August 2020 – Mission Director’s Report

This week I have been contacted by representatives of two of our churches who wanted to get some advice or help in the dispersion of funds and/or items from their churches who have reached the point of closing their doors.

Needless to say, this is not the kind of news we want to hear, but it is becoming a reality too often. Neither of these decisions are the result of anything that has happened in the last few months of upheaval in our country, but are the result of separate circumstances in each church and have been made after much prayer and soul-searching.

I commend those in charge of both these churches for wanting to make sure their assets and property are used in a way to help other churches or various ministries of our associated work and that is why they have made contact for assistance or guidance in these matters.

In the last year I have had conversations with several local churches who are showing concern over decreasing attendance and lack of growth due to various reasons including, a lack of pastors who are available, decreasing funds coupled with increasing costs, decreased interest or enthusiasm in church growth, or just overall weariness in working as God leads.

I realize there are Biblical remedies for all of our problems and we should never want to give up doing what we can to keep our doors open.

But there are also times when God is no longer working through certain congregations and He is ready for those involved to seek His guidance and do whatever will help all involved. Sometimes we reach the point when we must move on and get refocused and refreshed spiritually, just like we need refreshed physically, morally, and intellectually.

When we see our fellow Christians making some decisions that we are not pleased with we need to be careful to not criticize them, but show love and give encouragement to them as they seek God’s will. Even if our friends in Christ are getting on the wrong track, we need to follow Paul’s advice to the Galatian Christians in Galatians 6:1. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Never condone any wrong but encourage what is right.

I’m not condemning those churches who feel they must close, but I am encouraging us to prayerfully help one another to do what God knows is best and to encourage those who have to make some very difficult decisions at various times in their ministry.

We know not what we might face in the days ahead, but we know God knows all things and He will guide us to do what is best as we seek His leadership.

Let’s pray for one another as we follow God!

by James Hoffman

Emmanuel Baptist Church in St. Louis

Due to continuing health issues, Bro. David Griggs has informed the editor that, after 30+ years he is resigning as pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in St. Louis and the church has voted to disband. They are selling their property and have two offers at this time. They also have some song books, a good piano and an organ and other items that they would love to see used in other churches. If you are interested contact Bro. Griggs at 314-724-4204.

One Hundred Years from NOW!

by Jeff Swart, BMAA President

Five thousand pastors were recently surveyed and asked, “What do you think is the greatest need in the church today?” Interestingly enough, 98% listed as their number one or number two response: “To get the laymen involved in doing the work of the ministry.” The results of this survey is certainly no surprise to pastors since most of them know that the Pareto Principle is true: 20% of the people do 80% of the work in the church.

It is amazing to me how busy people are today. Everyone is busy! From the family with children to the retired couple, everyone complains about being busy. I confess that I too am busy. Have you noticed that busy people are never too busy to stop and tell you how busy they are? In fact, I have done that very thing!

I am not alarmed at the fact that almost everyone is busy, but I am alarmed at what they are busy doing. Most believers are busy doing things that have nothing to do with the Lord’s work. Therefore, when they run out of time, guess who gets cut out of their busy schedule? That’s right — God.

When addressing the subject of priorities, Jesus shared this commandment with His disciples, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33 NIV). What “things” was Jesus referring to? He promised that, if we put Him first, He would provide the food, drink and clothing that we need. (Matt. 6:25-32) So the principle is simple — if you want to save some time in your busy schedule, put Jesus first in all things and then He will provide the essentials of life.

Someone once penned these thought provoking words: “One Hundred years from now, it won’t matter if you lived in a Fifth Avenue mansion or in an alley shack; whether you wore expensive suits or hand-me-downs; whether you were known among the world’s elite or to the vast army of nobodies…”

So the next time you are about to break under the load of a busy schedule, think about what will matter a hundred years from now. In reality, only what you have done for Christ will matter then! If that is all that will matter then, that is all that should matter now!

