Montana Baptist E-News

The Montana Baptist E-News | April 2017













Get Real East

Spring Staff Retreat

Memorial Day (Offices Closed)

SBC Annual Meeting

Independence Day (Office Closed)

State Literacy Training

Montana Missions Offering Emphasis

Labor Day (Office Closed)

State Literacy Training

MTSBC Executive Board Meeting









Refresh Montana

Get Real West

Thanksgiving Day (Office Closed)

International Missions Emphasis

Winter Staff Retreat

Office Closed


(406) 252-7537

Montana Southern Baptist Convention

1130 Cerise Rd

Billings, MT 59101

Easter Sunday was a spectacular day for many of our MTSBC churches. Denise and I had the privilege of attending the inaugural service of Capstone Church in Helena. It was a fantastic experience. It’s a great blessing to be part of a new church plant. Very few Christians ever get that privilege. We are so very happy for them.

Now the really hard part begins. And not just for this new church. Every one of our churches now must take on the task of following up with all the new people or occasional attenders who worshipped with them on Sunday. I know that Caleb, Andrew and all the Capstone folks are up to the task. I’m looking forward to hearing how God blesses their hard work in the months to come as they reach out to the new folks who attended and the many people they invited. More...

Follow-up isn’t just the job for new church plants, though. It is the imperative work of any church that wants to reach more people with the gospel. Many of our churches had lots of new people visit them on Easter Sunday. They must all follow-up with them. And that’s where the real challenge comes in. Follow-up is filled with uncertainty, fear of rejection, long hours, and multiple contacts. Those churches who follow-up will grow. Those who don’t will see very little long-term growth from their Easter Sunday celebration.

Follow-up is a funny thing, too. The church I had the privilege to start and pastor in Denver took follow-up seriously. We were out there every week with people who visited our church. Often, people we spent countless hours with never returned to our church. But God blessed our efforts and sent us other people. Other times, follow-up was a years-long process in which relationships and trust had to be established.

We need to remember that no one owes us anything, especially their time and attention. We have to earn it. We have to pay the price and carve out the time from our already busy schedules to spend time with people who start out as near strangers. But it will only be through small steps over a cup of coffee or a shared meal that we can start to develop the relationships that will earn the trust we seek.

The window for those relationships to start is very small. All those people who visited your church or whom you invited but didn’t come need to hear from you immediately. They need a personal contact from you right away.

If you do not follow-up immediately, you will regret it. I remember a time shortly after we started Cornerstone Church in Denver. We wanted to reach the teens in our community. We picked a late summer weekend and called the event the “Back to School Teen Bash.” We brought in a DJ, had free food and prizes and even gave away a new ten speed bike. We advertised all over the community. Over 100 teens showed up, most of them unchurched. I turned the task of follow-up and evangelism over to my volunteer youth workers. A month later, they still had not begun reaching out to those teens. They were too busy with their own lives and the ongoing regular demands of ministry. The opportunity was lost. That missed opportunity has haunted me ever since.

Don’t let this opportunity escape you. There is no substitute for follow-up. You just have to do it. It has always been that way. Shortly after the first Resurrection Sunday, those disciples who had spent three years with Jesus, didn’t know what to do next. All they could think to do was to go back to their old way of life. So, they went back to their boats and their fishing. Jesus had to reconnect with them to get them to come back to what they were supposed to be doing (see John 21:1-19).

If Jesus had to follow-up with His own disciples with whom He spent three years, shouldn’t we figure we must follow-up with people who visited our church for an hour or two or merely got a flier in the mail?

Resurrection Sunday is just the beginning. Will you now go after those that Jesus died for and rose from the dead to save? What will you do between now and June to reach all those people who just came into your sphere of influence?

William Johnson

Spring is a Great Time for Church Planting

William Johnson, MTSBC Church Starting Team Leader

The past few weeks have been very exciting in the area of church starting efforts in Montana. Here are a few excerpts about what has taken place!

Racers Set Free, Billings

The Art of Marriage

Set Free Ministries has multiplied once again. Set Free Billings along with Racers Church launched on Tuesday, March 28. Racers Set Free is meeting at Southside Community Fellowship thanks to Pastor Larry Elrod. Forty people were there for the launch, including Set Free pastors from Great Falls, Helena, and Missoula. The fellowship time begins with a meal which is open to anyone in the neighborhood. There is also worship through music and Bible study, along with a new children’s program. More...

Racers Set Free is attempting to reach not only the racing and motorcycle communities in Billings, but also the Southside neighborhood in which they are meeting.

Several outreach events are being planned for this summer. Congratulations to Racers Set Free for a successful launch!

