Montana Baptist E-News

The Montana Baptist E-News | February 2017

DATE

3.5-12

4.1

4.6

4.7

4.8

4.9

4.16

4.20-22

4.28-29

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5.9-11

5.29

6.13-14

7.4

8.25-26

9.3-24

9.4

9.8-9

9.13-14

10.5-6

11.10-11

11.23

12.3-9

12.6-7

12.21-1.2

12.25

Spring Staff Retreat

Memorial Day (Offices Closed)

SBC Annual Meeting

Independence Day (Office Closed)

State Literacy Training

Montana Missions Offering Emphasis

Labor Day (Office Closed)

State Literacy Training

MTSBC Executive Board Meeting

Refresh Montana

Get Real West

Thanksgiving Day (Office Closed)

International Missions Emphasis

Winter Staff Retreat

Office Closed

Christmas

(406) 252-7537

Montana Southern Baptist Convention

1130 Cerise Rd

Billings, MT 59101

Barrett Duke

The Annie Armstrong Offering

By Barrett Duke, MTSBC Executive Director

Next month, we will begin promoting the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. This offering provides nearly half of the money that our North American Mission Board (NAMB) uses to help Southern Baptist churches share the good news of Jesus all across North America. Our contributions to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering help provide resources for winning the lost to faith in Jesus, starting churches, and supporting more than 5,600 missionaries throughout North America. In fact, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering supplies more of NAMB’s budget than the Cooperative Program, 49% to 38%.


As we think about what this means for our gospel witness in Montana, things really come into sharp focus. In 2016, Montana Southern Baptists gave approximately $122,000 to NAMB through the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong offering. In that same period, we received from NAMB more than $500,000 for church planting, evangelism, and other efforts. We also benefitted from having NAMB supported personnel in our state to help us use these funds effectively. Why such a difference between what we gave and what we received? Because millions of our fellow Southern Baptists are partnering with us to reach the lost in Montana and throughout North America. More...

This commitment to evangelism is biblical. The Prophet Isaiah pronounced, “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” (Isa. 52:7). In a place as beautiful as Montana someone might be sidetracked by the mention of mountains and start thinking about the grandeur of our state and miss what Isaiah is emphasizing.


The Apostle Paul didn’t miss it. In his letter to the Christians in Rome, he distilled the meaning of Isaiah’s pronouncement to its essence when he said, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things” (Rom. 10:15). Paul left out completely the mention of mountains. Sharing the gospel is what mattered. We need to make sure we keep this emphasis, as well. We’re blessed to be able to enjoy all this state has to offer, but we must remember that our witness for Jesus is paramount. We should be doing all we can to bring the gospel to every person in this state, and beyond.


Montana Annie Armstrong money has gone all over North America and Annie Armstrong offering money from all over the country has come here. It is this cooperative, missions-driven spirit that has made Southern Baptists the greatest voluntary missions organization in the world. As you pray about what your gift to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering will be this year, I pray that you will remember the true emphasis of that passage from Isaiah. The mountains, meadows, valleys, rivers, and streams of Montana are breath-taking, but the feet of the gospel messenger are the things of greatest beauty. Let’s all do our part to cover the mountains, cities, towns, villages, and ranches of this great state with the footprints of gospel messengers. Let’s give to this gospel fund like never before.


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Annie Armstrong Easter Offering

Adam Burt

Parenting the Smartphone Generation

Adam Burt, MTSBC Next Gen Ministries Leader

  • Should I just smash my kid’s phone?
  • How do I get my teenager talking?
  • Are my kids mutant aliens from outer space or is this normal?

  • If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions or know someone who has you won’t want to miss Jonathan McKee as he walks us through ... More...

    PARENTING THE SMARTPHONE GENERATION


    How to connect with a generation of young people who have trouble prying their eyes from their mobile devices!


    In addition to answering the questions above (yes, even the last one) Jonathan will use his 20-plus years of experience working with teenagers, studying youth culture, and raising three teens of his own, to provide an abundant supply of useful tips and creative ideas to help parents bond with the Smartphone Generation.


    Make plans now to be at Crosspoint Community Church in Missoula, Sunday April 2nd from 6pm-8pm.


    You can get a preview of Jonathan’s workshop here.


    Print the attached flyer to personally invite a parent who needs this information and encouragement.


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    SendConference

    Over 15 ministry leaders from Montana attended the Southern California Send Conference, an event sponsored by the North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board. The theme this year was Redefine. The conference was empowering and the time of fellowship and camaraderie was indescribable.