Can COVID-19 Stop Us?

by: Jordan M. Tew, Assist. to the Director of Baptist Publishing House

Dear friends, I am concerned about the current state of our churches. Consider what has become “normal” for us: we are barely meeting for weekly worship, some congregations have eliminated singing praises to our Lord, most churches are not actively going out into their communities to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, and Sunday School classes are off the table in a growing number of churches. What in the world is going on?

Now before anyone takes offense at these words, let me assure you I understand there are churches and individuals who have decided to cancel various meetings and have made changes to better protect their health and safety. I applaud that and understand those decisions are difficult to make. There is a need to abide by the law of the land, if possible and if it does not go against the commands of the Bible.

However, an ongoing lack of corporate worship, evangelism, and Bible teaching can never become “the new normal.” God’s Word and His mandate to His churches have not changed. Are we being faithful during these days? Are we preaching the Gospel as we ought? Are we worshipping as the Bible instructs us? Are we baptizing and taking the Lord’s Supper? Are we neglecting anything God has commanded us?

I wonder if covid-19 is the biggest obstacle we will face in our lifetime? I would assume it is not. If this virus proves to be an ongoing setback for our churches, then how will we respond to the other trials Christ has promised we will face? How will we handle famine, nakedness, and sword or persecution, hatred, and false prophets (Romans 8, Matthew 24)? Will we stand on the promise that Hell itself will not prevail against us or will we merely limp along until Jesus returns?

The truth is, God’s people have always assembled and ministered despite trials. In the roughly 2,000 year span since Jesus walked on this earth, His churches have faced persecution, plague, war, starvation, terrorism, economic instability, and governmental opposition. How we handle our current situation will impact our children and our grandchildren directly.

God’s people are well-acquainted with suffering and difficult times. In fact, we have often thrived under harsh conditions and God has used times like our own to usher in great outpourings of salvation and revival. We have not been called to comfort or safety. We have been called to faithfulness. Will covid-19 stop us? Perhaps a better question is “Can covid-19 stop us?

Consider the words of our Savior and the Cornerstone of your church: “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

July 2020 – Mission Director’s Report

October 10, 2020, We hope to be able to have our Baptist, Missionary Association of Missouri annual business meeting at Zion Missionary Baptist Church which will start at 9:00 a.m. Until then we need to be praying that all our churches will make plans to have three messengers attend this meeting to help make plans for the work we need to do in 2020-2021.

We need this time of planning, worshipping and fellowship to draw us closer as we face the year ahead determined to do our best for the Lord.

Among the business that day will be hearing the reports of our various departments, electing officers and other committee members, electing a new Missions Director, enjoying special singing and a special time of worship, and enjoying the opportunity to get to know each other better.

As you can see in the financial report for the month of June (above) our financial picture is good and from what various pastors are saying we are anxiously waiting to find the man the Lord has for us to plant a new church in Missouri and the surrounding area! Let’s pray that we can announce plans to get started soon!

Please let nothing you can help interfere with your being present at this meeting. Zion Baptist Church is located at 3485 Baumgartner Rd, St. Louis, MO 63129.

From Our Editor…
As we have started the last quarter of this associational year, we are somewhat disappointed in that we do not have anyone to nominate as a new editor, as we had hoped earlier this year. I have told the Publications Committee that I am willing to continue as editor at least for another year since no one else has applied. Let’s pray that someone feels God leading them to this ministry during the next year!

I call your attention to the Third Quarter financial report of the Missouri Missionary Baptist at the end of this page. It reveals the fact that we will be out of funds before July is over unless we get some Special Gifts soon!

Please prayerfully consider giving a special offering to the MMB this month or lead your church to start supporting the paper on a regular basis.

I realize many of our churches are having financial problems at this time and some may not be able to give any extra. But I encourage those who can to help us out.

We have many church reporters who are faithful to send their news reports each month and other pastors and leaders who contribute material for publication monthly or from time to time during the year and I appreciate all these who help in this way.

But if we do not have an increase in income we will not be able to publish the MMB for an extend amount of time.

The monthly average to keep this ministry going is nearly $ 1,600 so you can see that we are needing help soon.