Outdoorsmen Church, South Missoula

The Art of Marriage

Four families make up the core group that work on and have been praying for the new launch of the OC South. Three of these families came to know the Lord through the ministry of Outdoorsmen Church. These families understand the vision and DNA of Outdoorsmen Church and are passionate about carrying out the vision and mission.

The need of a new church in Missoula became evident when Pastor Mark realized that 90% of the current body of OC West came from Frenchtown even though the church is located at the edge of Missoula. The other 10% that live in Missoula had an increasingly difficult time convincing their friends to come to OC West.

Over 90 people came to the launch of Outdoorsmen Church South Missoula on March 30. The new church has had attendance of 45-50 the following two weeks, with nine new families attending more than once. Of those people, some have been individuals that we ministered to seven or eight years ago but had lost contact with. Others are people who do not know Christ and are looking for answers. Others who have attended have not been in church for 40 years but thought they would try this new church. It is these kinds of stories that make all of us excited about what God is doing.

Capstone Church, Helena

The Art of Marriage

Capstone Church officially began weekly worship services on Easter Sunday, April 16. With nearly 60 in attendance, Pastor Groteluschen informed the audience about Capstone’s vision to reach Helena with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Following a service filled with worshipful music and a sermon centered on the resurrection of Christ, Capstone hosted an Easter egg hunt just outside their meeting place. Capstone currently meets at Exploration Works, a “children’s science museum” in the heart of historic downtown Helena.

The launch follows a series of monthly preview services along with community service projects that have helped the Capstone team make relationships and connect in their community. Pray for their continued ministries in Helena.

Church of the Rockies, Bridger

The Art of Marriage

Church of the Rockies is a 2 1/2 year old multi-site rural church with three campuses. On Easter Sunday there were over 450 people in attendance at the Easter Egg Hunt in Bridger. Combined attendance at the three different campuses of Red Lodge, Roberts, and Bridger was 258. We estimate that COTR shared the gospel with 650-700 people on Easter weekend.

There were 104 in attendance at the inaugural worship service in Bridger. The new church currently meets at the Bridger Elementary School.

Besides starting a new church in Bridger, there are lots of other great things going on with COTR. Easter Sunday was also the launch of a new children’s ministry at the Red Lodge campus. On Sunday, April 23, COTR will celebrate a church planting partnership with Darryl Brunson and his family who are starting a new church in Livingston. COTR has several people waiting to be baptized! Pastor Lee Merck states, “I really feel as though missions and church planting are taking root in the DNA of Church of the Rockies.”

Gateway Church, Columbia Falls

The Art of Marriage

Gateway Church hosted a preview Easter Service at Glacier Gateway Elementary School in Columbia Falls, MT. With the help of their mother church Easthaven Baptist in Kalispell, they had 180 in attendance. Ten families indicated they wanted to be plugged into Gateway's missional community groups.


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MTSBC Church Starting Page

Parenting is hard. Do you have the skills to make it easier?

The great philosopher N. Dynamite listed some of the must have skills for his life as, “You know…nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills…”

But we discovered a better set of skills for parenting at the recent “Parenting the Smart Phone Generation” workshop featuring Jonathan McKee and hosted by Crosspoint Community Church in Missoula, MT. More...

Jonathan is the author of over 20 books on teens and ministry and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for parents and youth workers on his website.

Jonathan spent some time showing parents just how much time (9 hours/day on average!) students spend on their devices and what exactly they’re doing. He went on to share what leaders in the scientific fields of child development are saying about how this affects our teens. And the whole time was laced with his own personal successes, failures and those laugh out loud (LOL) moments only a parent would understand.

Some of those parenting skills included:

  • Maximize No Tech Zones – Dinner table, family walks or bike rides, or just “quite time.” That includes Mom & Dad too!
  • Join Them – Experience the movies, music, and media with your students to foster dialogue and understanding.
  • Notice - Most parents want to connect with their kids, but don’t know where to begin. It all starts with taking the time to notice. What’s their favorite color, song, hobby, sport, fast-food, candy, game, app, Netflix show, musical, etc? Find out and use it to connect!

  • You can find many more parenting skills for free at and check out Jonathan’s books here.

    You can also see Jonathan live as he returns to Billings, MT, October 28-29 for more youth worker and parent encouragement.

    Or you can have MTSBC Next-Gen Director Adam Burt come straight to your church to invest directly in your parents and youth workers.

