Monthly Archives: July 2014

Baptists & the American Revolution – Caleb Garraway

 

Be sure to order your copy of this great book from my friend Evangelist Caleb Garraway. You may find it at http://www.remnantministriesonline.com 

See my comments on this great book below:

We are living in a time when revisionists are deliberately attempting to irradiate the memory of our Christian heritage. The character of our founding fathers are continually attacked and the moral foundations of our country is disintegrating before our very eyes. Public Schools no longer mention our Christian heritage, the pledge of allegiance is not welcome and the Bible and prayer has been banished under the false narrative of the so called “Separation of Church and State.” We have forgotten our Baptist heritage. We have forgotten where we came from!

Joshua was concerned that the next generation would forget their heritage. He was concerned that they would forget what God had done for the children of Israel. So he commanded that 12 stones to be brought up out of the Jordan River.

Joshua 4:1-3 says, “And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the Lord spake unto Joshua, saying, Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man. An command ye, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and yes shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.”

These stones represented to the next generation what God did and can do in the lives of His people. Would to God today, that we would pick up stones of our Baptist history and look back and say, If God did it then, it can be done in my generation!

The church today has been weakened by apathy and ignorance.  Apathy about their Baptist heritage and ignorance about what it really is! This timely book reminds us of our strong Baptist heritage and the influence that Baptists have had in the founding of this nation. We certainly recognize that not of all our founders were Bible believing Christians but it is certainly accurate to say that most were greatly influenced by Christian leaders and most assuredly by and through the prayers of the people of God.

There has always been a struggle between good and evil. A spiritual war is raging in America! A war to rid the memory of our Baptist heritage! A war to dismiss people of faith as the lunatic fringe. A war to erase from our history books the sovereign hand on Almighty God on this nation!

At the founding of our nation, men stood against tyranny! They stood before a nation and declared independence and proclaimed to a nation, We have no king but King Jesus! The time may come once again for the people of God to stand against tyranny and proclaim our independence from the enemies of freedom and liberty!

Get informed Christian! Know your Baptist heritage! Pray for your nation! Preach the Word of God in season and out of season and never forget where you came from!

I am thankful for the testimony of my dear friend Caleb Garraway. There are many evangelists in our country but few have the talent, a commitment to excellence and a genuine walk with God that Caleb has. I encourage you to dive into this book and be encouraged as I have been by the wonderful heritage we have as Baptists! – Pastor William Tyson

 

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A Prodigal Nation

We have all heard the story of the prodigal son. It is a story of selfish decisions and bad friendships and yet it vividly displays the wonderful truths of grace and restoration. While a parable, this story has played out in many families. Young people who forge relationships with the wrong crowd and who turn their backs on what they have been taught will always reap what they have sown. Today, many a young person, in rebellion, is in a far country wasting his or her substance on riotous living and breaking the hearts of their parents and those that have invested in their lives.

Today America is a far country. We are wasting our substance on riotous and frivolous living. We are in many ways “a prodigal nation. “How did we get here? How did this all begin? The reality is that the seeds of rebellion have always been present but this rebellion began to accelerate in the 60’s & 70’s. Attacks from the left and militant atheist began a concerted effort to undermine our liberties. The first amendment became their first target.

There are three landmark cases that changed the meaning of the First amendment as it was previously understood and practiced in America. These cases included Engel vs.Vitale in 1962, the famous Murray vs. Curlett case in 1963 and a lesser known case of Abington Township School District vs. Schempp. All three attacked prayer, Bible reading and religious activity of any sort held in a public school. The National Council of Churches and several Jewish organizations actually favored Madelyn O’Hair case! Not a single Christian organization, to our shame, filed a brief in support of school prayer, so the case went virtually uncontested before the Court. The Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in favor of abolishing school prayer and Bible reading in the public school.

These three rulings essentially revised the First Amendment, putting restrictions on the people and not the government!

Since these three landmark decisions we have seen teen pregnancy rise & teen sexual activity has increased dramatically to the point where the vast majority of teenagers lose their purity before the age of 15.

