Spiritual Fatigue Resource

Randall House & D6 Family Ministry to release Rest. Overcoming Spiritual Fatigue.
(Nashville, Tennessee) “On March 31, 2023, Randall House & D6 Family Ministry and Marianne Howard will release Rest. Overcoming Spiritual Fatigue.
About the book: This book will lead readers on a journey to understanding genuine soul rest and how to achieve this rest while examining and modifying spiritual, personal, and professional priorities, in order to move to abundant living and leading and developing an aggressive attentiveness to the presence of God.
Features include: Foreword by Ron Hunter Jr., Ph.D., D6 Conference director. The author offers reflection and discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Section one reveals areas where leaders resist rest. Section two focuses on God’s rest, as seen in Scripture, and how to lead from that rest.
About the author: Marianne Howard has been involved in ministry for over 20 years. Her experience as a minister’s wife allowed her to recognize the toll spiritual fatigue takes on leaders. She disciples students and women, co-hosts the D6 Family Podcast, contributes to the D6 Family blog, and is a passionate teacher of God’s Word.”

Contact: Lena Wooten
Director of Marketing
(615) 361-1221 ext. 308


Provow News

“Josh Provow shared some incredible news after two short-term trip teams served on the field for many Operation Christmas Child events. “Praising God for the miracles we have seen in the last few weeks! At this moment, all four of our intrepid team members are traveling back to their respective homes. We are all looking forward to some good rest, but our hearts are overflowing. Here is the trip by the numbers…450 presents, 600+ heard the gospel, 12 Operation Christmas Child parties, 11 villages and towns, 1 new Bible club launched, 3 more villages interested in regular Bible clubs, 4 amazing team members, 5 incredible Provow kids that helped a ton in countless ways that God’s hand was upon us the entire time. I am still processing some of the big emotions. God is good!” ‘

State Office and Executive Board News

January 31, 2023
Greetings from the State Office and the Executive Board!

I hope your year is off to a good start. We have just wrapped up our annual All Boards Meeting, and in addition to the details of the State Meeting provided later in this update, we have several other dates and events that you need to be aware of:

As announced previously, this year’s Men’s Conference is February 23-25. This event will be at Messiah’s Ranch outside of Bryan and has a theme of “Regenerate”. The registration fee is $150 per person. Speakers will be Roy Harris and Aaron Harris (father and son, and longtime FWB ministers). More details (and a registration link) are available in the flyer sent out last week from the CE Board.

The Ministry Expo (aka CTS Youth Competition) is scheduled for May 6 at Connect Church in Montgomery. Entry forms for all entries need to be received by March 31. Contact Teressa Voltz to submit entry forms and to ask any competition-related questions.

The State Youth Retreat is scheduled for June 15-17 also at Messiah’s Ranch outside of Bryan. More details will be sent out in the near future with information on registration, speakers, activities, and other arrangements.

TWAC has planned a Ladies’ Retreat for September 29-30. The theme for the retreat is “Broken Vessels”. More details will be released as they are finalized.
TWAC has agreed to help sponsor our Texas students who are attending E-TEAM (Katelyn Ferguson) and Truth & Peace (Elizabeth Dickey). If you have students in one of these programs that are not listed above, please contact the boards as soon as possible to include them in the support. If you would like to add your financial support to any of these students, you can also contact TWAC for more information.

The CE Board is also making plans and considering options for the Youth Retreat, the Men’s Conference, a Couple’s Conference, and other possible activities for 2024. Details on those events will be announced as they are finalized.

This year’s State Meeting, the 109th Annual Session, will be June 7-8 (Wednesday-Thursday) at Connect Church in Montgomery. Our keynote speaker will be Cory Thompson, an Oklahoma FWB pastor who will be speaking on the theme of “Preaching for Everyone”. Preliminary lodging arrangements are still being made, 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 Connect Church on June 7-8.