    Contact Adam Burt at or 406-672-5532 to see how you can help the parents in your church learn and practice the skills necessary to, “Train up a child in the way he should go…” – Proverbs 22:6


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    Next Gen Ministries


    Ascend Worship Conference

    The Montana Southern Baptist Convention

    The Art of Marriage

    Music Ministers and Leaders, you are invited to join us this summer, as we aim to “ascend God’s holy hill” together. Come learn from a couple of our nation’s top worship leaders and engage with fellow worshippers. It is our prayer that the Lord will use this unique conference to renew your own “heart of worship,” refine your knowledge of worship and refresh your spirit to lead others in worship!

    Ascend – “to move, climb or go upward…to rise to a higher point…to go toward The Source, to rise into Heaven” More...

    Psalm 24:3-6 NKJV

    Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face.



  • Led by Mike Harland (Director of Lifeway Worship) and Matt & Kamille Bayless (Head Worship Leaders at SouthEast Christian Church, Louisville, KY)
  • For churches and ministries of all sizes, with a special emphasis for small churches
  • Registration begins at noon on Friday, July 14 and the conference ends at noon on Saturday, July 15
  • Held at Crosspoint Church, Missoula, MT
  • Fee is $50.00 (Earlybird Special) or $75.00 after April 30 per person, $10.00 discount per person for groups of 3 or more

  • Schedule:


    1:00 – 1:30 | Intro/Welcome Session

    1:30 – 2:30 | Session 1

    2:30 – 3:00 | Break

    3:00 – 4:00 | Session 2

    4:00 – 4:30 | Break

    4:30 – 5:30 | Session 3

    5:30 – 7:00 | CookOut

    7:00 – 9:00 | Worship & Teaching


    9:00 – 10:00 | Session 4

    10:00 – 10:15 | Break

    10:15 – 11:00 | Session 5

    11:00 – 12:00 | Closing Session & Worship


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    Crosspoint Church Homepage

    Crosspoint Church on Facebook

    The Art of Marriage

    Every church goes through highs and lows, seasons of plenty and seasons of want. Just like a stream, the life of a church and the people involved ebbs and flows with life. Mountainview Community Church in White Sulphur Springs is no different. Since Mountainview was established, the church has seen ups and downs, joys and sorrows. Always, however, the Lord leads through each phase and brings just the right person into the situation to help move the church forward. In the last few years, God has demonstrated this once again.

    In August 2015, the pastor at Mountainview, Johnny Gluhm, was killed in a small plane crash while heading home from picking up a friend in Helena. The church and town banded together to celebrate this man’s life and the impact he had made on this small community. Stunned, but armed with the knowledge that Pastor Gluhm was celebrating with his Savior, the church stepped forward and continued to seek the ministry God had placed on their lives, the ministry that would best reach the people they lived and worked with. More...

    In November 2015, after moving through the grieving process and while continuing to seek out how to best move forward with the ministry, the church called Darwin Scofield as interim pastor. Pastor Scofield gladly agreed to interim, helping the church seek out a new shepherd to lead their flock. Scofield had been involved in pastoring for many, many years and before the interim position in White Sulphur Springs pastored in Libby, MT for over 20 years.

    When he started with the church, he knew that because of everything the church had been through, making large, sweeping changes was not what was needed. Moving the church to a place of growth and discipleship, building leaders and allowing the congregation to continue to see that God had a ministry for them in White Sulphur Springs was going to help them continue to move forward. As he helped them build a vision of forward motion, leadership development was at the top of his list of priorities. He built that vision for the church, identifying and building leaders within the congregation, while not losing the focus of reaching the community for Christ.

    Through the next few months, he walked the church through building an idea of what they were looking for in a pastor. He helped them take a look at where the church was going, preparing them to receive the new shepherd, all the while unaware that God’s plans are not always our own! When the pastor search stalled, the church continued moving forward and in August 2016, asked Pastor Scofield if he would simply become their pastor. He accepted and stepped into that role.

    Pastor Scofield has continued to lead through developing new leaders and identifying ways to restructure that are effective and purposeful. He has been leading the church to a place of assimilation of those involved, encouraging those who are attending to become deeply involved and take ownership of what the church is doing. Since casting this vision, not only have leaders started to emerge, but they have had three people saved! On January 21, 2017, the church baptized three different individuals from three walks of life. A 90-year-old man, his son who is in his 50’s and a 30-year-old woman; all saved through the ministry going on at Mountainview!

    Please continue to pray for this church as they continue moving forward in developing leaders and allowing those in the congregation to take ownership of what God is doing in the community. The Lord is raising leaders and moving in great ways in this small town and Mountainview is a vital part of that plan.


