Together Way

“The Genesis of A New Stewardship Era
The complex changes facing 21st century American churches demand newer, more innovative ministries and methods to build up the Body of Christ. There is an increasing need for families to have closer ties to the church. Larger church staffs and facilities are necessary to meet the need for stewardship training.

The increasing and diverse population, greater access to the world’s countries and our commitment to plant the gospel banner on every continent summons us to full stewardship responsibility.

The Premise
The Together Way Plan is based on the biblical premise that:
Stewardship responsibility embraces possessions, time, talent, body, mind, ministries, spiritual gifts and any other resource or facet of life given by God for the benefit of the individual, the family, the church and all extended ministries of the Body.

The ultimate purpose of all giving is to build up the Body of Christ and to preach and teach the gospel to all people.

Giving as God has prospered is the privilege and duty of every believer as well as the local church.

Each believer and local congregation should have the freedom to carry out stewardship responsibility as God leads them.

Free Will Baptists united in The Together Way Plan can do what no individual, no one local church or any one extended ministry can do alone to carry out our worldwide stewardship responsibility.

Starts With The Family
The foundation of stewardship education and practice begins with the family unit. Parents teach children the basics of stewardship: sharing, giving, caring for their bodies and minds, recognizing and developing talents.

The home introduces God’s love to children and leads them to respond to that love.

Through new education initiatives, The Together Way Plan will help equip parents to teach stewardship principles.

Continues With The Church
The church as a body builds upon the foundation laid by the family unit. Pastors, teachers, ministers and members reinforce basic stewardship principles. Families give through the church; the church through the budget process oversees the stewardship of corporate giving. Each church gives to extended ministries through the state and national cooperative percentage method and/or through the designated giving method.

The Together Way Plan will introduce new materials to assist the church in stewardship training. Ministry seminars and presentations will better acquaint members with their extended ministries.

Moves Forward
The Together Way Plan recognizes that the district and state ministries are worthy of support. The plan will encourage families and churches to under gird their local association outreaches with regular gifts.

One future goal is that state associations will forward at least fifty percent of Together Way funds toward funding national ministries.

The plan will offer initiatives for working with district and state leaders to expand stewardship training programs and emphasis from the district and state levels.

Culminates With Ministries
The Together Way Stewardship Plan starts with the family continues with the church; the district and state ministries move it forward, and the national ministries complete The Together Way circle that reaches around the world.
The Together Way Plan calls for our churches to underwrite the budgets of our national ministries through five special offerings each year:

IM, Inc. — World Missions Offering in April

Master’s Men — Father’s Day Offering in June

Rest of the Family Offering — September offering for Executive Office, WNAC, Commissions, National Youth Conference, Board of Retirement and the Free Will Baptist Foundation.

Noert American Ministries — Mission: North America Offering in November

Welch College — Ketteman Student Scholarship Drive in February”

This Information and much more from https://nafwb.org/togetherway/

Truth and Peace

“As someone who is interested in furthering the kingdom, I wanted to let you know about an opportunity that has been provided to me for the Summer of 2021. I have been accepted as 2021 Truth and Peace Student Leadership Conference of the Free Will Baptist Denomination and would consider it an honor for you to support me as I raise funds for the training and travel this opportunity requires. 

Truth and Peace is made up of teenagers from across the denomination who have displayed potential to lead in their community, school, and church. This group will meet in Moore, Oklahoma, on the Campus of Randall University for leadership training before traveling to the Vertical Three Conference in Memphis, Tennessee. The purpose of Truth and Peace is to train, motivate, and encourage high school students to impact their world through biblical leadership. 

I am excited for the opportunity to meet and work with people my age. Also, I hope to gain meaningful relationships to help me grow spiritually.  I am looking forward to the leadership training that I will be receiving. I want this to be an opportunity to better myself and grow as a Christian and student leader.

The total cost of this trip is $1,500 for each student. I would greatly appreciate any donation you would be willing to contribute. It is my hope this trip will not only be a blessing to those we visit but will impact my own life as well. Thanks in advance for your support. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me via Brandon.Emory32@gmail.com or 832-472-1490. I am including the link below that will take you to my profile page where you can make donations if you choose.”

https://app.managedmissions.com/MyTrip/brandonbailey1

Sincerely, 

Brandon Bailey

CTS 2021

“Ministry Expo (CTS) 2021
● State Ministry Expo (CTS) Competition – Saturday, May 1, 2021
● Location: Fellowship FWB Church, Bryan, Texas
● Start Time: 10:00 am
● Entries due to Teressa Voltz via email or snail mail by Friday, April 16, 2021
○ mtvoltz@consolidated.net
○ 832.647.3458
○ 822 Weeping Willow Way, Magnolia, TX 77354
● Retrieve entry forms and guidelines at http://www.verticalthree.com
● Fees can me mailed to Teressa Voltz or turned in on the day of competition
● Questions? Either contact verticalthree or Teressa Voltz mtvoltz@consolidated.net or
832.647.3458
● Why participate?
○ Great way to have students memorize scripture
○ Develop and nurture the talents God has given our children
○ Keeps children focused on God
○ Assists children in growing in Christ”

