While grateful for the friendships of the past, we are also grateful for new friendships the Lord has given us. Recent friendships include a close relationship with ABWE (Association of Baptist for World Evangelism) as well as Shepherd’s Home (Union Grove, WI). Very important from the standpoint of a congregation would be the renewed relationship of sister assemblies in which we can work together. I’m happy to say that the Lord is giving and growing our relationship with a variety of sister churches not only here in the Southwestern region, but also nationally and even internationally. The reason that is important is that the Scriptures clearly teach that there ought to be a testimony of unity, not just of separation. The Lord is bringing together a network of sister churches and partners in ministry. Many of the new relationships that have been a real blessing to our people are partially a result of the Internet. Not only are we using the Internet to broadcast our church services with audio and video, but the Lord has also used the Internet to connect us to a variety of new ministry friends and partners.
Some of our closest friendships include Pastor Bob Bixby, Pastor Chris Metras, and our friends at Morning Star Baptist Church and Global Grace Missions (Rockford, IL.); Pastor Jason Janz and our friends at Providence Bible Church (Denver, Co.); Pastor Mike Durning and our friends at Pleasant Hills Bible Church (Goodles, MI); Dr. Bob Snyder and our friends at Open Door Bible Church (Hudson, MI); Pastor Terry Green and our friends at Victory Baptist Church (Casa Grande, AZ); Pastor (and brother-in-law) David Smith and our friends at Western Ave Baptist Church (Avondale, AZ); Pastor David Parker and our friends at Amazing Grace Fellowship (Prescott, AZ); Pastor Dan Budgick and our friends at Foothills Baptist Church (Tucson, AZ); Pastor Steve Hair and our friends at Calvary Baptist Church (Show Low, AZ); Pastor Roger Willis and our friends at Lighthouse Bible Church (Simi Valley, CA); Pastor Joe Leavell and our friends at Mid-Valley Baptist Church (near Chino, CA); Pastor John Kane and our friends at Sun Oak Baptist Church (near Sacramento, CA) to name just a few.
The Lord has also given us some other significant friendships outside our sister churches. Some of these would include partners such as Evangelist Monty Leavell; Missionary-Pastor Rob Krause and the Sarenissima Bible Church and Mission of Italy; Pastor George Motoc and the SE Romania Missions Project; Thomas Pryde and our friends at the Veritas School of Theology; The Institute of Biblical Leadership in Lake Lure, NC; Clearwater Christian College in Florida; and ABWE in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Every year we enjoy times of great Bible teaching and fellowship with our friends at Shepherd’s Conference connected with Dr. John MacArthur, Grace Community Church and the Master’s Seminary. The other great conference we like to attend is the National Leadership Conference of Fundamentalism held in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, connected with Calvary Baptist Church and seminary. A third conference we’ve enjoyed from time to time is the Mid-America Conference on Preaching associated with Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary and Inter-City Baptist Church in Allen Park, Michigan. In addition, while we are an independent congregation not officially belonging to any association or fellowship, we reach out in relationship to a variety of ministries associated with groups such as the FBF, GARBC, IFCA and ACCC, as well as others.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Ps. 127:1). Well, as you can see, our heads are spinning with delight as we consider the full cup of blessing the last decade has been. We are praying about the future. If you are reading this article and considering joining our congregation, I can promise you four things: 1) We are so not perfect. In fact we are thinking about making imperfection a requirement for membership! If you come to our church, please know we will make mistakes. We try hard to do things for the glory of God, but sometimes we fail. 2) We will do our very best to teach you the Word. 3) We will do our best to love you and encourage you in your walk with the Lord. 4) We will do our very best to allow you to partner with our ministry in the areas where you are gifted. If you are reading this and live somewhere else, please know we would love for you to visit if you’re ever coming through our area. It would be our thrill to take you to lunch or buy you a cup of coffee. We love meeting other brothers and sisters in the Lord. Our heart’s desire is captured by our motto, ‘Worshipping Our God, Loving Our Neighbor.”
Please consider our vision and mission statement as a church. This will give you a final picture of who we are and, by God’s grace, what we have become over this first decade.
Our Vision: By God’s grace we wish to be a church that is and does the following:
1) We desire to be a growing church that meets together on each Sunday to honor God through the practice of genuine, corporate worship.
2) We desire to be a caring church that meets throughout the week in an expanding network of small groups dedicated to the care, ministry, and edification of “one-another.”
3) We desire to be a church that provides “good food” (found in God’s Word) and “good friends” (found with God’s people) to God’s children. This motivates us in aiming for “excellence” in the way we organize and participate in our Sunday school ministry.
4) We desire to be a church that aggressively builds redemptive relationships (paving the way for evangelism and outreach) through serving the needy and by building strategic bridges within our community. We desire to use our facilities and resources to this end.
5) We desire to be a church that consistently entrusts God’s work to God’s people. By God’s grace we will call each believer to a total commitment and stewardship of His resources for the advancement of God’s glory and His Kingdom.
6) We desire to be a church that facilitates the expansion and influence of the gospel and ‘the church” on the local, regional, cross-cultural, national, and global levels. By God’s grace we desire to make a serious impact on “missions!” Locally, this will result in the planting of likeminded churches.
7) We desire to be a church that equips, trains, and aids the development of ministry leadership. This desire includes the equipping of laymen and those in (or headed for) vocational ministry.
8) We desire to be a grace-filled hospital for broken lives to experience the healing power of God’s love and his total forgiveness and acceptance through the embrace of God’s people.
Southeast Valley Baptist Church exists to glorify God. It is our mission to bring people to Christ and see them become active participants in God’s family. It is also our desire to develop them to Christlike maturity and equip them for their ministry in the church and community and for life mission in the world.
|Joel Tetreau is senior pastor of Southeast Valley Baptist Church (Gilbert, AZ). He has B.A and M.A. degrees from International Baptist College (Tempe, AZ), an M.Div. (and some Th.M work) from Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary (Allen Park, MI), and a D.Min from Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Plymouth, MN). He has also studied at Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary (Lansdale, PA) and Jerusalem Center of Biblical Studies. He blogs at Straight Ahead.|