Across Iowa 3/13/18

Dear IARBC family,

“The IARBC (Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches) works together to carry out the Great Commission and to stimulate Biblically effective ministries.”

The above is the Mission Statement of the IARBC. Each element is important:
*The Great Commission-making disciples of Jesus Christ by going, baptizing and teaching until the end of the age).
*Biblically effective ministries in and among our churches.
*Working together.

I have found that there are many examples in the New Testament of churches working together. There are many references by Paul to “the churches”. They worked through doctrinal matters, sent and received missionaries, collected offerings, and were greatly impacted by one another. There is evidence in some of Paul’s letters that they were circulated among “the churches”. He boasted about the Thessalonians in “the churches” (2 Thess. 1:4) concerning their steadfastness and faith. The Macedonians had been inspired by the committed generosity and sacrificial giving of the Corinthians. This is a common theme and pattern among the churches in the New Testament. They knew about each other, they inspired one another, and they worked together for the sake of the Gospel.

It is good that we follow their example. It is good that we, as autonomous (I like that word better than independent) churches, each under the headship of Christ, work together…fellowship…partner with one another for the sake of the Gospel. I do not believe that God intended for churches to live in isolation from one another. I believe that the pattern of the NT teaches us otherwise. Our IARBC fellowship of churches is an expression of this, and we have enjoyed the blessings of this type of working relationship since our founding in 1935. Our pastors, and the people in our churches, enjoy rich and vibrant fellowship with one another. That sweet fellowship and sense of partnership extends to other ministries in our state such as FBBC & TS and IRBC. This fellowship is sweet, encouraging, and very precious. We give God all the glory for these meaningful relationships, and ask Him to help us to be good stewards of them. Sandy and I love being a part of these. We love promoting these.

Here are some examples from the past few weeks:

* The REFRESH Conference at Faith Baptist Bible College was a truly refreshing time in every sense of the word.
* Monopoly Madness, an annual youth ministry of Nevada Baptist Church, was well attended and spiritually dynamic. Pastor Nick Oliver of LeClaire Baptist Church brought a great challenge from the Word.
* Altoona Regular Baptist Church hosted their annual Sportsmen’s Dinner. Another good size crowd of sportsmen (including men & women) were treated to an amazing meal and a powerful presentation from Steve Little of BCP.
* The annual Mid-Winter Couples Retreat (hosted by Calvary Baptist Church of Mount Pleasant) was again very well attended. It was held at Stoney Creek Inn in Johnston. Dr. John Street presented a powerful challenge from the Word about God’s design for marriage. Wow! What an amazing exposition and presentation!
* A Singles Event was hosted by Faith Baptist Church in Carroll on a Saturday in February. Perhaps your church could host one? Please let me know and I can help you think through what it would take.
* FBBC hosted a Guest Artist Series Concert recently. We enjoyed nationally known musicians who use their God given abilities for His glory.

Here are some events on the horizon:

*3/17 North Iowa Sportsmen’s Adventure at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp.
*3/22-24 Men for Christ Rally (20th anniversary) at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp.
*3/23-24 Canticum Novum Music Conference at FBBC with Ron (Patch the Pirate) Hamilton
*3/26/27 IARBC Annual Conference in Mount Pleasant (Calvary Baptist Church). Dr. Dean Taylor will be the keynote speaker on the theme “Feed My Sheep”.
*4/5 Faith Pulpit Day at FBBC. The theme is “Suffering & Sovereignty”.
*4/7 EQUIP (formerly TFC) fine arts competition hosted by & partnered with FBBC.
*4/14 Singles Event hosted by First Baptist Church in Perry.
*4/20-21 Mother & Daughter Retreat at IRBC.
*5/12 Adventureland Rally hosted by our SE Fellowship. Join hundreds of teens for this annual event with an opportunity to invite unsaved friends to hear the gospel.
*5/18-29 Father & Son Retreat at IRBC
*Summer Family & Youth camps throughout the summer at IRBC

Brenna has many of these events posted on our website, complete with the necessary details and links. FBBC and the IRBC have all you need on their respective websites. Please check them out.

There is an amazing array of ministries provided by our churches, area fellowships, camp, college, and fellowship. God is to be thanked for these opportunities to grow and fellowship. Be sure to check them out, promote, attend where you have opportunity, and ask the Lord for His hand of blessing on all of these ministries. God is good.

One more thing before I sign off. Recently, two retired IARBC pastors, good friends in life and ministry, went to be with the Lord within hours of each other.

Pastor Russ Farrell and Pastor Charles Hawkins each enjoyed a life of ministry to the churches of our beloved IARBC. They were well respected and faithful ministers of the Gospel. They made a difference in the lives of people and churches for decades. The impact of their lives is still evident today with fruit that remains. They will be missed by their family, friends, and all who knew them. They loved their Savior well and finished well. They are now home.

We already miss them.
We thank God for them.
We must continue the work they did in and among our churches.
We must ask God to raise up a generation that will follow in their footsteps…and ours.

Let’s continue to work together for the sake of the Gospel.

Goodbye for now and God bless.

Tim & Sandy
“Because of your partnership in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5)