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March Newlsletter






CostaMeda Baptist Assoc. Newsletter
Volume 11 Issue 3
March 2009
In This Issue  

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Dear Fellow Followers of our Lord Jesus.

I would like to take just a few minutes to share with you the work our association has done in the areas of 'Church Planting' in the last 10 years. Let me just say that none of this could have been done without the power and anointing of our Lord Jesus. So, I would like to start by praising His name and thanking him for the opportunity to be some small part in these church plants.

Then I would like to thank all of you who are prayer partners for surely none of this would happen without the prayer of faithful follower of Jesus. I know this is a spiritual work because we are one of the poorest and smallest California Southern Baptist Associations. Next, I would like to thank all the "Church Planters" who have worked so hard to serve the Lord in their ministries. I must also thank all our churches that allow one, two, and some even three other churches to meet in their facilities.

I must also must thank the California Southern Baptist Convention and the 'Mission Strategist' who have so faithfully worked with our association during this time. Without their hard work much of this would have never happened. I want you to be aware that in the last 10 years, I estimate that the California Southern Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board have invested over $150,000 in church planting in CostaMeda Baptist Association.

Let's take a moment to look at how we have done. The first column shows the estimated worship attendance for the years 2008,1998, and 1993; the next column the number of churches affiliate with CostaMeda in those years; then the average worship attendance per church in those years. The last three columns show the number of churches during those years in our association with worship attendance over 300, 500, 1000. I celebrate with you that we had 3,214 more people last year in church on an average Sunday then we did in 1998.

 

  • Year/ W.A/. #Churches /Avg. WA per church/ >300/ >500/ >1000
  • 2008-6811------49-----------139----------5-----4----- 1
  • 1998-3597------33-----------109----------2-----1----- 0
  • 1993-2376-----24------------99------------2-----0----- 0

 

These numbers are only so positive because of new works. Of our churches that were established more than ten years ago only a few are averaging higher attendance now then they did ten years ago. Yet, because we have new churches that are growing and restarts that are growing we have seen real growth in the number of people becoming followers of Jesus.

I won't list all the churches that have been planted in our association in the last ten years, but let me share with you that we have planted 19, and out of those all but three are still in existence. We currently have four new core groups, and we pray that they will develop into our four new churches this year.

So let me close by asking you to get involved in this great ministry of planting churches. I feel God is truly blessing our work so let us not look back. What do we need to continue. First, we need your prayers; I would like to ask you to make some effort to involve people in your church in praying for the 'Church Planting' efforts in our association. Second, I know that giving is down in many of our churches, but I ask you to prayerfully consider keeping your association in your budget at some level. Third, if your church has space for a new work to meet in your building or your church would like to become more involved in church planting, please let me know.

Love in Christ,

Jack Roberts Your Associational Missionary

CMBA Men's Retreat 2009
 
Rock Solid "In a Shifting World"

April 24, 25 & 26 2009

Camp Cazadero

Cost $110.00 Per Person

Speaker: Dr. Ray Spann

Worship Leader: Christopher Shryack

If you need to you may make registration forms for your church. Please make sure they include, Name, Address, Phone, E-mail and Church Name.

Please make checks payable to: CMBA

Registration Due By: April 4, 2009.

Please mail registration and checks to:

CMBA P.O. Box 6500 Concord, Ca 94524

If you have any questions you may contact either:

Andy Cochran @ 925-634-4909

Assoc. Office @925-429-5314

 

CMBA Semi Annual Business Meeting
 
Thursday May 7, 2009

First Baptist Pacheco

12:00 PM

Following the Pastors Networking

 

Meet One of our Mission Strategists
 
Linda Bergquist
LB

Missionary Spotlight: Linda Bergquist SAN FRANCISCO - "I am wired totally as a strategist," Dr. Linda Bergquist says. "I do not think I would be good at anything else in the whole world besides this."