    Eggsplosion at The Rock Church

    Deidre Myers, The Rock Church

    The Art of Marriage

    The Art of Marriage

    The Art of Marriage

    The Rock Church kicked off Easter weekend by observing Good Friday with an energetic worship service and communion. Then roughly 2,000 visitors came to the Eggsplosion on Saturday to collect over 40,000 eggs – believed by the event’s organizers to be the biggest egg hunt in Montana.

    The ultimate goal of the Eggsplosion, though, is to bring new visitors to The Rock on Sunday morning so that they can hear about the resurrection and saving grace of Jesus. This year more than a dozen new families visited for the first time on Easter Sunday. Staff will continue to follow up with the 432 families that registered and indicated that they do not already have a church home.


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    The Rock Church Homepage

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    Michael Laird

    YCC’s Mission Leads to Expanded Vision

    Bruce Cannon, President, Yellowstone Christian College

    For nearly forty years, YCC was basically a college of ministry for Baptist students. The name was Yellowstone Baptist College. The board was entirely Baptist under bylaw mandate. The student body was typically Baptist affiliated.

    This is not a negative assessment, rather simply our history. The Baptist name and theology brought confidence in sound, conservative theology and correct church practice. The Baptist name encouraged donors and supporters from Montana and Baptist conventions across the southern states. In fact, 29 of our top 35 donors outside of Montana and Wyoming are from the southeastern region. Our Baptist heritage has been strong and important. More...

    Our Baptist heritage remains strong and important as we move to educate a greater number of students from a wider population. When YBC became Yellowstone Christian College in 2012, the name purposely signified we are interested in serving Christian students from among the wider evangelical sphere. When the YCC board unanimously approved a bylaw change allowing up to three board members to be from evangelically like-minded churches (non-SBC), we solidified our commitment to fellow great commission partners.

    Our Baptist heritage is still strong as we have added new associate degrees to the lone Christian Leadership associate and bachelor degrees. We are now in the process of moving the business, exercise science, music and worship degrees to the bachelor level, and reviving the psychology degree. Adding these four-year degrees is imperative to keep YCC thriving. YCC now counts nearly 100 students, including traditional, non-traditional, and early enrollment students.

    With these changes, is YCC losing its mission? No, not at all. Is YCC’s vision shifting? Yes, most definitely. These are two separate issues. The mission of YCC is to instruct and mentor Christian men and women with a sound biblical foundation weaved into every course. YCC revolves around the students’ confession of faith in Christ.

    The vision, however, deals with how to get to where our mission mandates. The vision is 220 students by 2020, along with five to seven new degrees. Adding new degrees and opening the door to a wider array of believers makes the mission sustainable. The truth is, YCC cannot survive by serving only SBC ministry students from Montana and Wyoming.

    Has the expanded vision caused growing pains? Yes, of course. My 17-year Montana pastoral experience taught me nearly every change brings a corresponding challenge. Serving as the YCC president confirms that challenges are part of any Kingdom work. My goal as we expand our vision is to address the stumbling blocks and turn them into building blocks. I am the eternal optimist regarding young lives seeking to know Christ, and to know him better.

    Please be assured that as YCC navigates our mission and vision, YCC is committed to the MTSBC, sound and conservative evangelical theology, and a growing student body that reflects Christ’s character. The YCC mission remains strong, true, and focused.


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    Yellowstone Christian College Homepage

    For thirteen years I have been told by the people who I have tried to serve, “You do not understand.” I have flown all over the world. They wake up in a plane crash every day. I have eaten gourmet food at a rooftop restaurant overlooking St. Peter’s Basilica. They have gorged themselves on donated food. I have completed more than 150 hours of post graduate education. They are still thinking about their GED. The largest SBC church in my hometown was started in my grandfather’s living room. They watch wrestling in their living room. The differences go on and on. So, yes, I do not understand.

    But I want to. For thirteen years I have been in stairwells and jail cells, snow banks and food banks, classrooms and court rooms and emergency rooms. I have purchased utilities, groceries, gasoline, and lodging that I never used. I have been present for births and deaths, baptisms, weddings, and divorces. I have been there when the handcuffs have been put on and when they have been taken off. I know straight people and street people, ministers and maulers, executive directors and misdirectors. I have been with people when they were high on life, high on anxiety, high on anger, and high on drugs. And I still do not understand. But I want to, maybe. More...

    Until I came to Montana and the Southside of Billings, I was like many other Southern Baptists from the buckle of the Bible Belt. I was Southern Baptist nine months before I was born. I had a heritage that went back to before Tennessee became a state. We assumed everyone needed education and employment. That is what worked for us. We were good people who loved one another with our presence and others with our provision. The folks on the other side of the tracks were objects of ministry but not family who spent the days of celebration with us. Poverty was a deficit condition that had to be overcome to be a mature believer. It was our form of circumcision. We did not understand what some folks really needed.

