Early In Life

Early In Life

By Jeffrey Bush from They Turned the World Upside Down

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Luke 18:16

R.A. Torrey, the great evangelist, was preaching and challenging people to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.  Near the front a young 7-year old boy stood up, in total sincerity and genuineness, wanting to give his life to the Lord. People smirked as they watched his action. They had never heard nor seen a 7-year old boy surrender his life to serve God. That boy’s name was William Whiting Borden.

William never forgot his decision. He served God tirelessly, and eighteen short years later the Lord took this faithful young servant home to be with Him. God does not limit who He wants to use! He was a child when he gave his life to Christ, and followed God with his whole heart. How many children might there be today who would give their lives to Christ?

God has given each Christian the opportunity to decide what he is going to do for the Lord. The Lord wants as many people in His army as he can get. He cannot use the lost people of the world to get His message out. Who then will He use?

Challenge:  In Luke 18:16 Jesus calls for the LITTLE children to come unto Him. If he wants them to be saved, how much more would He want them to follow and serve Him at a young age? If a child starts learning to tithe, obey God and serve Him, he won’t find it difficult to do the same when he’s an adult. Never think that God can’t use you because you are “too young”. Will you give your life to the Lord to use in any way? No matter if you are 7, 17, or 77, God desires to use your life.

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 7

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 7

Newest VBM Missionary Family!!

We are thrilled to welcome our newest missionary family, the Johnsons! Tim, Jessica, Levi, Britton & Theo Johnson are missionaries to South Africa. We are truly privileged to have them as a part of the team!! To learn more about their ministry, click here.

Ladies Conference THIS Saturday!

Please be in prayer for this wonderful ladies conference that will be held Saturday on the VBM campus. There are over 130 registered!!! Pray God blesses the teaching, fellowship, and gives a great spirit.

This conference will take place at 10:00 am and end at 3:00pm on Feb 17! If you haven’t registered as of yet, you can do so HERE

How VBM Joyfully Serves Our Missionary Team

As missionaries serve the Lord on the front lines, we serve to encourage and help them do the work God has called them to do. Give me just a moment of your time to the VBM Office team serves our missionaries:

  1. Ongoing Training – The in-person Friday missions class is designed to help with continued training, and for those overseas, we send out the notes and audio. We hold a yearly, week-long orientation filled with practical and helpful courses. We also provide missionaries with a weekly podcast, book recommendations, and, every two years, a regional conference in your area of the world.
  2. Marriage – We schedule a yearly marriage retreat, regional conferences, and guest speakers that speak to this important subject (sending notes out for those not present).
  3. Advice – Whether someone to pray with, ministry consultation, paperwork, or just a friendly ear, our missionaries have godly field directors, assistant field directors, General Director, a president, and fifteen pastors on the Pastoral Advisory Committee who are here for our missionaries.
  4. Raising Funds – Our Deputation Director (Ty Pepperdine), furlough missionaries, and staff provide assistance as missionaries raise funds to get to the field or return to raise more on furlough.
  5. Daily Finances – Depositing missionaries’ support, helping with budgets, communicating with missionary donors, and getting help from outside financial accountability and the Board of Directors who provide accountability, wisdom, and counsel.
  6. Pre-field Training – the OGTC (whether the students are overseas or stateside) has the purpose of training future missionaries. We have worked diligently and sought advice to make this the most efficient and effective preparation for serving on the mission field.
  7. Keeping all Informed – we strive to keep missionaries updated through emails, social media platforms, and through missionary field directors.

Our goal is not to maintain but rather to push forward by recruiting, preparing, and sending future laborers to assist missionaries as well as pioneer new countries. We are praying for our missionaries, the work they are doing, and the future laborers God will send our/their way. It is a joy to serve our missionary team!

