Executive Ministry Director’s 2017 Annual Report

It continues to be our great joy and privilege to serve our Lord and Savior and His Church through the ministry of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches. Hardly a day goes by without recognizing in some practical way the importance and benefits of this ministry to the churches and servants in our network. My report shares a few of the reasons why this has been true in the past year.

 

 

Refining the Core Values of the Association.

 

 

The Council of 16 is a source of personal blessing as they seek to passionately lead with biblical conviction. They are deeply invested in the future of our association. An example of this has been their ongoing work of refining the MARBC’s Core Values. A series of “regional forums” were held in each of the seven regional associations to seek input from the association. These meetings were well attended by those serving in MARBC churches, as well as several pastors from unaffiliated churches. The discussion at each gathering was both edifying and encouraging.

 

A Council task force reviewed the comments received at the forums and submitted a refined set of core values for approval. The original seven statements were narrowed to four: (1) biblically and doctrinally resolute, (2) progressing in ministry mindset and method, (3) pursuing cultural and generational diversity, and, (4) engaging our neighbors.

 

Church Revitalization.

 

A major emphasis of our ministry this year involved the further development of a practical plan for the revitalization of struggling churches in the association. This revitalization will be implemented on a regional basis. Churches within a region are being asked to help assist a struggling sister church that agrees to submit to a partnership.

 

An example of this is happening at Montrose Baptist Church, who is receiving significant assistance from South Baptist Church in Flint along with input from the MARBC office. Pastoral and financial resources are being provided to help the Montrose ministry revitalize. Other MARBC churches in the region plan to offer their assistance. At least two other revitalization projects are currently being developed for implementation in 2018 in other parts of the state.

 

Pastoral Search Assistance.

 

A prominent part of the Ministry Director’s personal ministry involves assisting churches and pastors in times of transition. This important process is both time and labor intensive. The spiritual fruit realized as a result of this investment makes it worthwhile.

 

Interpas Ministries.

 

A recent development has enhanced the association’s effectiveness in ministering to churches facing such a need. Shortly after the conclusion of the 2016 MARBC Conference, the leadership of Interpas Ministries approached me with the proposal that their ministry come under the direction of the MARBC Ministry Director. They reasoned that much of the recruiting and facilitating of churches in need of pastors was already being done through the MARBC office.

 

Interpas was founded by Dr. Wilbert Welch 30 years ago and has served dozens of local churches, many of them in association with the MARBC. The ministry provides interim pastors for churches willing to follow its policies. Men who serve with Interpas are screened and interviewed by an Interpas review committee. The Council of 16 approved bringing Interpas Ministries “under the umbrella” of the MARBC in its June meeting.

 

Our office is now receiving calls and inquiries from churches in Michigan, as well as a few other states. Since we anticipate the retirement a large number of “Boomer” pastors there will be a great need for new pastors in the next decade and a strong demand for interim pastors. We will be recruiting retiring pastors to join Interpas to help meet the demands of these churches.

 

Statistics from the 2016-17 ministry year…

• Travel: Over 26,600 miles on behalf of the MARBC this past year.

• Vehicle: God blessed the association this past summer with the opportunity to purchase a vehicle for use by the ministry director. Our thanks to the churches and individuals who gave to this project. A special thanks to the Grand Rapids Women’s Missionary Union for raising nearly $9,000. This enabled us to purchase a 2015 Ford Fusion in late June.

• Church assistance: Speaking 90 times in 54 churches; 150+ 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 18 pastoral search orientations; shared at 8 pastor installation services and 8 ordination councils

• Strategic planning: led 4 churches through strategic planning seminar weekends and follow up coaching

• Office: continued to implement cost saving methods; prepared two-dozen MARBC Messenger communications.

• Eleven years! We celebrate God’s blessings as we complete our eleventh year serving the association.

 

To God be the glory!

 

God recently added another precious grandchild to our family. We give thanks to God for our dear daughter Allison, her husband Taylor, and our five grandchildren – Connor (8), Eloise (6), Malachi (3), Emmaline (16 months), and Camille (born October 11)!

