Invitation to CB Northwest Annual Enrichment Conference

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Dear Shepherds,

It is my privilege to facilitate the covenant community family during our Annual Enrichment Conference, March 7-9, 2016, at Seaside, Oregon. Our yearly family celebration has become known as an event that is spiritually transforming, relationally engaging, and strategically purposeful.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Movement’.  Bruce Shelley, in his book A History of Conservative Baptists wrote, “Conservatives rather proudly spoke of themselves as a movement.  They had high hopes of going somewhere…”  Our covenant community has banded together to actively pursue a common vision.

We envision a covenant community of churches committed to the glory of God, centered on the gospel, changing our communities by being doctrinally sound, missionally driven, and culturally sensitive – which includes culturally appropriate evangelism, leaders mentoring the next generation of leaders, and churches planting churches through Great Commandment love, Great Commission purpose, and Great Confession dependency.

God has been faithful to accomplish much through our churches, but He is not finished.  This year’s conference will address three barriers to our churches being on mission.  Those barriers are materialism, comfort, and fear.  Pastors from our churches will teach God’s Word as it relates to these barriers, and we will illustrate how God is moving our churches through each one.

This gathering will appeal to, and is open to, anyone who wants to see Gospel-centered churches multiplied. Our hope is to see pastors, potential church planters, elders, church leaders, and next generation pastors and their spouses from all over the Northwest participate in this effort to strengthen the covenant community of CB churches.  Remember, this is not just another “pastor’s conference”, this is a special gathering designed to keep us on our previously-agreed-upon mission to actively pursue covenant community, holding each other accountable to live out our doctrine, polity, and philosophy.

The trustees will be contacting you to let you know of any necessary planning or coordinating specific to your region. If you are unable to attend this special gathering for any reason, please let your trustee know.

Feel free to share this opportunity to build a stronger and healthier covenant community with anyone you feel would benefit from these three days together in March.

If you have questions about the conference or accommodations, see us online at: http://www.cbnw.org/events/aec/.  You may also contact Jeremy Schumacher at jeremys@cbnw.org. If you have any questions about registration, please contact Jennifer Bertz at 541-451-4270541-451-4270, x21 or jenniferb@cbnw.org.

Praying Always, Never Give Up!
Luke 18:1
Dr. Mark A. Hoeffner
Executive Director CB NorthwestCB Northwest

Building Disciples: Essential in a Small Church and a Large Church

Building DisciplesMeet two churches different in many ways: First Baptist Church of Tuba City, a little over a hundred in average attendance, mainly Native Americans ministering to Native Americans and Palm Valley Church (two campuses in Goodyear and Buckeye), about 4,000 in attendance, primarily younger and a somewhat racially diverse generation ministering to a primarily younger and diverse generation.

Despite their differences, these churches share a common passion for discipleship. When Mike Hudson, the new pastor of First Baptist Church, was asked how he sees discipleship, he views it as intentionally partnering with another believer to help that person grow in relationship with the Lord so that he or she can help others do the same. When Ryan Nunez, lead pastor of Palm Valley Church, was asked the same question, he responded that Christian discipleship is when a mature believer goes life on life with a less mature believer and helps that person grow towards becoming a reproducing disciple of Jesus Christ.

Do you see something in common here? Relationship and reproduction! No matter what the size of the church, these two elements form the backbone of the discipleship process. Paul conveys these ideas to Timothy when he says, “The things you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses (that’s relationship) entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (that’s reproduction).” (2Tim 2:2)

Both pastors see discipleship as a growing process of counting the cost and following Jesus Christ. When asked what this process looked like in his church, Ryan says that at Palm Valley they first set forth a clear definition that a disciple is someone who trusts Jesus Christ for forgiveness, is being changed by Christ every day, and who is committed to the mission of Christ. Also, and very importantly, he or she reproduces by making more disciples. A mature disciple is a reproducing one. Therefore, at Palm Valley every mature follower of Jesus is trained to combine intentional shepherding in a relational environment using a reproducible process to make disciples who make disciples.

Mike, when asked the same question, pointed out that though he has been at this church for only a short time, he is already focusing on building relationships. He believes discipleship, which he too defines as disciples who are making disciples, must begin with relationship building. In order for this to happen, consistent time with other believers in the word and everyday life is essential.

Two different types of churches, different sizes, different target groups, but committed to same purpose: developing disciples through relationship and reproduction.

By Dwight Hunt, SWCC Church Health and Placement Consultant