Attend a Youth for the Gospel

If you are near any of our Youth For the Gospel events, we’d love to have you join us for one of these events. Dr. Jim Roberts has worked hard to fill our calendar with opportunities to meet and challenge young people. Would you pray about going one of these in this calendar year? Here are the upcoming dates below: 

  1. March 9 — Six Mile, SC — Rock Baptist Church
  2. April 6 —Fairfield, OH — Hope Baptist Church
  3. May 25 —Eaton, OH — First Baptist Church
  4. July 27 — Greensboro, NC — Philadelphia Baptist Church
  5. August 17 — Central, SC — Camp Creek Baptist Church
  6. September 14 — Calhoun, GA — Philadelphia Baptist Church
  7. September 28 — Bronx (NY City), NY — Living Hope Baptist Church
  8. October 12 — St. Cloud, FL — Eastern Avenue Baptist Church
  9. October 26 — Dalton, GA — Whitfield Baptist Church

Annual Golf Tournament

On April 30th, we’ll hold the 3rd Annual Golf Tournament. Last year was a success, bringing many golfers together, hosting them on campus for a meal afterward, and raising funds for campus improvements. The information is online, and you can see more HERE.  We would love to have you and your team join us for this great event!

Going Where God Wants You To Go

Now when they had gone… and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come… but the Spirit suffered them not… And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, … assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. — Acts 16:6-10

Paul and Timothy began their journeys with anticipation and open doors, serving God and seeing much fruit. As they continued on, they desired to go but “the Spirit suffered them not” (vs. 6). They tried to go again, but again they were “forbidden” (vs. 7). God does not see fit to tell us whether the closed doors were because of money, lack of peace within themselves, being refused by authority, or something else. We do not know how they were hindered from entering, we just know the Spirit didn’t allow them to go. Finally, they had a vision and a man “prayed him,” saying come over and help us (vs. 9). But I want to draw your attention where God’s Word says they “assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us” to go preach there (vs. 10). It’s as if they were prohibited twice to enter and then very clearly told to go, and at that time they understood this must be where God was calling them. This is contrary to what most Christians believe, or at least practice. We want to have full confirmation and then move, but it appears Paul just moved forward serving God wherever he went, leaving the geographical stopping point up to God. Paul didn’t care where he would serve, he just knew he was going to serve the Lord… and God would take care of the “where.”

May we have the same attitude as Paul of not worrying about “where,” just serving God faithfully and letting Him take care of the geography. If He closes a door, accept that from Him and continue forward. We are called to a Person, not to a place!

Treasures In the Dark

Treasures In the Dark

by Jeffrey Bush from They Turned the World Upside Down

And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

Isaiah 45:3

A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

Prov. 28:20

Adoniram had no reason to worry about Ann. The Lord was watching over her. Ann was safe, having been placed under 24-hour military guard. Somehow she was able to hide the  Burmese Bible that Adoniram had recently finished after ten long years of translation.

One day, Ann was allowed the privilege to visit her dear husband. She brought him a gift as she came – a lumpy pillow. Adoniram smiled at her, as he took the ill-shaped pillow, “Ann, dear, couldn’t you have found a softer……?”  Ann smiled mischievously, and Adoniram knew his wife was up to something. She motioned for him to keep silent and they began talking about other things. When Adoniram later inspected the pillow, he found, of all things, his precious Burmese Bible meticulously sown up inside – treasure in the darkness. The precious Bible that he had worked so hard on was finally in his hands again. He could almost feel the Lord saying to him, “That thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.”

Challenge: Proverbs 28:20 tells us that when we are faithful to God, He will give us His blessings. When we chase after the pleasure of this world and ignore God, He will not hear us and will not bless us. Are you staying faithful to God or chasing after your own desires? He wants to bless you, but you must be faithful to Him.

For more devotionals from They Turned the World Upside Down, click here.

Why Start Multiple Churches?

Why Start Multiple Churches?

The church is the pillar and ground of truth (1 Timothy 3:15). It is the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12), of which He is the head (Ephesians 5:23). God has chosen to do His work in this age through the church. Baptism (Acts 2:41), the Lord’s supper (1 Corinthians 11:17-34), giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), exercising God-given gifts (1 Corinthians 14:12), sending forth laborers (Romans 10:15; Acts 13:1-3), and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20; Mark 16:15) are undeniably connected to the church. Since the times of the New Testament, the work of God has been inseparable from the church. Grasping the importance of the church is needed for a missionary to fulfill his role on the mission field effectively.

