North Star Update– February 2010 – Volume IV, Issue 2

The February 2010 edition of the North Star Update features an article by Pastor Tim Barr entitled “Help! My Church is Dwindling!”

It may be that God will close the doors of your church or it may be that God wants to use this time to further edify your congregation. In either case, you are best served if you trust God and humbly seek help from God’s people.

“The MBA men’s fellowship exists to promote strong bonds between Christian men throughout our state.”

Pastor Tim Barr

1. Why have a Men’s fellowship?

The MBA is committed to the belief that Christian men must develop their primary ties to their local church.  These bonds are developed through teaching and preaching, service opportunities, and recreation times.  We also believe that these strong local church ties do not replace the need for ties to the larger body of Christ.  The MBA men’s fellowship exists to promote strong bonds between Christian men throughout our state.

2. Why is a fellowship of churches devoting time to things like ice fishing and recreational activities–shouldn’t we be focused on serious, Biblical study?

We would be remiss as a statewide fellowship if we neglect to define the “B” in the MBA. Part of being a Baptist is defining the ordinance of baptism in a biblical manner.

The Bible does not limit a man’s Christianity to the worshipful activities that occur in the confines of a church building.  That is not to say that these activities are unimportant.  They define Christian fellowship in valuable ways.  Nonetheless, most of the Christian life is experienced outside the confines of the local church’s assembly.  Physical exercise, eating, and laughing are all activities that are part and parcel of a godly Christian life.

3. What is the theme for this year?

This year, we will be learning about believer’s baptism, church membership, and church discipline.  We believe that our churches need godly men who understand these issues so well that they can communicate them to the next generation.

"Physical exercise, eating, and laughing are all activities that are part and parcel of a godly Christian life. "

4. Who are our speakers, and why were they selected?

In a word, they are “pastors.”  While they are all currently pastoring, each speaker brings a different set of skills and experiences to our conference.  One is a seminary professor, another a church planter, and the last has an earned doctorate in Biblical counseling.

5. Baptism? Do we really need to spend an entire conference session on this?

We would be remiss as a statewide fellowship if we neglect to define the “B” in the MBA.  Part of being a Baptist is defining the ordinance of baptism in a biblical manner.  Far too often, this task is left to our “experts.”  We often assume that as long as our pastors and teachers understand believer’s immersion, our theological future is secure.  This assumption is dangerous given that most of our children and young people are looking to their fathers and local church leaders to help them understand the importance of this ordinance.

6. Pastor Doug Roman is speaking on membership classes. Isn’t the concept of requiring classes before allowing someone to join a church a little… restrictive?

Pastor Roman will be addressing this issue in his lecture so I would encourage you to come and hear his answer.

7. I see there is a session on Church discipline, too. Why are we focusing on “How To Kick People Out”- shouldn’t we be instructing on getting people in?

The MBA, as an association, maintains a strong heritage of supporting theological separation.  When fundamentalists speak about separation, we tend think in ecclesiastical terms (i.e. can our church continue to fellowship with another church?).  This idea is essential but it is not the only aspect of separation that needs to be understood.  The New Testament also teaches a kind of separation that occurs within the confines of the local assembly.  Both understandings of separation are important for our churches.

8. This is just for “grown ups,” right?

The MBA Men’s Retreat has always welcomed young men who are in Junior High and Senior High.  As a pastor, I have encouraged our teens to attend the event and I continue to do so.  The retreat offers a wonderful time for inter-generational ministry between the men of in our congregations.

9. Can you tell us anything about future plans for this event?

"We believe that our churches need godly men who understand these issues so well that they can communicate them to the next generation."

The MBA leadership is presently considering a permanent location for the Men’s retreat.  We have a specific location in mind that is close to the Twin Cities.  We are also considering making a change in the timing of the retreat as well.  These decisions are being pursued wisely and with prayer.  We hope to continue to promote an affordable retreat that challenges our men to love God and obey His Word.

10. Can I still sign up?

We would like to hear from the churches by Monday, February 15th.  You can sign up on your church’s list or you can email me directly at pastortbarr@gmail.com.

If you have a suggestion for a interview subject for an upcoming “Ten Questions” segment, send your suggestion to

Kevin Bauder Featured Speaker at Christian Home Educators Conference

Kevin Bauder

Dr. Kevin Bauder

The Marshall Area Home Educators Association (MACHEA) will be holding their Rejuvenation Day on Saturday, February 27, at the First Baptist Church of Marshall. The featured speaker is Dr. Kevin Bauder, President of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Plymouth. He will address the topic “Education, Training, Instruction: Three Models of Teaching and Learning.” Conference details are available in the brochure below or on Facebook.