Thank you who are supporting this ministry with your finances, prayers, encouragement, comments and suggestions. I am truly grateful for each of you.

If you have any ideas that can help improve this ministry please let me know and let’s work together to make it a project that will bring glory to God and strength and encouragement to each other.

May God bless each of our churches in the BMA of MO!!

Help Needed to Provide Everlasting Smiles

Friends, we need your help! Your church is invited to partner with us to provide Everlasting Smile Christmas Shoeboxes to missionaries in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and Nicaragua.

These shoeboxes are a great tool to help our missionaries meet and build relationships with people. Many people will come to a service that is providing a “gift from the States” that would otherwise not come to service.

This year, more than ever, we are excited to send the boxes. This will provide a great opportunity for our missionaries to connect and reconnect after a long time of quarantine. Many people in these countries have lost jobs, money is tight, and that means they don’t have much food. The boxes will bring much joy to parents and children.

Packing a shoebox is a great way to help open doors to spread the gospel to people who may otherwise never attend a service. It seems like a simple thing for us, but to our missionaries, it is a vital tool for ministry.

The smile that a child finds when opening a shoebox is often for a moment, but the love of Jesus that they find through this ministry is the Everlasting Smile.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or go to bmamissions.org/christmas-shoeboxes for more information. We look forward to working with you to provide Everlasting Smiles.

*PLEASE NOTE: We will not mail a packet to each church this year. Please forward this email to the person responsible for the Christmas Shoebox campaign in your church!

Thank you,
Dr. Ralph Izard & Angela Rice
angela@bmamissions.org

501-455-4977

Justification By Faith Illustrated

Romans 4:1-25

by Dennis Baker

Justification in both the Old and New Testaments has always been by faith and grace. No one has ever been justified by works or keeping the law. The text provides three principles illustrating the spiritual experience of believers today is similar to that of Old Testament believers Abraham and David.

Principle One, justification is by faith and not works, Vs. 1-8. “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness”, V. 3. At the age of seventy-five God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation, Genesis 12:2-3. Later in life, Abraham raised a question to God concerning his promise, “what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless,” Genesis 15:2. God confirmed His promise by assuring Abraham that his seed would be like the stars. Abraham simply took God’s Word at face value and believed God. Abraham believed in his heart that God had told him the truth. Abraham’s faith was never something that he could boast about or for which he could receive praise, he simply believed God would accomplish what He had promised.

Quoting from Psalm 32:1-2 in verse 8, David’s song of confession of sin, Paul illustrates that God forgives sin and imputes righteousness without works. Today, believers can be assured that once they are justified by faith, our record contains Christ’s perfect righteous and our record can never again contain our sins. Christians do sin, and these sins need to be forgiven if we are to have fellowship with God, but these sins are not held against us. God does keep a record of our works, so that He might reward us when Jesus comes, but he is not keeping a record of our sins.

Principle Two, justification is by grace and not the law, Vs. 9-17. Abraham was declared righteous fourteen years before he was circumcised. Circumcision had nothing to do with God declaring Abraham justified. Circumcision, as a sign, was evidence that Abraham belonged to God because he believed God’s promises. Circumcision, as a seal was a reminder to Abraham that God had given the promise and that God would keep His promise. Today the believer experiences a spiritual circumcision of the heart and is sealed by the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13. Circumcision did not add to Abraham’s faith, it merely provided evidences of Abraham’s faith. The fact that Abraham was justified by grace and not the law proves that salvation is available to all. God’s promise is by faith, so that it might be guaranteed to all people who believe. If we could be saved by keeping the law, and not grace, there would be no guarantee that salvation would be available to all who believe.

