Thanksgiving to God- A Responsive Reading

Here’s an easy, creative responsive reading/prayer you can use this Sunday to thank God together!

Leader: In times of trial and grief,

Congregation: You remained faithful to us.

Leader: In times of heartbreak and uncertainty,

Congregation: You were the fortress we ran to.

Leader: Some of us have fought cancer and illness.

Congregation: Your hands guided us. You are the Good Shepherd.

Leader: When our children were born,

Congregation: You rejoiced with us.

Leader: In those times we needed wisdom,

Congregation: Your Holy Spirit renewed our mind.

Leader: When discouragement and responsibilities weighed heavy on our hearts and weary bodies,

Congregation: You lifted the burdens and placed them upon Your strong shoulders.

Leader: Our gifts seem so insignificant, our words so frail, when we seek to bring Thanksgiving.

Congregation: But hear our hearts, O Lord. We thank You. We love You. We praise Your Holy Name.

Louisiana Baptists Welcome Steve Maltempi

Louisiana Baptists welcome Steve Maltempi as the new Youth Strategist.

Picture1Steve grew up in Louisiana and has served local churches in Louisiana, Texas and Virginia. A veteran leader of youth and student ministers, Steve has served on the state convention staffs in Virginia and Texas.

Steve brings a wealth of experience, but most of all a passion for the work of youth ministry.

Pray It Forward

As you prepare for the 2016 Evangelism Conference, join us in praying for the next generation with Pray It Forward: 21 Days of Prayer for the Next Generation.

The next generation is approximately one-third of our state population, 1.4 million people.

Through our research, we have found that our churches are struggling with connecting this group in a way that leads to salvation and obedience to believer’s baptism.

Would you consider asking your church to intentionally pray for the next generation during the first 21 days of the new year? Then you can bring a busload of your folks to the Evangelism Conference on January 25-26, 2016!

Order Prayer Guides

Order devotionals for your church.

For questions, email

4 Steps to Making Your Generosity Stick

If you are like me, I find that days are hectic. But they can also be filled with unexpected encounters when my heart is fine-tuned to the needs around me.

On one typical day, I picked up eight sausage poboys for a fundraiser. Then I was scurrying home from the sale when I noticed a young man at the red light with a card board sign that read, “God Bless.”

I knew he needed a handout for something, so I waived him over.

He said he had gotten in trouble in Lafayette, and he just got out of prison. He was headed home to Alabama where he belonged (insert LSU-Alabama joke here). Anyway, I said to him in a flash of biblical brilliance, “Silver and gold have I none, but in the name of Jesus Christ … I give you a poboy.”

I didn’t really say that, but I did give him the poboy. He thanked me and then continued on his mission to get to Alabama.

I meet a lot of people in Louisiana who know that if a brother is hungry, the least we can do is give a brother a sandwich. But many people will also say, with paralyzing hesitation, I don’t know how to do compassion ministry.

I don’t know what to do.

Here are four guidelines to use when developing a good compassion ministry through your church. Remember, the goal is to accomplish all four guidelines over time.

Step 1: Find Out the Need

We all understand that people are in need. But the question is, how do we discover what the needs are and how do we begin to meet the needs.

To do this we need to:

  • Get past the ‘us versus them’ mentality.
  • Get past the objection to the cost of doing a new ministry. We are planted in our churches to meet the needs of people around us. If we take care of God’s people (all people), then God will see that there are resources available to meet basic human needs.
  • Ask questions of leaders. “Who are the needy people around here?” Ask the police, principal, or civic leaders about unmet needs in your community.
  • Focus on a group. Children and the elderly are the most vulnerable. It is not our place to help able-bodied people who could be helping themselves.

Step 2: Build Trust

Needy people are usually survivors. These people are focused on meeting the needs of today. Make sure we don’t rush relationships with people we are trying to help.

Trust takes time.

This man showed up at my church one time and he said he wanted to get involved in the ministry. I told Joe (who attended infrequently, by the way), that until you master the ministry of ‘Show Up’, God can’t use you in a mighty way.

The same can be true for ministering to those who are in need. Practice “showing up” and prove that you mean what you preach. Trust will grow over time.

Step 3: Give Them Eternal Assistance – FULLY Share the Gospel

Make it personal and relational.

It is a good thing to drop a tract in a bag of groceries. But it is a much better thing, to put a loving arm around a shoulder, pour a cup of coffee and share what Jesus has done for you and what Jesus can do in the life of your new friend.

