Monday, April 14, 2014

Next Meeting April 14th: First Baptist Port Richie



We want to continue our streak of great meetings, and you are a big part of that.  2014 has seen the fellowship and church planning efforts take a strong move forward and we anticipate a great meeting in Port Richie.  Join us April 14th!
  
Schedule:
Officer's meeting - 10:00 am
Russell Johnson - Fellowship as a Verb- 11:00 am
Lunch and Business meeting - 12:00 pm
Ed Johnson - Dealing with Discouragement - 1:00 pm
Ron Todd - Keeping your marriage strong- 2:00 pm

Special music will be provided by Neal O'Lenick

When looking up directions it is better to use the address instead of the church's name.

First Baptist Church of Port Richey
5708 River Gulf Road
Port Richey, Florida 34668

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Next Meeting: Cornerstone, Davenport



The Florida Fellowship has impacted my ministry more than any schooling, training, book or program.  That is why I am excited to be able to host the January Fellowship meeting on January 13th.

This is the first meeting of the year and we have a bit of a twist.  Rather than our usual meeting with preaching and music, we will be in conference mode with some topics that I think will appeal to you.

Mac Heavener, former president and CEO of ERA Realty, and current president of Trinity Baptist college in Jacksonville will share with us on the topic of leadership.
Dr. David Anderson of faith Baptist in Sarasota will bring a talk on the issue of concealed carry of weapons in the church.  Beyond just the ethics, he will give practical tips on keeping our churches secure.  Last, but not least, John Erik Moseler, a church marketing consultant will help all of us with our outreach materials and marketing.  We encourage you to bring your bulletins, tracts, and mail-outs for some helpful tips.

I hope each of you will consider taking a day to come and grow with the rest of us.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Next Meeting - November 11th - St. Pete

Dan & Pam We here at Park Street are looking forward to hosting the FBBF meeting this coming Monday November 11.  We have two excellent speakers who will challenge your heart.  We will have some good music, testimonies, food and preaching.  We are putting a lot of effort into this meeting and hope that you will put an effort into being here. 

This is the last meeting of the year so let’s do our best to be here. It is evident that we pastors are busier than ever, but also that we need each other for support and encouragement more than ever. 

We are located at 3901 Park St N, St Petersburg.  Your GPS will get you here just fine.  If you get lost or need some help my cell is 727-432-9958. 

We start at 11:00 AM and will be done by 2:30 PM. 

Our Speakers: 
Joey Candillo

Pastor Joey was saved while in prison in 1997.  He surrendered to full time ministry and enrolled at Baptist Bible College in 1998.  He graduated in May of 2002.  In September of the same year, he planted a church at the Milestone Youth Center, located across the street from Bales Baptist Church.  In 2004, the two churches merged and Joey became the pastor of Bales.  He was married to his wife, Megan, in May of 2005.  Joey is blessed with five children.  Joey recently resigned the church at Bales to start another church. 


Steve Brown
We are delighted to welcome one of the newer pastors to our State.  Steve Brown took Calvary Baptist Church in Englewood.  Calvary was a struggling work with less than a hundred when he took the work.  God has blessed them with good growth.  Steve was also the chaplain for the Texas Rangers baseball team and also at one time the Kansas City Royals before moving to Florida



“And He Shall Direct Your Paths”



“Not my might, not by power, but by my coaching” saith my emails.

Am I the only one being bombarded with emails from people who know the secrets of how to make my ministry a success?  According to my inbox, practically every problem I face in the ministry can be overcome if I simply have the appropriate coaching from the right coach.  From my leadership effectiveness, to my evangelistic outreach methods, to my per capita giving, to every basic system in the church body and even my personal income streams – EVERYTHING can be resolved by signing up to meet with someone once or twice a month, via video conference or simply by reading or watching their material at my “leisure” for a small fee of only…

Now don’t take me wrong, I am certainly not against learning from other people.  By some standards, I am considered an “early adopter” and many things in my ministry can be traced back to the words, the books or the examples of others.  As one preacher put it:  “If my bullet fits your gun, shoot it!”  And heaven knows I’ve shot many greats ideas of others through my “gun” over the years.

I am concerned, however, that we may sometimes be searching for “magic bullets” from other ministries rather than going to the One who truly knows and understands our situation the best!

A verse we often quote (but sometimes forget to apply) says: 
·       “Trust in the Lord with all your heart” - I know that we know this, but do we really believe that God will build His Church, in our location, through His means and by following His ways?  The answer at our ordination service would have been a resounding “yes” but how about after several years of reality, and more than a few discouragements.  Do we really trust Him?
·       “And lean not on your own understanding” – With every year we spend in the ministry, it often becomes harder and harder to not lean on our own experience, our own perspective, our own “convictions” in situations.  We’ve tried that before, we’ve seen that, we know how this will turn out…  And yet God’s Word says not to lean or depend on ourselves.  Rather, Solomon tells us…
·       “In all your ways acknowledge Him” – The word we probably trip on the most in this command is the little word “ALL.”  Remembering to take everything to God – the attendance, the baptisms, the budgets, the people “stuff,” the things that have worked so well over the years but might not be working so well now.  Yes, in ALL our ways, in everything we do, take it to Him:  not just to ask Him to bless us, but to make sure it’s even what we should be doing.
·       “And He shall direct your paths.” – It doesn’t say “might,” it says “shall.”  That is an assurance!  That is the same word we love to bank on in so many other areas (we shall be saved, for example) why not in the every day task of leading His Church.  It’s the same idea we see in James 1:5 where God promises us wisdom if we simply admit that we need it and then ask Him for it: “And it will be given to him.”

