Network News - December 22, 2017
Capital Baptist News

Network News - December 22, 2017

Memorial Service Set for CSBC's Tom Belew
A memorial service for Tom Belew, leader of the California Southern Baptist Convention’s Small Church Initiatives Team, is scheduled Friday, Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. at Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis.

Belew died Sunday, Dec. 10 while returning to Fresno from a church visit to Springville when he pulled to the side of the road and apparently had a heart attack. He was found in his car by a local Sheriff’s officer.


Belew recently was named leader of the new CSBC team and was excited about working to serve smaller membership churches.


A native of Alabama, Belew began with the Convention staff in 1995 as children/preschool specialist. In recent years he also guided and supported Sunday School and small groups. Tom was a certified church consultant and coach. His ministries included Vacation Bible School, Children’s Bible Drill and childhood ministry safety and security. He was the CSBC liaison with LifeWay Christian Resources.


Bill Agee, CSBC executive director, said, “Soon after I began formulating my plan for restructuring, I realized Tom Belew was the person to lead the small church initiatives team because of his passion and ministry experience across a broad spectrum.


“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone move so quickly in formulating how his team would work and how CSBC could best serve smaller membership churches.”


Agee said CSBC staff met Monday, Dec. 11 to share remembrances of Tom. “It was apparent from the comments and remembrances that Tom was well liked and beloved among his coworkers."


Daryl Watts, who serves on CSBC’s Church Revitalization Initiatives Team, worked with Belew during his 22-year tenure.


“Tom was the most easy-going co-worker on our team and perhaps on the entire CSBC staff,” Watts said. “Though he had his preferences, he seldom asked for his own way. He would be flexible and would get way out of his comfort zone to assist a coworker.


“Tom was a developer of people,” Watts added. “He wasn’t the `out front’ kind of person most people think of as leaders. Tom was a consummate `second chair’ leader who knew how to guide people through influence and attention rather than through authority. 


“If anyone ever needed help, Tom delighted in providing it. Whenever he learned something new, he literally could not wait to share it with someone!”


Most of all, Watts said, “Tom was a friend. He invested in coworkers, church leaders and churches, and contract workers … and he turned most of them into friends.”


Prior to his service with CSBC, Belew was minister of education and administration at Bethel Baptist Church in Escondido. He also served two churches in Arizona.


He was a graduate of the Muscle Shoals Technical Institute in Alabama, Grand Canyon College (now University) in Phoenix and Golden Gate Baptist Theological (now Gateway) Seminary.


He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, a daughter and son-in-law, and two grandsons.


In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to CSBC Disaster Relief. Gifts can be mailed to CSBC, 678 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno, CA 93710, or can be given online.


Those wanting to send remembrances (cards or letters) can mail them to Phyllis Belew, c/o CSBC, at the above address.

Letter from Frank Erb, Pastor to the California State Capitol
In recent weeks, the wave of accusations of sexual harassment or assault that has flooded our nation has swept over our California State Capitol like a tsunami.


As I write this, five male lawmakers, three Democrats and two Republicans, have been publicly accused by staff or lobbyists or others, and rumor has it that there may soon be more. Two have resigned, and some are calling on others to do so also.

This is a painful time for everyone in the Capitol community, where the alleged victims and offenders are known and considered friends by many. I personally have a pastoral ministry to a number of those involved.


In the midst of this crisis, I rejoice as it is apparent that God is at work even at a time like this!


Healing: Those who are hurting can take comfort that God sees all, understands their pain, and wants to comfort and restore them as they look to Him.

Humbling: Arrogance prevents many government leaders from recognizing their need for God's mercy, but the Lord can use difficulties and a realization of our own sinfulness to bring us to Him. As I recently explained this is private with one legislator, I was privileged to lead him in prayer to humbly ask God for forgiveness and salvation through Christ!

Redirecting: Political ambition can easily become idolatry, where the only thing that matters is career, but God sometimes smashes our idols in order to mercifully show us how worthless they are. Another legislator spoke with me frequently for prayers for strength and wisdom as he responded to accusations that he insisted were false. He has had to face the reality that his reputation and career and relationships are more fragile than he thought possible, and that he needs to place his full hope and trust in God alone. "Whatever comes of this," he said, "thank you for your ministry that has been so helpful to me. I pray that from this point on I never get too comfortable and forget to put God first in my life."

Purifying: A number of lawmakers have told me over the years that coming to Sacramento to serve in the legislature reminded them of their college days when they left home and moved away to a university campus with fraternity parties. On a few evenings every week for most of the year, the restaurants and bars and clubs that surround the Capitol are packed with legislators, staff, and lobbyists, some who have had too much to drink. I remember the surprise I felt when I was new to  ministry in the Capitol and came across male and female state leaders who were obviously intoxicated even though they were scheduled to cast important votes the next morning. Now I take it for granted. The sexual assault crisis is bringing awareness to this unhealthy and potentially dangerous culture.

