THE COLUMBIA METRO CONNECTION – WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, 2019

A Message from George Bullard, DirectorFirst Impressions – That Transition Zone Between Proactive and Reactive

There are two types of congregations – proactive and reactive. Proactive congregations are assertive in telling their story of Jesus to people in their community context and inviting them to attend worship, small groups, and events at their church. Reactive congregations are waiting to see who might come to their church and hoping someone will.
 
The Transition Zone between proactive and reactive is the first impressions or guest services provided by congregations. If proactive congregations are successful in getting people with whom they connect to attend something at their church, but where to park, where to enter, where to go, and the inviting and loving atmosphere of the church is lacking, then only a small percentage of these people may come a second time.
 
The variable is that if congregational participants have already established a deep relationship with people who come try you out, then more than you expect might stick. Reactive congregations do not have this advantage. For the reactive congregation, if the first impressions and guest services are not excellent then few people will come back a second time, and you have no relationship already established with them.
 
How is your Transition Zone?
 
Excellent first impressions and guest services will be the subject of the Vision Day Lunch and Speaker on May 21st, Noon to 2:00 p.m. at Spring Valley Baptist Church at 91 Polo Road in Columbia. Mary Ann Sibley will be our presenter and she has a wonderful testimony and great experience to address this issue.
 
Lunch is free. Registration is essential. Register HERE.
CMBA Moderator Ralphetta Davis Is Inspired by International Missions Experiences
 
Columbia native Ralphetta Davis just returned from her second mission trip to Puerto Rico in less than a year. Those teams helped repair homes and a church damaged from Hurricane Maria in 2017 and worked to build relationships on behalf of the church in the local community. On her most recent trip, Ralphetta especially enjoyed the time her team spent at a senior living center located in a nearby mountain region of the country.
 
“In Puerto Rico we are seeing God bring more people into the knowledge of who He really is. I was so overwhelmed at the greeting we received at the senior center. They showed so much love for us,” she says.
 
The team painted the residents’ finger nails and played board games with some of the men, and Ralphetta says the experience sparked a desire to serve her local community in new ways. In fact, her international missions experience has given her a different perspective on her role in sharing the gospel.
 
Continue reading HERE.
Connecting with Internationals, Immigrants, and Strangers in Our Midst
 
During 2019 CMBA is highlighting the open doors of opportunity God is giving us to connect with internationals, immigrants, and others who are living in our midst as students and professionals for a season, people who have immigrated into our country, and other strangers in our midst.
 
A core missional issue this presents is that God is bringing the people of the world to the Midlands of South Carolina and offering us the opportunity to befriend them, and to authentically share with them our story of Jesus. Too few of us go to their country of origin to tell our story of Jesus, so God has placed them in our midst and dared us to not share the unconditional love of God with them.
 
Two areas of ministry are highlighted during May. First, is the opportunity to sign up with Baptist Collegiate Ministries to host or befriend an international student for the upcoming academic year of 2019 to 2020. In the past week more than two dozen families have signed up to connect with an international student. Ultimately, we would like to have 100 families signing up.
 
Want more information and to know where to sign up? Then go to http://www.carolinabcm.org/host-an-international-student. Even if you sign up, what do you do? You attend one of the three orientation and training sessions being held over the summer to get you ready. After you attend you will have the information necessary to carry out this ministry. The sessions are only 90 minutes in length. After you sign up you will receive information about the dates, time, and place for these sessions.
 
Second, there are 15 formally organized ethnic fellowships or associations in the Midlands. Ryan Dupree and Robbie McAlister have been meeting with the leaders of their associations. The last week of May a gathering will be held where many of these ethnic leaders will be present. We are inviting leaders from our member churches to attend to discover what they can do to come alongside these associations to provide ministry to them.
 
The doors to international, immigrant, and stranger ministry are open wide. What can your congregation do to walk through these open doors?
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 calendar page of the website.
May 19thDialogue at 2:00 p.m. about the Future of Good Hope Baptist Church, at 11500 Garners Ferry Road in Eastover. Good Hope has ceased to exist as a worshipping congregation. Its facilities are on the National Historic Registry. A time of dialogue and prayer will be held at the church to talk about what the association might do with this facility and its cemetery. Churches are invited to send two or three representatives to this gathering.
 
May 21stVisionary Leadership Community meeting at 10:00 a.m. at Spring Valley Baptist Church at 91 Polo Road in Columbia.
 
May 21st: Vision Day Lunch and Speaker, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Spring Valley Baptist Church at 91 Polo Road in Columbia. The speaker will be Mary Ann Sibley of www.MatterSpark.com on First Impressions and Guest Services. Lunch is free, but registration is essential. Register HERE.
Conversations around our family of congregations
Pray for Churches Spiritually Discerning Their Next Steps: We have at least six churches in our association who are seeking to discern God’s next steps for them. Will their exist a year or two from now? What should their next steps be? Should they consider being adopted by a sister or brother congregation? Please hold these unnamed churches up in your prayers.

Pray for a New Meeting Place for Congregations: We are working with several congregations needing to find a new meeting place near their membership and attendees. Please pray as we work on this. One is in Columbia near the Forest Acres area.

Pray for Great Spiritual Discernment as Two Congregations Meet Next Week. One congregation is presenting a proposal to adopt another congregation. We pray that everyone will be open to the movement of God’s Spirit.

CMBA Has Changed Its Mailing Address: Columbia Metro Baptist Association has changed its mailing address to Columbia Metro Baptist Association, PO Box 23192, Columbia, SC 29224.

CMBA Has Changed Its Telephone Number: The new telephone number is 803.619.7110.
 
Need a Guest Singing Group at Your Church? Shandon Baptist Church has several singing groups who would like to sing and enhance worship in your church. Contact Scott Lee at Scott@Shandon.org or 803.782.1300, ext. 107.
 
 
In each issue of the newsletter, this space is reserved for the needs, wants, and announcements of our Columbia Metro Association family of churches, and their pastors and staff. Please send contributions by email to CMBA@ColumbiaMetro.org
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