Monday, August 18, 2008

140 New Churches Planted in Florida in 2007 by SBC

ATLANTA, Ga. (NAMB) - The Florida Baptist Convention was recently honored by the North American Mission Board’s church planting group for being No. 1 in the commitment to expand the Kingdom of God by planting 140 new churches in 2007, an achievement that led the Southern Baptist Convention in new church starts.

Accepting the church planting award for the Florida convention were Emanuel Roque, director of the Language Church Planting Department; Rick Lawrence, director of the Church Planting Department; and Maxie Miller, director of the African American Ministries Division.

“The Florida Baptist Convention is fortunate to have some of the nation’s leading church planting practitioners and an executive director-treasurer, Dr. John Sullivan, who values church planting,” said Cecil Seagle, director of the Convention’s Mission Division, which oversees the state’s church planting strategy. Recognition by the North American Mission Board is recognition of the outstanding work of Frank Moreno, Emanuel Roque, Maxie Miller, Rick Lawrence and their church planting teams.…

…(Geoff) Hammond (president of the North American Mission Board) stated he wants each of the 48,000 SBC churches in North America engaged in starting new churches to reach all people groups by 2020. In addition, he hopes to see every Southern Baptist crossing cultural and spiritual barriers to serve in some sort of short- or long-term mission endeavor by 2020.

During the four-day conference, NAMB also presented annual awards for outstanding achievements in evangelism and church planting to state conventions and individuals.

Steve Fowler, state director of missions for the Montana Southern Baptist Convention in Billings, Mont., was presented the “Dennis Hampton Rural Church Planting Award,” while Stanley K. Smith, state director of missions for the Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania-South Jersey, was given NAMB’s “People’s Choice Award” for “excellence in mentoring and coaching peers across North America in church planting.”

The Wyoming Southern Baptist Convention was recognized for its 200 percent increase in the number of churches planted in 2007 over 2006.

In addition to Florida, NAMB’s evangelization group recognized three other state conventions for their increase in the actual number of baptisms between 2006 and 2007. These included the Georgia Baptist Convention, the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

Four other state conventions were honored for “expanding the kingdom of God by the increase in percentage of baptisms between 2006 and 2007.” These were the Illinois Baptist State Association, Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention, Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, and the Convention of Southern Baptists of Puerto Rico.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Failure is not an option. Failure is essential!"

Rev. David LeRoy's most recent update from his ministry as Atlantic District Superintendent included this though-provoking quote:

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped, to deal with a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer

Perhaps you've read about the "Technology Life Cycle" or TLC which Wikipedia describes as being comprised of four phases:
(a) the research and development (R&D) phase (sometimes called the "bleeding edge") when incomes from inputs are negative and where the prospects of failure are high
(b) the ascent phase when out-of-pocket costs have been recovered and the technology begins to gather strength by going beyond some Point A on the TLC (sometimes called the "leading edge")
(c) the maturity phase when gain is high and stable, the region , going into saturation, marked by M, and
(d) the decline (or decay phase), after a Point D, of reducing fortunes and utility of the technology.
(pictured in the diagram below)

What is the most dangerous point in the cycle? When you think you've arrived! When you think you've learned all there is to know! When you believe you have it all figured out, packaged neatly, wrapped up tight and money in the bank!

While you're trumpeting the phonograph as your "final achievement," someone else is thinking up the iPod. Personally, I appreciate Edison's light bulb a lot more than his phonograph!

Craig Groeschel said it again at last week's Leadership Summit, "Failure is not an option. Failure is essential." In his new book "It," Craig quotes Irish writer Samuel Beckett: "Go on failing. Go on. Only next time, try to fail better."

What are you doing right now in your church that fits the profile of the R&D stage where "the prospects of failure are high?" If you're not failing, it's likely that you're not learning much.