Living Proof Live comes to Chinle

Beth Moore speaks in Chinle.

Beth Moore speaks in Chinle.

More than 3,000 Native American women representing 20 tribes from 18 states converged on northeastern Arizona and the Navajo Nation Oct. 8 for Living Proof Live with Beth Moore, an event three years in the making. Organizers said it was the first gathering of its kind in the 7,000-seat Wildcat Den in the Chinle Unified School District.

“This is one of the first times this many Native Christian women came together to worship and pray together and hear and respond to God’s Word,” said Paula Hoyt, women’s ministry coordinator for the Fourcorners Association and Chinle city coordinator for the event.

The idea grew out of a 2013 Beth Moore Bible study and simulcast at White Mountain Apache Baptist Church in Whiteriver. Afterward, Hoyt began to dream of Beth Moore coming to the Navajo Nation to speak to Native American women from many tribes.

“Each woman is loved deeply by the Lord, and they don’t know,” Hoyt said. “I wanted them to know and hear and receive from the Lord Jesus Christ directly. One phrase that I held onto throughout the preparation for this event comes from John 4, where Jesus says to the Samaritan woman, ‘If you only knew WHO’ [was asking for water…]”

After more than a year of prayer by Hoyt and a small group of women from several tribes, Beth Moore and LifeWay Christian Resources’ leaders agreed to lead a day-long event.

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McDonald to retire early

Mitch McDonald, missions facilitator with the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention, announced recently that he will take early retirement at the end of the year.

“Arizona Southern Baptists owe a debt of gratitude to Mitch for 20 years of faithful service to our churches,” said David Johnson, AZSBC executive director.

In recognition of his long-term service to Arizona Southern Baptists, the AZSBC Executive Team voted to extend McDonald’s pay and benefits through the end of March 2017. That date will mark his 20-year anniversary with the state convention.

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Elevate Summit: Challenge to innovate

elevate2

Churches run on patterns. A Bible study on this night, a prayer meeting on that morning, put the offering at this point in the service and plan the Christmas program in the fall. If you run the same pattern for very long, it becomes a rut.

On Aug. 20, just over 100 faithful servant-leaders from Arizona Southern Baptist churches gathered in Phoenix to be shaken out of their ruts. Instead of the Mathetes conference this year, the Arizona Southern Baptist Church Life Team and facilitators Eddy Pearson and Keith Henry brought us the Elevate Summit. They invited David Cooper of Invictus Global to probe the sore spots of today’s churches.

David Johnson opened the meeting by saying, “You are going to be stretched today.” That might have been superfluous for those who had already been impressed by a loud, “rockin'” TobyMac remix and a video prelude of base jumpers and flying suits.

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Disaster Relief serves in Baton Rouge

Fourteen days after Louisiana’s worst flood damaged or destroyed 14,000 homes and covered Baton Rouge with several feet of water, Arizona Southern Baptists were there to offer help, healing and hope.

The first Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team arrived at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Baton Rouge on Aug. 25.

The Arizona team was deployed to assist in “mud-out”: shoveling mud from homes, tearing out sodden drywall and insulation and attempting to reclaim furniture, appliances and personal belongings in an area covering two zip codes. Hundreds of Louisiana disaster relief members could not respond because they were also victims.

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Praising God at Queen Valley

It’s hard to believe that a year ago on Nov. 9, 2015, we gathered for our first meeting as a pastor selection committee. We were advised that it would take a year or two to accomplish this momentous task.

While cautious, we were sure that if we worked together and followed God’s guidance, He would provide His selected candidate, in an expeditious time frame.

Time frame was incredibly important to Queen Valley Baptist Church as we serve a community in which most residents are retired and are seasonal, two very important considerations in our timing.

In the past, summer attendance has been 20 or less, making it difficult to have the required number of decision makers present from April to October.

Furthermore, when our members leave in the spring with the best intentions of returning in the fall, age and health concerns often abruptly dictate unforeseen life changes. Some are not able to return.

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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.”

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