Protecting: Victims and witnesses are feeling more empowered to speak up. Nearly 150 women who work in the Capitol community, including female legislators, staff, and lobbyists, recently signed and publicized a letter vowing to not remain silent any longer, and members of the legislatrue, including some who have endorsed our ministry, have started holding hearings to plan how to make the Capitol safer. As the father of a daughter who is in college preparing for her career, I am relieved to see an increased emphasis on workplace safety. Romans 13:1-7 tells us that government leaders are called to be God's servants to protect society, so it is encouraging when they do so. 

With all this going on, I hope you will join in praying that 2018 will be a year of spiritual breakthroughs in our Capitol, with more looking to the Lord and seeking to follow Him! Christmas time reminds us that even though the world can be dark, the beautiful light of Christ has broken through and will never be dimmed.
Frank Erb
Your Missionary/Pastor to the California State Capitol

All Senior Pastors: Please take the Associations in Mega-Cities survey

The url needed for senior pastors to take the survey -
Please complete the survey by December 22 (today)
Again, we apologize for the email glitch on Tuesday. I guess that's one way to get noticed! Not a good way, but one way. 

Job & Ministry Opportunities
Senior/Lead Pastor - Capital City Baptist Church
Capital City Baptist Church is prayerfully seeking a full-time Senior/Lead Pastor.  Send resumes ONLY to Ray Torrez, Chairman of Search Team.  
Deadline: December 29, 2017 

Full Time Worship Leader - First Baptist Orangevale
First Baptist Orangevale is looking for a full time worship leader. Please contact Jimmy Butler at or 916-539-3894

Urgent Need: Preschool Teacher Interns
Teachers needed wot tork with the preschool program at Lake Tahoe. Teachers must be studying or have a dregree in Early Childhood, Child Life, Child Development, or Human Development and Family Studies. You need 12 semester hours in any combination fo these types of classes to qualify as a preschool intern. Round-trip air fare, housing, food money,a nd local ministry-related transportation provided plus a $500 monthly stipend. 

For more information: Debbie Wohler Reasoner-Internship Coordinator: 530-448-9359 (Eastern Time) or, Jayme Blanton, A+ Director: 530-583-1534 (Pacific Time), Pastor Scott Capshaw: 530-583-7458 (Pacific Time) or  

Live-In Home Health Care Helper
A pastor from Suisun whose parents live in Sacramento needs to find 24/7 live-in assistance for his mother and her husband. Please contact Pastor Richard Guy from Grace Baptist Church of Suisun. His number is 707-290-3200.

Children's Ministry Volunteers
New Seasons church has a need for temporary/short term volunteers in their children’s church ministry.
Trained, experienced volunteers with proper clearances, and pastor approval preferred.
For more information contact Pastor Ron Jackson – 619-540-9294 or

Youth Leader Internship
Our church is seeking to fill a vacant position for Youth Leader Intern immediately, and we are reaching out to other churches and Christian organizations in the area with hopes of finding the right person (or couple) for the job.  We are a small-town conservative church, and our active Youth Group currently consists of 8 – 15 students at our Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday gatherings.  The position will require about 15 hours of work each week.  We will offer a salary of $750 - $1000, along with a generous budget for Youth activities.
We hope you would be willing to share our description with anyone who you feel would be a great addition to our team at FBCW.   Please respond and we will send the application as a pdf file, or interested parties may contact the church at 530-795-2821 to schedule an interview.  Thank you in advance for your assistance.
In Christ,
Pastor James  Allen  and the FBCW Stewardship/Personnel Committee

28-30  Ignition Student Conference
          Sacramento Convention Center
         Learn more:

27      Church Music Workshop - North
         Trinity Baptist Church, Livermore 

16-19   Winter Youth Retreat Week 1

17        Clinicas para Escuela Biblica de Vacaciones - San Jose

21-Mar. 5 International Commission Kenya Mission Trip
             Contact Sonia at

23-25     Winter Youth Retreat Week 2

24         State VBS Clinic at El Camino Baptist Church
             2805 El Camino Ave., Sacramento

24         Clinicas para Escuela Biblica de Vacaciones - Manteca
14         Free Simulcast - Live - Lee Strobel

6-8   Women's Retreat - The Woman God Sees
Camp Alta, $150 per person
         Contact Lori Coburn at
         Register online

The Star: The Story of the First Christmas in theaters November 17 
Alien Invasion in theaters January 11, 2018
Samson in theaters February 16, 2018
I Can Only Imagine in theaters March 16, 2018
Tortured for Christ in theaters Spring, 2018

Ten Critical Trends for Churches in 2018 by Thom S. Rainer
Never in my lifetime have I seen local congregations at such a critical juncture. Cultural Christianity is all but dead. The “Nones,” those without any religious preference, are increasing. Many of the communities are no longer friendly to local churches; some have become adversarial.