1 in 6 teenagers have thought about suicide, 1 in 12 have tried to commit suicide…

30,000 commit suicide every year…1.5 million since these rulings.

Violence in our schools and gang activity all have increased.

America has asked for its inheritance and is out spending it’s substance on riotous living.

And as a nation we are reaping what we have sown.

In 1973, the Roe vs. Wade case came to the Supreme Court and on January 22, 1973 legalized abortion for all women. Since Roe vs. Wade, 56 million abortions have been performed in America. 1.3 billion world-wide since 1980. Many of those paid for with your tax dollar through organizations such as Planned Parenthood which alone this year has already conducted 78,000 abortions.

As a nation we are reaping what we have sown: We are a prodigal Nation.

As of this year, same-sex marriage is legally recognized in several jurisdictions within the United States. As of January 2013, nine states—Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington—as well as the District of Columbia.

We should be reminded that every state can pass laws defining marriage but God still defines it as between one man and one woman.

We are inviting the judgment of God on this nation. We are a prodigal nation away from God.

America’s entertainment has become lewd and lascivious. Hollywood has been for many years pushing an agenda to normalize the gay lifestyle, promote sexually immoral behavior and to call anyone who stands against such actions as bigoted and hateful. Hollywood has undermined the institution of marriage. There was a time in America when divorce was shameful. There was a time when we immoral behavior was hidden, now we call it Reality TV. We are giving up our civil liberties for so called security.

We are a Prodigal Nation.

Psalms 11:3 “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

Today we have a choice. We can throw in the towel. We can throw up our hands or we can do what I believe our founding fathers did at the founding of this nation. We can fight. We can stand with a vision for what this country can be again.

“If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained _ we must fight!” – Patrick Henry

We have much to admire and love and be thankful for in being able to call America our home however our nation is rapidly drifting from its Biblical foundations. Our freedom to serve God and to promote the gospel in our land is disintegrating. We are engaged in a great spiritual battle that threatens our country, our families, and our lives.

Only God’s intervention will return America to solid footing and restore a moral nation that righteousness will exalt. The Bible commands us to be salt and light in Matthew 5:13-16. We must take our responsibility seriously. Our responsibility is to put God first, not only in our homes but also in our national affairs.

America is in trouble. We are a prodigal nation. What shall we do? What is our call to action?

1)  We must pray.

James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

More important than starting a voter registration drive. More important than debating your adversary, is getting alone with God and asking God to stay His hand of Judgment. Asking God to bless America once again. Our founding fathers knew the power and purpose of prayer. From our nations beginning times of war and tragedy, we have been called to pray that the hand of Almighty God might show forth his mercy and intervene with his grace towards America.

Today is no different.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray , and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

We need to understand that God does not see souls as Republicans or Democrats. He sees mankind has lost or saved. The answer for America is not Conservatism. The answer for America is not on Fox News or talk radio. Rush Limbaugh & Sean Hannity don’t have the answer. What this nation is longing for and searching for is to fill the void that only Jesus Christ can fill. Jesus Christ is the answer! The gospel is what will bring this prodigal back to God!

2)  We must participate

Participating within the process for change is the ultimate key to its success. It is futile to gripe and complain about what one considers wrong or unjust in our land and not participate in the process of changing it for the better.

The Scriptures are clear, James 4:17 says”…therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

What we need is for God’s people to step up and participate. Participate in preaching the gospel. Participate in the public forum. Participate in the political process. God’s calling to the ministry is the greatest calling but not everyone is called to preach. Perhaps God would have you be our next congressman, senator or president. How would that change America?

Grab your Bible and your Constitution and get involved!

3)  We must persevere.

When fighting for the right, we must never cease until we prevail. It’s about time Gods people make the decision – I refuse to give up. I refuse to give in. I refuse to quit. For the sake of our children & grandchildren.

We are fighting for that which is right, therefore we must never cease to fight the good fight as Paul did until we prevail. The battle is not always won by the smartest or strongest but rather comes to those who persevere. We know from Scripture, “if God be for us, who can be against us?” We must be reminded that all the resources of the Creator are available to us. May we access this power and persevere!

