In this edition:
  • Dr. Mac's Minute: God's Will...My Way
  • October is Cooperative Program month
  • Dakota Baptists set to meet in Mandan
  • Around the Dakotas
  • Cornerstone Church ordains new deacon
  • Associations hold annual meetings
  • Black Hills churches celebrate anniversaries
  • Eagle Butte pastor coordinating DR team
  • Calvary Baptist begins American Heritage Girls troop
  • Dakotans head on mission to South Africa
  • MinistrySafe helps churches confront abuse
  • Baptist Press: MinistrySafe develops training events for abuse prevention in response to COVID-19
  • Champion your pastor in October (Pastor appreciation month)
  • CP Story: Katelyn Summers
Dr. Mac's Minute
God’s Will . . . My Way

Passage:     Exodus 2:11-22
Focus:         vv. 11-12

Do you remember Frank Sinatra’s song, “I Did it My Way”? It is a powerful, emotional, beautiful song . . . and, it’s a lousy personal philosophy! It’s self-centered, self-absorbed, and ultimately self-defeating . . . but at least it’s honest! People tend to do things their own way and call it God’s way. This isn’t new.

Moses grew up in the lap of luxury but at some point, he learned about his Hebrew heritage. We don’t read in Scripture what thoughts ran through his mind as day after day he saw his “brethren” being abused and heard their painful groans; but a tipping point came the day he watched a whip coming down hard on the back of a fellow Israelite.

At that moment, something deep in his soul snapped. Moses knew that what he had seen all his life was wrong. He knew someone had to step up and do something. And, for the first time in his life, he realized that someone’s name was “Moses.” It was time for him to do God’s will. Unfortunately . . . he decided to do God’s will Moses’ way. Thinking no one would see, he murdered the Egyptian soldier.

Why is it that whenever you think no one is watching . . . someone is watching? Someone was watching that day and everything Moses had envisioned in his mind went sideways. The Israelites he thought he was defending did not trust him (maybe history’s first case of “no good deed goes unpunished”!) and Pharaoh, whom he might have thought would appreciate his bold defense of the defenseless, didn’t! Before long Moses was running for his life. His flight left him on the backside of a desert for the next four decades herding sheep.

The saddest part of this story, to me, is that this became a recurring pattern for Moses. On several occasions we find Israel’s leader trying to do the right thing, but not able to let go of the reins long enough to do it God’s way (Ex. 18:17-18, 32:19-20, Num. 11:10-15, Num. 20:10-12 are just a few instances). Some had greater consequences than others, but each left him weary, discouraged, whining, and/or defeated.

The best part of the story, to me, is that, despite his flaws and the number of times Moses fell flat on his face, God was always there like a loving Father to provide correction, education, redirection, and a new opportunity.

I see three valuable lessons as we strive to, “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). First, no matter how big or important you become, you WILL mess things up, even the things you want to do for Jesus. Not always, but often enough to remind us that we are not God. Second, little things are important. Minor character flaws today will perpetuate themselves and grow into larger flaws. Don’t ignore them and don’t ignore God’s work in your life to correct them. Third, God is bigger than your mistakes. Don’t allow Satan to bully you with condemnation (Rom. 8:1) or accusation (Rev. 12:10). God is the God of second (and third, fourth, fifth . . .) chances. Receive His correction, cleansing, and commissioning and move forward for His glory.

Note: This is the third in a six-part series of devotionals, “The Life of Moses . . . the Early Chapters.” If you missed the first two in the August and September issues of Dakota Happenings, email us at fred@dakotabaptist.com and we will send you copies.
October is Cooperative Program month

October is Cooperative Program month across the Southern Baptist Convention. Since 1925, Southern Baptist churches have been willing and working together to take the name of Jesus to a lost and dying world.

Thank you to all our churches in North and South Dakota for your partnership in taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ across the Dakotas and around the world. 75% of your CP gifts stay right here in the Dakotas to declare the mighty name of Jesus. The remainder is partnered with the gifts of other Southern Baptists to support the mission work of more than 7000 missionaries and planters in North America and on international mission field, seminary education, and several other areas of cooperative Kingdom work. You can read the CP story of one of our missionary families each week in our weekly Dakota Happenings update.

