana as their next place of ministry. A vision tour works like this: participants provide their transportation to the jumping off city and then MTSBC provides lodging, and transportation during a three-day tour of communities where there are identified populations who are considered un-reached or under-reached with the Gospel. MTSBC arranges for meetings with local leaders and their families, shares insight and findings about various communities, and an in-person guide to answer any questions that might come up, and point out unique things along the way. More...

End Times Survey 1

During the west vision tour, Church Starting Missionary Michael Liner guided Toby and Sammie Goodman from Lake Fork Baptist (Texas). The couple left their three children with grandparents in Texas to make the journey north and visit Montana for their first time. Sharing meals, walks, and even a Big Dipper ice cream with local pastors, church planters, and leaders in the area were highlights. The Goodmans were able to “tell their story” of how they felt the Lord was stirring in their and their church’s hearts about church starting in the intermountain west. They also had opportunities to ask questions face-to-face about ministry, needs, family life, and opportunities in the Treasure State from some of those who are actually serving in the area.

After spending the first night in Missoula, the vision tour continued up the Bitterroot Valley, over Skalkaho Pass to Anaconda, and then Butte. After spending the night in the Butte area they traveled back to Missoula and then up to Polson to see the Flathead Reservation and Lake. That evening the vision tour joined Outdoorsmen Church for one of their mid-week services. One more night in a Missoula hotel and they were back on the plane to Texas. “We ask people to come and see. If they will commit time and resources to come, we do our best to show them opportunities and share as much as we can in a short period of time about the realities of life and ministry in Montana,” says Liner. “We will do our best to schedule time for vision touring throughout the year. We just wanted to schedule a time to invite people to ‘come and see’ when we thought we could make the most of their visit,” added Liner.

The Goodmans were excited to be able to interact with the ministers and wives who took time out of their busy summer to share a meal while asking and answering questions about ministry work in Montana. They expressed great appreciation for being able to see the areas, which they had previously only read or heard about.

MTSBC has scheduled another Church Planting Vision Tour for July 11-12, 2017. If you or someone else you know would like to join us on a regionally specific guided tour, sign up here.


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Church Planting Vision Tours

Church Starting Team Page


MTSBC Celebrates Ministry and Life of Bev Morrison

The Montana Southern Baptist Convention


For years, Chuck and Bev Morrison have visited the Mission Valley in western Montana to visit Bev’s mother who lived in St. Ignatius. Over those years, the Morrison fell in love with the people of this area and believed God was calling them to plant a church in this small community.

In 2014, the Morrisons began the move to St. Ignatius. At the time, Bev was undergoing treatments for cancer and remained in Arizona under her doctor’s care. Nearly a year later, Bev had completed the regime of treatments and was able to move to join Chuck in the ministry work that he had already begun.

Throughout the next year, Bev continued to battle cancer, but would not let it stand in the way of the calling God had placed on their lives. Bev had expressed that planting the church was the reason they had moved to Montana and she so desired to see that become a reality and would continue to do ministry in spite of her daily struggle. Mission Valley Ministries was launched February 7, 2016. More...



Chuck and Beverly continued their ministry together until Bev’s passing on Sunday, July 10, 2016. Following is a short bio of Bev Morrison, a MTSBC family member we will dearly miss.

Beverly Ann Cathey Morrison, 68, of St. Ignatius, Montana, passed away at her home July 10, 2016. She was born September 12, 1947, in Drumright, Oklahoma, and was raised in Chandler, Arizona. She was a graduate of Chandler High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Grand Canyon University.

Bev worked as a records manager in Phoenix for the Baptist Foundation of Arizona. She later worked as an elementary art teacher for the Buckeye Elementary School District and a secondary art teacher for NorthPointe Preparatory School in Phoenix, as well as an adjunct art instructor for Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

Beverly was a devoted follower of Christ, as well as, a Sunday school teacher and youth worker in churches in Missouri and Arizona and a church planting missionary and pastor's wife with Mission Valley Ministries in St. Ignatius. Her hobbies included art, reading, sewing, and traveling. She traveled extensively in the U.S. as well as Canada, Mexico and in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria. Bev loved her new adopted state and was planning numerous adventures in Montana when she retired just a year ago.

A service was held in St. Ignatius on Sunday, July 17th in St. Ignatius. Please continue to pray for Chuck, his children, grandchildren, Bev’s mother, and the Mission Valley Ministries church family.

The topic of the August Elevate will be ‘Coaching.’ For the western and central region Elevates, we will have a guest speaker, Eddie Hancock, who will coming to train us on how to be a coach and how to be coached. We also have locations in Glasgow and Miles City for your convenience.

Here are the dates and locations for the August Session:

  • August 20 | Glasgow – Calvary Baptist Church, 100 Highland Avenue
  • August 25 | Bozeman – Crossroads Church, 111 Arrowhead Trail
  • August 26 | Missoula – Outdoorsmen Church, 12208 Pulpmill Road
  • August 27 | Miles City – Valley Community Church, 1004 N. Sewell Ave

  • Please register here by August 1st in order to receive necessary emails that will help you prepare for the upcoming training. More...

