March to May 2019
Brother Thomas Wright, Associational Missionary
Emphasizing Biblical Prayer, Evangelistic Ministries, Church Development, Church Planting, Partnership Missions
Paul refers to godliness (eusebeia) in 1 Timothy 3:16, 4:8, and 6:6. He also offered a strong warning in 2 Tim. 3:5 that has significant contemporary application, “having a form of godliness but denying its power…” (NIV).
Godliness refers to the transformed nature that only comes through the indwelling Holy Spirit. The godly person recognizes a total dependence on God, which is different from the external change demanded by false religion. The resulting internal reverence and piety is radically different from the secular world.
The term “godliness” has been hijacked by Satan to diminish its importance. On one extreme, false religions are teaching people they are god. The other extreme ridicules those who are trying to live consistent, biblically based lives. A new year’s conviction to godliness serves the Kingdom well.
We received a clean audit report from Smith Buckalew auditors. They affirmed our processes and procedures for excellent, efficient and accountable money management.
Camp Whispering Pines (CWP) Plan for Self-Sufficiency
We already see significant progress from the April 2018 approval to move CWP toward financial self-sufficiency. CWP reports the new dorm is in place, the new meeting space is underway and we approved a balanced 2019 MBA budget. Each CWP director for the last 14 years has helped us move toward financial self-sufficiency. Steady progress over those years has allowed us, with confidence, to anticipate complete financial self-sufficiency by 2023.
Intercession for the MBA Staff on your Prayer Lists
Jesus gave the example of praying for other believers in John 17. Your associational staff face challenges every day as we consult with church leaders and members. We need wisdom and direction as we consult in church conflict, staff changes, growth options, building needs, disaster relief and every other component of church life. Please add us to your Wednesday night prayer lists. Please pray that financial needs will be met.
Future Focus Committee (FFC) Update
Please pray for the FFC and the location to combine our two current facilities. Our summary:
- The FFC has a unanimously approved assignment from the October 2014 Annual Session to sell and combine the International Ministries Center (IMC) and MBA office building. Expenses will stay within the amount received from the sales.
- The IMC facility is under contract awaiting completion of a contingency to rezone to B3.The efficiency at the Port of Mobile now allows ships to unload and load in as little as 8 hours. Additional security measures also reduces the number of seafarers who can get off the ships. We have entire weeks now with no or few seafarers able to get off.
- We are awaiting the Lord to provide a donation of the 3.5 to 5 developed acres, or an existing 8-10,000 sf facility. The income from the sale of both buildings is not adequate to build on undeveloped property.
- We are storing furniture from the IMC at one of our churches. CWP was able to use the beds and sports equipment. We are selling the wooden tables ($5 each) and old metal chairs ($1 each).
- The IMC van will be at the MBA office. Teams continue to go to the ships with great evangelistic ministry.
- We will wait to sell the MBA office until a new location is completed using proceeds from the IMC. MBA Finance and Executive Committees have approved a possible bridge loan from the MBA until the MBA office sells.
- Committee members continue to approach, individuals, MBA and other congregations to help find an existing 8-10,000 sf building. Options so far have not been viable due to location or refurbishing needed.
- Please continue praying, looking and talking to find the person who will be the answer to the prayers for a new location.
Constitution and Bylaws (C&BL) Updates
Please do not wait until there is a problem to discover the C&BL is outdated and weak.
The updated document should include clear guidelines for membership, business meetings and for the facilities to relate to SBC/MBA. Any congregation is susceptible to power struggles to stop progress or change. Smaller congregations are targeted often by unethical independent and other denominations to lose their facilities.
Orientation Guide for Church Staff and Churches Exploring MBA Membership
Please visit mobilebaptists.org for a copy of our Orientation and New Member Guide. It presents an overview of MBA ministries, staff, philosophy and strategy. It also includes a membership application for churches wishing to explore membership with the MBA. Please download a copy for your staff and share a copy with potential member churches.
Impact Mobile Associational Missions Offering
Our Executive Committee affirmed a goal of $20,000. This offering is one way for churches to teach about Associational Missions and help church members know why we give and work cooperatively. The emphasis dates are during Associational Missions Week each May, but we can adapt the materials to reflect ANY date that works better with your church calendar. Please use this opportunity to teach the importance of Cooperative Missions and the impact we are having in Mobile County and across the planet.
Church Financial Procedures
Recent studies indicate a trusted leader who embezzled money has affected 15 percent of churches. Wise stewardship requires each church to establish financial guidelines to protect against the growing number of offering collectors, counters, church staff and treasurers who are stealing or incorrectly processing money from the church.
- Insist on a yearly independent audit or review of the church financial records in your congregation.
- Insist on accountability processes so that no single staff member or individual (or members of the same family) are ever solely responsible for collecting, counting, depositing and spending church funds.
- Insist on at least two counters who are not related and deposit cash immediately.
- Insist on monthly or quarterly public financial reports that document all income and all expenditures.
Churches Seeking pastors and New Pastors
Welcome pastor David McCracken at College Park.
Churches seeking a pastor: Dayspring, Faith (Mobile). FBC Chickasaw, FBC Tillman’s Corner, Gulfcrest, Higher Ground, Kushla-Bethany (Tim Morgan-Interim), Memorial (Citronelle), Riverside (Billy Burtt-interim), Shiloh, Turnerville, Vietnamese Obedience.