E-Challenge March 2017

My bride lived out her vows again last week. That part which says, "For better, for worse; . . . in sickness and in health," was fully displayed as I fought off the worst illness I have endured in a decade. She fussed over me, worried about me, and prayed for me. She made days of misery much less miserable.

She had a birthday last week during all the fun of doctor visits, strong medication, restless nights, and endless misery. Have I mentioned that word before? I cannot think of a better one.

We did not have an opportunity to celebrate her birthday until this past weekend after she nursed me back to health. I am forever grateful for her patience and kindness. She endured a great deal of unpleasantness.

Her chronometer registers a year older now. Even so, she still runs, goes to the gym regularly, works a full-time job of great responsibility, and teaches at Tarrant County College and Dallas Baptist University.

She keeps telling me she is looking older. I can't see it. She is still the same beauty queen I started dating thirty-five years ago and married thirty-two years ago as of next month. She is still the same amazing woman one staff member said, "is not the ordinary woman." Indeed, she is not!

Beautiful, talented, and supremely intelligent are her top descriptors. She makes me look much better than I am. I wouldn't be who I am apart from her.

Last week was her birthday. Next week is the anniversary of our first date. Next month is our thirty-second wedding anniversary. As Paul Harvey used to say, "Thirty-two years on the way to forever together." There's no one with whom I would rather take that journey.

With gratitude,

In This Issue
Pastors' Conference and Executive Board
Upcoming Trainings and Retreats
Weekly Blogs
Life Younique
Book of the Month
Vietnam Inter-Religious Dialogue
VBS 2017 Training
Discipleship Journey for Pastors and Staff
Riverbend - 50th Anniversary Book
RA Camp
Vancouver Vision Tour
21st Century Wilberforce Initiative
Volunteer Interim Pastors in England Needed
BGCT Upcoming Events
SEND Conference - Dallas
Ministry Assistant's Conference
Texas Minister-Layman Golf Tournament
TBA Job Board
News from Churches
Pastor's Conference and Executive Board Meetings
Cornerstone Assistance Network
3500 Noble Avenue
Fort Worth, Texas 76111

April 24 - Executive Board
May 1 - Pastor's Conference
Dale Braswell, Pastor, Wedgwood
May 8 - Pastor's Conference
David Cooke, City Manager, FW
May 15 - Executive Board
May 22 - Pastor's Conference
Joel Fitzgerald, Chief of Police, FW
May 29 - No Pastor's Conference
Memorial Day
Upcoming  Training  and Retreats
  Upcoming Trainings and Retreats

reFocus Retreat
April 23-25 | Riverbend Retreat Center
Cost: $125.00
(New peer groups forming for October 8-10)

VBS Training
April 29 | Southcliff Baptist Church
4100 SW Loop 820
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
No registration required

Women's Lunch 'n Learn
June 6 | Tarrant Baptist Association
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
H.E.A.R. and S.O.A.P. (Using it Daily!)
Cost: $20.00
Our Weekly Blogs!
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes have been made!
Blogs go out every Thursday

Life Younique
Pastor, what legacy will you leave? My prayer is that it will include more than buildings and seating capacities. The risen Jesus commissioned us to make disciples, not to build buildings, or to erect personal platforms.
Most of the pastors we work with in re:FOCUS have never been discipled. They have a steep learning curve when it comes to creating a systematic process for making disciples who make disciples.
Most followers of Jesus seldom venture much beyond the initial call of discipleship. They learn a bit about praying, reading and studying the Bible, and fellowship with other believers. Few move on to consider what is their personal mission in life and how they can join God in building his kingdom here on earth. Few disciples understand that God calls them to serve as school teachers and police officers as much as he calls you and me to serve in church ministry.
Life Younique provides pastors with tools to move their leaders into active ministry on mission with Jesus in every domain of community life. How much more effective would your church become in the days ahead if you had ten, twenty, or thirty adults who fully embraced and expressed their divine design?
Tarrant Baptist Association is hosting a Life Younique Intensive May 8-11 here in our offices. Co-founders Will Mancini and Dave Rhodes will lead this training with an assist from Becky Biser, Troy Wolfe, and me. You will walk away with a completed lifeplan and with an understanding of how to use this process in your church.
TBA pastors and other church leaders are eligible for a discount on this training. Contact me for more information. The registration deadline is next Monday, April 24.
Leave a legacy of making disciples who make disciples who likewise live on mission in every domain of community life.
Book of the Month
Few indeed are the books I wish I could read again for the first time. Fewer still are those I never wanted to end. However, I bowed my head in reverence upon completing The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life by Os Guinness.