In the coming year the Dakota Baptist Convention will invite DBC churches to designate a CP Ambassador. These missions warriors will receive training and resources to champion the cooperative mission work of our Dakota Baptist churches within their own church. Perhaps God will put His hand on you to become part of this important missions team.
Dakota Baptists set to meet in Mandan

The annual meeting of the Dakota Baptist Convention is set to meet October 7-8 at the Baymont Inn & Suites in Mandan, ND. The theme for this year’s meeting is “Willing & Working Together for Him.” The theme text is Philippians 2:13.

This year’s Dakota Gathering will be presided over by DBC president Paul Young and vice-president Jeffrey Mueller. Young is the pastor at Dakota Baptist Church in Fort Totten, ND, and Mueller serves as pastor for Restore Church in Yankton, SD, and a church plant in Crofton, NE.

The meeting will begin on Thursday afternoon at 2:00 with a “Willing & Working Together Conference.” Dillon Rykard from Cornerstone Church in Williston, ND, will lead worship. Willie McLaurin, Vice President of Great Commission Relations for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee will bring the opening message. The plenary session will be followed by men’s and women’s breakout sessions.

The women’s session will be led by Kristy Wallace from Hope City Church in Bismarck, ND and Denise MacDonald from Hills of Grace Church in Rapid City, SD. The men’s session will feature messages from Dakota pastors John Flowers and Matt Hadden. Flowers serves at Living Hope Church in West Fargo, ND. Hadden is at Creator’s Fellowship in Sharps Corner, SD. Young will close the session with a time of prayer.

A banquet will be served Thursday evening. Representatives from several SBC agencies will provide greetings and reports on the cooperative work being conducted by Southern Baptists around the world.

There will be two business sessions. The first, on Thursday evening, will feature a presentation of the new ministry plan by the Dakotas Vision 2025 Task Force. The Executive Board will also present the 2022 budget and calendar for approval. The budget will be the first operational budget that is fully funded by Dakota Baptist sources. The other business item in the first session will be a recommendation from the Constitution & Bylaws Committee.
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Worship in the Thursday evening session will be led by Pastor Todd Fuehrer and the worship team from The Gathering Place Church in Bismarck/Mandan. DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald will bring a message. The evening will conclude with recognition of pastors new to the Dakotas and those that have retired in the past year.

The final business session will be on Friday morning. It will feature the election of officers and various reports. Included among the reports will be the report from the Nominations Committee. The committee will recommend two new Board members, Chris Wallace (Bismarck, ND: Hope City) and Jaz Terzic (Sioux Falls, SD: Connection Church). They will replace Chip Holmes from (Wolsey, SD: First Baptist) and Joe Savery (Blunt, SD: Calvary Baptist) who are both rotating off the Board. Dude Garrett (Fargo, ND: Temple Baptist) and Sean Donnelly (Whitewood, SD: Black Hills Baptist) will be nominated to serve a second term on the Board. The Nominations Committee will also nominate Karen Holmes (Wolsey, SD: First Baptist) and Debbie Flowers (West Fargo, ND: Living Hope) to continue in their roles as recording secretary and assistant recording secretary.

Rykard will lead worship for the final session. Messages from God’s Word will be shared by McLaurin, Russ Grim, pastor at First Southern Baptist in Gregory, SD, and the president’s message from Young.

After the final session the DBC Executive Board will meet for a brief organizational meeting. 

Registration is still open online at the Dakota Baptist website for both messengers and guests.
Cornerstone Church ordains new deacon

Mike Baker, longtime member at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Mitchell, SD, was ordained as a deacon by his church on Sunday, September 26. Prior to the ordination service, Baker shared his testimony and answered questions from the ordination council. Cornerstone pastor Calvin Jones led the service and shared the biblical basis for setting a man aside to serve as a deacon. DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald provided the charge to the new deacon and the congregation, challenging them to reach up to Jesus so that they are equipped to reach out for Jesus. Baker’s wife Amanda shared special music. Cornerstone’s other deacon, Ted Christiansen offered the ordination prayer.
Associations hold annual meetings

It is annual meeting season and four Dakota associations held their annual meetings last month. Badlands Association and Black Hills Area Baptist Association kicked off the season on Saturday, September 18. Badlands met at Belfield Baptist in Belfield, ND. BHABA met at Hills of Grace Church in Rapid City, SD.  Heartland and Prairie Partners Associations met the following Saturday. Heartland met at First Baptist in Wolsey, SD and Prairie Partners met at the Quality Inn in Bismarck, ND. South Valley Association is planning their meeting for October and Siouxland Association will meet in November.
Black Hills churches celebrate anniversaries
by Sean Donnelly

It is a time of celebrations! Bridled for Christ Church in New Underwood, SD and Connection Church, Spearfish, SD are both rejoicing over milestones. Bridled for Christ is celebrating five years together on October 3. In five years, they have added onto their building twice and seen a great impact on their community.