Principle Three, justification is by resurrection power and not human effort, Vs. 18-25. God’s delay in sending Abraham and Sarah a son was to permit their natural strength to decline. It would seem impossible for a ninety-nine-year-old man and an eighty-nine-year-old woman to have a child. From the reproductive point of view, both of them were dead. Abraham did not walk by sight but by faith. Abraham believed God’s promises. Application, God waits until the sinner is “dead” or not strong enough to do anything to please God for salvation. When Abraham admitted that he was “dead” God’s power went to work on the body. It is when the lost sinner confesses that he is spiritually dead and unable to help himself that God can save him. The Gospel “is the power of God unto salvation” because of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The resurrection of Christ is proof that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice and we can be justified without God violating His own law or contradicting His own nature. The Key to salvation is “if we believe,” v. 24.


Dr. Harry Ironside, who for 18 years was pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago, was on vacation visiting a Sunday school class. The teacher asked, “How were people saved in the Old Testament times?” One man replied, “By keeping the law.” That’s right,” said the teacher. But Dr. Ironside interrupted: “My Bible says that by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.” The teacher was

a bit embarrassed, so he said, “Well, does somebody else have an idea?” Another student replied, “They were saved by bringing sacrifices to God.” “Yes, that’s right!” The teacher said and tried to go on with the lesson. But Dr. Ironside interrupted, “My Bible says that the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin.” The unprepared teacher was sure the visitor knew more about the Bible than he did, so he said, “Well you tell us how people were saved in the Old Testament!” And Dr. Ironside explained that they were saved by faith-the same way people are saved today!”

The good news for the people of the world, all of whom are guilty before God because of their sin, is that God in His grace offered His Son as a sacrifice to pay the penalty of sin. Those who place their faith in Jesus Christ are counted as righteous and receive the gift of eternal life.

Bibliography: Wiersbe, Warren W., Be Right NT Commentary Romans. Colorado Springs, Co: David C. Cook, 1977.

Be a “Camp DEWr” in 2020

A “Camp DEWr” is an individual who gives $ 75.00 or more to camp in a year. It is a great way for YOU to support camp.

“Camp DEWrs” receive a free T-shirt and will have a special retreat weekend open only for DEWrs June 19-20, 2020. DEWrs get special recognition camp week.

It is time to apply for your membership for 2020 to the camp! If you were a “Camp DEWr” last year you must renew you status for 2020. Therefore if you renewing or joining for the first time send your $ 75 or more to Sis. Laura Polk at P.O. Box 271, Matthews, MO 63867. For more information call her at (573)472-1038, or email her at campgarwood@gmail.com.

A “Camp DEWr” weekend is a special retreat. We’ll have special guests and activities planned.

Jesse & Rebecca Hales BMA of America Church Planter at Anchor, Austin, TX

A lot has happened these first 4 months of 2020! No, I’m not just talking about the world shutting down. We started our first small group Bible study in January with a total of 13 people. The group has grown close over these months and we are blessed to see people growing closer to God in discipleship. We have continued to reach out into the community through any open door we can find, trying to build as many personal relationships as possible in hopes that those will turn into changed eternities. We have had to change our methods as the world has changed, but I think the virus has actually opened more doors for us than closed.

A New Partnership

At the end of February our 6-month internship with Antioch Georgetown ended and we met with the leadership of both the BMA of Texas and the National BMA. They were excited to see what God has been doing. With that, they shared the same main concern we have had from the beginning which is our lack of another missionary family to partner with in this ministry. It’s not impossible for one family to start a church on their own, but history and scripture show that it is much preferred to minister with a partner. We’ve been praying for such a partner since we first felt God leading us here.

The leadership of both associations agreed to continue to support us with the understanding that we would keep praying and actively seeking such a partner in ministry.

They also asked if we would be willing to pray about the possibility of merging our ministry and partnering with Chris Mindi, another BMA church planter 9 miles away in Leander. Chris and I went through assessment together and moved to the same area at the same time with the same purpose to start a new church and see people saved and growing in God. We have both been praying for a long time, asking God to give us a ministry partner. As they asked if I would pray about it, they made sure I didn’t feel any pressure from them to answer one way or another but simply pointed out from their observations that we seemed to be a great match for each other. I told them I would pray about it.