    Mark your calendars for future Elevate dates!

    Glasgow – Calvary Baptist Church, 100 Highland Avenue

    December 3, 2016, February 4, 2017, April 1, 2017

    Central Region – Locations to be Determined

    December 8, 2016, February 9, 2017, April 6, 2017

    Missoula – Outdoorsmen Church, 12208 Pulpmill Road

    December 9, 2016, February 10, 2017, April 7, 2017

    Miles City – Valley Community Church, 1004 North Sewell Avenue

    December 10, 2016, February 11, 2017, April 8, 2017

    The 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:

  • Central Region – William Johnson, 406-579-1304
  • Missoula – Michael Liner, 406-830-0884
  • Miles City and Glasgow – Eddie Smith, 406-853-9890

  • -------

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    Elevate Montana Page

    MTSBC Executive Director Search Team Update

    Bruce Speer, MTSBC

    Montana pastors let me give you an update on the great progress that has made looking for a new MTSBC Executive Director. The Search Team went right to work in April this year putting together a profile of the kind of new leader we felt would best fulfill this important responsibility.

    Once a profile was agreed upon, we next began prayerfully looking at the resumes that were submitted. We knew we had a big task trying to find someone that would measure up to the excellent job Dr. Fred Hewett accomplished the last 8+ years. More...

    The team has put in literally hundreds of hours working, praying and searching diligently and we feel that God has led us to a great candidate. We will be introducing him to the full MTSBC Executive Board in September and upon their approval we will be presenting him at the annual meeting in October.

    I speak for the entire Search Team when I say thank you for your prayers and support.

    Dr. Bruce Speer, Pastor

    Crosspoint Church, Missoula

    Search Team Chair

    Fellowship Baptist Church Sports Camp

    By Virginia Power, MTSBC

    End Times Survey 1

    More than 180 kids attended the annual Fellowship Baptist Sports Camp in Billings this year. While they enroll to learn soccer, basketball, baseball and football, our main goal is to introduce them to Jesus. The coaches that volunteer their time come from as far away as Zimbabwe to spend the week teaching, scrimmaging and witnessing to these willing campers.

    Each day starts with registration, where volunteers from the church and the community greet the campers and welcome them to the camp. We were blessed this year to enjoy administration volunteers from four sister-churches. To start the day the kids meet with the coaches and have a lesson. At a water break, the coach begins a story from the Bible. More sports lessons continue throughout the morning, sandwiched between continuing Bible stories at the water breaks. The evening camps run just same, but for older children. As the week goes on, the lessons point toward salvation, and by the end of the week, the kids are presented with a call to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. More...

    Pastor Ray Willis works all year long to coordinate the many aspects of the camp. He brings in volunteer mission teams from Tennessee and Georgia to paint the building and grounds of Lockwood School, which in turn donates the use of the facility to us for the week. The mission teams spend their afternoons in the neighboring trailer courts presenting a Vacation Bible School the younger children of the community. By the end of the week, between the Sports Camp and the VBS groups, 61 children had made a confession of faith in Jesus Christ. Tired hands and joyful hearts disassembled the soccer goals and packed away the supplies for another year. This camp was a true blessing to the community of Lockwood.


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    Connect316 defends 'traditionalist' doctrines

    David Roach, Baptist Press

    End Times Survey 1 Paige Patterson (left), president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, receives the Jerry Vines Award from Rick Patrick of Connect316 during the Connect316 dinner Tuesday, June 14 in St. Louis.

    ST. LOUIS (BP) -- Cooperation among Southern Baptists with diverse theological views, the definition of "Gospel" and the extent of the atonement were among the topics addressed at the Connect316 banquet June 14 in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in St. Louis.

    Connect316 -- a coalition of Southern Baptists who advocate what they call a "traditionalist" understanding of the doctrine of salvation and disagree with some points of so-called "New Calvinism" -- also presented Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson with the Jerry Vines Award for the Promotion of Whosoever Will Doctrine in Southern Baptist Life.

    Braxton Hunter, the first of three speakers and president of Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Ind., encouraged traditionalists and Calvinists to work together in the SBC. More...

    "The Gospel is too important" to "fracture the convention" between Calvinists and traditionalists, Hunter said. "We need to cooperate where we can."

    Still, Hunter noted a concern that "certain entities," like the broadly Reformed groups The Gospel Coalition and Together for the Gospel, "have positioned themselves in such a way in name and posture so as to indicate that they are more adequately representing the Gospel than other groups are of differing soteriological persuasions." Traditionalists should respond to such groups by articulating their views on salvation with clarity and courage, he said.

    The relationship in Scripture between God's sovereignty and human freedom is not utterly incomprehensible, Hunter said. Rather than resign themselves to accepting these two notions as mysterious and irreconcilable in this life, believers should use theology and philosophy to argue against any form of determinism and defend the view that "anyone can be saved, Jesus died for everyone and God wants everyone to be saved." Hunter also argued that being born again does not precede the exercise of faith.