Linda serves with the California Southern Baptist Convention (CSBC) Church Starting Group as new church starting strategist assigned to the Bay Area.

"I love strategy," Linda continued. "I love thinking in the future tense. I love doing the stuff nobody else wants to do. I like relying on God to do something when nobody else can figure it out."

While in elementary school, Linda wanted to be a missionary doctor in Africa. She has pictures of herself dressed as a leper while playing with friends. She could not get anybody else to play the part of the leper; they all wanted to be the doctor. Her parents gave her a book about Albert Schweitzer for her 11th birthday inscribed, "To our future lady missionary." However, during her high school years, Linda embraced atheism.

"I became a Christian when I was almost 30 years old," Linda said. "I was in San Diego and Fred Jatte, one of my Mesa College professors, and Sam Williams, pastor of Gateway Baptist Church, were willing to meet me where I was as an atheist, and I became a Christian. "I had saved my childhood books," Linda continued. "I found the Albert Schweitzer book that my parents had given me. I rediscovered that early missionary calling. My first mission trip was the weekend after I became a Christian."

Linda's responsibilities as a strategist are to recruit church planters, train them and find communities that need churches. She is personally engaged in five major new church starts, as well as numerous house churches. Linda mentors the new starts and helps them think through the things they need to do to launch their church plants. "My greatest joy," Linda said, "is helping church planting leaders take whatever their next step of development is. I don't have any desire to get them to do things my way or lead them to a certain place. I love church planters. I love mentoring them, and I love helping them discover how God is leading them."

Linda and the other CSBC church planting strategists assigned to the Bay Area work as a team. They are currently developing the infrastructure they need in order to respond to the outpouring of God's Spirit in the Bay Area. "There are over 100 people that I know personally who have set their cell phones to 10:02 every morning," Linda explained. "At 10:02, we all pray that the Lord of the harvest will send laborers to the field. What has happened is that God has responded in great ways. Three new churches are ready to launch, and we have a whole bunch of churches that have launched in the past few months.

"God is absolutely answering that Luke 10:2 prayer," Linda continued. "It seems almost every week that somebody contacts me interested in starting a church. A few weeks ago, I had over 40 people in my home who were planning house churches, and that only represented part of them." With the outpouring of God's Spirit on the Bay Area, there is a great need for established Bay Area churches to partner with the strategists and new church planters. Linda holds a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. She met her husband, Erik, when she recruited him for a church plant she was developing. They have a teenage daughter, Christina, and Linda has an adult son, Harry.

Linda's message to California Southern Baptists: "God is really at work! Don't give up on the Bay Area! Some really good things are happening here. "God gave me this verse when I was a young Christian, 'And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near' (Ephesians 2:17, NKJV). I think that is part of the joy of living in San Francisco right now - from here we can catch the world. "The vision statement for our Bay Area strategy team reads: 'That the Bay Area be so vibrantly transformed by an indigenous expression of life in Christ that it becomes a major global exporter of the Christian faith, extending even to future generations.' "We ask that you would take the challenge to set your watches and cell phones to 10:02 a.m. or p.m. and pray Luke 10:2 with us that the Lord of the harvest will send laborers to these fields (www.gofishwith.us.com)."

Prayer requests:

 

  • Pray that the Lord of the harvest will raise up church planters and church planting partnership churches for the Bay Area.
  • Pray for church planter Andy Wood and his team as they launch the multi-ethnic South Bay Church in the San Jose/Rivermark community. On November 11, 2008, 175 people attended South Bay's first preview worship service. Five people made decisions to follow Jesus. Andy and his wife, Stacie, have one young son, Caedmon. (www.southbaychurch.org)
  • Pray for Michael and Kristi Ent during the pre- launch stage of Hope Christian Fellowship in Novato, an Anglo church plant.
  • Pray for church planter Jeff Eitzen as he plans to launch New Hope Fellowship in San Ramon.
  • Pray that God will grant wisdom to Linda and Erik Bergquist as they support each other and balance responsibilities at work and at home. Both Linda and Erik, who is director of Page Street Baptist Center, are appointed missionaries with differing responsibilities.

