I KNOW GOD TELLS ME TO LOVE, BUT …

By Janice Backer
Contributing Writer, B&R

GATLINBURG — “Who are the people that are hard for you to like?” asked Tony Rankin of the large number of women who were attending the recent Missions Get-Together & Connection Conference held in Gatlinburg.

The responses came from all parts of the auditorium — “kinfolk,”  “coworkers,” and “know-it-alls” — just to name a few. [Read more…]

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TBCH PARTNERS WITH TENNESSEE FOSTER CARE

By David Roach
Baptist Press

NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services has found a valuable partner to help improve the state’s foster care system: faith-based organizations like the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes.

Since December, TBCH has participated in a collaboration of government and the private sector to encourage foster parenting. Known as TN Fosters, the collaboration seeks to unite state government, faith groups, nonprofit organizations and businesses in recruiting foster parents and supporting foster families. [Read more…]

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WELCOME, UTILIZE THE OLDER GENERATION

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector singing-together-family

Johnnie Godwin has been writing a column for the Baptist and Reflector since 2003. I knew of  Johnnie long before he sent that first column to me for consideration but did not really know him. Over the course of time Johnnie has become a dear friend and mentor.

As I read through his column this week, he mentioned that he recently turned 80 years old. That triggered something in my mind and I realized that, besides Johnnie, there are at least three other people who have played a major role in my life who either have turned 80 this year or will in the next couple of months. There could be a few more that I’m not even aware of. [Read more…]

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LACK OF PLAN MARKS CHURCH RESPONSE

By Bob Smietana
Lifeway Research

170404domesticviolence1NASHVILLE — When it comes to domestic violence, Protestant pastors want to be helpful but often don’t know where to start.

Most say their church would be a safe haven for victims of domestic violence.

But many don’t know if anyone in their church has been a victim of domestic violence. And only half say they have a plan in place to help if a victim comes forward.

Those are among the findings of a new report on churches and domestic abuse from Nashville-based LifeWay Research, based on a phone survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors. Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, said churches want to help victims of domestic violence but aren’t always effective at doing so.

“Many pastors aren’t aware if domestic violence is happening in their congregation,” McConnell said. “And even if they are aware, they often don’t know how to help.” [Read more…]

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AFFECTS CHRISTIANS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

dometic-abuse-woman-manELIZABETHTON — Christians and church members are not immune from domestic violence, says long-time Christian counselor Art Webb.

One in four women will experience some kind of abuse by the time they reach 18 years old said Webb, a Christian counselor who has served with Watauga Baptist Association, based in Elizabethton, for 30 years.

“I’ve seen domestic violence among Christians as well as church and non-church members,” Webb said.

In fact, it’s sometimes more difficult for Christian women, Webb said. It’s hard for a Christian woman married to a professing Christian man to acknowledge the problem. “It brings shame and disgrace on the family if they admit it,” he added. [Read more…]

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SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE: A YEAR-ROUND CONCERN

Southern Baptist churches will observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday Jan. 22

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

pregnant-woman-holding-sonogramBRENTWOOD — Baptists and Christians are still uncomfortable talking about sex, sexual issues, and abortion but that should change to protect unborn babies and to be involved in ministry and missions in today’s world, said three Tennessee Baptist women who are directors of pregnancy crisis centers.

For instance, many of their clients are also active church members. The center directors wish the girls and women who come to them as well as their families would have received more education and more help from their churches. Guilt and shame over a pregnancy if unmarried is proper up to a point, they pointed out.

Sexual issues and abortions are real concerns for people, the long-time directors said. This is confirmed by statistics though abortions are down some the past several years.  [Read more…]

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FATHER/SON PASTOR TEAM LEADS TRANSITION

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Gene Mims, right, pastor of Judson Baptist Church, Nashville, for the past 11 years is now serving as co-pastor with his son Jeff. The transition officially began in September.

Gene Mims, right, pastor of Judson Baptist Church, Nashville, for the past 11 years is now serving as co-pastor with his son Jeff. The transition officially began in September.

NASHVILLE — For the past 11 years Gene Mims has served as pastor of Judson Baptist Church here.

Mims is still pastor but he’s no longer alone in the task. In September, his son Jeff Mims officially became the church’s co-pastor.

Jeff Mims is no stranger to the Judson family, having served in a variety of roles on the church’s staff since 2007. [Read more…]

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EVERYONE NEEDED TO REACH OUR GRANDKIDS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie-WilkeyOn Mother’s Day, my wife Joyce and I attended the baby dedication of our youngest grandson, Parker Beasley, at Skypointe Church in Travelers Rest, S.C.

It was a great day and we were blessed to be there for the service. Both of our grandchildren are under the age of 4 and are members of Generation Z. Read the story and take a hard look at the photo on page 1. If that doesn’t get you on your knees, I honestly don’t know what will (assuming you have children or grandchildren in that category).

If statistics hold true, nine in 10 of children born since 9/11 (2001) will not come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. [Read more…]

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BLENDING THE GENERATIONS IN CHURCH

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160520Generations-Infographic1BRENTWOOD — The Greatest Generation. Baby Boomers. Generation X (Baby Busters). Generation Y (Millennials). Generation Z. Knowing the names assigned to the generations in today’s world can be confusing and hard to understand.

Only one thing is certain about each generation — they all need to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

An increasing emphasis is being placed on Millennials and Generation Z and rightfully so. Statistics reveal that Millennials are leaving the church in record numbers and that nine out of 10 children in Generation Z will likely grow to adulthood without knowing Christ.

These are sobering statistics and must be addressed. New churches are being started with Millennials and Generation Z as the focus. [Read more…]

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15 STEPS TO BECOMING A FAMILY-FRIENDLY CHURCH

Vicki Hulsey
Childhood Ministry Specialist, Tennessee Baptist Convention

Vicki Hulsey

Vicki Hulsey

Imagine the scene as the Farr family arrives at church. Mr. Farr goes to a men’s Sunday School class on the third floor of the building. Mrs. Farr says, “I’ll meet you in the worship center after Sunday School,” and turns down the preschool hallway, where she teaches a three-year-old class. Molly, 14 years old, heads to the second floor to the youth class, and Joseph, the third grade son, runs in a different direction for his Sunday School class. And this is a church that promotes itself as being a family-friendly church! Churches must seek to minister to families as families and not just as individuals who ride to church in the same car.

What steps can your congregation take to become a family-friendly church? [Read more…]

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