    Blake Newsom, pastor of Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile, Ala., said the term "Gospel" is losing its meaning in some circles because it is used as a "buzzword" rather than a technical term to reference Scripture's message about Jesus.

    "It has lost or is losing its core identity and meaning due to the books, conversations and retweets of ... empty statements about the Gospel," Newsom said.

    The term Gospel is not synonymous with formal evangelistic presentations, "important Christian doctrines" or "implications of the Gospel," Newsom said. Citing 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, he said the Gospel is a description of "the person and work of Christ as depicted in Scripture and [its] application to humanity."

    Some contemporary Gospel presentations "tend to be too propositional," Newsom said. "They need to be more personal. That means we are simply telling people about the person and work of Jesus. We are not ticking through theological points."

    David Allen, dean of Southwestern Seminary's school of theology, said the doctrine of unlimited atonement is "very close to the heart of the Gospel, so we can't afford to get it wrong."

    Unlimited atonement refers to the idea that on the cross, Christ paid the penalty due for every human's sin. Limited atonement is the view Christ's death paid only for the sins of the elect.

    Allen, author of the 2016 book "The Extent of the Atonement: History and Critique" (B&H), said believing Christ died only for the elect -- however that term is defined -- leads logically to the conclusion that some people are "not savable" and makes a universal offer of the Gospel "disingenuous."

    "When you offer salvation to everybody, if you're a preacher who believes in limited atonement, you're offering something to a group of people in your audience that does not exist" because there is no means of salvation apart from Christ's atonement, Allen said. "How do you justify that?"

    The doctrine of limited atonement arose primarily during the past 400 years, said Allen, who will become dean of the seminary’s school of preaching Aug. 1. He said proponents of unlimited atonement include "Augustine and every early church father through the sixth century"; "all of the medieval theologians with the exception of a French monk named Gottschalk in the ninth century"; John Calvin; Martin Luther; Andrew Fuller; and the first three SBC presidents.

    In presenting the Vines Award to Patterson, Connect316 executive director Rick Patrick noted the Southwestern Seminary president's "cordial debate" of Calvinism in 2006 with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and his authorship of a chapter in the 2010 Book "Whosoever Will" (B&H).

    For proponents of a traditionalist doctrine of salvation, "I cannot even imagine where we would be today without the preaching and the writing and the stellar leadership of Dr. Paige Patterson," said Patrick, pastor of First Baptist Church in Sylacauga, Ala.

    David Roach is chief national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention's news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program. See the original article here.


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    Baptist Press

    Six Ways to Create a Culture of Innovation

    Pastor Rick Warren

    End Times Survey 1

    Creativity matters in ministry. It matters because God is creative. He’s the most creative being in the entire universe. It only makes sense that we serve God with our creatively.

    How do you develop a culture of innovation in your church?

    You need a theology of innovation. We are most like our creator when we’re creative. God wired us to be creative. Children are very creative. They are born creative. It’s normal. We get the creativity kicked out of us as time goes by. We learn to be afraid. But a theology of innovation always reminds us that God intends us to be creative.

    You need a creative atmosphere. There are certain environments I can be very creative in, and certain environments where I can’t. At Saddleback, we’ve never had a boardroom or the big boardroom-style table that comes with that. We have recliners. Meetings don’t start at Saddleback until we kick our feet up. It’s when I get in a totally prone position that I can be the most creative and can discover what God would have us do. More...

    You need to stay playful. Playfulness stimulates creativity. When you get people laughing, you get the endorphins going. Creativity is often putting together two exactly opposite ideas, which is often ludicrous or seemingly stupid. It just makes people laugh. When people start to laugh, I know creativity is coming. When they’re serious, we’re not going to get creative.

    You need the freedom to fail. Innovation means not being afraid to fail. There’s no such thing as failure at Saddleback. We experiment. Sometimes we guess. It’s trial and error. But I give my staff the freedom and flexibility to fail. You’re never a failure at Saddleback until you stop trying. We’ve done more things that didn’t work than did. I want all of my staff members to make at least one mistake a week. If they aren’t making mistakes, they aren’t trying!

    You need to think big! You foster innovation by setting goals that are so big that you are bound to fail unless God bails you out. We did this before we started 40 Days of Purpose back in 2002. We had been planning to start 300 new small groups through the campaign. That would have been a big deal. But God told me, “Add a zero. Start 3,000 small groups.” But we didn’t have 3,000 small group leaders. So we innovated. We came up with a brand new way to do small groups, as we focused on finding “hosts” instead of leaders.

    You must do something that matters. My friend, Erwin McManus, once told me, “The reality is that if you’re not trying to accomplish something meaningful, you’re not really being pressed into the creative process.” We don’t innovate at Saddleback to be cool. We innovate because we want to reach people with the good news about Jesus. The why determines what we do.


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