The Great Commission can be divided into two evident sections: evangelism and discipleship. The church and the people of God begin by telling the sinners, but they continue by teaching the saints. The task cannot be accomplished without the church. The church is needed for “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).

As Mark Coffey, a missionary in South Africa, says, “If they have a church, they have a chance.” Every city and every area needs a gospel-preaching church. The church is God’s training camp to spread the gospel worldwide.

A missionary goes to the field with ambitions, hopes, finances, preparation, and plans. There’s hope for people in that area while the missionaries are present, but what happens when the missionary leaves? If a church is established, the chance of more people being saved and more being taught is greater for everyone. If the missionary starts multiple churches, clearly the impact is greater. The beautiful fact is that the missionary can prayerfully plan to start multiple churches, hence helping cause the greatest impact possible. Let’s consider a few things a missionary will do to start multiple churches:

  1. Every church needs a local pastor.

It’s not the job of a missionary to pastor every church, although he will certainly need to be a pastor for a while to teach others how to pastor. A missionary will pray and be attentive from the very start for those whom God may use to be prospective pastors. He will love them, equip them, pray for them, be patient with them, and help them successfully lead others.

  1. Missionaries must keep moving forward.

The crowd in Mark 1:38 wanted to set Jesus up as their leader for that area. Jesus responded saying, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also.” A missionary will get a map and a burden to prayerfully plan where churches need to start all over a city and country. A missionary won’t settle in so much that he will build a perfect, comfortable church he will never leave. The philosophy of one mega-church versus multiple smaller churches will affect how he does ministry. He will keep the map in front of him. He will constantly tell his church and perspective leaders the need for more churches and pray that God will help him start more churches.

  1. Missionary church plants don’t need to be large. It is possible!

The average church in the US that sends out a missionary is around 60 people. It’s not just the large churches supporting and sending missionaries; it’s the smaller ones, too. Many of them have bi-vocational pastors, not full-time supported by the church. It is sometimes thought that a church cannot send a missionary or start another church if they only have 50–60 people, but that’s proven to be the perfect size for sending out laborers. Understanding this will help the missionary look at the mission field with belief, sharing with his congregation that God can use them to start other churches.  

If you would like to find out more about what it means to be a missionary, click here. Jason Holt and Jeffrey Bush discuss the difference between a missionary and a pastor.

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 7

VBM Update From the Homebase – Week 6

Faith + Works

At Vision Baptist Missions and the Our Generation Training Center this year, we are praying for God’s blessing in a few key areas. We pray God will send more students, new missionaries, new support, and more partnerships with churches and pastors. Since faith without works is dead, we are placing “feet” to our prayers. The following are a few “feet” you can pray with us about and help in as the Lord leads.

Our Faith (prayers) is more laborers.

Our Works (feet to our prayers) are:

  • Open House is coming up on April 3-5 (a fall one will take place Nov).
  • Youth for the Gospel Events (9 are already scheduled).
  • More opportunities to share about the OGTC in churches.
  • World’s Cheapest Missions Trips Events.
  • Opportunities to speak to young people in school chapels and colleges.
  • Build more with our social media campaigns and new videos geared towards young people.

Another Youth for the Gospel Event

We now have 9 of the 12 Youth for the Gospel events scheduled!! Dr. Jim & Sandy Roberts have worked hard to schedule and organize these. Number 7 is special because it’s with some awesome missionaries in NY City! Here’s the updated list below: 

  • March 9 — Six Mile, SC — Rock Baptist Church
  • April 6 —Fairfield, OH — Hope Baptist Church
  • May 25 —Eaton, OH — First Baptist Church
  • July 27 — Greensboro, NC — Philadelphia Baptist Church
  • August 17 — Central, SC — Camp Creek Baptist Church
  • September 14 — Calhoun, GA — Philadelphia Baptist Church
  • September 28 — Bronx (NY City), NY — Living Hope Baptist Church
  • October 12 — St. Cloud, FL — Eastern Avenue Baptist Church
  • October 26 — Dalton, GA — Whitfield Baptist Church

Click here to find out more information.