 

It has been our blessing during these 11 years of service to partner with two special individuals who volunteer their time to assist the MARBC in important support roles. Karen Avey continues to effectively serve as the MARBC bookkeeper, as well as giving Sharon some practical assistance from time to time with office matters. Kevin Pierpont not only continues his service as the MARBC’s web master, but also oversees the Interpas Ministries website. Both are a great blessing to us and are to be commended for their conscientious, quality ministries.

 

One of the greatest blessings of serving the Lord through the MARBC ministry is the opportunity to serve side by side with my wonderful wife, Sharon. She is such a personal joy and I know that she is an encouragement to each of you who have the opportunity to interact with her. Yes, it is true that we really do like working and serving together in the office and on the road.

 

We praise God for His compassion and sustaining grace as we have dealt with serious health needs with Ken’s parents in Ohio and extended elderly family members in Florida. Your prayer support and encouragement as we have dealt with these needs has been greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you for your continuing prayer and financial support. Do not hesitate to contact us to seek our assistance, share a prayer request, or celebrate a blessing in your life or ministry. We thank our God upon every remembrance of you.

 

Partnering with you and praying for you,

Ken and Sharon Floyd

2017 Conference Messages

Four MARBC pastors each chose a Biblical text that illustrates the application of one of the four core values.

 

In Search of Soul Satisfaction, John 4

Jeff Burr, host pastor serving at Forest Hills Baptist Church and current Vice Chairman of the MARBC Council of 16, shared in the first general session. He opened his message by sharing a brief overview of the decline of Kodak as its industry’s gold standard. The business thoroughly dominated its technological field but lost sight of it’s corporate vision. Burr then traced how Jesus overcame various barriers in sharing the gospel with those he encountered using the narrative of John 4.

 

 

 

Shepherding All the Sheep,” 1 Peter 5

Mark Cizauskas, lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Rochester and current Treasurer of the MARBC Council of 16, focused upon Peter’s admonition to pastors from 1 Peter 5:1-4. Keying on the core value, pursuing cultural and generational diversity, Mark emphasized the critical role pastors play in modeling gospel ministry. It must be a ministry that does not play favorites but reaches out to all demographics in the local body and in the community. “Peter challenges the pastor to ‘shepherd the flock which is among you.'” The pastor is called to shepherd the redeemed and they in turn will impact the community.”

 

 

 

Staying on the Line, Mark 7

Preaching on the morning of October 31, Ross Shannon, lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Lapeer, acknowledged his excitement in sharing a message on the importance of Sola Scriptura on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Ross examined the interaction of Jesus with the Pharisees as they reacted to what they considered as the disciples’ unorthodox dining habits. He stated that while association churches and pastors should seek to uphold the core value of remaining “Biblically and doctrinally resolute,” care must be taken to “stay on the line, not above it by adding to the truth; or below it, subtracting from it.” Reflecting upon Jesus’ response to the Pharisees, Shannon stated that “Jesus is against those who go above the line. When we go a above the line, the line isn’t protected or obscured, but is erased.”

 

 

 

Walking the Ministry Tightrope, Acts 6

One of the four core values embraced by the MARBC is “progressing in ministry mindset and method.”

Utilizing an opening illustration about a tightrope walker crossing over Niagara Falls, Bob McNeil discussed the ministry tightrope that the Jerusalem church had to walk as they dealt with the pressing spiritual needs within its body. The church leaders needed to properly address the demands of two extremely different groups who were now a part of the church: formerly Orthodox Jews and Greek converts. “They sought to keep a biblically healthy balance: they were tied to the text [of scripture] but were also open to change … Healthy churches are always addressing the need to change.” Biblically engaging the culture demands a church that is willing to make changes in its approach to that culture. McNeil then noted the key to the Jerusalem church’s ability to navigate change in a God glorifying manner – they were committed to prayer. “The power of God is accessed through prayer. They didn’t pray and then say, ‘we’re going to do what we’ve always done.'” Peter had to learn this the hard way … It took three visions from God before he would change and reach out to the Gentiles. Likewise, Paul had to learn through out his missionary journeys that he had to change the approach of his message, depending upon his audience.