 

Linda's Praises:

 

  • Praise God for what He has already done in the Bay Area.
  • Praise God for the people who have been planting churches, including many house churches, over the last few years.
  • Praise God for the hundreds for prayer warriors who uphold the ministry of the Bay Area strategy team.

 

Did you know? Linda's Website (www.gofishwith.us.com) provides current information about God's work in church planting around the Bay Area. Visit the site and meet the planters and their projects.


Partner in Church Planting to Reach California
 

Did you know that your church can make a big difference in reaching California's 33 million unchurched people? There are not enough existing churches in North America to reach the population with the Good News of Christ. We are the third largest mission field on Earth, after China and India.

Did you know that PiCP stands for Partners in Church Planting? Churches that become directly involved in church planting become partners with each other and partners with the new churches they support.

Did you know that we need more churches, everywhere? There are churches of every kind, everywhere. You can't drive a mile without passing by a church. In just one century, the church-to-population ratio has declined from 27 churches per 10,000 people to 11 per 10,000. During this same period, the average church size remained essentially unchanged. In most communities, the unchurched population radically outnumbers those who attend church regularly. Statistically, new churches tend to grow through conversions rather than transfer of membership or biological growth. New churches are also more flexible in reaching new people groups in a community.

Did you know that every church can be involved in church planting? For any church to become a Planting (Sponsoring) Church while being unhealthy itself is unwise. However, involvement as a Supporting Partner by providing short-term or one-time support to a new church plant will not only help the new church, it can become a catalyst for revitalization within the existing partner church. It may bring alive a new meaning, vision and purpose for the partnering congregation. Small churches often feel inadequate to start new congregations because of a pre-conceived notion that it takes a lot of money and people. Although small churches may not plant a new church alone, they can partner with other churches. Partners in Church Planting provides a way for every church, no matter what size, to be involved. Every church is capable of joining as a Clustering Partner or a Supporting Partner, but even small churches are planting new churches by sending out and supporting their own members in non-funded models of church planting. The Lord will resource any task He leads you to undertake.

Did you know that you can start a church with very little money? It is true that starting new churches can be expensive, but it does not have to be. The cost depends on the type of church you are planting, the context in which you are planting, and the degree of your involvement. Partners in Church Planting provides levels of church planting any church can afford.

Did you know that there are church planters sitting in your congregation? The best person to reach a community is a person who knows his culture. The best planters and planting team for your area may be found inside your church. They are the people who have been faithfully growing in their spiritual walk, who live and work among the unchurched, and who want to see God's Kingdom grow. Lay-led models of church planting are highly effective.

Did you know that your church can make a big difference in reaching North America? There are not enough existing churches in North America to reach the population with Christ. We are the third largest mission field on Earth, after China and India; the international mission field has come to America. The majority of Christian churches are in suburban and rural areas while North America is rapidly becoming an urban society. Many of the suburban and rural churches are not able to reach the unchurched in their regions. We need new churches for new generations. Today, more than 50 percent of the children and youth in North America receive no religious instruction of any kind. We need new churches because they are more effective in doing evangelism. Newly planted churches baptize 14.4 persons per 100 people in regular attendance, while churches over 16 years old only baptize 7.3 persons per 100. If existing churches do not become involved as partners in church planting, these figures will continue to rise and the results of a non-Christian worldview will cloud the future of North America.

Did you know that every church can be a partner in church planting? There is no size limitation to becoming a Partners in Church Planting church. Churches of five, 50, 500, 5,000, or more are needed. Every church can help and is needed. When we partner, godly synergy can take over and resources will abound.