One quote may suffice to tell why I feel so strongly about this book. It is from a section where Guinness describes the power of a name. Whereas you and I share our names with others of like appellation, one day our Lord will hand us a white stone with a name of our very own etched upon it. Listen to how Guinness communicates this idea:

It is only when the man has become his name that God gives him the stone with the name upon it, for then first can he understand what his name signifies. It is the blossom, the perfection, the completeness, that determines the name: and God foresees that from the first because He made it so: but the tree of the soul, before its blossom comes, cannot understand what blossom it is to bear and could not know what the word meant, which, in representing its own unarrived completeness, named itself. Such a name cannot be given until the man is the name. God's name for the man must be the expression of His own idea of the man, that being whom He had in his thought when he began to make the child, and whom He keeps in His thought through the long process of creation that went to realize the idea. To tell the name is to seal the success-to say "In thee also I am well pleased."

I do so hope you will read this book. Read it and pass it along to others who need to understand the call of God for every true disciple.
Vietnam Inter-Religious Dialogue
The International Conference on Inter-Religious Dialogue and Social Responsibility in Hanoi, Vietnam was quite a success. It took several years of work by the government of Vietnam and Bob Roberts of NorthWood Church to make it happen. The beneficiaries are the people of Vietnam and religious groups around the country.

Vietnam recently updated their constitution to allow more religious freedom. Continuing reforms will allow religious groups greater freedom to serve their communities.

Pastor Bryan Warth of Chapel of Change in the Los Angeles area told his story about participating in a gang murder when he was sixteen years old. He showed a photo of himself in his prison bed, sentenced to life in prison, reading his Bible. His change was so dramatic that then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted his sentence. Bryan's church had over two thousand in attendance Easter Sunday in several locations.

Upon hearing his story, one of the conference organizers from Vietnam said, "Religion can change a prisoner's life. Religion can change many prisoners lives!" It was one of several holy moments.

Dr. Elijah Brown, Executive Vice President of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, and I enjoyed an interesting discussion of ancestor worship over lunch with our translators. We also discussed our families and educational backgrounds. Since they had previously read our papers, there were no protective defenses as we openly discussed our faith backgrounds.

There are so many stories I could tell. Like touring the Vietnam Military Museum with a group of Vietnam War veterans. Like a drunk taxi driver who couldn't get his car above the speed of a good, brisk walk (thankfully). Like learning to cross the street when no driver actually stops unless they really, really have to. Like compressed coffee and the ease of getting way too much caffeine before you know it.

The most important story is this: Bob Roberts, NorthWood Church, and Glocal.net, are making a world of difference. If you wonder if your church can shape world events, the answer is yes. However, you have to engage in significant service and you have to take time to do things right to build bridges. NorthWood Church has served in Vietnam for over twenty years.

Would you like to learn more about how to engage another country in this manner? Let's talk about how you can make that happen. Let's not merely read about what is happening in the world, let's influence it for the Kingdom of God.
VBS 2017 Training Conference
Vacation Bible School Training 2017
A pril 29, 2017
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Southcliff Baptist Church
4100 SW Loop 820
Fort Worth, Texas 76109
No registration required

re:FOCUS Journey for Pastors and Staff


Is is time to refocus your life?

Want to experience a life change journey designed just for pastors, staff and leaders? This is not like any other discipleship conference you have experienced. This is a time you can refresh yourself in a hands-on experiential-type of journey. Here are some of the things you will experience:                                                               
  • A safe environment
  • Time for reflection
  • Time to spend reading the Bible and reflecting on your relationship with Christ
  • Authentic facilitators who let you discover your own way
  • Prayers offered over you
  • Laughter and fun
  • A few stretching and challenging activities
  • Time to hear God speaking just to you
  • A renewed excitement and expectation about what God is doing in your life

The next re:FOCUS journey will start Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. on April 23rd and end at noon on Tuesday, April 25th at the Riverbend Retreat Center. The cost is $125. Each retreat time is unique and will focus on different aspects to help empower leaders.


Retreat #1
- Leaders will spend time re:Connecting with God and with peers in an experiential learning environment. This time will include alone time with God enhancing their dependence on the Father and time to make friends with peers that are both authentic and safe.

Retreat # 2
- Six months later leaders will come back together to re:Discover who God has made them to be. They will spend time exploring things about themselves and formulating their own personal mission statements.

Retreat #3
- In another six months leaders will re:Think what it means to be a disciple. They will explore passages of scripture and write their own definition of a disciple. They will gain a clear picture of what this disciple looks like and how they personally will help others grow to be a fully devoted follower of Christ.

Retreat #4
- The final retreat six months later will focus on re:Engaging with God in His Kingdom. How has God created me to be most effective personally on engaging others? What is He nudging me to do? How do I most effectively lead myself and others?

Between these retreat weeks leaders will meet together monthly to encourage and pray for each other.

Interested? If so, contact Becky Biser at becky@tarrantbaptist.org.


Sign up today!