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 keeping us informed. New posts appear on the blog site, in your e-mail inbox (if you subscribe to the updates), and on the Texas State Association of Free Will Baptists Facebook page. 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. If you have news items to share, please contact Kyle at fwbtexaschallenge@gmail.com.
While many of you are aware, it is useful to periodically remind our districts, churches, and people that the State Office operates on giving that is specifically designated to the State Office. The annual treasurer’s report shows all of the giving by our churches through the State Office to a wide variety of missionaries, colleges, and ministries across our denomination, and we are grateful for the nearly $233,000 in funds that were given through the State Association in 2022, but most of that giving is pass-through; that is, only the funds that are designated for the State Office stay at the State Office. The State Office has a 2023 annual budget of only $25,200, and that includes nearly $7,000 in national association dues that are also pass-through from the districts. The State Office ended 2022 about $500 in the black compared to the beginning of 2022, and we appreciate all those who give to support the State Office as well as our other state and national ministries in the denomination. We also appreciate your continued help in beginning or renewing your churches’ and districts’ support of the State Office in your giving, either through the state cooperative giving plan or direct designations to the State Office. Please contact us if you have questions or need more information.

We offer our typical closing reminder to please visit the State Association website at http://www.texasfwb.org and review your district’s and church’s information in the directory. We want to make sure that the contact information is all up to date. 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.

Voltz Donations Needed

“The Voltz, IM missionaries to Bulgaria, are currently raising funds and support to get to the field for the first time! They recently shared a fundraising update of being at 33% funded. They said “Each month we have increased! God is SO good!! Thank you all for joining us on our journey to Bulgaria! We would LOVE to be on the field in 2023! If you have any questions about monthly donations, please let us know!” You can email them or become a partner by visiting their IM webpage here: https://bit.ly/37QsFo2

Mission News

“We would like to share the following story from the Edgmons, IM Missionaries in Spain!

This past June, we prayer walked around the town of Villanueva de la Torre with our co-workers the Morgans, their OA Bayley Floyd, and ETEAM Spain (Photo attached of Mandi leading ETeam Spain 22 in prayer) One of the big prayer requests was for God to provide a meeting place for the Esperanza Church in a strategic place in town. Today we had the joy of worshipping with this congregation in their new location in a busy shopping center just across the street from the elementary school. How exciting to walk through the doors of an answer to prayer that was even more than we asked or thought back on that June day. To God be the glory for the church He is building in this town with no other gospel witness.”

In the photo (L to R): Mandi Morgan, Carmen (pastor’s wife), Lea Edgmon, Anthony Edgmon, Jose Manuel (pastor), and Neil Morgan.

Men’s Conference Registration Due

“Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that the Regenerate Men’s Conference is just about a month away! Early registration ends on January 29, which is right around the corner! REGISTER TODAY to get the lower price!! You can use the QR code at the top or the link at the bottom of the flyer. Also, a brief introduction is provided of our father/son team of speakers for the event. More detailed information will be shared at the conference.

Remember, there will be target practice, clay shooting, and fishing available. Your own equipment is required. It will be your responsibility to safely manage and secure your firearms.

Please let us know if you have any questions.”

Teressa Voltz on behalf of the CE Board

Heart for Harvest

“Harvest FWB Child Care Ministries is asking all churches, Women’s Ministries, & Master’s Men groups to consider receiving a special offering Sunday February 12th 2023 for Harvest. Our goal this year is to pay off the mortgage for our Virginia campus. Oklahoma, & Arkansas Free Will Baptist’s have had a huge part in the children’s home in Virginia since the beginning. In 2000 Rev. James & Linda Stepps came to Oklahoma to see how OK & AR FWB’s would respond, and they were not disappointed. Not long after, Bro. George & Sis. Judy Hyatt moved to Oklahoma to be the Advancement Representatives in Oklahoma & Arkansas. While here, they raised monthly funds for the Virginia Children’s Home & not long after our Mexico work was born. After the Hyatt’s retirement, Bro. Charles Barnard stepped in to carry on the mission of Harvest Mexico in Oklahoma & Arkansas. In July of 2019, I took the plow and started breaking  ground in Texas! Through our combined efforts, Oklahoma, Arkansas, & now Texas FWB’s have deep roots in a small piece of property in Virginia & Mexico.

