By Sharon Mager
COLUMBIA, Md.—Randy Millwood, reporting for the formerly named “Church Wellness Team” told Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network General Mission Board (GMB) members at their Sept. 9 meeting at the Baptist Network Center, that the name of the team is now “Church Strengthening: Equipping and Encouraging.” Millwood said the phrase “church strengthening” is a more accurate description of the team’s objective. Every church, regardless of where they are in their journey, can always be stronger, Millwood said.
Attendance has been high at local training and discipleship events, Millwood said. Three hundred people were trained in the areas of worship and music at three regional events, and more people participated in Vacation Bible School and Backyard Bible Clubs this year than in recent memory.
Millwood said the network’s Bible Teaching/Children’s Ministry formed a partnership with LifeWay to present “TRANSFORM,” a new Bible teaching conference on Sept. 20 hosted by First Baptist Church of Upper Marlboro. Three hundred teachers attended the training.
Other highlights include Lamplight Artists’ 15-week long “All About Kids Productions” performing arts day camps, each averaging 50 children. Customized discipleship equipping events were held at four local churches and one association. Church wellness assessments were completed with three local churches, and staff assessment work was done with two additional churches. Coaching and personal consultation touches engaged 26 churches during the quarter.
Eight pastors are involved in the “Turning Around Journey.” Millwood said those churches are already using bridging events to reach into their communities. Some are offering English as a Second Language classes or Civics classes to minster to internationals as well.
“Please continue to pray as courageous churches and pastors press forward,” Millwood said.
Millwood said he was thrilled to have Keith Hammer, who is working full time now with church strengthening.
“I have a deep appreciation for your decision to approve and hire Keith Hammer,” Millwood told Board members. “I can say without hesitation this is a man who deeply loves Jesus.”