The Local Church in 2021

DATE POSTED: 12/30/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

In his recently released book, The Post Quarantine Church, Thom Rainer offers some significant insights for the church. He suggests 6 steps the church must embrace in order to be successful in the future. Gather differently and better Seize your opportunity to reach the digital world Reconnect with the community near your church Take prayer | Read More

DATE POSTED: 11/30/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Gal 4:4-5 ESV But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. The first part of this verse focuses on God’s timing being perfect.  That phrase fullness of | Read More

DATE POSTED: 10/31/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Recently, on a Sunday morning, I was watching the national news before I went to church. Just before they were going to a break, I heard they would be offering meditative strategies on how to deal with the pandemic. That caught my attention. I wanted to hear their suggestions. After the commercial, the reporter interviewed | Read More

DATE POSTED: 09/30/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Clergy Appreciation in a Pandemic October is Pastor or Clergy Appreciation month. It was established in 1992 by a group of pastors and church leaders to honor those who serve in ministry. They grounded the celebration in Paul’s words to Timothy: “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double | Read More

DATE POSTED: 08/31/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

At our next Pastor’s Luncheon on Wednesday, September 9, I will be reviewing an excellent book entitled, One Blood: Parting Word to the Church on Race and Love. The book was written by Dr. John Perkins a great man of God who has spent his life in pursuit of reconciling people to God and to | Read More

DATE POSTED: 07/28/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend, Uncategorized

These are challenging times, but the need for leadership development continues. For this reason, I want to encourage you and your leaders to attend the Virtual Leadership Training Conference on August 15. This event has been provided through DBA for the past 5 years and provides a jump start for Sunday School, small groups and | Read More

DATE POSTED: 07/01/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Over a year and a half ago, the DBA Vision Focus Team and their spouses gathered to look at the future of Denton Baptist Association. One of the key areas we considered was the Vision Statement for the association. We looked at our current statement, evaluated it and revised it. The following vision statement was | Read More

DATE POSTED: 05/22/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Tod Bolsinger wrote a great book entitled, Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory. The author compares Lewis and Clark’s discovery expedition of the early 1800’s with the modern day church. Bolsinger had no way of knowing that his book would become a guide for pastors, ministers, elders, deacons, key leaders and church members | Read More

DATE POSTED: 04/29/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing | Read More

DATE POSTED: 03/27/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

One of the great things about living in America has been a spirit of innovation. When people struggled with a difficulty, innovators worked to find a solution that was  beneficial and helpful. Today the world faces one of those difficulties. The COVID-19 virus has brought our world to an abrupt halt. People have been forced | Read More

DATE POSTED: 02/25/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Demographers tell us that by 2024 Denton County will cross the 1 million mark in population. These same individuals continue to say that this number will only continue to increase. In order to keep up with this growth, Denton Baptist Association has developed a church multiplication strategy called Send North Texas (SNTX). It is comprised | Read More

DATE POSTED: 01/23/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Over the years, DBA has provided enlightening demographic reports for our churches. These studies provide a wealth of information. A demographic report could be grouped by zip codes or by a different size radius with the church as the center point. This year we have switched companies and we are now working with They | Read More

DATE POSTED: 12/12/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

And he (Jesus) said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while. For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” Mark 6:31 Jesus said this to his disciples after the 12 had returned from their first two-by-two mission trip. The disciples, according to | Read More

DATE POSTED: 12/02/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

As I look at the following pictures, I am reminded of our Associational mission project called Serve Together held on the first Sunday of October. We partnered with Heaven Sent Ministries who took the packed boxes of food and shipped them to Sudan. Twenty-four churches brought a total of 393 people to Camp Copass to | Read More

DATE POSTED: 11/04/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

One of the things that I have always been encouraged about as a Christian and a Southern Baptist is the foreign missions strategy carried out through the International Mission Board (IMB). This ministry has 3,700 missionaries that are assigned to different parts of the globe. These individuals and families make up a kingdom force whose | Read More

