Using the name of the popular product as an acrostic, V.E.L.C.R.O. Church explores how congregations can value every person, engage them in genuine friendship, lead them to Christ by sharing the gospel message, connect them to the church family, recognize the importance of deep, caring relationships among believers, and organize a small-group network in the church to continue to minister to each person's individual needs.
"We want people to be 'velcroed,' glued in, to the church in a meaningful way," James said, noting that too many new church members fail to "plug in" to the congregational family and eventually drift away.
The church "is more like (non-stick) Teflon than Velcro," he said.
Hemphill is former national strategist for the Empowering Kingdom Growth initiative for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. He is founding director of the Center for Church Planting and Revitalization at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C.
This is the second book on which James and Hemphill have collaborated. The first was an apologetics study, "Life Answers," which is expected to have a second printing sometime this year.
James served on the staff of First Baptist Church of Norfolk, Va., for eight years when Hemphill was pastor.
"Ken is one of my mentors," James said.
A native of Stanford, James is a KBC church development strategist, helping congregations specifically in the South Central region of the commonwealth find new ways to share Christ in their communities and disciple new believers.
James also coordinates KBC's discipleship ministries with an emphasis on equipping churches to better inspire new members, and new Christians, to become involved in the life of the local church.
He also is a regular contributor to the KBC discipleship blog, www.28nineteen.com.
Several state/regional Baptist conventions have purchased V.E.L.C.R.O. Church and James has been invited to help train Baptist leaders in California and Montana on the study.
"I hope God will use (the book) as a tool so churches can help new believers develop a meaningful, lifelong, growing relationship with Christ and His people," he said.
V.E.L.C.R.O. Church is available for purchase at www.auxanopress.com and LifeWay Christian Resources. Free teaching resources for the study are available for download from the Auxano Press site.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention is a cooperative missions and ministry organization made up of nearly 2,400 autonomous Baptist churches in Kentucky. A variety of state and worldwide ministries are coordinated through its administrative offices in Louisville, including: missions work, disaster relief, ministry training and support, church development, evangelism and more.
For more information, visit the KBC website at www.kybaptist.org become a fan of "Kentucky Baptist Convention" on Facebook or follow "kentuckybaptist" on Twitter.
Dannah Prather is a marketing and media relations associate for the Kentucky Baptist Convention News.
Campbellsville University Christian Coaching class hosts Lincoln Village for basketball clinic
By Sarah Ames
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Campbellsville University)--Twelve young men from the Lincoln Village Detention Center visited Campbellsville University for a basketball clinic on Wednesday, April 10.
Dr. G. Ted Taylor's Christian Coaching class hosted a Gospel-driven basketball clinic for the 12 juveniles in the Powell Athletic Center. The clinic included skill stations and team building activities, as well as lunch and a devotion.
Mike Smith, recreational director at Lincoln Village and a CU student, said, "We had these 12 young men who had to be on good behavior all week in order to come." Because of their good behavior, the young men were allowed the outing to CU.
"We were pleased to once again host these young men and their supervisors from Lincoln Village," said John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president. "The class, taught by Dr. Ted Taylor and assisted by Logan Hazelwood, initiated this partnership once again, and it afforded all involved with a good opportunity for ministry, fellowship, and sports involvement. This was a positive experience for all involved."
Taylor's class hosts Lincoln Village once per semester.
The Lincoln Village men played a double-elimination tournament after being divided into four teams. Individuals who won the titles of Most Valuable Player, Champion of Character and Mr. Hustle received signed basketballs from the CU Tiger basketball team, presented by assistant basketball coach, Justin Watson. Team champions were also given championship T-shirts, and all participants were presented with a Bible signed by the students of the Christian Coaching class.
Sharing the Gospel was central to all activities. On center court, CU graduate assistant Logan Hazelwood spoke with the young men, and reminded them that Jesus is a life-changer, and the greatest reward. "I was so encouraged by our class and their initiative to build relationships with the Lincoln Village guys. If it was this encouraging to me, I can't imagine what it was like for Lincoln Village," said Hazelwood.
"I think it really touched these young men because it showed them someone cares about them," Smith said. "When you have young men committed to the state, they feel like no one cares about them, that they're put on the shelf. But you have these CU students, who don't even know them, spending time with them and sharing with them. I think it made a big impact. I want to thank the school and the students for this opportunity."
Hazelwood said, "I think we will hear soon that many of these Lincoln Village men have earned their way out of the program vastly due to the influence our guys and God's Gospel had on them."
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master's degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.
Sarah Ames is a student newswriter at Campbellsville University.
Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net