Archives for January 2017

A New Year’s Proposal

The start of a new year has often been described by phrases such as, “a fresh start,” “a new lease on life,” “turning over a new leaf or page,” “beginning a new chapter,” and “starting with a clean slate.” Perhaps in this highly technological age we can use updated phrases to mark this occasion, such as, “getting a reboot,” “proceeding with a clean hard drive,” “upgrading your software,” or “downloading a new app!”

I suggest that a good phrase to adopt as a new year’s motivation is “godly imprint.” The following parable, penned by an unknown author, provides a wise illustration to motivate us towards achieving this goal.

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting it into the box. “There are 5 things you need to know,” he told the pencil, “before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.”
o You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.
o You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.
o You have an eraser. You will be able to correct mistakes you will make.
o The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.
o On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.
The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.

Now, imagine yourself as the pencil and God as the Pencil Maker. What kind of a story could God write using you as His instrument to make a godly imprint in the coming year?
o You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.
o You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems, but you’ll need it to become a stronger person.
o You will be able to make corrections to the mistakes you might make through forgiveness. You can also grow as a result of them through God’s sanctifying work.
o The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.
o On every surface you walk, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to serve God in everything.

A properly used pencil can make a lasting imprint

The principle of the godly imprint that one single life used by God can make was dynamically on display as Sharon and I recently participated in the “celebration/memorial service” for a dear sister saint who went to be with her Lord. She was a charter member of a church where I formerly served as pastor. She had faithfully served as a deacon’s wife, Sunday School teacher, Daily Vacation Bible School worker, nursery worker, and, along with her husband, a compassionate servant for over a half century.

She was a spiritual “Pied Piper” of every person who was blessed by God to intersect her path of godly influence. One can only imagine how many sets of little ears listened to this master Bible story-teller share with enthusiasm about the wonders of God or heard her pray for them by name. Whether it was her creative way of teaching Bible stories, her godly character, or responding with genuine excitement as a child showed her a craft they had handmade, every child left feeling valued and closer to God.

As many stood to share testimonies about her godly example and loving influence in their lives I couldn’t help but wonder how many people’s lives this faithful servant of God had impacted by her consistent ministry of teaching children. Hundreds of children received effective teaching by this dear lady over her five decades of service, including our own daughter. New generations continue to be spiritually impacted because of her influence upon those who now mentor them.

A godly life can leave indelible imprints upon multiple generations

I noticed that those who shared testimonies came from at least four different generations. They each shared thoughtful and, sometimes, humorous reflections. But each testimony contained a common denominator: they were impacted because this humble servant simply let God use her to make a “mark” on others by sharing His Word faithfully in week after week and year after year in the laboratory of life. Her Spirit filled enthusiasm contagiously left a godly imprint on every person who had the wonderful blessing of entering into in her sphere of spiritual influence.

All of us who attended that that unique gathering left feeling encouraged, blessed, and challenged to be used of God to leave our mark in a similar way. I noted that there were no press reporters waiting outside to get exclusive “insider” interviews. Nor were there paparazzi gathered in order to capture pictures of the event. But I thought as we filed out that day the Lord had already taken note of this dear sister’s daily commitment to be God’s instrument and had declared, “Well done,” as she entered into His presence.

Driving back home following this special time gathering, Sharon and I paused to thank God for the honor of serving alongside such a godly influencer. We also reflected upon the dozens of similar godly servants that we have had the privilege of ministering with over the years. Some of them may even be reading this column!

The testimony of this type of humble servant’s life was similar to that of Paul the Apostle as he shared with the Corinthian believers, “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

Events like the one we experienced a few weeks ago help to bring things back into perspective. Perhaps facing the prospect of entering a new year and “another tour of duty,” whether it be as a Sunday School teacher, AWANA worker, nursery worker, usher, deacon, musician, pastor, or ___________ (you fill in the blank), leaves you feeling frustrated or weary.

A properly invested life can leave a lasting imprint

Why not work your way down the hallway of the building where you worship and listen to a faithful servant who is ministering to captivated audience as if she or he were ministering to a King? In fact, that is exactly what they are doing. And in the process they are being used by their Royal Master to indelibly and eternally imprint His Word in the heart of every young life they serve.

As you and I remember the importance of making an imprint in the year ahead, let us proceed each day having a meaningful purpose in our heart and a close relationship daily with God. God will not only use us especially when we yield ourselves to be His instrument, but others will be eternally impacted and blessed.

You have His Word on it!
Ken Floyd
January 2017

The Core Values of the MARBC

The MARBC Council of 16, the governing board of the MARBC, has spent the past year prayerfully developing a set of core values to provide guidance for the development of the association in the next decade. These values continue to be evaluated and enhanced as input is received from the MARBC constituency.

MARBC Core Values:

• Biblically grounded and doctrinally conservative.
• Methodology that is progressive: understanding the culture in order to be relevant and effective.
• Innovative: trying new ideas in order to apply biblical truths and values.
• Non-hostile environments: recognizing that truth based love and unity are essential ingredients of church life.
• Connecting with the community: creating connective points with the unsaved.
• Accepting of differences: not every person/church must look the exactly the same.
• Multigenerational: all ages worshipping together.

Ken Floyd reflected upon these core values in the opening message of the 2016 annual conference, “Investing in Michigan:”

“This past year of ministry with the MARBC has been one of great faith and special blessing. The association has been refocused and strengthened in many ways. Not the least of these is the refocusing our vision upon what connects us together as a network of local churches and Christ’s servants: the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and the way in which it is integrated into the investment strategies of our spiritual portfolios. What is it that will allow the MARBC to remain a valid partnership investment for those currently in the network and for those who might consider becoming shareholders? The result of these biblically focused, prayerful discussions was the restating of the specific core values that define the MARBC’s investment portfolio.”