“Stories from the Front” highlight practical church rescue ministries in the MARBC

Two practical church ministry breakout sessions were featured at the 2017 MARBC Conference. Titled “Stories from the Front” both sessions featured testimonies from church leaders who have served in integral ways in the rescue of struggling churches.

 

 

The Northland/Blythefield Partnership

This report focuses upon how a merger of two MARBC church ministries seeks to impact a community on the north end of Grand Rapids. Pastors Ben Phebus (Northland Baptist Church, Grand Rapids) and Tim Hoyt (Blythefield Hills Baptist Church, Rockford) share the back-story of this strategic relationship.

 

 

 

The Montrose Project

What options are available for a church that is in significant decline? This back-story shares how a healthy sister church offers significant support to a struggling church in a neighboring community, with assistance from the MARBC. Pastors Scott Snyder (South Baptist Church, Flint) and Shane Miller (Montrose Baptist Church, Montrose), along with Montrose deacon Bob Mosser, share about this exciting partnering approach.

 

 

 

Ken Floyd announced at the conclusion of the session that there are additional prospective church reboot partnerships under consideration. Churches and pastors are encouraged to contact the MARBC office to learn how they can be involved in this important ministry endeavor.

2017 MARBC Conference highlights

 

Ken Floyd, MARBC Ministry Director, opened the initial session by sharing the vision of the Council of 16 in the planning of this year’s conference. “This year’s conference theme focuses upon the biblical church dynamics identified in the MARBC’s core values. We desire that the churches of our association will bring God great glory as they focus upon and implement these biblical principles. It is our prayer than this will be evidenced through individual local churches as well as through church partnerships regionally throughout our state. We pray that you will be challenged, encouraged, and strengthened as a result of your participation.”

 

MARBC Family Session

 

The MARBC family session on Monday afternoon included a report from Executive Ministry Director Ken Floyd, the approval of the 2018 budget, and the election of three new Council of 16 members for a 3 year term (2018-2020). Newly elected members are:

 

Bill Abernathy, Berean Baptist Church, Portage
Nathan Pierpont, Northeastern Baptist Church, Kalamazoo
Chris Weeks, Kent City Baptist Church, Kent City

 

 

2018 Council of 16

At large members, 3-year terms (term expiration year)

Tom Townsend, Calvary Baptist Church, Battle Creek (2018)

Doug Crawford, West Cannon Baptist Church, Belmont (2018)

Marc Herron, First Baptist Church, Caro (2018)

Jeff Burr, Forest Hills Baptist Church, Grand Rapids (2019) Vice Chairman

Dave Sill, Shelby Road Baptist Church, Shelby (2019) Chairman

Mark Cizauskas, First Baptist Church, Rochester (2019) Treasurer

Bill Abernathy, Berean Baptist Church, Portage (2020)

Nathan Pierpont, Northeastern Baptist Church, Kalamazoo (2020)

Chris Weeks, Kent City Baptist Church, Kent City (2020)

Regional representatives (selected by their regional associations)

Steve Ayers, Faith Baptist Church, Benzonia (Northern)

Scott Church, Trinity Baptist Church, Muskegon (Western)

Phil Devaney, Britton Bethel Baptist Church, Britton (Southern)

Jerry Diserens, Evangel Baptist Church, Taylor (Eastern)

Aaron Hadley, First Baptist Church, Edmore (Central) Secretary

Lewis Hague, Blessed Hope Baptist Church, Escanaba (Upper Peninsula)

2017 MARBC Annual Conference to be held on October 30-31 in Grand Rapids

You are encouraged to join us for this special event that features challenging biblical exposition, practical ministry ideas, and rich fellowship. The conference will focus upon the biblical church dynamics identified in the MARBC’s core values.

This year’s conference features speakers who currently serve as pastors in MARBC churches from various regions of the state.

 

 

Conference Schedule

 

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MARBC 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

Invested Conference logo 2016Michigan ministry servants recently gathered in a unique conference setting to focus upon their spiritual opportunities as investors and stockholders in Christ’s Great Commission.