Prove Update

“Last Sunday, R from Vehtovo was in the hospital for routine pain management, and was allowed to come to our church service. While there she asked us to pray for three ladies in the hospital. Sevdi led the group in prayer. One of the ladies, who had been having trouble breathing, later told R that she felt a warm sensation in her chest around the time we would have been praying. R gave her a gospel of Luke and encouraged her to read it.

A few days ago the lady called R and told me that on Sunday (today) she wanted us to come to her village, which is in the northern-most section of the Shumen Province. She said she would gather around ten people to come and hear what I have to say about this book. So today at 1PM our time, we will leave Shumen and head towards the village of Vulnari. While there, we will have a simple Bible study and I will invite them to do a 13-week Bible study that introduces Jesus and explains what it means to follow Him.

This is not how I had planned it…

We have been praying for a while for a second village, in which we can have a Bible study. There are two strategies that I envisioned working: The first strategy is going to a village and doing some sort of outreach event (i.e. OCC) and if there is interest, we come back and continue studying.

The second strategy is this: 1. Visit a village. 2. Walk around 3. Look for somebody to talk to. 4. Attempt to steer the conversation to the gospel. 5. Invite the person to host us and we will read the Bible and discuss it together. This simple five-step plan worked in Vehtovo, and in my mind it could work elsewhere.

But this, this is different. Even though we have visited over 50 villages, we will drive through seven new villages ON THE WAY to Vulnari. It is way off the beaten path. Besides that, I have never met the woman who will be hosting. I don’t know the ten people she said would join us. I don’t know their ethnicity (the host has a Turkish-sounding name). I don’t know what language I should speak in.

As you can imagine, I am a mix of excited and nervous. I think I am prepared, but we have learned to expect the unexpected! If you happen to read this around 6 or 7 CST, please stop and pray for us, as exactly at that time we will be sharing the gospel in a new place.

There are several other things that happened this week and several other things that we are excited about this upcoming week, but more on that later. For now, thank you for sacrificially giving and for constantly holding us up in prayer. God is on the move!

-Josh”

Like their page on Facebook for more frequent updates.

State Office Report

“Greetings from the State Office and the Executive Board!


As of this writing, we have just concluded our annual All Boards Meeting. Many of the plans we
put in place a year ago did not materialize, as is the case for many of you; however, as we prepare to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is time to start making plans again. We are
moving forward with the expectation that we will have an in-person State Meeting in 2021. This year’s State Meeting, the 107th Annual Session, will be June 9-10 (Wednesday-Thursday) at
Lakehills FWB Church in Cedar Park. We appreciate the congregation at Lakehills being willing to shift their plans forward one year, after not being able to have the meeting in 2020.
Many of the details were already being finalized last spring, so once we have updated a few more items, we’ll be releasing additional details. In particular, a block of rooms has been arranged at a nearby hotel for this meeting, so we’ll be sharing information on how to make reservations, along with the specific schedule, as we confirm the details, but we are looking forward to a great
event and a time of fellowship, worship, and business at Lakehills on June 9-10.lso, as we have shifted our 2020 meeting plans to 2021, we are also grateful to the First FWB Church in Duncanville, who originally offered to host the 2021 meeting and agreed to postpone their meeting to 2022. So we will look forward to returning to the Metroplex the following year, tentatively scheduled to begin on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. We have just wrapped up our annual All Boards Meeting, and in addition to the details of the State Meeting, we have several other dates and events that you need to be aware of:
– The Ministry Expo (aka CTS Youth Competition) will be held May 1 at Fellowship FWB Church in Bryan, beginning at 10:00 AM. Entry forms for all entries need to be sent to Teressa Voltz by April 16. Please contact the Christian Education Board for more
information and registration forms.
– The State Youth Retreat is scheduled for June 16-19 in San Antonio. Conference fee will be $125 for each participant, and the deadline for registration is May 15. Participants will
be responsible for their own lodging; arrangements will be made at a designated hotel. Conference fee includes 4-5 meals. Theme and speakers will be announced soon.
– TWAC has tentatively scheduled their fall “Girls’ Time” Retreat for October 1-2 at First Church in Henderson. The theme for the retreat (as well as their conference at the State Meeting) is “Promise” from Hebrews 10:23. More details will be released as they are
finalized.
– TWAC’s State Project for 2022 is the Provows, missionaries to Bulgaria.
– The Christian Education Board has scheduled a Men’s Retreat for October 8-9 at Lakehills. Cost will be $25 each participant. Participants will be responsible for their own lodging. Meals for Friday night and Saturday lunch will be covered with Retreat fee. Anyone needing financial assistance to attend needs to let the CE Board know. Details for theme and speaker to follow.
Both the CE Board and TWAC have offered support to students attending Truth & Peace or E-TEAM this summer. If you have a student that will be attending one of these ministry events
and would like more information about financial support, please contact them or me. In addition, if you would like to share your student’s information with other churches to ask for support,
please send me an e-mail containing the appropriate details and I will send it out to the e-mail distribution list.