DATE POSTED: 09/30/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

September began a new chapter in the life of Denton Baptist Association. We launched the first cohort session of the Church Planter Residency program on Monday, September 16. This one-year program will challenge, train and prepare future church planters and provide them with key competencies for a biblically-based successful ministry. The competencies were developed in conjunction | Read More

DATE POSTED: 08/28/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

On Sunday, August 18, I had the privilege of being a part of the dedication service for the new building at First Baptist Church, Lewisville. In his message, Pastor Stephen Hatfield talked about the church and the need for a hard reset. He compared this to the computer, iPad, or iPhone which would return the | Read More

DATE POSTED: 08/01/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

In January of 1886, five men sent an invitation to several Baptist churches in Denton County. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the potential organization of Denton County Baptist Association. Eighteen churches sent messengers to the meeting on May 29. The following resolution was offered`: RESOLVED, That we go into the organization of | Read More

DATE POSTED: 06/28/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Summer offers many opportunities to share the gospel with children through summer camp, sports, and music camps and VBS. Each of these camps provide an environment for children to hear the gospel message in a concentrated form and they are given an opportunity to make a decision for Christ. Since this is such an important | Read More

DATE POSTED: 05/31/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

There are 6,000 different languages in the world. 2,000 of those have the Bible fully translated in their language. 2,000 have a portion of the Bible translated in their language. 2,000 languages have no portion of scripture. Those were the sobering statistics I heard when I recently had the privilege of going to the Bible | Read More

DATE POSTED: 04/29/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

“If your church no longer existed, would anyone miss it?” I remember hearing that question at a conference. The speaker wanted us to realize that the Gospel the church offers should not only transform individuals but the community as well. DBA churches are looking for ways to be relevant and to reach their communities. To | Read More

DATE POSTED: 03/26/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

In Washington, DC, there is a six story building that houses the Museum of the Bible. One of the many Bibles housed in the facility is commonly called The Slave Bible. It was actually titled: Parts of the Holy Bible, selected for the use of the Negro Slaves in the British West-India Islands. Author Becky | Read More

DATE POSTED: 02/28/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

On a Tuesday, February 19, I was invited to a Service of Lament hosted by The Village Church, Denton. This was in response to the recent Houston Chronicle article regarding perpetrators and victims of sexual abuse with ties to Southern Baptist churches.  The perpetrators mentioned in the article were either volunteers or staff members of | Read More

DATE POSTED: 01/29/2019  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

The Super Bowl will be played on February 3. One of the key components of the game is the huddle which dates back to the 1890’s. It was first used by players at a school for the deaf, Gallaudet University, where quarterbacks had been communicating to teammates using sign language. Since both teams in the | Read More

DATE POSTED: 12/19/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

“Wanna Get Away?” That’s the slogan a local airline company uses to invite you to take a trip. The question reminds me that all of us need to get away periodically to reflect, refocus, and recharge in order to be refreshed. As an association we believe this so strongly that we along with Buckner International | Read More

DATE POSTED: 11/27/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

One of the great joys of pastoring a church was the excitement that came when you knew you were partnering with the International Mission Board to reach the rest of the world. Our medium-sized church gave regularly to the Cooperative Program. We recognized that as we did, we were supporting close to 5,000 missionaries. These | Read More

DATE POSTED: 10/29/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

On Sunday October 7, DBA held the third annual Serve Together Mission Project.  Over 475 people participated packing food during two one-hour shifts.  By the end of the afternoon, 950 hands had packed 150 boxes for a total of 32,400 meals. By working together, we were able to provide food which will be sent to | Read More

DATE POSTED: 09/19/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

On Sunday, September 9, Denton Baptist Association received two checks from First Baptist Church, Tioga totaling $140,000. These funds have been designated for use in the area of church planting. They have also given their property and buildings to DBA. Tioga’s gift was the culmination of several conversations that began in the early part of | Read More

DATE POSTED: 08/21/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

In John 10, Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd. In this text he offers insight into the common practice of shepherding sheep. Jesus then describes the characteristics of a good shepherd. Jesus’ analogy becomes a great model for what it means to be a good shepherd to the congregational sheep. This passage illustrates four | Read More