“invested” was both the theme and focus of the MARBC Annual Conference held on Monday and Tuesday, October 17-18. The conference featured a new format for 2016. Live streaming technology was utilized in order to two hold the conference in two locations simultaneously. This allowed access to the conference within a reasonable driving distance for churches located in the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan.

The Tenth Annual MARBC Day of Prayer was held just prior to the conference on Sunday, October 16. It is held so that churches can give thanks to God for their pastors during Pastor Appreciation Month and so there can be a special prayer focus on behalf of the conference.

ken-floyd-and-george-coonNortheastern Baptist Church in Kalamazoo served as the host church in the Lower Peninsula. Host pastor and long-time MARBC Council member, Dr. George Coon, retires at the end of November. The conference was held there in honor of Pastor Coon’s impact and ministry in the MARBC.

up-discussion-groupUpper Peninsula churches gathered at the Northland Camp & Conference Center, located just across border in Dunbar, Wisconsin. The Northland campus has for many years been a popular conference and seminar site for Upper Peninsula churches. Each site had a session of worship that was followed by live streaming of the preaching sessions. The conference schedule was formatted to accommodate sites located in both the Eastern and Central time zones.

Our thanks to Pastor Ben Marx, Bible Baptist Church in Ishpeming, for his efforts to co-ordinate the Upper Peninsula venue and format.

congregational-worshipWorship sessions were led and coordinated by Nathan Pierpont, worship pastor at Northeastern Baptist Church. Other worship leaders included Dave Sill (Shelby Road Baptist Church, Shelby), Steven Lounsbrough (Evangel Baptist Church, Taylor),and Steve Nichols (Berean Baptist Church, Portage). Worship was coordinated at the Northland-UP site by Pastor Ben Marx (Bible Baptist Church, Ishpeming).

wigand-business-sessionThe Monday afternoon business session was designed to include messengers in both locations, with materials and ballots provided for ministry decisions. Reports included an encouraging update from Council of 16 treasurer Ron Wigand regarding the MARBC’s financial situation. Giving to the general fund income by churches increased 63% during the past year. Many one-time gifts have also been received from churches and individuals to assist the MARBC.

The MARBC Council of 16 honored Ministry Director Ken Floyd and his wife Sharon for their ten years representing the association. The Floyds received a special love gift in recognition of their investment with the association.

Council of 16 elections were also held during the business session. New members selected were: Jeff Burr (Forest Hills Baptist Church, Grand Rapids), Mark Cizauskas (First Baptist Church, Rochester), Dave Sill (Shelby Road Baptist Church, Shelby), and Tom Townsend (Calvary Baptist Church, Battle Creek).

floyd-greetingMain session speakers were pastors serving in MARBC churches in both Michigan peninsulas. You are able to access both the audio and video content of each message is posted on this website.

The speakers focused upon various aspects of the conference theme, “invested,” and the updated set of core values that the MARBC Council of 16 recently drafted. Ken Floyd reflected upon these core values in the opening message of the 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.”

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.

manwarren-livestreamThe remaining conference messages expanded upon these core values, utilizing pastors from MARBC churches of varied sizes and locations.

“Investing through the Gospel,” Andrew Manwarren, Newberry Baptist Church, Newberry, MI. Pastor Andrew shared a strong Biblical challenge from the Northland conference venue. He reminded those in attendance that God is sovereign and does not need anyone to assist Him with His plan. However, God graciously gives His servants the opportunity to engage in the joy of bringing Him glory.

george-coon-speaking“Investing in Multiple Generations,” George Coon, Northeastern Baptist Church, Kalamazoo, MI. Focusing upon the unique relationship between Elijah and Elisha as shared in 2 Kings 2, Pastor George reflected upon the necessity of balance in ministry as well compassion for those with whom we serve. The effective church strives for relevancy for all ages and generations. The relationship of the two prophets is also a reminder that you cannot serve God effectively in isolation. Every ministry servant needs four types of people in their sphere of influence: a shepherd, an accountability partner, a buffer, and a friend.

