Sunday, August 10, 2014

“Reaching People: Vacation Bible School”

(Article first published in the Baptist Beacon, July, 2014)

Vacation Bible School (VBS) remains one of the most effective annual evangelistic activities among many Southern Baptist churches nationwide. All across our state, Michigan Baptist churcAgencyD3_Badge-4color-03kbhes are conducting VBS as a way to reach their community. In addition, VBS isn’t just a ministry to the children. VBS can be a bridge to reach entire families for Christ.

A few weeks ago, I was visiting Eastgate Baptist Church in Burton. Karen Howe shared her testimony of how she sent her young daughter to VBS. Through the faithful follow up of two VBS teachers, she and her daughter were invited to Sunday School and eventually came to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She now is a key leader in the hospitality ministry of the church. That is just one of hundreds of testimonies of a transformed life that was first touched through Vacation Bible School.

VBS is so much more than decorations, fun games, and fruit drinks. Unchurched individuals and families can be reached with the gospel each summer through intentional evangelistic efforts of a church through VBS. Through Vacation Bible School, a church will see professions of faith and new church members of children, youth and adults. In addition, churches will establish long-term relationships with those families in its community.

The Most Important Thing
I have ever done! Read my story HERE

5/52: Church Start Funding Plan

Any church, regardless of size, can have a part in starting a new church. many churches feel that the financial burden of starting5 52 Commitment Postcard a new church is too much to bear, but there are realistic ways that every church can have a part in the ministry of Kingdom expansion through starting a new church.

One of the simple plans that can help a church resource a new church is called the 5/52 Church Start Funding Plan. See the details in this video workshop on how this plan works to support a new church. Click HERE to watch the video workshop.

CHURCHES: Be an Acts 1:8 congregation by finding every possible way to be a part of starting new churches. This is one of many options that can help your congregation be actively involved in supporting a new church.

INDIVIDUALS: As an individual, you might make a 5/52 commitment to a new church, even if your church doesn’t commit to the plan. You can be a part now, and encourage your church to join you in the future.

Click HERE to watch the 5/52 video workshop

The Most Important Thing
I have ever done! Read my story HERE

Most Watched Workshops

Check out this month’s most watched workshops on our e-quip training portal. In addition to these, there are more than 850 additional workshops on virtually every area of church leadership.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Audio Conference for Pastors RELAUNCHED

The Audio Conference for Pastors has resumed production and is now available for download or listening online. Several dozen archived episodes will Audio Conference for Pastorsbe released soon on the new website (currently in pre-release) in addition to the newest episode on …

Community Evangelism in Flushing, MI
with Pastor Ed Emmerling   


  • Keys To Conflict Resolution with Roy Edgemon
  • Comeback Churches with Ed Stetzer
  • Ministry That Matters with Johnny Hunt
  • Transforming Rural Churches with Shannon O'Dell
  • Developing Leaders in Small Churches with Terry Dorsett
  • Five 30-minute episodes on How to Launch a New Church with Brian Bloye, Gary Irby, Phil Spry, Sean Benesh & Adam Davis

Our prayer is that these recordings will be an encouragement to pastors and church leaders. Listen to all of the Audio Conference for Pastor podcasts at More of the archived episodes will be uploaded soon.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

Would you like to support God’s work long beyond your life? It is fully possible when you make preparations in advance to continue your support through an adequate estate plan.
A few weeks ago, our International Mission Board (IMB) co-sponsored a luncheon in Baltimore with the Southern Baptist Foundation-SBC. The luncheon offered both a vision and a plan for pastors to lead their people to meet crucial family needs and support Kingdom work beyond this life.
The IMB recorded this luncheon presentation by Pastor Greg Matte (FBC, Houston, TX). I would invite you to be encouraged and exhorted by Pastor Greg’s message on: ”The Last Full Measure of Devotion.”
Watch this message at: 
Watch this video and then contact us for resources on estate planning for you and your congregation. bfom_32col_72dpi_WHITE_Pantone_349_123Explore our website at to find printed materials and videos that can be used to encourage estate planning.
You and your church members can support the IMB, your local church, or dozens of other Baptist causes that support Kingdom work until the Lord returns.
Some 20 years ago, Brenda and I set up our estate plan to give to Baptist causes after our death. Let me encourage you to do likewise.
Enjoy this video message … then, take action for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
bobby gilstrap, Lead Missionary / Executive Director
The Most Important Thing
I have ever done! Read my story HERE