DATE POSTED: 06/26/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

I recently read a quote by Dr. Richard Ross, nationally known professor of youth ministry. He said this about camp sponsors, “A layman goes to work all year, looking forward to days off. When they arrive, he spends a week inhaling the aroma of a middle school guys’ cabin, approaching heat stroke on a sport’s | Read More

DATE POSTED: 05/24/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Training is important in any field, and that is certainly true for the church. The best leaders are trained leaders. This is the purpose behind the Leadership Training Conference on Saturday, August 11 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Denton. The older I get, the more I realize that leaders can | Read More

DATE POSTED: 04/17/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

New Name The DBA Family Gathering has been renamed Serve Together in order to better communicate the opportunity of collectively serving our community and our world. The past two years, our association has worked with Heaven Sent Ministries to participate in the Hunger Challenge packing project. This event, which is held at Camp Copass, has proven | Read More

DATE POSTED: 03/23/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

In George Barna’s book, The State of Pastors, he states, “46% of Pastors report struggling with depression at some point during their tenure in ministry”. This information was based upon a survey that the Barna group conducted in conjunction with Pepperdine University in 2017. While the book explores several topics that relate to ministers, the | Read More

DATE POSTED: 02/21/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Have you ever heard the phrase, “He or she has trust issues”? According to Dr. Rachel Botsman’s book, Who Can You Trust, we all have trust issues. Dr. Botsman takes the reader on a history of the subject of trust and shows that today we do a better job of trusting strangers than institutions. In | Read More

DATE POSTED: 01/22/2018  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Over the holidays I met with two men who are connected with Forge Dallas. Their organization teaches people how to be missional in their neighborhoods. Forge International, which is the parent group, was formed by Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost.  Frost has written a book entitled Surprise the World.  This periodical encapsulates the basic premises | Read More

DATE POSTED: 12/14/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

On Sunday afternoon, December 10, I had the privilege of representing Denton Baptist Association at a 50 year pastoral anniversary.  Pastor Mark Chew has spent his years in ministry as the pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, which is located on South Wood Street in Denton. He and his lovely wife Dr. Rose Chew have | Read More

DATE POSTED: 11/16/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Christmas is coming! Are you dreading it or looking forward to the celebration of Christ’s birth? Over the years I have found no better way to enjoy the season than by giving to others. I’ve listed twenty-six ideas, based upon the ABCs, of ways to give and invest in others without a lot of added | Read More

DATE POSTED: 10/20/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Between now and 2030, Denton County’s population is projected to surpass one million people. It is predicted that at least 260,000 new people will call our county home. These new residents will be buying houses that have yet to be built.  They will be a part of communities that have yet to be developed. They | Read More

DATE POSTED: 09/26/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Recently, I was invited to be a part of appreciation events for two of our pastors in the Association.  One of those is for Pastor Gregory and Lady Doris Trotter who have faithfully served Friendship Baptist Church in The Colony for five years.  The second is for Dr. Jeff Williams who will be celebrating twenty | Read More

DATE POSTED: 08/29/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Last year, the Hunger Challenge Project at the Family Gathering was a sight to behold. Brothers and sisters from all walks of life as well as children and adults were laughing, fellowshipping, and enjoying themselves as they participated in helping to reduce world hunger. One local pastor said that this was a remarkable experience for | Read More

DATE POSTED: 07/24/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Leadership is a major topic in our society – both in business and in the church. Intentional leadership development produces great leaders, whereas, a lack of leadership development creates a void within an organization. Having served on ministry staff for over 30 years, I understand that there is always more that can be done to | Read More

DATE POSTED: 05/25/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Our state, county and cities are growing. According to Clay Price, a long time Baptist statistician, by the year 2030 the population of Texas will be 32 million people. (See Diagram 1) In his presentation at a Director of Missions Retreat he illustrated the growth this way. From 2000 to 2010 we went from 20 | Read More