Keep the faith Christian! This generation is dependent on us. This Prodigal nation needs to come home! Pray, participate and persevere!

Intolerance?

Intolerance?

As I read the news I see story after story of a NBA player who has “come out.” Institutions and organizations are being bullied into supporting deviant behavior. Any individual who dares to speak out about the sin of sodomy is threatened and branded a bigot and called “intolerant.”

Later in the week we find out that our military is considering a court martial for any soldier who shares their faith. Let’s be blunt, Christianity is under attack. Bible believing Christians are being branded as potential terrorist because we have been labeled “intolerant.”

In Philadelphia, the truth about the horrors of abortion are on trial yet the main stream media refuses to cover the holocaust that occurred in Philadelphia and frankly is occurring all over the country. The truth is that Americans don’t want the truth, we want convenience and those who do raise their voices against “pro-choice” causes are labeled “intolerant” of a woman’s choice.

If you are a sports figure and you are open about your faith you are told to shut up and keep your faith to yourself. But if you “come out” you are hailed a hero and get a call from the president. God help our nation when we celebrate sin. Let me say, a man getting into bed with another man isn’t bravery, it’s not courage, it is sin and depravity. The world calls me “intolerant” for my views. Say what they will but we shall all give account to God!

On a daily basis we are bombarded with a concerted effort by the media and Hollywood to shut the mouths of those who would raise their voice against sin. I am frankly sick and tired of it.

It’s time for Christians to get their head out of the sand and let their voices be heard. For far too long we have allowed Hollywood to define what is right and wrong. We have allowed our public schools to indoctrinate our children and to water down their morality. Just this week a story came out of a school teacher who required two girls in their class to kiss each other. Raise your voice in disagreement and you are “intolerant!”

When are we going to wake up? When are we going to realize there is a war for the very soul of America happening before our eyes?

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

The Bible says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” We are not only inviting the judgment of God on our nation, I believe we are beginning to experience the judgment of God. We have shed innocent blood, we have embraced the Sodomite agenda, and we are turning our back on our friends in Israel all under the umbrella of tolerance!

So, this begs the question, “What is intolerance?” The word “intolerance’ is defined in the dictionary as “not tolerating or respecting beliefs, opinions, usages, manners, etc., different from one’s own, as in political or religious matters; bigoted.” With that definition in hand let me give you a few thoughts on “intolerance.”

First, as a child of God we should be intolerant of sin. Psalms 97:10 says, “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil…” This does not mean we hate people. We hate their sin. We hate what sin does to the individual and to society. Too many preachers today have gotten afraid of preaching against sin because they are afraid to offend. Romans says, “…how shall they hear without a preacher?” A preacher is to preach the Word of God in season and out of season, not put his finger to the wind to determine what is popular.  We see the men of God in the Bible who preached with a fervency & directness that is often missing our day. John the Baptist preached to Herod, Peter preached to the Sadducees of the day, and Paul, in chains, preached a salvation message to Agrippa! Where are the men who preach in season and out of season? Where are the men of God who stand against sodomy? Where are the men of God who stand against abortion? Where are the men of God who stand with Israel? It’s about time for Christians to be heard. We must pray for our nation and our leaders. We must participate in the process. I was at an event at the Capitol earlier this year and the comment was made to me by a man that their pastor doesn’t get involved in politics. This is a shame! I believe we should not only let our voices be heard we should encourage our people to be actively involved in the political process. We must preach God’s Word and take a stand on the moral issues of the day. God ordained human government and somehow we have walked away from this institution. Re-engage! Is it intolerance to preach against sin? Sure is! We do not tolerant sinful behavior because God is against it.