    There were close to 4,000 people attending the conference, which was almost sold out. There was valuable information and encouragement for not only pastors, but anyone involved in church ministry. More...

    Here is an excerpt from the Baptist Press article written by Josie Rabbitt, posted Tuesday, February 7, 2017:


    Thirty-two speakers shared biblical insights and first-person experiences around the theme, Redefine. They encouraged attendees to discover and decide what needs to be redefined in their lives, so every part of their lives could reflect God's glory.


    Tony Giordano brought 50 members of his church, The Way Family Church in Murrietta, Calif., 80 miles to see Phil Wickham, a Christian singer and songwriter from San Diego. Austin Stone Band and Rend Collective also led worship.


    Church planters Steven and Lauren Kimbrell of Grace City Church in Irvine, Calif., shared about their "redefining moment" when they left their friends and family and moved across the country to plant Grace City Church.


    "The biggest redefining moment of our lives was planting our church," Steven said. "We uprooted from North Carolina to California. God just put Southern California on our hearts, and we chose to obey -- to go. We're five months old now, and it's been the scariest, best adventure."


    The couple attended the Send Conference to dig deeper into life on mission through breakout sessions addressing topics that included how to reach Muslims and how to break out of Christian subculture.


    NAMB president Kevin Ezell expressed special thanks to pastors who brought groups to the event.


    "I am grateful for the pastors who worked so hard to bring people to the Southern California Send Conference. Thanks to their efforts this was the largest SBC event in California in 36 years," Ezell said. "It was even more incredible to see such a diversity of ethnicity and age. Ultimately, we hope many will hear and respond to God's call to leave the familiar and serve Him on mission across North America and around the world."


    IMB president David Platt, a mainstage speaker at the event, said his hope is that momentum from the conference will have a long-lasting impact for God's Kingdom.


    "God is opening Southern Baptists' eyes to the reality that each of us has been sent by Him to proclaim His Gospel wherever we live right now and wherever He leads us in the future," Platt said. "I'm praying that the ripple effects of these two days will reach far and wide as God uses the men and women sent out from this conference to lead people and people groups to Christ in the days ahead. I'm deeply grateful for this coalition of churches we have in the [Southern Baptist Convention] that makes a conference like this possible."


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    Doug Hutcheson

    Serving the Community of Lincoln

    Doug Hutcheson, Church Strengthening Team

    GRW2016

    Before coming to Montana, Gene Young worked as a supervisor in the oilfield in Texas and his wife, Pam, was a public school teacher. They surrendered to mission ministry in 2010 and were commissioned as NAMB MSC volunteers in 2011. They moved to western Montana in May 2011 and were on staff at a church in St. Regis. In 2013, Gene was called as pastor at Lincoln Baptist Church, where they have served for the past three and a half years. In this community of around 800 people, there are about 120 children enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Timber and mining were once large industries, but now employment of any kind is almost nonexistent. Lincoln has 6 bars/casinos and alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling and broken families are prevalent. There have been about 6 suicides within the past 3 years. More...

    GRW2016

    GRW2016

    GRW2016

    Spiritual darkness abounds and most people have no interest in God or church. Consequently, much of the Young’s ministry occurs outside of the church walls. In addition to leading worship, teaching Bible study classes and other leadership responsibilities within the church, both Gene and Pam serve as chaplains for the local fire department and as NAMB Disaster Relief Chaplains in Montana. Each Thanksgiving since 2013, the church has provided a Thanksgiving dinner free of charge to the community of Lincoln, with up to 50 people attending (20 or so from outside the church). Pam trains volunteers in Montana as Literacy Ministry tutors for children and youth. Gene is a qualified tutor for Youth/Children, ESL (English as a Second Language) and Adult Literacy. Both Gene and Pam tutor local students when needed. Pam also serves as the local Red Cross blood drive registrar. The church has had mission teams each summer to help them with ministry in the community. One major ministry is cutting, splitting and stacking firewood (usually 8-10 cords) in the church’s wood shed. When people in the community run low on wood, the church can give them a pickup bed of “free” firewood to get them through the winter.


    Although ministry in Lincoln is challenging, it is also rewarding to Gene and Pam to see how God has touched someone’s life through the Wednesday night Family Prayer Time or when someone they have been praying for comes into the church on a Sunday morning looking for hope. It is also rewarding to watch people growing in Jesus, becoming excited about worshipping with God’s people, and then bringing others to church with them and ministering in their lives.