DATE POSTED: 04/19/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

For the last several months I have been meeting with a group of pastors and lay leaders from our association who are connected to different ethnic groups. Our mission has been to answer the question, “How can we work together with our diverse ethnic groups to fulfill the mission of the association?” Called to Reach | Read More

DATE POSTED: 03/28/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in a mission trip called Beach Reach.  This ministry was started in 1980 by a surfer turned Baptist Student Ministry Director named Buddy Young.  Buddy’s strategy over the years has been to minister and share the gospel with college students who come to South Padre | Read More

DATE POSTED: 02/23/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

In January of this year, DBA hosted the annual Tax Seminar at Westside Baptist Church, Lewisville. I had invited our Chin pastors to the seminar and was excited that two Chin pastors attended for the first time. One of the pastors who came has been in the states for over 10 years and the other | Read More

DATE POSTED: 01/30/2017  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

A few years back I was reading a book by Will Davis entitled Pray Big. In it he talked about a concept he called a Big Hairy Audacious Prayer. Davis got the idea from a book Jim Collins wrote entitled Built to Last. In Collins’ book he spoke of companies that lasted well beyond the | Read More

DATE POSTED: 11/16/2016  |     |   Category: Discipleship, Leadership, Pastors

by: Morgan Malone In 1983, I remember sitting in chapel as a 20-year old religion major at East Texas Baptist University. We had a guest speaker by the name of Dr. Billie Hanks who spoke on the importance of making disciples. He challenged us with the Biblical mandate for discipling others, shared how he had | Read More

DATE POSTED: 10/19/2016  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend, Pastors

From 1990 to 1999 I pastored a church in Melissa, Texas that had been at the same location for 100 years. It was positioned on an acre of land that had served the farming community well. In the nineties Melissa was transitioning from a rural hamlet to a growing suburb of McKinney. When I was | Read More

DATE POSTED: 09/29/2016  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

October is Staff Appreciation Month, a time to recognize and thank the church staff for all they do. At times staff are viewed in a less than favorable light, as in this humorous quote from Pastor John McKeal: “I’m a preacher and the other day at the supermarket I saw a little boy from church | Read More

DATE POSTED: 08/30/2016  |     |   Category: Church Planting, Friend to Friend, Leadership, Pastors

For the last two years, I have been struggling with two questions for our association. First, how can I help our existing churches become more effective? Second, how can I help a new church plant to succeed? Throughout this time, I have been looking for two different solutions to each of these questions. It was | Read More

DATE POSTED: 06/20/2016  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend, Leadership, Outreach, Single Adults

I recently read an article which stated that 32% of adults between the ages of 18-35 were living at home with their parents. The author cited a survey conducted by Pew Research in 2014 on the living habits of Millennials. 1 In reviewing Pew’s research, I found something even more startling. Out of the group | Read More

DATE POSTED: 06/01/2016  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend, Leadership, Pastors

Have you ever wondered why your church may not be growing as much as it did in years gone by? In the preface to the book Multiplication Moves, author Rich Devos suggests an answer to that question. He states that the typical church follows a cycle. He describes four progressive stages or cycles of a | Read More

DATE POSTED: 05/01/2016  |     |   Category: Bible Study, Church Events, Friend to Friend, Leadership

One of the things I have thought about doing since I came to the DBA was to have a group of people who gathered periodically to review and study a book on an issue that relates to strengthening our churches. Each member of the group would be responsible for reading a portion of the book | Read More

DATE POSTED: 04/01/2016  |     |   Category: Church Events, Friend to Friend, Outreach

by Morgan Malone Spring and Summer provide a great time to plan and host an outdoor ministry event. People are anxious to enjoy the outdoors after being cooped up during the cold and rainy season of winter. It is a great time to schedule and reserve the Block Party Trailer (BPT). Last year the Texas Baptists | Read More

DATE POSTED: 03/01/2016  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend, Leadership, Pastors

By Morgan Malone Genesis 37 introduces us to the character of Joseph, the son of Jacob. He was one of 12 brothers, and he was his father’s favorite, which caused a lot of division in the family. He was considered a “dreamer” (not a term of endearment) by his brothers due to the dreams he shared | Read More