Let me also say that there is quite an air of hypocrisy amongst those on the left. It seems that they cling to the 1st amendment only when it suits their cause. Speak out about homosexuality and you are slandered and belittled as hateful. Yet they can spew the most vial and hateful accusations and innuendo they wish. True tolerance is for those who speak against us in regards to these issues to recognize for themselves our right to believe, practice our faith in freedom. You can’t have it both ways! Frankly I believe the most intolerant ones are those who try to squelch dialogue and public debate about these moral issues! Share your beliefs that sodomy is sinful and you are labeled bigoted, intolerant and a homo-phobe. The truth of the matter is the bigotry and phobia is most prevalent on the left. Let me also say the very term phobia engenders the connotation of fear. I am not afraid of homosexuals, I am against their lifestyle because of their sinful behavior.

Finally, what do we do from here? I believe as I have said often; the answer to the problems in America is simple. It is and always has been Jesus Christ. He is the answer to the morality problem in our nation. He is the answer to the alcohol problems we face. He is the answer to the gang problem, the teen suicide epidemic and the deterioration of the family. It’s time to take action. We must pray fervently for this nation and our leaders. We must be vocal and let our voices be heard. If you are waiting for someone else to make the call, to make their move, to lead, then you have missed the point. God has placed you here “for such a time as this.” This generation is our responsibility. We are critical (and rightly so) of our Congress for “punting” our financial issues on to the next generation yet we are doing the same thing spiritually. We are living on yesterday’s manna and spending tomorrow’s potential. I echo the words of David as he stood on the battle field looking at impossible odds and say, “Is there not cause?” It’s time to fight for this nation again! For if God be for us, who can be against us!

Investment of the Bus Ministry – Written for the Old Paths Journal

The Investment of the Bus Ministry

When I think of the bus ministry I think of the Great Commission. Every Sunday at WBC, 13 buses and vans go out into the highways and edges bringing boys and girls to Sunday School. Running a bus ministry and being effective at it requires dedication, time and the power of God! We have been blessed over the years to have many men and women who are committed to the bus ministry and are willing to work and pay the price reach the lost for Christ.

Sadly, we are living in a time when individuals and even churches want immediate “returns” on our investment and are seeking what we perceive as instant gratification. But I am reminded of Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

The bus ministry is an investment. It is an investment of time, money and resources. To develop a successful route requires time in prayer, time in preparation and time in visitation.

If you are struggling in the bus ministry or with your bus route, before you scramble to find that next promotion, invest some time in seeking God’s power. You can’t have a successful route or ministry without the touch of God. Ask God to help you see your route as He sees it. May I challenge you to walk or drive your route and pray for God’s power on your ministry. We need some bus directors, bus captains and bus workers who will wrestle with God until His power falls on their route. We look back to yester-year and say those were the “good ole years.” I happen to believe our greatest days are ahead of us! As the statement as often been made, “Little prayer, little power, much power.” How much time have you invested in your prayer closet for your bus route or ministry?

After prayer, preparation is vital! You must be organized and prepared a plan to reach and disciple your riders! The bus program on the way to and from church is not a time to rest but rather a time to disciple and mentor. I remember many Sundays with my bus captain and his wife as they got involved in our lives. Are you prepared for your bus ministry or route? Do you have a vision for what God can do? I believe we must have a excited program on the bus, a powerful message and do all things “decently and in order!”

Nothing replaces visitation! Your route or ministry will not grow unless you invest time reaching out and knocking on doors. I learned a long time ago, the work of God is WORK! And nothing replaces good old fashion work!

When it comes to the bus ministry there are three principles to consider when making the investment in this ministry.

First we must consider the reality…the reality is that we are living in a generation of the spiritually illiterate. I have heard studies that show that four percent of young people have EVER been to a gospel preaching church of any type in America. We wonder why society continues to spiral into godlessness. Plainly stated, we have failed our mandate to fulfill the Great Commission. We have failed to disciple our converts. We have failed to pass the baton of faith to the next generation! It’s time that every church in America recommit themselves to the Great Commission. One way to do this is the bus ministry. The Bus Ministry is a wonderful way to reach families, teenagers and children. A vibrant bus route can often reach as many people as the average church. The question I must ask pastors and churches is not why should you have a bus ministry but WHY NOT?