Please know that I am not suggesting that we ignore learning from one another, and even from others that we might have to pay to glean from their wisdom.  What I am saying though is this:  God knows our individual situations better than anyone else.  Maybe if we spend more time with Him, admitting that we need Him and taking every issue to Him, the path He shows us might be the most direct path to where He wants us to get! 

See you in St. Pete. 


Russell Johnson, IBB Miami

Friday, September 27, 2013

Let’s Head South


For Information, Inspiration & Celebration

 On Monday, October 14th, IBB Church of Miami will be hosting our pastors for 3 ½ hours.  Our time together will be packed full of information and resources that deal with evangelism, outreach and social justice, PLUS reports from our church planter in Port St. Lucie and Baptist Bible College in Springfield.

In addition, Aaron Hunter & Dr. Mark Millioni will be preaching.

The program will begin at 11:00 AM and be finished by 2:30 PM to allow everyone to be home for dinner!

A few things that you can definitely count on that day:  we will NOT be singing (it’s Monday, who has the voice to sing?) AND we will be having a wonderful meal with a Cuban/Latin flavor that you only get at IBB.

If you have any questions or need anything to make this meeting more enjoyable, please contact Russell at his cell phone:  (786) 525-6468

We invite all missionaries to come and set up their displays in order to gain greater exposure to the pastors of our fellowship.






Church Address:
17701 N.W. 57 Avenue
Miami Gardens, FL 33055


For further directions, please visit:  http://www.ibbchurch.org/Times-location.html

Regardless of How You Started: Finish Well

Have you noticed how different stories in the Bible jump out at you at different stages of life?  As I recently read through the book of Judges, reviewing some of the stories that didn’t make the Sunday School cut, I ran across a sad chapter in the life of Gideon.
Judges 8:22-27 NKJV
22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, both you and your son, and your grandson also; for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian.”
23 But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you.” 24 Then Gideon said to them, “I would like to make a request of you, that each of you would give me the earrings from his plunder.” For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.
25 So they answered, “We will gladly give them.” And they spread out a garment, and each man threw into it the earrings from his plunder. 26 Now the weight of the gold earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments, pendants, and purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains that were around their camels’ necks. 27 Then Gideon made it into an ephod and set it up in his city, Ophrah. And all Israel played the harlot with it there. It became a snare to Gideon and to his house.

You remember Gideon, even though his faith and obedience were not as exemplary as, let’s say, Abraham, he did make the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11.  Even though he was, at best, a reluctant leader, he allowed himself to be used by God to defeat the Midianites and bring relative peace to Israel for several years.

Even as the passage begins, Gideon deflects the call to be named king with this insightful statement:  “I will not rule over you… the Lord shall rule over you.”  Way to go Gideon!  Now, walk away, go home and thank God for using you in such a great way! But no, he had one last request and one final project:  he asked a modest request – the gold earrings from their plunder.  As it turned out, that produced a large amount of gold with which he made an ephod – a type of a monument – and set it up in his home town.

Bob Deffinbaugh in his article entitled “When More is Less - Or - What Happened to Gideon?” (which appears on www.Bible.org) made several interesting observations about this episode in Gideon’s life as perhaps the culmination of several smaller steps in the wrong directions.  Regarding the ephod he wrote:  “Gideon’s ‘ephod’ becomes an idol that the Israelites worship. Ironically, this ephod is set up in Gideon’s home town of Ophrah, the very place where Gideon had torn down the altar of Baal and the sacred Asherah pole.”  He basically exchanged one form of idolatry for another form of idolatry!

Citing R.L. Klein in the article he points out that “The coward has become confident; he directs far-flung mopping up operations which are effectively carried out. But the voice of the LORD is stilled, not to be heard for the balance of Gideon’s narrative. And the spirit of the LORD, which brought the courage to fight a far greater military force, seems to slip from Gideon’s shoulders in the process.”

These words should make us all take a moment to reflect on our own lives and ministries:  “Gideon reminds us how easy it is to stumble and to fall, and few there are who truly “finish well.” That is what makes me so sad when I read about Gideon – he did not finish well. And we should be warned when we realize that many of those who once did well did not finish well.”

Unfortunately, Gideon did not finish well and that reality “became a snare” to Gideon, his family and to all of Israel for several generations. 


Gentlemen, let’s finish well for our sake, for our family and for our people!

- Russell Johnson, FBBF Chairman

Friday, August 2, 2013

Next Meeting - August 12 - Jacksonville

Wanted to send an invite to all the state fellowship folks and trust we will have a good turn-out for the meeting on August 12th.  We will proceed as follows:

10 AM – Officers meeting
11 AM – Evangelist Alan Harris (Connersville, IN)
Noon – Lunch and business meeting
1 PM – Corey Kershner, Missionary to Taiwan
     (Sending Church – Sonshine Baptist, Port Charlotte, FL)
2 PM – Jeremy Lynn, Missionary to Ethiopia
     (Sending Church – First Coast Baptist, Jacksonville, FL)

We look forward to a great time of food, fellowship and challenging messages from these three men and the work that God has called them to.  Please feel free to contact Pastor Edwards (904) 545-9880 if you have any questions or need any additional information concerning this state meeting.