    One challenge is that the church does not have a pianist at present. A member plays the guitar and leads a small worship team each Sunday. Gene says, “We would like to have a youth/worship person to come alongside of us to reach into the lives of our youth and young people, but with no jobs here, it is difficult for a person to financially afford to live here. But we are still praying!!!” Please pray with them for this need, and for their ministry in the small valley community of Lincoln.


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    MTSBC

    Wild Game Banquet Draws Capacity Crowd

    The Montana Southern Baptist Convention

    GRW2016

    With the aroma of prepared food dishes filling the inside of Lewistown’s Central Baptist Church on Friday evening, January 20th, over 200 church members and their invited guests filled Central’s Big Snowies Room to capacity for the church’s 12th annual Wild Game Banquet.


    Upon arrival, adult and student guests entered their names for numerous hunting and fishing related door prizes, as well as a chance to correctly score displayed antlers. More...

    GRW2016

    Church members and guests filed through a long serving line, choosing from a multitude of elk, deer, pheasant, mountain lion, bear and seafood dishes, complete with rolls and dessert offerings. While seated for dinner, attendees were surrounded by many beautiful deer, elk, bear and cat mounts that were on display.


    Guest speaker for the evening was Curtis Crow, a farrier by trade and current pastor of The Bridge Church in Belgrade. Curtis spoke of his background and personal testimony.


    The evening’s adult grand prizes included a brand-new Winchester hunting rifle with scope and two guided cow elk hunting trips. There was also a student grand prize drawing, with the winner receiving a new hunting rifle.


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    Claudean Boatman

    Literacy Missions: A Door to Sharing Jesus

    Claudean Boatman, National Literacy Missions Partnership

    Each State Convention is aware of the needs of the people in our areas—refugees, immigrants, students who need help in school, and adults who can't hold a job for lack of reading skills. Sharing the Gospel is made easier when we meet the felt needs of people in these groups.


    Refugees and immigrants need to speak English to do well in our country.


    Students having difficulty in school will benefit from tutoring provided by caring adults.


    Adults who need to read better can learn to read when they are taught one-to-one by an understanding peer.


    Your Convention does not have to re-invent the wheel when it comes to these ministries. You have available to you Basic Workshops that equip local church volunteers to begin a ministry targeting these people groups. Each NAMB-developed workshop includes proven teaching methods AND how to share Jesus Christ through these ministries. More...

    Contact me to find out how to begin one of these ministries. We have workshop leaders willing to travel to Conventions that do not have trained workshop leaders.


    If your State Convention has these ministries and you want to extend the reach, consider Leadership Workshop. Each summer the National Literacy Missions Partnership conducts a training that equips leaders of these workshops. See our web page for specific information about the training. National Leadership Workshop. Experienced ministry workers can be trained to help your Convention begin new ministries that intentionally share Jesus with their students.


    English as a Second Language ministries have potential to become church plants. Some church planters have also used tutoring ministries as a way to reach families who need a church. Adult reading and writing ministries can be used in conjunction with prison ministries, job skill ministries, and homeless ministries. There is no end to the ways God can use these ministries to bring people into His Kingdom!


    How can your Convention use these Send Relief ministries to share Jesus?


    Claudean Boatman is the coordinator of the National Literacy Missions Partnership that works with the North American Mission Board in training and supporting literacy missions volunteers.


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    GRW2016

    Lois H. Langley LUBBOCK-Lois H. Langley went home to be with her Lord on Thursday evening, Feb. 9, 2017, at the age of 102. Lois Eugenia Henson was born to William Eugene and Minnie Mary Henson on Sept. 30, 1914, in Abilene, Texas, the family having moved there from New Mexico by covered wagon for Lois's father to attend seminary at Simmons College, now Hardin Simmons University. The family relocated back to New Mexico after the college years where Lois's father became the first Southern Baptist Home Missionary to the new state of New Mexico, riding by horseback between three small, clapboard churches. More...