Connection Church celebrated ten years together on September 19, with a look back at where they came from. Their celebration included a special video message from founding pastor, Doug Hixson. Current senior pastor Jon Ballard cast a vision as to what was coming next. Congratulations to these churches. May God grant us to all shine our lamps brightly for His kingdom.
Eagle Butte pastor coordinating DR team
by Everett Hornbostel

Ben Farrar, pastor at First Baptist in Eagle Butte, SD is attempting to gather a small team of men to help with cleanup in Louisiana following Hurricane Ida. The group will depart from the church in a church van at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 12, and arrive back sometime on Sunday, November 21. Due to the logistics of the trip, Farrar said the team for this trip would need to be limited to just men. He said any hand tools that team members have and can bring would be helpful but are not required. He indicated that hammers, saws, and chainsaws would help but that power tools would not, as there is no guarantee of power availability. Team members will need to pay for their own food expenses and, if they can help with travel expense, it would be appreciated. Any men interested in helping with this effort can call Pastor Ben at 605-891-1704.
Calvary Baptist begins American Heritage Girls troop

Calvary Baptist Church in Blunt, SD, recently began an American Heritage Girls troop. They had several girls from several different communities participate in the inaugural meeting. Calvary started a Trail Life group for boys a couple of years ago. These two organizations provide important life skills for boys and girls from the standpoint of a biblical worldview. If you would like information on either AHG or Trail Life, contact either Pastor Joe or Bethany Savery at Calvary Baptist in Blunt.
Dakotans head on mission to South Africa

DBC president and Fort Totten pastor Paul Young and DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald will travel to South Africa this month. While in South Africa the two Dakota Baptists will partner with Mike Wright, the worship pastor from First Baptist Church in Artesia, NM, to serve in the major South African cities of Pretoria and Durban.

While in South Africa, the team will work with Dr. Julius Mbu, a pastor and church planter from Pretoria, to conduct two pastor workshops, engage in street evangelism, and do long-range vision planning. The three Americans will also preach in three different South African churches on Sunday, October 17. The team will leave on October 13 and be back in the States on October 22.
MinistrySafe helps churches confront abuse
by Everett Hornbostel

A great struggle with considering the effects of the current condition of health worries is how we spend our free time. Students have found themselves at home, alone, for most of their day with full access to everything the internet has to offer. They have been learning from home, spending hours on end glued to technology. This is a great opportunity that has been afforded to schools and students, and even churches. But, as the very first appearance of Spiderman reminds us, “with great power must also come great responsibility!” 

The use of technology when we are away from supervisory eyes and ears affords many opportunities to misuse and abuse that technology to satisfy the desires of the flesh. The church has a responsibility to her members and guests to keep them safe, even during online interactions. Here in the Dakotas, we utilize MinistrySafe as an avenue for beneficial training to protect our church families from sexual abuse. The details provided by MinistrySafe help learners spot the warning signs of potential abuse and gives them tips on how to respond. 
But wait . . . perhaps you are thinking, “how can abuse take place online?” Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts (which is being replaced with Google Chat), Discord and other online messenger services allow private conversations to take place between users, including sending and receiving photos and videos. For the predator, this affords a terrific opportunity to abuse those systems and pursue their prey.  

The following article from Baptist Press provides more information on how you can utilize MinistrySafe resources to protect the ministries of your local church. 

NoteEverett is one of our Church Relations Missionaries. He is also the DBC’s MinistrySafe liaison. If you would like help in developing a safe environment at your church, please contact him and he would be glad to assist.
MinistrySafe develops training events for abuse prevention

FORT WORTH, Texas. (BP) - MinistrySafe, an organization focused on offering training to churches to prevent sexual abuse, is helping develop training on how the abuse prevention landscape has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group works...

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Champion Your Pastor in October

The month of October is Pastor Appreciation Month. This is the time to champion your pastor. Pastors are God-called servant-leaders who feed the people of God through the ministry of preaching the Bible and lead the people of God by providing...

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