Teens’ lives changed at Zona Camp

“Messenger: His message to us, our message to the world” was the theme of Zona Camp 2016. The annual Arizona Southern Baptist camp was held July 10-15 on the campus of California Baptist University.

Of the 38 participating churches, 11 were first-time attenders. And as the week closed, the stats showed that not only were there more churches in attendance this year, but overall attendance was up.

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Offering highlights God’s love for Arizona

 

amo_web_2016It is estimated that 5.4 million of the 6.7 million people who live in Arizona are unchurched and unsaved. That’s why the Arizona Mission Offering is so important.

“Through ministries supported by this offering, hundreds hear the gospel and come to know Christ,” said David Johnson, Arizona Southern Baptists’ executive director.

Gifts to the Arizona Mission Offering help support the ministries of Mission Partnerships, including Disaster Relief, Ministering to Pastors, Christian Challenge, Student Ministries, Planting Churches and Hispanic Ministries.

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Hillside outreach: Pokémon Go

Hillside from Facebook

One Phoenix church has taken a cultural phenomenon and turned it into an evangelistic opportunity.

When Hillside Baptist Church, Phoenix, realized that their property housed two PokéStops and a Gym in the Pokémon Go game, that explained why more than 60 cars a day were stopping in the parking lot. Joshua Tompkins, associate pastor of community ministry and youth, saw it as an open door to share Christ’s love.

The church sign was changed to read, “We’ve got 2 PokéStops! Find Pokémon outside, find Jesus inside.”

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Overflow Church lives up to name

Pastor Luke Safford, lead church planter of Overflow Tucson, and his wife, Jolene, held the church’s first service in their home on June 5. It took less than one month for the church to live up to its name, but not exactly the way the Saffords envisioned.

Their home was flooded twice in one week by torrential downpours and rushing mud.

On Sunday, June 26, flood waters wreaked havoc on their property. Quick action helped save many items, but the dryer fell victim to the torrent. Jolene dried their clothes at the houses of other church families.

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Speakers address church revitalization

Greenway2Arizona Southern Baptists’ Church Revitalization Team hosted Revitalize, a one-day conference to equip and encourage plateaued and declining churches, at Foothills Baptist Church, Ahwatukee, May 21. The event drew about 130 people, with 30 churches represented.

Adam Greenway, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, started the day as keynote speaker with an illustration of Paul sending Timothy to Ephesus for revitalization. He passionately urged pastors to look objectively at their ministry setting.

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Retreat focuses on town & country church planting

In May, leaders from around the state gathered for Arizona Southern Baptists’ first Town and Country Church Planting Retreat.

Tommy Thomas, North American Mission Board church planting catalyst, and Ken Belflower, Arizona Southern Baptist Convention/NAMB church planting facilitator, had prayerfully designed a retreat to promote a stronger church planting community among the smaller communities of Arizona.

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Innovation in an established church

 

Pitts4From a small campus of three acres to one of 43 acres and from a multipurpose family life center to a projected 28,000-square-foot worship center, it’s obvious Village Meadows Baptist Church in Sierra Vista has changed dramatically over the past 52 years.

According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, “The only thing that is constant is change.”

Pastor Mark Pitts strongly believes change must begin with prayer.

“A wise pastor will give prayerful, careful consideration to what God wants for this particular church at this particular time,” he said. “Pray for the Holy Spirit’s leading and pray to passionately hear the voice of God amidst the roar that comes with the call for change from hundreds of blogs, tweets, journals, books and professional growth strategists.”

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Innovation in ministry: Helping people who struggle with addiction

From a small campus of three acres to one of 43 acres and from a multipurpose family life center to a projected 28,000-square-foot worship center, it’s obvious Village Meadows Baptist Church in Sierra Vista has changed dramatically over the past 52 years.

According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, “The only thing that is constant is change.”

Pastor Mark Pitts strongly believes change must begin with prayer.

“A wise pastor will give prayerful, careful consideration to what God wants for this particular church at this particular time,” he said. “Pray for the Holy Spirit’s leading and pray to passionately hear the voice of God amidst the roar that comes with the call for change from hundreds of blogs, tweets, journals, books and professional growth strategists.”

Read More →