June 1, 2022

 

Craig's Comments 

    
Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul. One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. Acts 13:1-3
 
Reading this passage, we may experience a type of culture shock as the church at Antioch realizes how blessed they are with leadership and instead of focusing on growth and momentum inside of the church (not a building, as the first building did not appear for 300 years), they said we need to send these men and start new works! That passion for sending is what we are praying toward at the PMBA! It defies all modern logic as we aspire to bigger and better churches, but the challenge to send did not come from a denominational entity or any other group, rather it was the Holy Spirit!
 
This should definitely cause us to pause. Pastors like J.D. Greear have testified many times that they could never out give God. Every time that they sent out planters, missionaries, etc. God always brought more people to fill their shoes. Such faith eludes so many these days as we aspire to elusive goals of organizational strength and stability. Amazingly, a PMBA church plant currently has three planters that they are not only seeking to send out, but also to help to fund and support with members from the congregation. That is what happened in Antioch! Sending out the gifted to make a Kingdom difference where we live, work, and play.
 
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For most of you reading this, you are nowhere near being ready to plant a church. You may be wondering what it means to even share your faith or make disciples. It has been said that every journey begins with a step! As we seek to advance the Kingdom through the network of the PMBA, we are mindful of the need for everyone to have a definite beginning of their faith as well as a trajectory toward growth. So many churches are engaging in such on a regular basis to encourage those in their congregations to serve and grow in their faith.
 
Recently Glenn View Baptist Church and Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Union Cross joined forces to assemble over 10,000 meals in partnership with an organization called Feed the Hunger Inc. https://www.feedthehunger.org/
 
While discipleship is not complete in the act of serving, it is definitely a step in the right direction when we envision the essence of being Christ followers! Sharing the Good News through acts of service is one effective tool that God has given us to communicate His great love.
 
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Having shared these exciting advances in the Kingdom through the faithfulness of PMBA churches, this brings us to this Summer. We are shifting the emphasis from a Missions Blast Month to Summer Serve. How might God lead your church to engage the community this Summer? Many churches already have exciting plans involving Vacation Bible School and other outreaches. Collide Church is ramping up for a city-wide outreach that they call Impact Yadkin. You may still be recovering from the recent pandemic and feel unsure about how God is leading your church. We would love to join you in praying and assessing the needs that exist in your circle of influence. If we can be of assistance in any form or fashion, please be in touch with us today!
 
Craig