A group of strategy meetings are being scheduled for February and early March in various regions of the the state to discuss these values and to receive input from the pastors and churches in the association. These meetings will be posted on the website and communicated in the MARBC Messenger once they have been finalized.

The Ministry Vision of the MARBC

SMARBC Regional Association Quarterly Meeting

Ken Floyd, Ministry Director of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches, has drafted a strategic ministry plan for the next 10 years of the association’s ministry. You are encouraged to click the link to download and then review the powerpoint presentation which summarizes this presentation.

Download the MARBC Ministry Vision 2016-2025 PowerPoint File (Right Click, Save As)

Or view the presentation slides here:

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MARBC Ministry Director’s Report

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The “10-40” Window.

“10” This is a very unique fall for the Floyds since we are entering the “10-40” window. It is hard to fathom that it was 10 years ago that Sharon and I assumed the roles of State Representative and Secretary of the MARBC. We were privileged to have a seamless transition due to the godly and wise leadership of our predecessors Maynard and Ann Belt. The Council of 15 is a wonderful group of servants who gave their support and encouragement as we launched out into “unknown frontiers” (at least “unknown” to us!)

“40” Near the end of November we celebrate 40 years of marriage. It seems shorter than that to me and for Sharon much longer! I am blessed to have a sweet and godly wife who listened to the challenge of her pastor’s wife as a seventh grader when she encouraged Sharon to pray for her future husband, since he may not even yet be a Christian (I wasn’t until my senior year of high school). Since Sharon also expressed her desire to serve as a pastor’s wife, she was encouraged by the same pastor’s wife to pray that her future husband would sense God’s clear call into pastoral ministry (I did as a sophomore in college as I prepared to be a medical doctor!) What a blessing from God it is to spend every day serving with such a focused, godly wife! All we have known as a married couple is ministering alongside one another in local church ministry. When starting down the marital path four decades ago we would have never imagined that we would have the privilege of sharing with such a wonderful group of churches and choice servants who comprise the MARBC. It is amazing to us that 25% of our marriage has been devoted to serving the Lord in our roles with the MARBC. We are humbled and deeply blessed to serve Christ and His Church alongside of you in such a way.

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Embracing and Celebrating Our Core Values.

This past year of ministry with the MARBC has been one of stretching faith and special blessing as we have sought to strengthen our association in many ways. Not the least of these was the financial need. How blessed we are by the way God’s people have responded to this!

We also worked to refocus our vision regarding what connects us together as a network of local churches and Christ’s servants.

This became a major discussion point of the MARBC leadership, the Council of 16. This past spring we spent considerable time discussing the Core Values of our association. What is it that will allow the MARBC to remain a valid ministry investment for those currently in our network and for those who might consider becoming a shareholder? The result of these biblically focused, prayerful discussions resulted in the restating of specific core values that must define the MARBC’s investment portfolio.

The MARBC Core Values:
• Biblically grounded and doctrinally conservative
• Methodology that is progressive: knowing the culture to keep current and relevant
• Innovative: willing to try new ideas
• Non-hostile environments: love and unity are essential ingredients of church life
• Connecting with the community: creating contact points with the unsaved
• Accepting of differences: not every person/church must look the same
• Intergenerational: all ages worshipping together
These core values are the emphasis of the 2016 MARBC Conference theme, “Invested,” and will be communicated and implemented in the next decade’s strategic goals.

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Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

We praise God for His work in our extended families during difficult health issues and severe crises. He is faithful! We praise God for our daughter Allison, her husband Taylor, and our four grandchildren – Connor (7), Eloise (5), Malachi (2), and Emmaline (4 months).

The MARBC Council of 16 serves a wonderful support system to us and we thank them for their sacrificial service. They are deeply invested in the future of our association. We also thank God for two significant volunteers who have assisted us in the MARBC’s practical ministry this past decade: Karen Avey, who serves as MARBC bookkeeper, and Kevin Pierpont, the MARBC’s web master. Both are a great blessing to us and are to be commended for their conscientious, quality ministries.

Sharon and I thank you for your ongoing prayer and financial support during this first decade of ministry with the MARBC. We look forward to investing with you as God’s stewards in the years ahead. He alone is worthy and deserves our very best!

To God be the glory!
Ken and Sharon Floyd

Michigan flag and map

Floyd Ministry Statistics from 2015-16
• Travel: Over 24,000 miles on behalf of the MARBC this past year; over 300,000 miles the past decade, serving in almost 700 churches & dozens of conferences and seminars!
• Church assistance: Speaking 88 times in 59 churches; 140+ meetings in-person and online for counseling and consulting; promoting CPR ministry opportunities
• Pastoral assistance: Assisted 14 churches in the call of a new pastor; conducted 12 pastoral search orientations; shared at 10 pastor installation services and 9 ordination councils
• Strategic planning: led 6 churches through strategic planning seminars; participated in 6 church planting strategy sessions
• Office: monitored the improving budget situation and implemented cost-saving methods in office operations; prepared 3 dozen MARBC Messenger communications; worked on enhancing our online and electronic presence communications

We are blessed to complete our tenth year serving with you as representatives of this wonderful church network. You are a great blessing to us and it is our joy to partner with you for God’s glory!