After having several meetings with Chris and Sarah and reaching out to several of our closest prayer warriors, we spent time waiting on God and praying for clear direction. After about a month and a half I felt that God had clearly knit my heart together with Chris’ and made it clear that we were to join them in ministry.

We are all very excited to see what God is going to do with this new partnership. I’m sure as I have time and space in the future to share more with you about this, you too will see how incredible God is in the way He has brought us and fit us together. He never ceases to amaze me.

Although this will be a big change for us there are a lot of things that will not change. We have made a lot of great contacts here in Round Rock and fully plan to continue to grow those relationships. Nothing is changing about our support or how to send that in. Our dependence on your prayers certainly doesn’t change either, nor does our commitment to starting a church to see people saved and growing in discipleship. What does change is now we have a partner and can do that much more effectively. Thank you, and we will do our best to keep in touch more regularly.

From God’s Word and My Heart – May 2020

by Ben Kingston – Pastor Bethel Baptist Church

Well, we have been through and are still going through an unprecedented time for our churches, state, nation, and world – our first pandemic in the last 100 years.

As you know, I like to stay on the positive side, and there are definitely a few positives that we can take from this trial through which we are going.

One is personal. I can’t speak for you, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the at-home time with my family and the greater focus this has brought to my personal relationship with Christ.

One of the breakthroughs that I want to share with you I will also be sharing with Bethel for our May 3rd message. I have applied the Ephesians 3:10-18 passage quite literally for about 28 years now, where I pray the armor on piece by piece with a prayer of faith. I see this as a command from scripture, and an act of discipline and discipleship in the area of spiritual warfare. However, I have always struggled with total comprehension as to the meaning and significance of each piece.
This week on my walk, I started asking God for a greater understanding, and I have changed my approach to praying on this suit of armor. I no longer just pray each piece by name, but I include in my prayer the phrase that connects each piece with what I believe to be the main significance of that piece.

Now a disclaimer: I have never claimed scholarly abilities or single ownership of an interpretation of a passage, so I offer this as a possible meaning and application of this passage.

What does the helmet of salvation mean to and for us? Security – salvation is forever and makes us secure in Christ. If we are not careful, we struggle daily with our security and significance. This is futile, and an exercise in folly. If we know Christ, He is our only source of significance and security.

The breastplate of righteousness is our focus. We are called to be holy, to separate ourselves from the world. This is our ‘being,’ not our ‘doing’ side of our life.

Dr. Gavin Hooks uses an illustration of the garden. There were two trees: one they could eat of, and the other they could not. Every time Adam and Eve walked by the tree of life and there was fruit on it, this was God saying, “I love you.” Every time Adam and Eve walked by the tree of knowledge of good and evil and did not eat the fruit, they were saying to God “we love you!” So, when we focus on righteousness and say no to the world, we are saying to God, “we love you!”

The Girdle of truth is our guidance. The only way we understand all of these truths is through the guidance of God’s Word. Daily decisions are directed by God’s Word in our lives.

The Shoes of the Gospel of peace is our purpose. This is the ‘doing’ side of our life. We are left here for one reason and one reason only: to bring Glory to God with the propagation of the Gospel.

John McArthur says, “everything else that we can do here on earth towards God, we can do better in heaven.” So our main reason to remain on earth is to share the Glorious Gospel of Christ.

The shield of Faith is our practice. All of these areas of Christian discipleship that the pieces of armor point to are only possible as we practice the faith that God has called us to. Faith that believes that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

The sword of the Spirit is our power. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

As you see, each piece of armor supports some other. As we put on the armor, it forces us to recognize that we are not of this world, we belong to Christ and are therefore secure in Him.

Out of gratitude, we focus on being righteous to show our love to Him. By being separate from this world, we are guided by God’s Word. As we live out our purpose to share His gospel with a lost world, practicing our faith daily, we rely on the power of God’s Word to change other’s lives as He changes ours.

There’s one last thing I want to share: isn’t it amazing how many churches (including Bethel) have a greater web and internet presence because of this trial? Praise God for His local churches adapting and meeting the need in their communities.

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