    Lois's early years, during some of which the family lived in a half-dugout, centered on those tiny churches and working with her father in early ministry. Her jobs included sweeping, stoking potbellied stoves and teaching herself to play on old, upright pianos. Following high school graduation from Mountainaire, NM, Lois taught in a one room schoolhouse for a couple of years before coming to Texas Technological College in 1935. She finished her degree in 1938, majoring in Spanish in hopes of one day going to the mission field. She graduated with honors, inducted into the Alpha Chi Honorary Society. Continuing her church work, Lois worked for First Baptist Church in Lubbock where she met Edward Earl Langley, marrying him on Oct. 10, 1941, just two months before Pearl Harbor and his deployment to the Atlantic theatre. Over the next four tumultuous years, Lois and Earl saw each other only a couple of times. Lois continued a lifelong career of church work, serving at Arnett Benson Baptist Church as secretary and, later, Educational Director. While later attending Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, Lois served as a secretary in the Southern Baptist Associational Office in Lubbock. Lois and Earl moved to Plainview, Texas upon his retirement from Sears Roebuck. There, Lois worked for First Baptist Church until she and Earl chose to fulfill her lifelong dream of entering international missions service. In 1970, Lois and Earl moved to Taichung, Taiwan where they worked for Morrison Christian Academy. Within a couple of years, they branched out into fulltime evangelism, teaching English as a second language to college students, medical students, prisoners and members of the diplomatic corps. Lois and Earl retired in 1980 returning to Lubbock. They started a Chinese Bible class near Texas Tech that evolved into the Lubbock Chinese church. Lois also worked for the Love Incorporated Prison Ministry, finally able to use her Spanish major from college, writing letters and answering Bible study questions from inmates. Returning to their home church, now Redbud Baptist Church, both Lois and Earl continued to serve there for many years, Lois teaching her Sunday school class until she was 95 years old. In Lois's retirement years, she published three books, Nest Stirrings, We Faint Not and All About Jesus. During those thirty plus years, Lois also maintained a devotional blog that went to over 400 addresses, locally to internationally. Her Southern Baptist Sunday School commentaries were posted by a son in Montana and utilized by over a 1,000 people weekly. One of her favorite quotes was, There is no retirement in the Kingdom of God. She truly lived her own words. Lois was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Edward Earl Langley; her parents; all seven of her siblings; one great-grandson, Tyler Moses Langley; and son-in-law, Malcolm Garrett, Jr. She is survived by three children: sons, Edward Philip Langley, and wife, Judy; Mark Alan Langley, and wife, Lauretta; and daughter, Marilyn Langley Garrett. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren: Greg Langley, and wife, Amy; daughters, Keri, and husband, David McBride; Laura; and stepdaughter, Alexa Chapman; Matt Garrett, and wife, Courtney, and children, Austin and Mason; Anthony Langley, and wife, Kim, and children, Christa, Cora, Thane and Lance; Jeremy Langley, and wife, April, and sons, D.J., Ethan, Isaac, Caleb and Hudson; Dr. Melissa Garrett and husband, Dr. Brad Zeithamel, daughter, Harper, and stepsons, Adam and Seth Zeithamel; Jonathan Langley, and wife, Laura, and children, Keely and Jadon; Aaron Langley and wife, Lori, and children, Peyton, Adree and Tyler (deceased). The theme of Lois's life was the longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows. Her commitment to Jesus Christ was the highlight and driving force of all she did. Her career paths were all in Christian ministry. All three of her children have followed her example of lifelong Christian service, resulting in a tremendous Christian legacy for the whole family and for the Kingdom of God. Friends are invited to come by to visit the family from 7 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, at Resthaven. The celebration service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, at Resthaven. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lottie Moon International Mission fund at Redbud Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas.

    MTSBC

    Battling sex trafficking, trekking to hotels & motels

    Grace Thornton, Baptist Press

    GRW2016
    Amy Lipovsky leads Legacy Church's battle against sex trafficking as members visit Detroit-area hotel and motel staffs to impart awareness of what they can do to help free entrapped young women. Photo by Allison Hix

    NOVI, Mich. (BP) -- Amy Lipovsky felt like a song playing on loop -- walking into the same hotels, saying the same things week after week and showing the same pictures of missing girls.


    "It's emotionally draining" trying to get people to care, she said of FRe Outreach, which helps hotel and motel employees in the Detroit suburbs to recognize and rescue victims of sex trafficking. "There's not a lot of visible return for your efforts."


    But Lipovsky couldn't shake the feeling that she had to keep going -- God had put these girls trapped in slavery on her heart. And as she kept going, something began to happen -- the people she talked to started to soften. They began to care. They began to pay attention. More...

    And then one day they spotted somebody.


    "We had a girl from Toledo who has been missing whose picture we had been showing to hotel employees, and she was identified at one of the hotels we went to," Lipovsky said. "We were able to give that information to the police."


    The police, however, didn't find the girl that day. They still haven't.


    But they had new information about where she'd been sighted, and Lipovsky had seen another small victory -- a hotel staff that noticed and cared.


    "Every time we have a hotel acknowledge this problem, it gives us even more hope," she said. "I believe that God can do anything. And I believe He can use us as His tools."


