6/18/17 "We will evangelize"
"We will evangelize or we will fossilize." -Greg Laurie @sbc17 // Today begins a summer-long camp ministry that has been in place since 1939. Much has changed since then, but one thing has remained the same. That is the good news that Jesus Christ came to save a people steeped in sin. He loves us so much that He took upon himself the burden--that is the payment--for our sin, giving us life Everlasting in Him. As Executive Director of Bates Creek Camp, I will ignore the naysayers and those who constantly remind me of "the way we've always done it." That is the way of fossilization. I will continue to make improvements and changes that make this wonderful tool of ministry a place where the Gospel can thrive and be heard by thousands of children each year. I will seek to continue to bring Unity between two associations of churches who have for years failed to unify around the greatest news ever given to mankind. We. will. work. together. We will embrace the changes that are necessary to reach a new culture in America. A new demographic in America. And a new church in America. We will up our game with regard to the preaching of the Gospel and discipleship of the Saints. We will up our game in Bible studies as we teach students how to open God's Word and understand the Bible for all it's worth. We will not sit and argue over our petty pet theologies. We will preach Christ and Him crucified. We will recognize His sovereignty and the sufficiency of his Word. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is dependent upon the power of the Holy Spirit through the working of the Saints. We will call out laziness. We will develop leaders. We will equip the Saints for the preaching of God's Word, and by the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the kingdom will grow through the working of the Spirit through our endeavors. This year begins a new year at Bates Creek Baptist Camp. It's all hands on deck for the Gospel. It's all hands on deck for the kingdom. It's not a job or a paycheck. It is a mission field to the lost and dying. It will become Ministry like no other. Snowflakes need not apply. I would much rather that you shed a tear for those who are lost than for the tearing down of a cabin that you once stayed in. When the song is sung, "there's a new name written down in glory," what was your part? What have you done for the Gospel? #prayforcamp #batescreek #gospelopportunity#upyourgame4tg Are you content to let them die without Christ? We. Will. Evangelize. -Bro. Kevin
3/27/17 "Do or Die"
Today, I read a blog post by Dr. Thom Rainer, president of Lifeway Christian Resources, the resource and publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. The link to that post can be found here: http://thomrainer.com/2017/03/urgent-church-nine-changes-must-make-die/. A staggering statistic in this article is that this week, and every week, around 200 churches will close their doors for good. Imagine twice the number of churches in the Jefferson Baptist Association and Mineral Area Baptist Association (the two Missouri Southern Baptist groups who own Bates Creek Camp) closing their doors forever. This would be unthinkable. Right? The fact remains, however, that many older, more traditional leaning churches either do not want to change or simply do not know how to change. Oops...did I say the "c" word? Change is tough, I get it. I am not one for change to my daily routine, yet I need change from time to time to stay fresh, refreshed, focused, and refocused. I do get tired of the same old thing. So many of our churches have such an aversion to change, that they refuse to even change the air in the building. Dank smells and dingy decor dampen spirits and signal the death of local churches who see not the place of worship as a space for multiple types of ministry for multi-ethnic and multi-aged disciples and disciple-makers. When it comes to cleaning up the house of worship and modernizing the methods of worship and ministry and missions of the church, and you hear the familiar old tune, "We've never done it that way before," just give a loving reply: "Well, maybe you should." -Bro. Kevin
3/10/17 "Man Bad; God Good"
"None is righteous, no, not one, no one understands; no one seeks God." These are powerful and convicting words by Paul to the church, found in Romans chapter 3. They are also terrifying words, for it means that our default state as sinful human beings is one of utter separation from the Holy, from the Creator, from the Christ. How then do we come to Christ? Well, it is certainly not of our own doing or desire. This devastating news we find in Romans 3 of God's Word is turned to pure joy through faith in Him as we see a passage in Ephesians 2 beginning with the words, "But God." "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses [see Ephesians 2:1], made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
3/6/17 "One God and Father of All"
As I travel around to the churches of the Jefferson and Mineral Area Baptist Associations, I am amazed to see God's people from all walks of life--varied geographic and socioeconomic situations--exhibit characteristic that only come from one God, one Savior, and one Lord. We serve a God who draws sinners to Himself for the purpose of giving Himself all of the glory He is due. He transforms us into the image of His Son, Jesus, because He loves us so very much. Many different people, separated by time and space, all point to the same truth--that Christ is Lord! "There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift." Ephesians 4:4-6
The year 2017 will see some big changes at the camp, changes I trust you will enjoy as you prayerfully prepare to attend camp this summer. One of my priorities this year, as your new Executive Director, is camp-wide improvements and beautification. We have been working hard this winter to plan and prepare many exciting things. Campers on Mission will be with us the first part of May to make upgrades to the Tabernacle and the old Cadet Cabin, and will be installing 6 complete R.V. hookups. Additionally, six of the oldest, unusable cabins are in the process of being removed. Please be in prayer for the upcoming season of summer camps. Pray for our vast team of volunteers from many different churches, and pray that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be made clear this year in all that we do. For the glory of God alone, Bro. Kevin