There are several ministry learning opportunities for Arkansas Baptists.
Two such occasions on the horizon are the 2023 Arkansas Delta Vision Tour and the block party regional training workshops.
Delta Vision Tour
Set for Jan. 30-31, the Arkansas Delta Vision Tour gives participants the opportunity to explore long-term partnerships with new and established works, opportunities for short-term mission trips and the need for coaching partnerships with church planters.
“Over the past decade, the Lord has used Arkansas Baptists to reach the underserved throughout the Delta through new church plants and an increased awareness of community needs by established churches,” Clint Ritchie, Arkansas Baptist State Convention community missions strategist, said.
According to Ritchie, several pastors have recently expressed that the Lord is leading them to partner with churches throughout the Delta. He said it is exciting to see how the Lord is burdening pastors to lead their churches to serve in the Delta.
“The Delta Vision Tour is designed to show church leaders the opportunities that exist in this region of our state for both short-term mission trips and long-term partnerships,” Ritchie said.
On Jan. 30, participants wishing to ride as a group for the duration of the trip will leave at 7:30 a.m. from the Arkansas Baptist State Convention office. The Vision Tour will begin in Trumann with other stops throughout the day in Marion and Marianna.
That evening, the group will travel to Stuttgart and stay at the Tru by Hilton Stuttgart. Each individual or group is responsible for their hotel, including the reservation and rate. A block of rooms has been reserved at a discount.
On Jan. 31, the first stop of the day will be at the Stuttgart Ministry Center, followed by stops in Fordyce and Sheridan. The group will then return to the ABSC.
Meals will be covered through the faithful giving of Arkansas Baptists to the Cooperative Program and Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering.
Folks interested in the tour can register online. Final details will be emailed to each registrant by Jan. 20. For any questions, contact Ritchie at email@example.com or 501-376-4791 ext. 5137.
Block Party ministry
Block Party ministry is a way to reach the local community with lasting effects.
“Block Parties have proved to be one of the most effective tools for community outreach, but an effective Block Party is more than setting up inflatables, games, and food,” Ritchie said. “The Block Party Workshops provide principles that we have found lead to a successful Block Party and shares how to be intentional in evangelism and follow-up. Additionally, the Arkansas Department of Labor requires that inflatables have a certified operator, so this workshop discusses why this is necessary and also provides the certification.”
The Arkansas Baptist State Convention Missions Team offers two types of training events:
- Block Party Regional Training Workshops
- State-wide Block Party Festival
Block Party Regional Training Workshops are provided for churches and associations that already have a block party ministry or are going to host a block party using resources from a church or association.
Each regional training workshop includes inflatable operation certification for persons 18 years of age and older, how to set up your block party, current liability and insurance laws and evangelism training.
Since each adult participant receives a certificate for inflatable operation certification, individual registration is required.
2023 workshop dates are:
Jan. 28 – Southern Region - West Side Baptist, El Dorado
Feb. 4 – Central Region - North Hills Baptist, Sherwood
Feb. 11 – Northeast Region - Ruddell Hill Baptist, Batesville
Feb. 25 – Northwest Region - ABSC NWA Ministry Center, Rogers
The Statewide Block Party Trailer Festival, scheduled for March 11, is an annual event for both churches that have a block party trailer and those who are interested in starting a block party ministry. Sample trailers will be available to view and there will be plenty of time to ask questions.
The Block Party Festival will include a community Block Party. Partnering with Beebe First Baptist Church, Block Party teams are asked to bring their trailers to set up inflatables and games, along with some popcorn machines and snow cone machines. Trailers will be asked to set up games from their trailer, with a focus on any that may be unique to their trailer. This will give churches and associations interested in starting a block party ministry the opportunity to see a block party take place and to learn skills necessary for an effective ministry.
Register for the Statewide Block Party Trailer Festival here.