Consider the results of the bus ministry. When you invest in the bus ministry it is an investment worth making. We have reached many families over the last 30+ years in the bus ministry. Through our bus ministry we have seen marriages restored, young men called into the ministry and thousands saved. Every week we see visitors come to church for the first time and because of this they hear and respond to the gospel message. In order to see this return, we must invest in the cause of discipleship. Bus kids need your time. They need to be taught what the Scripture says. They should be challenged to study the Word of God for themselves. The Scripture says “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Understand that many of them are in a public school setting where they are taught lessons and principles contrary to Scripture. You have them in church for a few hours a week while they are in school being taught evolution and unbiblical teachings the majority of their waking hours. In order to see results in the bus ministry you need to treat the bus ministry as a life commitment NOT a Sunday only passing fad. For many years my wife taught our junior girls class. She averaged 70-90 junior girls every week for nearly 20 years. She was successful at it because it was her ministry every day of the week not just on Sunday! Because of this investment the class she once taught is now being taught by girls who were in her class. Sometimes you may get weary in the bus ministry. Just keep pressing on! Exactly 26 years after I started riding the bus I became the pastor. Years of faithfulness of my bus captain resulted in the next pastor of our church. Next month the Pape family leaves for the Dominican Republic to begin ministry there. We are excited and honored to be their sending church. Cynthia was saved because of the bus ministry. For many years our buses and vans picked up a young Indian boy names Shank. Shank is now our bus director. Just yesterday a young man saved in our bus ministry drove a bus for the first time after getting his CDL. I can go on and on about the results of the bus ministry. Let me simply say, if one person were saved it would all be worth it but the facts are thousands have been saved. We have had 765,000 people ride our vans and buses to church. Scores of families have been touched by the bus ministry of WBC. The work is our responsibility and the results are GOD’s! AND HE ALWAYS DELIVERS!

Lastly I think of the rewards of the bus ministry. I believe Jesus is coming soon! One day we will stand before the Lord and we shall be rewarded for our work and labor of love! May I remind you that Jesus sees all that you are doing. You may not see an immediate results from your work in the bus ministry but God sees the impact you are making. One day, through your faithful and consistent service, you will hear those words from our precious Saviour. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” I believe we will all be able to say the words of the famous song as it relates to the bus ministry…it will be worth it all when we see Jesus!

The Bus ministry! IT STILL CAN BE DONE!! Make the investment!

Pastor William Tyson

Woodlawn Baptist Church

Bowie, Maryland

www.wbcbowie.org

301-792-2284

The Bus Ministry

The Bus Ministry

Woodlawn Baptist Church has a long and dedicated history to the bus ministry. We have been in the bus ministry for 35+ years with many workers with decades of committed service to the bus ministry. The bus ministry is not a passing fad to us, it is a valuable and blessed tool in reaching our area for Jesus Christ. Over the years we have had over 765,000 riders come to Sunday school on our buses and vans. We currently run 13 buses and vans every Sunday and are seeing precious souls come to Christ every week.

Our bus ministry was started by Dr. Ron Fenwick, a tremendous soul winner and a man with a heart for lost souls. Dr. Fenwick was influenced by The Sword of the Lord and ultimately was encouraged to start a bus ministry by Dr. Wally Beebe and Dr. Jim Vineyard. After attending a Pastor’s School in Hammond, Indiana, Dr. Fenwick purchased several buses and our bus ministry was started! Scores of people were saved and many became workers in our bus ministry. We have been blessed to have what I believe are the greatest bus workers in America! We have nearly a dozen workers with over 25 years of experience in the bus ministry. This is a life-long commitment to the Great Commission for us!

We have had so many wonderful days in the bus ministry over the years. Every year, we have Round Up Sunday and on many occasions we have had over 1000 riders on a big day. Our biggest day saw 1317 riders on our bus ministry led by our former Bus Director Steve Messersmith. From our records we know that our bus captains have had 100 riders on their bus route 230 times, over 200, 14 times and over 300 one time! Promotions and events have varied from a bike rider jumping buses to a 100 foot banana split! We have given go-karts, bicycles and game systems away. Some will question the “promotion” but if I can get people under the sound of the gospel I believe it is worth it!