Share Jesus, start a Bible study, invite your new friend to your Sunday School class, start a church.

The gospel has not made its complete impact, until it is blended into the life of the new believer.

Step 4: Connect People to the Local Church

We ARE the church. Any group of people can collect canned goods and feed someone who is hungry. But Louisiana Baptists ARE the church.

We ARE the church.

The best thing we have going is not a box of food or a tutoring class. The best thing we have going is the local church.

We are not finished until we seek to gather people into HIS church.

If you are interested in starting a compassion ministry, click here.

Church Planning Guide

Download this valuable tool for church leaders!

Inside this download you’ll find:

  • Exciting Can’t-miss Event Dates
  • Leadership Forms and Tools
  • Budget Planning Ideas and Tools
  • Ideas for Long-range Planning
  • Leadership Contact Informations
  • A Complete, Printable Calendar
  • An Overview of the Inspiring 2020 Campaign

And much more!

We are here to salute, serve and support the churches of Louisiana.

Frankly, we think you’re awesome!

Please contact us if we can help you reach your community! It’s our reason for existence.

Church Planning Guide

Louisiana Baptists are Multiplying!

What’s the impact of church planting?

  • New commitments to Christ! Since 2010, new churches in years 1-3 have reported 8,839 commitments to Christ and 1,611 baptisms.
  • New partners in cooperation! In the last two years, new churches in Louisiana have given $351,893 to the Cooperative Program and $70,457 to their local associations.

New church plants have increased 75% since 2011.

Church Plants in Louisiana Since 2011

2011 – 8 new churches were planted
2012 – 14 new churches were planted
2013 – 18 new churches were planted
2014 – 26 new churches were planted
2015 – 32 new churches were planted (and that’s only from January through October!)

Also, through church planting we’re closing some of the missiological gaps and trends in our state. One of the haunting lines in the President’s 2020 Commission report was that the Louisiana Baptist Convention was a declining, northern, anglo movement. Church planting is allowing us to change these trends.

  • The President’s 2020 Commission found that out of 1,600 churches only 5% were considered non-anglo, while 40% of the population of Louisiana is non-anglo. In the last two years, 69% (40 out of 58) of our new churches have been non-anglo. That includes 24 African American, 14 Hispanic and 2 Asian congregations.
  • 2 years ago, we found that 74% of the population of Louisiana was in the southern part of the state (south of Bunkie) while 64% of our Louisiana Baptists churches were in the north. So 64% of our churches are located where only 26% of our population resides. In the last two years, 78% (45 out of 58) of new churches have been planted in south Louisiana, including 11 in New Orleans where 21% of our population resides.

We still have much work to do.

In 2010, associations helped us forecast the need in each of their regions. With their help we set the goal of 300 new churches by 2020.

Our current scorecard is at 121. So 179 new churches are still needed to meet the needs across Louisiana!

Everyone can get involved.

How can your church help? Check out these resources to help you get started:

50 Ways to Love Your Pastor

….With apologies to Paul Simon

“The problem is all inside your head” he said to me.
The deacon who always thought so logically
I’d like to help you to help him, supportively.
There must be 50 ways to love your pastor!

1. Shake his hand, Fran.
2. Tell him you loved his sermon, Herman.
3. Compliment his kids, Sid.
4. Send him a friendly email, Gail.
5. Pray for his spouse, Rouse.

Just listen to me…

6. Let him know that you’ve got his back, Jack.
7. Help him fix his sedan, Stan.
8. Give him your vacation condo key, Lee. (His family needs a week free.)
9. In business meeting, don’t try to discuss much.
10. Compliment his style, Miles.

He’ll think you’re the best!

11. Pay off the church bus, Gus.
12. Help him make peace with the WMU, Lou.
13. Give him a cost of living raise, Jay.
14. Volunteer at the kids event, Vince.
15. Pay his green fee, Tee.