While I continue to primarily represent our home in Mexico, I am asking on behalf of Harvest in Virginia for you to consider helping in a big way one more time. We are hoping this will be our last Have a Heart Sunday. On August 5th 2023, Harvest Free Will Baptist Child Care Ministries will celebrate 30 years of ministering to children, and there we pray we are able to burn the note!

Thank you so much for your years of faithful generosity to Harvest Free Will Baptist Child Care Ministries both in Virginia and Mexico.”

Serving Christ Through Kids

Steven Shotzman

Advancement Representative

Service Opportunity

“One of IM’s partner organizations has two exciting short-term trip opportunities taking place in March! The first opportunity is in El Salvador on March 4-11, 2023. A non-profit organization on the outskirts of San Salvador operates an excellent elementary school, providing its students with a quality education and giving them hope for a future.
Trip participants will help expand their facilities to accommodate more students and assist them in preparing a community event.
The second opportunity is in Japan, March 13-24, 2023. Our partner organization and its local friends Plan to remodel the facilities a local church uses to serve their community. Trip participants will assist
with the interior renovations. For more details about these opportunities, contact social@iminc.org.”

Pastoring A Small Church Is Not A Penalty, It’s A Specialty

by Karl Vaters
For years I bucked against the idea that I am a small church pastor.

Instead of seeing it as my calling, my heart and my passion, I treated it like it was my penalty for not having the skills to be a big church pastor.

So I consumed every church growth book and devoured all the “10 Reasons Your Church Isn’t Getting Bigger” lists like they were a prescription for a disease. And if the prescription was to grow your church, the disease must be that the church was small. Or so I thought.

But the antidotes didn’t cure anything, because small churches are not a sickness to overcome, a problem to fix, or a theological error to correct.

Small churches are not a sickness to overcome, a problem to fix or a theological error to correct.CLICK TO TWEET
Being a small church pastor isn’t my penalty for something I’ve done, or am doing wrong.

It’s my specialty. My niche.

And, since embracing it, it’s becoming an area of great joy and passion – even expertise.

Lean In To Your Ministry Calling
Imagine if you went to medical school with the idea of being the world’s greatest surgeon but, instead of having the manual dexterity for surgery, you had a surprisingly ability to diagnose diseases others missed.

But you still wanted to be a surgeon. So, instead of going into residency to become a great diagnostician, you went back to whatever school would have you, as you tried in vain to become a better surgeon.

Determined not to give up, you became stubborn. Instead of helping to spare people from years of pain and sickness by correctly identifying diseases other doctors misdiagnosed, you kept fighting a losing battle to become a surgeon.

You didn’t want to “settle” for becoming a great diagnostician, so you “overcame” your weaknesses and became a mediocre surgeon.

Mediocre At Big, Or Great At Small?
We don’t need more pastors trying to become something they’re not.

We need dedicated, passionate ministers who are using the gifts they’ve been given. Even if those gifts lead them to different places than they expected to go.

It’s not giving up or settling for less to recognize that you’re called to be a small church pastor. As long as you do it with all the skill and passion you have.CLICK TO TWEET
It’s not giving up or settling for less to recognize that you’re called to be a small church pastor. As long as you do it with all the skill and passion you have.

We need to see small church pastoring as a specialty to embrace, not a penalty to endure. When we do, everything changes.

When we stop wasting so much time and energy trying to be something we’re not, we can discover what it means to be great at what we are called to do.

You’re not a small church pastor because you’re a lousy big church pastor. You’re a small church pastor because, if you embrace it, you can be great at it.

It’s all about attitude.

Don’t see it as a penalty, make it your specialty.

Support Katelyn With Her Mission Trip

“Katelyn has a great opportunity to go to Panama on a mission trip this summer with International Missions. She needs help raising the $3500 to make this trip happen. If you would like to help, click the link below and you will be redirected to her page on IM’s website. Thank you to everyone who helped make her trip last summer happen and thank you for thinking of her this summer. Have a great one!”