We continue to see a variety of news items, announcements, and thoughtful articles coming through the Texas Challenge blog site (https://texaschallenge.net/), and we are appreciative of Kyle and Beth Howell embracing this new role and keeping us informed. New posts appear on
the blog site, in your e-mail inbox (if you subscribe to the updates), and on the TSAFWB Facebook feed. If you have news items to share, please contact Kyle at fwbtexaschallenge@gmail.com. You can also visit the blog site at any time to see stories that have been posted previously and to sign up for e-mail updates.

As we work toward returning to normal operations, we are providing a reminder that state and national dues will be coming due, along with local and district reports. National dues are $175 per church and the state dues are $175 per church (a total of $350 per church per year). Those dues do not have to be paid in a single transaction (they can be spread out over multiple months if a church’s budget or financial condition requires smaller payments), and you can contact State Treasurer John Davis or me if you need more information on this. If you need information or blank forms for completing and submitting your local church and district reports, please contact State Clerk Kevin Williford or me.

Finally, we remind you to please visit the State Association website at
http://www.texasfwb.org/churches.shtml and review your district’s and church’s information in the directory. If you see any information that needs to be changed, please send updates and
corrections to me at the State Office.

Also, we send these quarterly updates to everyone on the State Office e-mail list, but there are surely some who would be interested in receiving the
information that we do not have on our list. Pastors, please share these dates, events, and details with your congregation so that everyone can be informed and involved. If someone has
forwarded this information to you and you would like to be on the mailing list in the future, please contact us at the e-mail address below.

We appreciate all that you do for Texas Free Will Baptists and for the work of God. As always, you can contact us with any questions at stateoffice@texasfwb.org.”

Another Great Post from Shine!

“There are many opinions out there about teens and social media. Some say you shouldn’t have it at all, and others say it’s no big deal. But what does the Bible say? Since social media hasn’t been around for very long, the Bible doesn’t specifically talk about it. However, there was media back in Jesus’ day. There was art, some form of news being spread, and communication. The Bible may not tell us if social media is right or wrong, but it does tell us how we should engage with media.

The Bible tells us that we should engage with media that…

  • Is true, honorable, pure, and lovely (Philippians 4:8)
  • Helps us to be thankful (Ephesians 5:19-20)
  • Exposes and rebukes sin (Ephesians 5:11)
  • Where possible, spreads the gospel (Isaiah 52:7)
  • Is legal in our country and state (Romans 13:1-2)

And we would do well to steer clear of media that…

  • Is deceptive (1 Corinthians 15:33)
  • Is worthless (Psalm 101:3)
  • Is evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
  • Is full of gossip or lies (James 3:5-11)
  • Causes us to be discontent (1 John 2:15-17)
  • Causes us to sin (Mark 9:43-47)
  • Is unhelpful for us personally, even if it’s fine for others (1 Corinthians 6:12-13)
  • Is sexually immoral (Ephesians 5:3)
  • Tears others down (Ephesians 4:29)

It’s also important to remember that you cannot ever replace true friendship with online interaction, and it’s really important as a young person to learn how to build relationships offline.

Ask yourself these questions as you interact on social media:

  • How can I bear God’s image on social media?
  • How do I glorify God in a digital world?
  • How do I represent who God truly is in my conversations on the internet?”

Great advice for not only teens, but for ALL Christians. We need to consider what information we allow to be put in our minds. Consider how your media choices affect your relationship with God.

Register for Campus Days at Randall March 25-26

“Designed specifically for high school students, “Campus Days” is a unique event set up to give a firsthand experience of life on Randall’s campus.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • Enjoy a student-led worship service.
  • Attend classes based on your interests.
  • Participate in games and activities.
  • Experience the Saints Community.

Many Randall students say that it was the feel of the community on campus that drew them to the university. Come and experience that for yourself. Register today to reserve your spot!

What You Need to Do

1. Fill out this consent form.

2. Register here.

3. Bring bedding, clothes, and toiletries.

Questions?

For more information, please call 405-912-9011 or email” recruitment@ru.edu.