    Thirteen years have taught me that when some people walk away from a plane crash, they are grateful and begin to rebuild their lives. But there is another group of people that walks away from a plane crash expecting to be in another plane crash the next morning. They believe there is no good reason to rebuild because whatever they do will not stand but will always collapse. Survival mentality has damaged the image of God in them. They are overcomers only to the extent of survival but not to the extent of successfully entering the promised land. They live in a wilderness gathering manna and digging countless graves every day. They are struggling to survive long enough to die. And I still do not understand. I want to, but not enough to live like that.

    After three years on the Southside we evolved a mission statement: “To lead people who are willing to a new life in Christ both now and forever.” With that, we began to focus on the “willingness” of people. We assumed that if people were willing to change, they would change. But being willing to change and being able to change are two entirely different things. We learned the hard way that culture can bind people and imprison them. That is true of both poverty and abundance.

    Just as we failed initially to understand the role the poverty culture played in people’s lives, we also failed to understand what new life in Christ looked like for those living in poverty. Eventually, we came to understand that faith is not financial. Social assistance, for example, may not be desirable, but neither is it necessarily a sign of spiritual poverty. It very well may be the way that God is keeping His promise to provide for the ones who seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Sometimes, those receiving social assistance just need to understand who is the real source of their provision. They may be poor but they don’t have to live under the despair of the culture of poverty. In Christ, they are rich in the things of God. Embracing that reality can empower the most impoverished to live with hope and joy.

    We may not be able to share an understanding of what it means to be in survival mode but we can share an understanding of what it means to have faith in the One who makes it possible for all of us to live victoriously, regardless of our circumstances. Scripture reminds us, “Listen, my dear brothers: Didn't God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He has promised to those who love Him?” (James 2:5). If we are to be part of that reality, we need to be with those who are living that reality.

    Our task on the Southside is to live victoriously by faith in Christ and then help others break the bonds of a cultural perspective that keeps them in despair. We do this by being with them and seeking to raise their awareness of God and their need to trust Him through faith in Jesus. Whether or not they ever leave their financial poverty is for God to decide as He works in their lives and they let Him change who they are and what (who) they trust. Great spiritual abundance can be their daily experience. We have to point them to this by living this in their presence. Maybe that is what we needed to understand all along.


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    Southside Community Fellowship Homepage

    Baptist Press

    First Person - Calling Churches to Prayer

    Kenny Rager, Baptist Press

    African Famine

    OWENSBORO, Ky. (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Convention would not exist without churches. The health of our local churches will inevitably affect the health of our state conventions and our national convention. I know of no better way to keep our churches healthy apart from prayer meetings.

    Every church needs an active prayer meeting. Here are several reasons why:

    1. God's house is to be a house of prayer (Matthew 21:13).

    Some would argue that we already have enough prayer in our congregations. We may pray before the service and before the offering, but are we collectively crying out to God together? I would suggest a special service be set apart just for praying. More...

    2. Prayer requests deserve to be prayed over.

    Many times we collect names for our prayer list but we hardly pray for them. We may spend 10-20 minutes collecting names only to then pray a prayer that does not specifically mention the requests that were voiced. James tells us if anyone is sick, for example, they should call on the church to pray for them (James 5:14-15).

    3. We may lack resources or revival if we are not praying.

    Again, James tell us that we have not because we ask not (James 4:2). The Lord will provide our needs but He waits for us to offer them. James would also say that we have not because our motives are wrong, so we need to pray for things that are within God's will. When this happens, we will experience God's provision.

    4. Our missionaries need our churches to pray for them.

    We are so grateful for our missionaries who are serving throughout the world because of the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board, and they need us to pray for them. Missionaries face many challenges that will attempt to hinder the Gospel. Let's heed the apostle Paul's exhortation for all churches to lift our missionaries in prayer for God's Word to go forth (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

    5. Churches may die if they don't pray.

    This is a sad reality but a real one. Without a vital connection to the Holy Spirit, churches may lose their candlestick. Churches that return to their first love will experience a dynamic power within their congregations (Revelation 2:4).

    If you don't have a prayer service in your church, I urge to begin one. Invite people to prayer, call on the Lord, wait on the Lord and experience the value and vitality of prayer.

    This article originally appeared on the Baptist Press news website: Kenny Rager, first vice president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, is the KBC's church planter of Life Community Baptist Church in Owensboro and editor of the convention's church planting blog, This column first appeared in the Western Recorder (, the KBC's newsjournal.


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