We’re Getting Closer

Barrett DukeAll Enews

The Montana Southern Baptist Convention continues to grow its ability to serve our churches. Things are coming together in really great ways. Darren Hales, our Church Strengthening Director, has been crisscrossing the state and bringing some superb ministry training events to our churches. Recently, just for example, he has helped to put together and promote training for effective small group ministry, better church finance practices, and improving church leadership skills. He’s promoting a chaplaincy training event in Zortman as I write this article. To succeed, our churches must continue to have not only the best trained pastors, but also the best trained laymen and laywomen. The MTSBC is committed to providing the training you need for every area of ministry in your church. Contact Darren today and tell him what training your folks need. He will connect you with the training you’re looking for.

Our church planting work is developing well under the leadership of Lee Merck and his team. They’re developing additional ways our churches can be a part of a new church plant, too. It’s not necessary to be the only sponsoring church of a new work. Your church can be part of a church planting coalition, all working together to get one new work going. That’s the model we’re developing for a restart of our work in Glendive. It’s also the model we’re going to need in places like Bozeman, where housing prices continue to spike and meeting space is really hard to come by. Contact Lee when you’re ready to help share the gospel through a new church plant or restart.

Our partnership with Missouri is flourishing under the leadership of Steve Fowler. We have pastors traveling across the state continually right now looking for MTSBC churches to partner with. Many of our churches that have been looking for a church partner have already found one. And we still have Missouri pastors coming into the state looking for God’s place for them to serve. You can have a Missouri partner for practically anything God wants you to do. Just let Steve know what you want to get done and he’ll work with the Missouri Baptist Convention folks to find a church to work with you on that very thing.

Our pastors’ wives ministry is thriving under Denise’s leadership. They’re really looking forward to the upcoming Pastors’ Wives Retreat at Clydehurst Christian Ranch, September 23-25, this year. This is a super opportunity for the wives of our senior pastors to recharge their spiritual batteries. I hope all of our pastors will be willing to watch the children that weekend so their wives can participate. There are a limited number of spaces, but there are still some openings. Contact Denise for more information and to reserve a space before they’re all gone.

Yellowstone Christian College is in the middle of moving to its new campus near Kalispell. The college is moving from 13 landlocked acres in Billings to 550 forested acres just minutes west of Kalispell. Only God could make this happen, but as usual he works through people, and He is working mightily through our new YCC president Dr. Marvin Jones. This new campus, which was formerly a private boarding high school, comes complete with dorms, classrooms, and administrative space. There is even a huge indoor pool. The prayers, hard work, support, and vision of nearly 50 years has led to this new chapter in the college’s ministry to our churches. The college is enrolling now for the Fall semester. Now is the time for your students to take a look at this opportunity.

The Baptist Foundation of Montana has just unanimously elected a new Executive Director. Dan Farmer is taking over from Ed Hudson immediately as interim director. Our churches will vote on him as our permanent foundation director at our annual meeting in October. Dan has experience running multi-million-dollar projects and he has the vision we need to help the Foundation raise the money it needs to help our churches buy the land, build new buildings and expand and renovate existing buildings for the coming years of growth we’re going to see in Montana. If you’re looking for a place to invest money for the Lord’s work in Montana, this is the place to do it.

We’re still waiting for the border with Canada to open so we can join with our Alberta brothers and sisters in ministry there. I hear things are starting to relax, so maybe before the year is out, we can start that work back up. In the meantime, we can be praying for our Alberta partners and working with Sharon Ellington and Carla Bell as they lead us through our Montana Baptist Women’s Network to learn about missions, pray for our missionaries, equip ourselves for missions, and do the work of evangelism. I hope that you’ll give generously to our Montana State Missions Offering, Reach Montana, when we begin to receive that offering this fall. That money will all be used right here in Montana to help our pastors with unexpected emergencies and to fund evangelism, church planting, church growth, and human needs all across our state. 

Like I said we’re getting closer to our goal of being fully mobilized for all that God wants Montana Southern Baptists to do. Keep praying and keep asking God what He wants you to do to reach the lost and to make disciples. Let your MTSBC team know how we can come alongside and serve you as you serve the Lord and share His love.

About the Author

Barrett Duke

Barrett Duke is the Executive Director and Treasurer for the Montana Southern Baptist Convention.