Did you know that churches can meet in places other than a church building? New churches often meet in facilities such as homes, apartment clubhouses, schools, and community buildings; these facilities can also be used for other activities. This allows the new church to grow and develop its support structure before building, if they build at all. If it is determined that a building is needed, Clustering and/or Supporting Partners may be enlisted to help with financing and construction. Again, in partnership planting the focus is on churches working together to see God's Kingdom come to an unreached people.

Categories of Partnership

 

  • Primary Church - a church that accepts the call to plant a new church.
  • Clustering Church - a church that chooses to join another church (or churches) to plant a new church.
  • Supporting Church - a church that provides ministry activities and/or physical support to a planting church, cluster churches, or new church plant.

 


8 tips for mission trip success
 

Do you have the opportunity to participate in an upcming mission project? In addition to prayer, being prepared is a key element to any successful missions trip. Take advantage of these 8 tips as you begin planning your next trip to spread the gospel.

 

  1. Get an early start. The earlier you're able to plan your trip, set your date and location, the better chance you have of finding affordable lodging, especially if you're planning to stay at a church; they tend to fill up quickly if a lot of mission teams are coming to that area.
  2. Pre-trip advantages. If you plan to lead a mission team, never underestimate the value of going on a pre-project visit. A pre-trip allows you to connect with the local church or missionary you'll be serving and get familiar with the area. Take time to scope out possible accommodations, the mission site, and recreation opportunities.
  3. Train your team. Always train prior to your ministry experience to ensure time for clarifications and overall effectiveness. We suggest requiring a couple of training sessions to ensure people are committed to serving and to build community within the group. Train your volunteers in what you'll be doing before you leave. Make sure this training includes how to effectively share the Gospel with the culture you're ministering to. Don't forget to include training on your specific mission tasks. Get materials in the hands of teachers as soon as possible.
  4. Find the right housing. Take advantage of housing opportunities offered by local churches. Many churches offer space to stay, meeting space and kitchens for meals. If you plan to stay in a hotel, find one with kitchens available in some or all the rooms in order to save money, rather than eating out all the time. Take advantage of hotel services such as free breakfasts. This can save around $5 per person per day. Some hotels may offer grocery service or meeting rooms in which to serve meals or have devotional time; others may even have laundry service at minimal cost. Don't forget, many hotels offer discounts with local restaurants.
  5. Be flexible. Enter your area of ministry with a teachable heart and a listening ear. Listen to the ministry leaders you're coming alongside to serve. Remember, they know their mission field the best. Set aside your own agendas and serve alongside the local church's purpose. Be flexible -- you may train for block parties and then it rains. Don't get discouraged! God has you there for a reason; look for those unexpected opportunities to serve.
  6. Ask about follow up. Ask the ministry leaders about their plan for follow up with people your team connects with. Ask about follow up in advance so the church can have a strategy in place by the time you come.
  7. Budget extra. Extra costs tend to come up. Budget with a minimum cushion of $20 a person. This way, should there be unexpected expenses, you'll be covered. If the extra money goes unused, either refund the team members or give a special gift to the ministry you came to serve. Make sure you wait until you're home before doing this. You never know what unexpected things can happen on the way home!
  8. Tax-exempt savings. Make sure to take advantage of your tax-exempt status (if applicable) when paying for restaurants and hotels. Give your service person advanced warning so your bill can be totaled correctly the first time.

Pastor's Networking
 
First Thursday of every month
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JOIN OUR CLASS ON HERMENEUTICS

The Art & Science of Interpreting the Bible & Relating It to a Modern Audience

Sharpen the Skills Needed to Interpret God's Word!

Upcoming Dates:

Thursday April 2nd, Followed by the executive Board Meeting. 11:30 AM

Thursday May 7th, Followed by the Semi Annual Bussiness Meeting. 12:00 PM.

Thursday June 4th

Thursday July 2nd

Thursday August 6th

Thursday September 3rd

Taught monthly By Pastor Jim Meek of Trinity Baptist Church

 


CostaMeda Baptist Assoc.

Phone: 925-429-5314