April 2019 Newsletter
OPEN DOORS CONTINUE IN ROMANIA
I am amazed at the doors continuing to open for us in Romania. Some doors are closing as well. The old “control party of former communists” is still resisting the gospel in many ways. But the open doors for the gospel are cause for continued ministry there. Alpha and Omega Baptist Church, our partner in ministry there, is doing an effective job on all fronts with respect to the Gospel. We are making inroads in the city and in some small towns outside the city. I will be traveling to Craiova in late July - early August this summer. I already have appointments with several people that need Christ. I am going to be able to do more personal gospel work. And I will be a couple of days at an English camp where there will be many lost young people! I am also taking over some basketball goals for the school just north of Craiova. We have an open door there as a result of our ongoing ministry over the years.
LAYING ON OF HANDS AND SETTING APART OF COSTE PITIGOI FOR A NEARBY CHURCH
It has been a joy to invest in the ministry of Costel Burlacu and Alpha and Omega Church. The ministry is growing. This was last fall, October 2018.
PUERTO RICO A NEW VENUE FOR MPM
I am also beginning a relationship with a North American Mission Board Church Planter in Puerto Rico. He is Andres Laracuente serving in the area called Carolina - an area adjacent to San Juan, the capital. I am going with North Roanoke Baptist Church in early June. I have a burden to invest in the local area church planter pastors. Pastor Andres said that was an answer to prayer.
UNHEALTHY CHURCHES A CHALLENGE
TO “GAIN ENTRY”
FOR INITIATING BIBLICAL CHANGE
I have been even more amazed since leaving the pastorate at the number of small-to-mid sized churches struggling in our region. We desperately need a recovery of Gospel joy, faithfulness, and effectiveness.
Old committee-driven structures, personal preferences, and leadership apathy are some of the causes of church decline. They CAN be addressed in a focused revitalization process. And a pastor can be mentored and strategically encouraged to make gospel-centered changes. The challenge is gaining “entry” to these pastors and churches. The time to make effective changes is before most people “see” the obvious decline. It is easy to fall into a cycle of maintenance and status quo in churches.
Pray that we (MPM) would be able to gain entry through investment (time and materials) into the lives of pastors in our region. Our area is becoming more multi-cultural and the world has come to us! A great opportunity is set before us. This is a priority for our ministry.
ROANOKE AREA CHURCHES AND STRATEGIC REVITALIZATION
I have been working with the local Baptist association with respect to trying to get four to six churches to do a Revitalization process. This would be with the Malphurs group. There is a cost involved and therefore this is still questionable at this time. I will let you know if this moves forward. I will be working with all the pastors in this process. I am currently working with two area pastors and one staff not involved in the Malphurs project.
NATURAL BRIDGE BAPTIST CHURCH CORE LEADER GROUP
I was privileged to go to Natural Bridge Baptist Church on the first Sunday in February to preach. I was concerned about the condition of the church after I was there. I contacted the deacon in charge of procuring preachers for the pulpit and inquired about coming back to help them. I was glad to be able to go back there on a Monday night and spend nearly two hours investing in them and giving them some self-analysis materials and some biblically-based wise counsel as to the future of their church. I believe that this will be a help to them as they move towards getting a Transitional Pastor and make some wise changes for the next chapter of their ministry. All the materials (copies of analysis tools and other) and the books were provided by our ministry. Thanks for helping me to help this church and other churches in the future!
UPCOMING MISSION TRIPS FOR MPM
• Puerto Rico w/ North Roanoke Baptist Church, June 1–8 2019
• Romania July 22 – August 6 2019 a personal witnessing trip
• Malaysia – invest in “two plus two” IMB missionaries January 2020
• Romania (taking a team of seven to eight) late April /early May 2020
PREACHING THIS SPRING
• Sunrise Service for the Glade Creek community of churches
• Ridgewood Baptist Church, Sunday morning April 28th
• New Life Baptist Church in Ferrum in a Revival effort the night of May 7th