The Columbia Metro Connection eNewsletter — August 8, 2018

A Message from George Bullard, Director

As Your Church Prepares Its Budget for the Next Year . . . 

. . . you are permitted to remember the association and to increase your gifts to the ministry of our churches-in-association. However, you ought to also ask me to make the case as to “why.” I promise if you keep reading you will discover some things helpful to the overall missional engagement of your church.

I have four things to share with you. Our situation. Your situation. Places where God is at work. Generosity pathways.

Our Situation

When I began as your Director of Missions 13+ months ago the association was spending almost $5,000 more per month more than its income. We were fast depleting our reserves. More than 90 percent of our income came from our churches-in-association. So, that was your money.

Continue reading HERE.

Samuel Hernandez’s Winding Road, Listening to the Lord, Led to Bi-vocational Ministry in Columbia

Samuel Hernandez has been pastor of Columbia’s Iglesia Hispana Dios es Amor for 18 years. It began meeting at First Baptist Church West Columbia and then at Killian Baptist Church, but since 2011 has met with the unanimous endorsement of leaders and members at Sandy Level Baptist Church, in Blythewood.

“When everyone comes together, we have between 40 and 50 in attendance,” Samuel says. “The church is mostly professionals, including engineers, a psychologist, teachers, and young people who have graduated from the University of South Carolina. My wife (Lillian) is a retired pharmacist.” Samuel and Lillian have three daughters and six grandchildren – all living in the Blythewood area.

He said the church has worked to reach other Hispanics in the community – many from Central and South America – but often finds that there is “a tribal mentality at work. If you don’t belong to the ‘tribe’ then you are out. I have just concentrated on a message of grace and preaching that is impossible to really live without Christ is us, and that He must live in and through us.”

Continue reading HERE.

Is Your Congregation Fishing in a Shallow Pond?

Find out at the CMBA Family Gathering Thursday, August 23rd at the SCBC Building

Register HERE for the lunch and speaker. (Formerly known as Vision Tuesday.)

Many congregations are only seeking to attract people into church membership who first visit their church, live in their immediate neighborhood, or who are family or friends of members. Little is done to figure out the deeper and larger characteristics of the mission field where God has placed them, much less to figure out if their congregation even matches that mission field.

This is like fishing in a shallow pond where your church is only seeking to catch the people who can be easily seen.

The results are varied. Perhaps the shallow pond in which you are fishing has a bunch of people and many choose to connect with your congregation. There is no need to fish in a deeper or larger lake. You have all you can handle out of the shallow pond.

In other situations, the shallow pond is composed of people uninterested in the bait your congregation is offering them. No matter how many times you stick your pole in the water you come up empty and bait-less.

The situation even exists where your congregation is not interested in connecting with the people in the shallow pond. Seems unchristian, doesn’t it. But it is real in too many congregations.

What should we do? Here is a beginning point. Continue reading HERE.

Calendar/Events

We covet your prayers for these experiences and the congregations and leaders who will be involved. To see logistical details about each of these, go to the calendarpage of the web site.

  • Thursday, August 23rd is a CMBA Family Gathering on The Demographic and Lifestyle Opportunities for the CMBA Context and Churches. (formerly Vision Tuesdays) Noon to 1:45 p.m. at SCB C building. Register HERE.
  • Monday – Wednesday, August 27th-29th is the next Congregational Champions “Retreat” held in the office of the association. It is three days where participants learn a process for leading their congregation through transitions and changes to transform for the next chapter in the life of their congregation. It starts at 1:00 p.m. on the first day and ends at 1:00 p.m. on the third day with no evening sessions. For more information contact George Bullard directly at 803.622.0923 or GeorgeBullard@ColumbiaMetro.org.
  • Saturdays September 22nd and 29th – Inasmuch Days in CMBA. Our prayer is to see many churches in our association serving their communities. The Operation Inasmuch ministry has developed helpful tools and approaches to assist churches in conducting successful ministry experiences. Quarters for Jesus is a sample story of how a little girl in a congregation sprang into action to support a compassion revolution through her church. If your church wants to be involved in one of these Saturdays, contact Cathy Locklear at 803.622.0303 or CathyLocklear@ColumbiaMetro.org. She has a training kit and will also personally help your church get ready.
  • October 4th is the CMBA Annual Family Reunion at Spring Valley Baptist Church. Details to follow. Save the date!

Conversations around our family of congregations

NorthStar Christian Center:  Needed!  A late model mini-bus for our After School Academy children pick-up – contact Jesse Risher – 803.736.9250

Baptist Collegiate Ministry:  Needed! The first three weeks of college are pivotal for young adults students to find a Christian community for their four college years. If you have a graduating high school senior about to enter college in South Carolina or a student already in college, please send their contact information to the Carolina BCM at carolinabcm@gmail.com, 803.799.3854, or BCM, 819 Main St., Columbia, SC 29201.

Pray for Congregations Seeking a New Pastor:Columbia First Baptist Church, Stephen Greene Baptist Church, and Hope Baptist Church.

Several of our churches need music and worship leaders. If you know of people who desire to serve part-time in this area of ministry in a church, please have them send a resume to George Bullard at GeorgeBullard@ColumbiaMetro.org.

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