But in the waves of these seas of negativity, are mercy drops of hope and possibilities. Look at these ten major
trends carefully. See how God would have your church respond.

  1. The audio revolution. books are rising in popularity. 
  2. Boomer retirement crisis. Boomer pastors and church leaders are retiring in large numbers. But most of them don’t have succession plans. 
  3. The deferred maintenance crisis in church facilities. 
  4. Churches moving into retail spaces. 
  5. Ongoing church closures. 
  6. The rise of the neighborhood church. 
  7. The learning revolution of the best church leaders. Those church leaders who are not continually learning will not be leading well.
  8. Downsizing of worship centers/sanctuaries. ...some of it is due to declining attendance, but that is not the only factor. A number of churches have intentionally moved to smaller worship services through multiple services, venues, and campuses.
  9. The rise of networks. 
  10. More Great Commission intentionality. 

Read the full story here.

Keys to a Fruitful - Not Busy - New Year by Ryan Rice for LifeWay
Have you ever had words stick with you? Maybe it was the encouragement of your father, or the sweet words of a grandparent before they passed away. However, what about those words that remain in a negative way? They can serve to motivate or destroy. 

I never forget hearing these words as a young man: “You don’t want to work; you’re too lazy.” In high school I was student council president, captain of the track team, band member and worked as well. Lazy wasn’t in my vocabulary. However, these words stuck with me, driving me to achieve, but also leading me to an unhealthy place of workaholism.

At times people say the same thing about pastors.  The conversations usually go like this:

“Pastor, I wish I had your job.”

“Why is that?”

“Well you know, you only work one day out of the week right?”

There have been many times I have worked to prove and achieve, instead out of my love for the Lord. Busyness does not equate to fruitfulness or godliness. The lifestyle of busyness leads to unwarranted stress, anxiety and an identity that is wrapped in what you do, not who you belong to.

I often wonder is the root of most of our anxiety, stress and worry simply coming from trying to prove to everyone what we can achieve and how we can perform? Remember Jesus’ words to us in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” Our source of life comes from the Lord and without his life flowing through us we have no life at all. The truth is, the people we are trying to prove the most to, most likely aren’t thinking about us. People think the most about themselves. If the Lord has only asked me to abide, and rest and trust in Him, who am I to try and do more than that?

This is not a call to sit on our hands, but one that says instead of working our fingers to the bone, we can rest. In this rest, our work then overflows out of our love for the Lord. As we go into 2018, here are several things we can do to break this cycle of approval.
Just Say No
Plan Time Off
Ask for Help

Find Your Identity in Christ
Read the full article here.

5 Times I Battle the Calendar by Marty Duren for LifeWay
The importance of time is seen in the American emphasis on “time management,” a misnomer if ever there was one. Time management does not exist. One second passes each second and—science-fiction notwithstanding—that second cannot be slowed in mid-flight or retrieved once gone. Neither can the minute sixty of them comprises. What we can manage, however, is what we do during the seconds, minutes, and hours each of the days of our sojourn. We can practice self-management.
Read the article here.

FREE resource!
Football Sunday is a 30-minute video event that brings the biggest game of the year, the best pro football players, and the Gospel of Jesus to your church.

If you're one of the thousands of churches that have already hosted Football Sunday, you know what a fun, powerful event it is—and if you haven't done it yet, make 2018 the year you kick it off.
Signups are now open on the Life.Church Open Network.
Click the button below, and click "Notify me when released" on the Football Sunday page. This signs you up to receive Football Sunday components as they're released leading up to gameday. 
Football Sunday, from our partner Sports Spectrum, is created specifically to play in your church on championship gameday, Sunday, February 4, 2018.
The full event is 30 minutes, or you can choose shorter versions so you have maximum flexibility in how you leverage this resource.
This year's event is hosted by James Brown and includes pro-football players from the 2018 championship teams who will share moving stories and testimonies about how Jesus has changed their lives.
Use it in place of your sermon, or create a stand-alone event and see how God uses it to reach a whole new audience in your community.
After you sign up, watch our training video with tons of ideas on how to leverage championship Sunday in your church.




Donation of Turkeys Needed for Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners

For His Glory Church is looking for free turkeys. We are serving FREE Thanksgiving Dinner and Free Christmas dinner again this year to families who otherwise won't have a dinner on those days.

If you can make a donation of any kind we appreciate it.
Tax deduction.


Women's Retreat 2018

At Camp Alta
April 6-8, 2018
$150 per person (can be paid in two $75 payments, due by March 29th)
Register here.
For more information, contact Lori Coburn at

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