“Investing Creatively with Unbelievers,” Nate Parsekian, Shelby Road Baptist Church, Shelby, MI. Examining the practical ministry of the Apostle Paul from Acts 17, Pastor Nate noted that Paul was engaged with the community in a variety of ways. He reminded those gathered that Paul was always noticed where ever he went. The worst thing is when a church goes unnoticed by their community. Nate then shared several practical ways in which he leads the church as an outreach pastor in the Shelby community.

jason-laflamme-speaking“Investing in My Local Community,” Jason LaFlamme, Munising Baptist Church, Munising, MI. A lifetime “UP-er” and pastor in his hometown, Pastor Jason cite several Biblical examples of how every church and believer needs to be personally involved and invested in the people and needs of their community. Using the children’s game “Red Rover” as an illustration, he reminded that the circles of churches should be easily entered by others rather than hard to break through.

clare-jewell-speaking“Investing through Church Planting,” Clare Jewell, “Genesis” Church Planting Coordinator, Regular Baptist Ministries. Clare gave a presentation regarding church planting assistance opportunities in a Tuesday luncheon sponsored by the Regular Baptist Church Planting ministry. He recommended websites such as www.thearda.com and www.peoplegroups.info to learn about the unique gospel opportunities in their communities through the study of neighborhood demographics.

doug-crawford-speaking“Investing through Biblically Relevant Methodology,” Doug Crawford, West Cannon Baptist Church, Belmont, MI. Surveying the ministry of Peter, Pastor Doug noted that Peter was constantly challenged by Christ and other church leaders to keep maturing and progressing in regards to biblical change. Several crisis points in Peter’s ministry caused him to struggle with the need to abandon comfort and tradition in order to effectively serve Christ and lead the church forward. Crawford reminded the messengers that regardless of a servant’s age and experience, there needs to be an openness and submission to God’s redemptive process.

clare-jewell-lunch-presentationAn interactive afternoon session featured testimonies pertaining to creative outreach strategies used by MARBC churches. Several MARBC pastors shared ways in which they are leading their local churches to engage with their communities. Three pastors related how work as local police and hospital chaplains has opened doors in which to share the gospel. Others shared about outreach endeavors based upon the uniqueness of their community.

Ken Floyd closed the conference by suggesting that the MARBC’s partnership in Christ’s command be dubbed “The Great Co-Michigan.” Messengers left the conference sensing a greater commitment as fellow investors and stockholders in the Great Co-Michigan strategy.

pierpont-lounsbrough-sill-worshipResources and message audios from the conference are now available on the website.

2016 MARBC Conference Messages

2016 MARBC Conference MessagesMichigan ministry servants recently gathered in a unique conference setting to focus upon their spiritual opportunities as investors and stockholders in Christ’s Great Commission.

“invested” was both the theme and focus of the MARBC Annual Conference held on Monday and Tuesday, October 17-18. The conference featured a new format for 2016. Live streaming technology was utilized in order to two hold the conference in two locations simultaneously. This allowed access to the conference within a reasonable driving distance for churches located in the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan.

Audio and Video is available of the following conference messages:

Rev. Ken Floyd – Audio and Video

Pastor Andrew Manwarren – Audio and Video

Dr. George L. Coon – Audio and Video

Pastor Nate Parsekian – Audio and Video

Pastor Jason LaFlamme – Audio and Video

Pastor Doug Crawford – Audio and Video

2016 MARBC Conference – Pastor Doug Crawford

“invested” was both the theme and focus of the MARBC Annual Conference held on Monday and Tuesday, October 17-18, 2016. Follow along with this audio and video.

Speaker: Pastor Doug Crawford
Audio: Download MP3



For more messages visit the 2016 MARBC Conference Messages page.

2016 MARBC Conference – Pastor Nate Parsekian

“invested” was both the theme and focus of the MARBC Annual Conference held on Monday and Tuesday, October 17-18, 2016. Follow along with this audio and video.

Speaker: Pastor Nate Parsekian
Audio: Download MP3



For more messages visit the 2016 MARBC Conference Messages page.