One of the greatest blessings for me as pastor is to see the lives of people transformed by the power of the gospel. We have seen families split apart by divorce restored. We have seen drunks cleaned up and young people by the thousands receive Christ. It is always a blessing to field phone calls from adults that rode the “blue bus” and for them to hear that their bus captain is still driving the bus and involved in the bus ministry. One of the most memorable times for me since I became pastor was Christmas 2012 when we ran our buses on Saturday and saw 88 young people come to Christ. May we never get over seeing children and teenagers coming to Christ! It is a miracle of grace with each and every soul saved. I am challenged as I think of the statistics that say only four percent of the youth in America have every attended a Bible believing church in their lifetime! We have failed in our responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission in our generation. It’s time we recommit ourselves to reaching the lost! So many ask why the bus ministry, I ask, WHY NOT? What other ministry allows you to bring dozens or even hundreds to church? What other ministry exhorts workers to engage in the effort of soul winning like the bus ministry? I say there is no better time to jump in the bus ministry! It still can be done in 2014.

The bus ministry is an investment, an investment of time, money and resources. It is a ministry that sometimes will not always result in “instant gratification.” It takes time to see people grow and be disciple. The greatest battle I believe the bus ministry faces is fatigue. Fatigue can sap your joy and cause you to be apathetic and complacent about what you are doing. There is no way to fix this other than for every worker to have a fresh and vibrant walk with God. You can’t live on yesterday’s manna yet so many are picking the worms out of yesterday’s manna rather getting something fresh from God. The reality is no bus, bus ministry or church can be successful without the mighty hand of God on it. You have to have the power of God. Perhaps the answer to a struggling bus ministry or route is not organization or a program but rather the anointing of God on it! When is the last time you drove through your bus route and asked God to give you favor and His power? When is the last time you prayed for the families on your route and wrestled with God and begged Him for His touch? I am convinced that many Christians and workers get discouraged and quit because they are so busy in the “work” of God that they forget the God of the work! Get in your prayer closet, bus worker, and don’t let go of Him until He blesses!

When I think of the benefits of the bus ministry I would simply say that the bus ministry causes you to recognize that you are not the only one who has needs. When you visit an area and knock on doors you realize that some of your problems you face may not be all that bad compared to what others are facing. When you pick up someone else’s burdens you have to drop yours and I promise you Jesus will take care of yours! The bus ministry keeps that cause of soul winning and discipleship continual before the people. It gives many opportunities to reach out to those in need and to serve.

Some may say the bus ministry is a fad of the 70’s and a dying ministry. I beg to differ. I don’t believe we have ever had a time in history that the bus ministry is not more needed, relevant and effective than today! In a world where children are forced to grow up before their time and where little ones are losing the innocence of childhood earlier and earlier we must understand the urgency of the bus ministry in our generation. While many good churches are adding members, I believe the bus ministry allows the church to multiply! It is my opinion that America desperately needs 1,000 churches and 10,000 bus routes started! I wonder, will you be the one to start?

One of the funniest moments I remember from the bus ministry is when our bus director decided to have the devil come to Junior Church. Here you have several hundred children in a school auditorium and the preacher is preaching and out jumps the devil. Instead of “just” screaming, they began to run in all directions! After a few minutes a few brave souls decided they were not afraid of the devil and started to attack the devil. Needless to say, not the smartest of ideas!

My advice for anyone wanting to start a bus ministry is simple! Pray, prepare and preach the Word! You must have God’s power. You must have an organized program and visitation plan. And you must preach the Word of God! Dr. Fugate’s book, “Church Growth through the Bus Ministry” is the best book I have ever read on the bus ministry. Any ministry started a bus ministry should use this valuable tool to help start it right!