    'God, I can't do this'


    For Lipovsky, the journey from fearful to fiercely committed spanned several years -- at first, she didn't want to get involved in sex trafficking ministry.


    "I was first exposed to it on a mission trip to Los Angeles in 2010, and it was on that trip that I really began to grasp the depth of slavery people are trapped in," she said. "But I was disobedient. I said, 'God, I can't do this.'"


    But over the next few years, Lipovsky said God began to shatter her expectations in the midst of her fear. She became more and more passionate about taking action, and by 2014, Jon Hix, her pastor at Legacy Church in the Detroit suburb of Novi, had taken notice.


    He approached Lipovsky and asked if she would be interested in shadowing his girlfriend -- now wife -- Allison in Florida where she was involved in sex trafficking ministry at the time.


    "God clearly was moving in His people, and after connecting Amy and Allison, the FRe Outreach began to take shape," Jon Hix said.


    And Lipovsky said she took a deep breath and said, "OK, God -- here we go."


    What to look for


    Lipovsky, now ministry leader of FRe Outreach, said that through prayer and her work with Allison Hix in Florida, they quickly determined that their best strategy in metro Detroit was to raise awareness among hotel employees.


    "The way trafficking happens in the suburbs is through hotels and motels, not brothels and street prostitution," Lipovsky said.


    So she and volunteers from the church began visiting area hotels on a consistent basis, building relationships with the staff, showing them photos of missing women and helping them know how to read the signs of trafficking.


    "In nice hotels in affluent communities, we have them look for what you think of when you think of the movie 'Pretty Woman' -- more of a high-class call girl situation," Lipovsky said, though other victims may look like a woman on a business trip or even a mom.


    In two-star hotels, trafficking victims tend to be more unkempt, wearing dirty clothes and bringing with them few, if any, personal possessions, she said. They often have no identification, look like runaways and have men with them who seem like an odd pairing.


    "A lot of people, when they see these things, just don't know what to call it and are unsure about what's going on," Lipovsky said. "We want to help people pinpoint that we have these issues in our community and that hotels can help."


    FRe Outreach volunteers also provide three resources for hotel staff:


    1. A victim indicator card to help staff know what to look for and provide them with the National Human Trafficking Hotline Number, 1-888-373-7888.


    2. A discreet wallet-sized card to give potential victims the hotline number and texting hotline number.


    3. Pictures of high-risk missing teens in the region with instructions on which officials to call if they believe they have identified one in their hotel.


    Barb Fahrenkrug, a FRe Outreach volunteer, said some hotel staff members have warmed up to their visits and welcome them when they show up.


    "We don't want to be obnoxious -- we just want to show that we care about their business and the people who visit their hotel," Fahrenkrug said. "Building relationships with them is really a good thing. We've been able to pray for and minister to the staff as well. It's been a rewarding experience."


    But two years ago, she couldn't have been further from wanting to be involved.


    The 'scary' unknown


    When Legacy Church first presented the idea of FRe Outreach, Fahrenkrug said it sounded like a really needed ministry -- she intended to pray, but that was it.


    But God began to press on her heart that it wasn't about her comfort level, she said.


    "The unknown can be really scary, and sometimes I'd rather have blinders on than know what's going on. It's a yucky subject," Fahrenkrug said. "But there is so much need to advocate for these girls and to pray for a change of heart for the men who buy their services."


    Jon Hix said that volunteers are already seeing a difference in people's mindset as awareness spreads and hotel staff begin to pay attention to what has largely been under the radar. That's huge, he said, because those employees "are on the frontlines and their role is absolutely essential," he said.


    FRe Outreach and Legacy Church are also working to get other churches interested in starting ministries of their own, providing resources like kits and workshops for area congregations who don't quite know where to start.


    Tim Patterson, executive director of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan, said they are "doing an admirable job at reaching out to the real needs of their community and especially to those who are caught in the vortex of sex trafficking."


    It's a desperate problem that hides in the shadows, he said.


    Lipovsky agreed, saying she believes God can shine light into those dark places.


    "Even though it's a horrible, horrific problem, God can do anything through us if we just have faith and trust in Him," she said. "We just keep on going. It's about obedience and having that faith and knowing there's hope."


    For more information about FRe Outreach, contact Amy Lipovsky at amy.freoutreach@gmail.com.


    This article originally appeared on the Baptist Press news website: http://www.bpnews.net/48338/battling-sex-trafficking-trekking-to-hotels-and-motels. Grace Thornton is a freelance writer in Birmingham, Ala., and author of "I Don't Wait Anymore," a 2016 release from Zondervan.


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