Abide Ladies Conference

We have over 100 registered so far!!! We believe other churches and ladies will be joining and are excited about it! Please help us pray and promote this event.

This conference will take place at 10:00 am and end at 3:00 pm on Feb 17!

If you would like to join us, click here for more information.

3rd Annual VBM Golf Tournament

The 3rd Annual VBM Golf Tournament is an opportunity to make a difference, promote your organization, and enjoy the great game of golf.

The benefit golf tournament will raise money to expand the impact and the facilities of Vision Baptist Missions, Inc., a nonprofit that trains and sends missionaries worldwide.

We hope that many individuals, churches, and businesses will help us make an even greater global impact this year!

Get involved now by registering to golf or sponsoring. Your participation will help further the cause of world missions.

Click here for more information, to register, or to become a sponsor.

Live in Good Conscience

(another lesson from a recent class on Acts in OGTC)

“And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” — Acts 23:1

Paul’s testimony was that he “lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” To Timothy, he says he lived with a “pure conscience” (2 Timothy 1:3). And in Acts 24:16, he says he had a conscience “void of offence toward God, and toward men.”

A conscience is what will force a person to live miserably or happy. A guilty conscience will force someone to confess his crime to the police. A guilty conscience drives some to the point of committing suicide. A good conscience, on the other hand, will make a person content, satisfied, and live joyfully. A good conscience, or pure conscience, or conscience void of offense, is important for any individual, but it’s essential for a Christian. Having a good conscience will be a great benefit to your ministry, to your family, and to your own heart. 

The way to have a good conscience is to keep short accounts with the Lord and with others. Whenever there’s an offense against the Lord or against others, it  is very important to seek forgiveness and get things right. Live “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ” (1 Peter 3:16). It should be a prayer and desire of every one of God’s children to work at gaining and maintaining a good conscience.

Jon and Amber Canavan, Church Planters in New York

Jon’s Story

I am the youngest of 10 children and I was raised in a Christian home. I went to church every week from the time I was 3 years old. When I was 7 years old, I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I knew that I had sinned against a perfect and Holy God and that my sin separated me from God. I placed my faith and trust that Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect and sinless life and died on the cross for my sins, and ascended to heaven 3 days later. I continued to go to church and I grew in my walk with the Lord. As a teenager, I began to drift away from the things of God. After high school I spent a year at a Christian College and it was while I was there I started to backslide and fall away from God. The next 4 years I lived my life as a prodigal. On New Year’s Day 2009 I surrendered my life, my vices and my all to God. That night I surrendered my life to live for God in all that I would do. A few months after, I felt God was calling me into the ministry to preach His Word. I attended 2 different Bible Colleges and graduated from West Coast Baptist College in May of 2014. While in college, I had the privilege to do ministry in NYC for 3 summers. It was while I was there that God started to burden my heart for the people of NYC. I began praying and asking God to send people to plant churches there. In my junior year of college, during a church planting conference, God called me and I surrendered my life to church planting in NYC. After graduation, I worked at West Coast Baptist College in the transportation department, while waiting for Amber to finish her degree. In the summer of 2015, we were married and began serving together at my home church in Georgia. We have had the privilege to work in many different areas of ministry, including bus ministry and youth ministry. It is our desire to see churches planted throughout New York City. Our vision is to evangelize, disciple, plant churches and train people for the ministry. We hope to be able to send missionaries from NYC all around the world.

Amber’s Story

I grew up in a godly Christian home in Oklahoma. I made a profession of faith at a very young age. When I was ten years old, during junior church, I heard several different kids give part of their salvation testimony and I realized I didn’t know anything about mine. After a few weeks of this, I realized I was basing my salvation off of what other people said and had not repented of my sins. After church on Nov 11, 2001, I talked with my dad who took me through the Romans road and I placed my faith and trust in Jesus. I surrendered to be a missionary at the next missions conference at our church. Throughout my childhood, I read many of my dad’s missionary books and knew I wanted to spend my life doing God’s work.