Date: April 23-25, 2017 (Begin Sunday evening at 6:00 and ending at Tuesday at noon)

Cost: $125 each retreat (includes lodging, meals, snacks, books and other materials)

Duration: 4 retreats over 2 years


Register Here!

Riverbend - 50th Anniversary Book
R iverbend celebrates their 50th Anniversary in this year, and they are writing a 50th Anniversary history book. 

They are looking for those who would like to purchase ads for the book to celebrate the occasion! If you are interested in submitting an ad, please click here to complete the form.
RA Camp
RA Camp is scheduled for July 18-22, 2017 at Riverbend Retreat Center. Currently, there are beds available for additional churches. Contact Glenn Hedgpeth at 817-249-9968 for additional information. 
Vancouver Vision Tour
2017  Vancouver Vision Tour

May 8-11, 2017

If your church is affiliated with the BGCT, or even dually aligned, arrangements will be made to pay your 
hotel and local travel expenses.   All you need to pay is the cost of travel and a few meals. 

If you or any of your leadership team are interested, please contact David Bowman.
21st Century Wilberforce Initiative - Speak Freedom

Invest in Religious Freedom
Take Action

The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative advocates for religious freedom as a universal right. Over five billion people, 77% of the world's population, live in a context characterized by religious persecution, discrimination, or restrictions. Twenty Christians are killed because of their faith every day. Genocide is occurring against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.

The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative is creating an alliance of churches that will make religious freedom a priority. Wilberforce provides current, reliable information and training for these churches and suggests practical ways they can mobilize as advocates for defenseless people.

I have worked with Dr. Randel Everett on religious freedom issues over the last couple of years. This is a consuming passion for him and his team. I strongly encourage you to lend your voice and church support to this ministry.

With gratitude,
David Bowman  

For more information about the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative and 
to join the church alliance, visit www.21wilberforce.org .
Opportunity for Volunteer Interim Pastors in England
 Morley Community Church near Leads in Yorkshire
BGCT Upcoming Events


Preparations a re underway for reviveTX , scheduled for April 16-Jun 4, 2017. This is a concerted effort among evangelical churches of multiple denominations to obey the Great Commission and make disciples. Time to Revive is gathering churches around the Metroplex to hit the streets, pray for neighbors, and share the good news of Jesus Christ.  
Take a moment to learn more about reviveTX and to engage in the initiative as a tool to equip church members to be salt and light in effective witness in the Metroplex. You can find out more about reviveTX and upcoming vision lunches at their website, www.reviveTX.org. You can also contact Wade Aaron, reviveTX Church Relations at waaron@timetorevive.com, or 903-570-4757.

SEND Conference
May 19-20, 2017
Dallas, Texas

Ministry Assistant's Conference
"Talents for Triumphant Service"
Ministry Assistant's Conference

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Immanuel Baptist Church
San Angelo, Texas

Click here to see the preliminary brochure which includes a sneak peek at some of the courses available and how to get your registration started.

For further questions please call Concho Valley Baptist Association at 325-653-4898  or email Aimee at aimee@cvba.org.
39th Texas Minister-Layman Golf Tournament
Questions & suggestions, contact Dondendy@aol.com or call  214-957-0544
New TBA Job Board

Our TBA website has updated our Job Board, and we would like for everyone to check it out. We have recently made changes that should make the process easier to navigate for the employer as well as the job seeker. Please visit our website, check out the Job Board, and get busy posting your new jobs here!

News from Churches
News from churches church
College Avenue Baptist Church has around 250 Baptist hymnals from 1956 and 100 Broadman hymnals from 1940 that they would like to give away. Please contact David Trammell at 
817-926-0283 or detrammell@yahoo.com. 

Azle Avenue Baptist Church is looking for a 15-passenger vehicle to use during youth/mission trips. They are looking for a well maintained, low mileage (100K miles or less) either donated or at a low cost. Before trading in your older vehicle to get a new one, please remember their ministry. Please call Pastor Rafael Solis at 817-808-4832 with any information.

First Baptist Bridgeport has a nice organ that they would like to donate to a church. Please call 940-683-4037 for more information.

First Baptist Grapevine has some "gently" used children LIfeWay Bible Study for Life curriculum they would like to donate to a church in need.It is a full years worth for babies through preteen. Please contact Linda Boney if interested at 817-203-2372.

First Baptist Church in Flower Mound is hosting Dallas Holm in concert on Friday, December 2 at 7:00 PM. Admission is free. For more information, please call 972-539-0641.

Greg Ross has a small organ that he would like to donate to a church. Those interested can contact Greg through either email ross.gregory.l@gmail.com at or by phone at 817-467-1412. Below you will see a picture of the organ.

Wedgwood Baptist Church has an older communion table (still in good condition) and would like to donate it to a church that could use it. Please contact Jeff Laster at 817-292-1400 if interested.