Family takes ‘insane’ step to plant church

Rob Burgess couldn’t help but laugh. His wife’s suggestion seemed preposterous — move their family of five, including a junior in high school, from Orlando, Fla., to Denver for a year to help start a new church. “You’re insane,” Rob told Amy with a laugh. Amy’s response? So were the disciples. “If the disciples had […]

Retired teacher plants church, baptizes 60 in 2 years

Mike Alexander never attended seminary. He had never pastored a church. He says he didn’t even know what a church planter did. That is, until he became one. Now, about two years after arriving in Aurora, Colo., and about 23 months after he began learning what church planters actually do, the church Alexander started has […]

Pastor care line offers confidential help

Southern Baptist pastors struggling through personal or professional crisis now have a confidential place to turn, thanks to a new partnership between the North American Mission Board and Focus on the Family. The care line — dedicated exclusively to Southern Baptist pastors, chaplains and missionaries — is toll-free at 1-844-PASTOR1. Calls are answered by Focus […]

Hunt’s ‘lab’ aims for renewal among pastors

Josh Hayes can recount a variety of takeaways he garnered at a church revitalization conference he attended last month — from reminders about ministry being a “people business” to the importance of equipping a congregation with the necessary ministry tools. But Hayes said one particular moment was a game-changer for him. Hayes, the children’s pastor […]

Pastor Appreciation Month sparks opportunity

With two jobs, a pastorate and a full slate of courses at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, pastor Toby Brogden was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted when he showed up for a class last month. “Look, I am stretched, just as tight as a rubber band,” Brogden, who pastors Grace Church in New Orleans, told classmates. […]

Replanted church grows from 13 to 1,300

If Eric Suddith would have looked at Emmanuel Baptist Mission Church as only a business proposition in 2004 when he first encountered it, the Wharton-trained businessman-turned-pastor might have given it up for dead. Just over a decade old at the time, the church had dwindled to eight members. It had no plan to move forward […]

Dying Midwest church regains passion, spiritual vitality

Dying churches used to haunt John Mark Clifton. They seemed to be everywhere. Churches that once experienced 200 to 300 people in weekly worship when Clifton was a teenager, eventually struggled with fewer than 30 people attending each Sunday. Often the churches had large but empty buildings and could barely pay their facility costs. “I […]

Chaplains share Christ where local church can’t

From foreign battlefields to American corporate board rooms to hospital bedsides to the front seats of police cars and more, Southern Baptists minister through their chaplains in some of the most hard-to-reach locations of North America. Southern Baptists continue to see the need to send chaplains to places where the church may not have access, […]

Bankrupt Detroit draws those intent on ‘the Lord’s business’

People say Detroit is broken and bankrupt. Yet Southern Baptist church planter Daryl Gaddy has another word for his beleaguered city: home. Detroit became the largest city in American history to file for bankruptcy last summer — a decline that began in the 1950s and accelerated in the 1980s. The city’s auto industry had cranked […]

Senior saints help birth church plant

The 16 or so remaining lay members of Lakeview Baptist Church in New Orleans didn’t fit the bill of a church planting core team. All senior saints, none younger than 70, they lacked youthful energy, but compensated with experience and vision. When they met church planter James Welch (@harborjames) in 2008, they were still grieving […]