When I think of promotions and programs I can say that we have tried nearly everything we can think of. Some of the best promotions we have had that really gained interest has been our annual “Bible Bucks Store” and basic promotions such a pizza parties and picnics. The Bible Bucks store is just as it sounds, it is a store filled with all kinds of items from the dollar store to more expensive items. Sunday School attenders can earn Bible bucks for bringing visitors to Sunday School, bringing their Bibles, memorizing their Bible verse, etc. This has been a great tool and we usually promote it on our annual Round Up Sunday. I believe there is one basic principle to remember. People like to eat and food of any type will draw a crowd. Some of our biggest days have been picnic Sundays when we simply grill out with hot dogs and have some fun with games and slides and moon bounces. Simple yet highly effective.

When it comes to involvement in the bus ministry it is imperative that the ministry is highlighted weekly. We have a significant group of our people involved in the bus & van ministry so it is often the source of amazing stories of grace and many times an area of great need amongst the people. We encourage our folks to be involved in the bus ministry in many different ways. Whether it is running a program, driving a bus, visiting a route or praying for a hedge of protection it is a team effort to run a bus ministry. I believe every member should be involved in some facet of the bus ministry because it is one of focal points of executing a strategy of fulfilling the Great Commission.

One of the best ways to build a route is to get families on the route to get involved in outreach. I remember as a teenager bringing dozens of people to church because my family was responsible for the street we were on. When parents get involved in the community through your bus route you will see your route and ministry multiple quickly. You are also planting the seed for future bus captains! People want to be involved in success. Getting parents involved will give you a greater chance of success on a route.

We have been blessed with a great bus director. Brother Shank was saved through the bus ministry and has a heart for young people. His responsibilities include overseeing bus and van maintenance, overseeing junior church and working with bus captains in the area of visiting and discipleship. I believe the next visitor on our routes very well could be the next pastors, missionaries and evangelists. With that in mind, every person that attends should be treated with love and given the attention they need to grow in Christ.

Keeping workers motivated is an area we must continually pay attention too. As I mentioned earlier I believe the best motivator is heart on fire for God. Nothing replaces a personal devotional life with Christ. That being said, I also believe we should recognize workers for a job well done. No matter how long a person has been working in the ministry it is always an encouragement to be recognized.

I believe there is a place in the bus ministry for workers of all ages! We have workers from junior age to seniors working the ministry. I believe this is vital to a healthy bus ministry. If all your workers are teenagers than the risk is that problems will be dealt with immaturely. At the same time those teenagers bring energy and excitement that our seniors may not be able to bring. Balance is the key!

We give discretion to our bus routes and captains as to their program on the bus. Generally speaking it is best to have a more subdued program on the way to church so the children are prepared and not too hyped up to settle down for the preaching. On the way home, the program should be exciting and energetic. Successful routes have energetic programs. I remember when I first started riding the bus to church how enthusiastic I became about coming to church. This is the message you want to leave with your riders. Going to church is fun and exciting!

Nothing replaces door to door visitation. I would also say that many new riders on a bus route or even those that attend Sunday School come because one of their friends invite them. We have often had promotions that recognize those who bring visitors with them. We started a program called Operation 1000 two years ago where we asked for our folks to share names and contact information of friends and family in the area that do not go to church. The plan is to acquire 1000 contacts to follow up on. This follow up includes visits, email contact and social media contacts. We even created a “confidential visit” list where the church member wanted us to visit but not make it so obvious that we were visiting that one individual. So we visit the whole street! After all they all need Jesus. We have seen people saved and coming to church because of this program.

We are careful about putting new people right into the bus ministry. The bus ministry is labor intensive and hard work. Because of this we try to get those who are interested in the bus ministry to get involved in ways that allow them to continue to grow in the faith. Our expectation is that all workers be faithful to church and to be in agreement with our churches doctrinal statement. Our workers should be examples of the believers in word and practice and not be a contradiction to what is being taught and preached from the Word of God.

We have a disciplinary process to handle issues that arise in the bus ministry and any other part of the ministry. Our bus director takes the lead in all discipline issues on a route and communication with parents or guardians is required in every instance. Any time you get hundreds of children and teenagers there will be problems at time. It is important to handle issues clearly and decisively. At times, it may be necessary to suspend riders because of behavior. Failure to deal with unruly riders will kill a route quickly.