Bonus Ideas:

16. Give him grace. He’s going to mess things up from time to time. Allow him to make mistakes.
17. Learn his allergies and feed him accordingly. By the way, 8 out of 10 pastors are Green-Bean-French-Onion-Mushroom-Soup-Casserole intolerant.
18. Don’t call him on his day off.
19. Check your own agenda at the door when discussing change.
20. Acknowledge that he usually works 50 hours a week and not five like some people think.
21. Offer to go with him when he visits the hospital. (And buy the ice cream!)
22. Send him a financial love offering after a funeral. (He’s the last one the grieving family needs to think of during their time of need. A gift coming from someone outside the family would mean a lot.)
23. Celebrate his staff, too! A good pastor always wants his wingmen (and women) celebrated. Chances are he gets great joy in this.
24. Pray strategically for him on Sunday night. He is probably mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausted. His face hurts from smiling. He’s probably had a few jabs from irregular people. His voice is weary, not only from preaching but from conversation, counseling and meetings. If he’s going to do or say something stupid, it’s probably between the hours of 9:30 Sunday night and 9  Monday morning. As one pastor once told me, “Don’t take Monday’s off as a pastor. Nobody wants to feel that cruddy on their day off.”
25. Send him a note on his anniversary with the church. Do not say in that note: I can’t believe you’re still here.
26. Unless the skies part and a booming audible Voice shakes the shingles from your house, don’t say, “I’ve got a word from the Lord for you.” There’s no easier way to mess with a pastor’s mind than to speak verbatim words allegedly spoken uniquely to him that might just possibly be kind of the Word of God. You know what? No. Don’t go there – unless the aforementioned weather conditions have taken place. If so, then go there, write a book and give the proceeds to Lottie Moon.
27. Avoid the temptation to make him a part of the Trinity. He is not your rescuer on the white horse, but he does know One who is.
28. Don’t just say, “Great Sermon.” Let him know what particular thing was most impactful for you. This will help him prepare next time.
29. Do not discuss his salary in an open forum. (I can’t believe I’m even writing that! Yuk!) It feels yucky for him. It feels yucky for his wife. And you can bet it feels yucky for his kids.
30. Don’t just help identify problems, help him fix them!
31. Let his kids be kids not extensions of his ministry or Christianity Today cover models.
32. Pay for wellness perks like a gym membership. This may save a hospital bill.
33. Realize that Sundays come around pretty regular-like. Don’t expect him to knock it out of the park every time. And when he doesn’t meet your standards. 34. Check your diva scale. It might be high.
35. Be a bouncer. If you know that your pastor is being worked over stupidly by an irregular person, run interference and learn some Spirit-filled bouncer moves.
36. Provide a cold bottle of water on his desk on Sunday morning. I had someone do this for me every Sunday and it was perhaps the coolest simple blessing ever. It was kind of like saying, “Sock it to them and stay hydrated. We love you and want you to be spot on today!”
37. Amazon gift cards. Only he knows exactly what he needs and he’s probably not going to tell you. An Amazon card is universally awesome.
38. Upgrade his computer. Most pastors wait way too long to get a new computer. How long has your pastor been waiting? Here’s a litmus test: if the front of his computer says: “Commodore” or he’s using WordPerfect 4.0, it’s probably time.
39. Celebrate his accomplishments.
40. Give him an extended sabbatical every five years or so. If he’s made it five years, he’s beaten the odds by a couple of years.
41. Give him a gift to give to his wife. Don’t take credit. Just say, “I saw this and thought, “Hey, I bet Pastor Waldo would give this kind of gift to his wife. So I bought it so you could give it to her from you because you are so thoughtful!” (Then wink.)
42. Keep the kids during worship. Some call it bed babies. Some call it extended session. But whatever you call it. It is a blessing not to have to worry that people are lined up to serve. Also a screaming baby versus a sermon in the same room? Who’s going to win that match? I think you know.
43. Express your confidence in him. This can simply be done by saying, “You da man!!
44. Give him books. Chances are, he loves books. BUT DO NOT ASK HIM IF HE READ IT. When you do that, you have not given him a gift, you’ve given him a task.
45. Write a note to their kids and state the obvious: “Being a preacher’s kid is tough. We love you so much for putting up with stuff.”
46. When he and the family go out of town. Mow their grass.
47. Give him tickets to the big game. (In other words, not State vs. Northern Illinois Community Career College.)
48. Compare him with a Bible character, say, “You remind me of Stephen- boldly speaking the truth.” Just make sure you don’t compare him to Ahab, Jonah, Samson, or the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”
49. Don’t exclude him or his wife from parties. Chances are he won’t turn it into a funeral. In fact he might be more fun than you ever imagined he’d be. When at this well-fortified festive event, don’t talk church with him. Unstick his brain from the task for a little while. Also don’t be offended if he says no.
50. Buy him some waders. He doesn’t walk on water.