Hey CSBC family.
I want to give you a quick update on what God has been doing in California through His churches and through your CSBC staff.
CSBC Staff Retreat
A couple weeks ago, our elected staff went on a short retreat, where we focused primarily on three things. We evaluated some of the programs from the past and brainstormed how to make those events better. Second, we talked about needs – needs that we have here in our building as well as how we can communicate and be better organized to serve our churches well. And finally, we did a little dreaming. We looked to the future asking for the Lord for wisdom. I’m pretty excited looking back at that meeting and all the things we saw God doing, not only in the past through us, but where we believe the Lord is taking us.
We invited Will Browning along, our church planting Send Network leader, because we’re always trying to figure out how we can plant more churches and how we can bring those churches into our convention. With him at this meeting, we were able to pay close attention to the church plant processes while also evaluating how best to help missions become churches that stand on their own two feet.
This Week at CSBC
We are moved to see what God is doing in church planting throughout California. As a matter of fact, this whole month, This Week at CSBC will be focusing on church planting. We have a lot of stories for you that I know will be inspirational and encourage you to pray for church plants and church plant leaders throughout our state.
Let me tell you, church planting is hard! But it becomes a lot easier when you have the people of God behind you, praying for you, supporting you, and caring for you. And that’s one of the key reasons we partner with Send Network California.
State Convention/Annual Meeting
Now, we’re entering into convention season. Yes, everyone’s favorite time of year. This year, we will be meeting at Clovis Hills Community Church on October 23, 24, and 25. These three days will be filled with a lot of family events. We will have everything from the pastor’s conference to mission celebrations, mission trainings, as well as meeting with the directors of missions. Not only that, but we also have Dr.’s Kevin Ezell and Willie McLaurin as our keynote preachers. It’s going to be an amazing, amazing time. You won’t want to miss it. There’ll be something for you regardless of your age or the place where you serve in ministry. We really want you to come to our state convention and to be a part of these meetings.
Something else I’m excited about for this meeting is that our own Jason Robertson, president of the Pastor’s Conference, has put a great program together that will minister to the heart of pastors. Their conference is called “You’re Not Alone.” Pastors need to hear this message and I know you will be inspired by the word of God and will be ministered to. So, make sure you come.
Since we’re having our annual meeting here in the Central Valley, we decided to try and do something out of the box, so we’re hosting a Crossover event. If you don’t know what Crossover is, Crossover is when several events are held at multiple church locations to reach the community and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those events will be happening before and after the convention. Be on the lookout for a video on this if you want to be involved. Join me in praying that the Lord brings a lot of fruit from these outreach events.
Now, you can’t see my cup, but in honor of this letter, today, I’m drinking out of my Trinity Baptist Church, Vacaville coffee mug. I just want to say a little bit about this church. This church is not a big church -like most of our Southern Baptist churches- but it is a faithful church. Like many of our Southern Baptist churches, it is a church that is faithful to the calling that God has given. On the back side of the cup, it says, “John 3:16,” because Trinity Baptist Vacaville is all about the gospel. One of the things I love about this church is their faithfulness in giving through the Cooperative Program. As a matter of fact, the pastor called me this week and said, “We’ve had an amazing month! You guys will see a big check from us!” Why? Because God is blessing them. They want to bless others so that the Great Commission can be done.
The Cooperative Program helps us be better at doing missions. This church is all about missions.
Pastor Greg Davidson, thank you for that phone call. Thank you for that awesome report.
The reality is, as I talk to Directors of Missions and a lot of pastors in our state, I know that many of our churches are struggling financially. I’ve heard of some of our bigger churches being down even 8% of their budget. That’s a lot of money. Well, your state convention is also struggling a little bit with Cooperative Program funds. As of right now, we’re $160,000 in the red, and we’re $180,000 below budget. Yes. We are experiencing hard times… Just know we’re praying for you, churches. Will you pray for us?
Thank you once again for giving sacrificially and for giving generously. May God bless the work that you do. Until next time,
Executive Director – CSBC