When it comes to protections for the bus ministry we have outlined several requirements for workers. No worker should ever put their hands on a child. No worker should ever be alone with a child. It is as simple as that. Our ministry is transparent in how we deal with disciplinary problems and communication with parents is very important.

A solid bus program will alleviate discipline problems because the children are involved. Whether it is walk down an aisle of the bus or engaging quieter children with easy to answer questions it is important to get everyone involved. I have found that games that encourage working together are best. If they will work together on the route, the will work together to get their friends to attend as well.

As a pastor, may different ministries can grab your time and attention. For me, my heart will always lean toward the bus ministry. Thirty-one years ago I rode the bus to church for the first time. My family was broken apart by divorce and life was hard. When that blue bus picked me up for church…Jesus came with it! My life has never been the same. One year after I started riding, my mom and dad were saved and remarried each other. Twenty six years to the day I started riding the bus to church I became the pastor of our church. How can I forget the bus ministry? Lord willing, I hope I never forget. Every once in a while I drive down West Forest Road in Landover, Maryland where it all began and thank God for the bus ministry and for my bus captain. I have seen God transform so many lives through the bus ministry. The bus ministry of WBC produced me as the pastor, our bus director, and missionaries. Scores have been reached through the bus ministry. Two weeks ago on of our bus kids from many years ago got his CDL and drove the route for the first time. The bus ministry still works. That is why I say…KEEP THE BUSES ROLLING!!

Pastor William Tyson

Woodlawn Baptist Church

www.wbcbowie.org

301-792-2284

#Continue – Connecting a new generation to the old paths! – Introduction

The Bibles says in 2 Timothy 3:14, But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;”

We are living in a day where people quit very easily when difficulties arise. This trend and character flaw is reflective of a society where the family has been broken down and principles of hard work and perseverance are rarely taught. If problems at work happen, many seek what is perceived as easier employment rather than working through the problems. When marriage problems arise, rather than keeping the vow, “for better for worse”, the decision is made to jump ship and quit on the marriage. And so it is with many Christians, when problems arise in the church or in their walk with God, they quickly throw in the towel and quit. I believe today we must recommit ourselves to the principles of the Scripture. We must preach the Word in season and out of season rather than putting our finger to the prevailing winds of theological or political compromise. America is in the state that she is in because Christians have not continued in their faith but have rather compromised it. We can point our fingers to Hollywood. We can shake our heads at continuous legislative opposition to our faith. We can complain about the lack of leadership on a national and local level from our political leaders. We can bemoan judicial activism that contradicts our biblical foundations. But ultimately the responsibility for the moral decay of America lies in the lap of the church and the people of God. We have failed this generation. We have embraced the culture rather than season it with the salt of the gospel. We have compromised our doctrine, our standards, and our practices with the hopes of being “accepted” by the world. America’s moral spiral is the churches responsibility. The decay has seeped into the church and has undermined our effectiveness for Christ. We must take a stand and continue in the old paths of Biblical principles!

The word “continue” means, “to go on, to keep on, to carry on without interruption or to last and endure.” When I think of continuing I think of carrying on. I think of a runner taking the baton and running their leg of the race. Our generation needs us to firmly take that baton of faith and run it with all our might. Our families need us to carry on. Our spouses need us to carry on. Our parents need us to carry on. Our children need us to carry on. Our coworkers need us to carry on. Our churches needs YOU to carry on. If we are going to see revival in America we are going to need to carry on. When I look at Scripture I see many examples of those who carried on! Isaac carried on after Abraham. Joshua carried on after Moses. And Elisha carried on after Elijah! Every generation has the responsibility of the Great Commission and must carry on that great responsibility! Will we carry on and fill Jerusalem with His doctrine or will we shun our mandate? Will we carry on the great heritage that was handed to us or we will we scorn our forefathers? Will we carry on? I want to share with you some areas that I believe we all need to carry on and #CONTINUE! We must pass on the old paths to a new generation!

– Next Chapter – What is the Old Paths?