Month: February 2020

Resources for A “Thriving Church”

Dr. Dean Taylor, member of Maranatha Baptist Church in Grimes and Chair of the Pastoral Training Department at FBBC, released a new book, The Thriving Church, on December 6th to help provide local churches with a “biblical guideline of how to do church.”

In an article announcing the book on the FBBC website, The Thriving Church is described as,

…a 170-page blueprint that details what it means to have a thriving church and what it takes to get there. It is available for purchase on Friday, December 6, 2019, and is the first of what Dr. Taylor hopes to be many books that come from his pen in the years to come. As a former pastor of 25 years and the Chair of Pastoral Training at Faith Baptist Bible College, the topic of church growth is one he is passionate about.

The book emphasizes topics of church unity, humility, spiritual gifts, and the fullness of Christ. Dr. Taylor purposely wrote the manuscript in simple terms, not in a highly academic or collegiate textbook style, with the goal of making it an easy read for all believers, with foundational biblical principles for everyone to follow.

One of the notable elements of The Thriving Church is that it isn’t written only for pastors. The intention of the book is to equip the whole church for the task of maintaining biblical health. The book covers topics like church unity, humility, and spiritual gifts in an intentionally conversational tone making it an engaging read for all church members.

“I wrote this to be accessible for any church member,” said Dr. Taylor. “A pastor or church leader would certainly benefit from it, but it’s also something that could be used by individuals, Sunday Schools, and small-group studies.”

Dean Taylor,

The IARBC Annual Conference is just around the corner and this year’s them is “THRIVE”. GARBC National Representative, Mike Hess, will be speaking on building healthy churches, and Dr. Taylor will also be speaking during the workshop sessions. This book comes at a helpful time for those already considering how God will use this teaching in the life of their local church.

You can read more about The Thriving Church at the links below. You can get your own copy from the FBBC bookstore ( or the publisher’s website ( Dr. Taylor is also available to speak on the material in your local church or at other ministry events.
Valuable Resource For Everyone
I Wrote The Thriving Church For You

In addition to his writing and speaking ministries, Dr. Taylor has also started a podcast ministry called Shepherdology, which is designed to encourage pastors. Regular episodes are about 30 minutes long and include an encouraging truth, a helpful topic, and prayer for pastors. Past topics include primary responsibilities, companionship in a ministry marriage, a pastor’s health, best practices for a solo pastor, and more. Shepherdology is available on iTunes, Apple Play, Google Play, and Podbean.

Ark Trip with Fellowship Baptist Church

Fellowship Baptist Church, Des Moines, would like to invite other Iowa friends to join them on their trip to visit the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in June. Please see the flyer below for more information on how you can join Fellowship on this fun and faith-building trip!

A printable flyer is available here.

Fostering a Faith: Northern Iowa Couple Embark on New Ministry

“Foster,” by definition, is twofold . First, “to bring up a child that is not one’s own by birth.” Secondly, “to encourage or promote the development of.” We want to show that through fostering these children we are also fostering or promoting the development of our own faith. Thus the name, “fosteringafaith”.

Dan & Michelle Stephenson

It was over a decade ago when God first led Dan and Michelle Stephenson of Clear Lake to consider fulfilling the call of Psalm 82:3 to, “defend the weak and the fatherless,” through the ministry of foster care and adoption. Now, 14 years, 6 adopted children and many foster children later, they are once again stepping out in faith to encourage others to consider how God could use individuals and local churches to reach those in what they describe as a “captive mission field.” The Stephensons are seeking to use what they have learned in their years of involvement with the Iowa foster care system to equip churches and church members to develop ministries to foster families. Their hope is that those who hear their testimony of God’s working in and through foster care and adoption will discover how God could use every church member in such a ministry, whether that is by becoming a foster parent, adoptive parent, respite care provider, or by providing organized assistance to local foster families. The Stephensons, who are members of Clear Lake Regular Baptist Church, will be available to visit local churches and would love to hear from you if you’d like to have them come present their ministry, or if you just have questions about how you can get started with foster care and adoption ministries. You can follow them on their Facebook page, Fostering A Faith, or by emailing Dan at